DARYL HALL Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine (1986)

Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine (1986)
Hall Sows His Oats

Daryl Hall’s second solo album comes almost 10 years after recording the Robert Fripp-produced, Sacred Songs (HERE) – which sat on the shelf for three years before finally being released in 1980. For Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine, Hall seems to have learned a few lessons about going solo from a mega-successful, radio band like Hall & Oates. Label execs, managers and publishing concerns get a little antsy when you mess with a proven formula, and Hall, who seemed intent on doing just that with Sacred Songs, dials back the abrasion on this one – which is more ‘bombastic 80s Philly soul,’ and less ‘edgy New York weirdness.’ Hall sings his balls off on this record, so it comes down to how much you like the 80s backing, which is not as clean as Hall & Oates, but far more radio-ready than Sacred Songs. The beats are still big, and the sometimes drenched production is always salvaged by Hall’s emotive leads or soul-45 background vocals. The single, “Dreamtime,” which The All Music Guide calls “a swirling slice of arty new wave psychedelia that stands in direct contrast to anything Hall & Oates sent into the Top Ten,” is still Hall’s biggest solo hit. Amazon.

Dreamtime (4:46)
Only A Vision (4:34)
I Wasn’t Born Yesterday (4:24)
Someone Like You (5:34)
Next Step (4:49)
For You (5:49)
Foolish Pride (3:57)
Right As Rain (4:24)
Let It Out (3:52)
What’s Gonna Happen To Us (5:40)


  • Willard
    July 29, 2011 - 07:54 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • shadoobie
    July 29, 2011 - 09:07 | Permalink

    Thanks. Really enjoy Sacred Songs. Haven’t heard this in a long time.

    Check Live from Daryl’s House. His webcast with some great guests. Check out the Todd Rundgren episode.

  • July 29, 2011 - 09:17 | Permalink

    Loved, loved, LOVED “Dreamtime”.

  • Dave
    July 29, 2011 - 10:05 | Permalink

    Willard, I will put myself out there and use this as further proof of your thesis… You know, the one that says people most like (or are at least are willing to give a pass to) the stuff from an artist they were first exposed to.

    This was not exactly my first exposure to DH, of course. And I would amend your thesis to say the age of the listerner/fan has a lot to do with it. I was 18 and maybe about a month out of high school when this was released in the summer of 1986. As such, it stands up there as the soundtrack of perhaps the very last time I spent a carefree summer with the whole wide world of possibilities spread out in front of me and no major failures or disappointments in my past (except maybe the failure to get laid the previous night).

    So of course I dig this! The 80’s production doesn’t bother me that much because that was the sound of my youth. And the contemporary sound of H&O, of course! This was at a time when the casual listener couldn’t really figure out what John Oates brought to the table anyway (subsequent digging into H&O’s back catalog has remedied that for me) so this is pretty much “Big Bam Boom, Part II” which goes down just fine when I make the Quantum Leap back into my 18-year-old body….

    • Willard
      July 29, 2011 - 10:51 | Permalink

      HA! Thanks for guinea piggin’ for science.

  • Don From Oregon
    July 30, 2011 - 21:50 | Permalink

    Ok. now you have hit one into my ball park!
    When I was 13 (!) I started working for KFLY in Corvallis Oregon. I could only work with a special permit, and I could only work about 4 hours a week. As I got older (14, then 15), I was promoted from stuffing envelopes with our “top 30” (which was basically “Billboards”) to helping assemble the library. Charlie Fox (not his real name, but his air name) was the Program Director. Hall and Oates had a hit with “She’s Gone”, but then had fallen on hard times. I recall that their was some sort of “High School Tour” about the time of ‘Along the Red Ledge”. Daryl had already recorded his album with Fripp, but even though it had been reported by RS, there was NO WAY that you could see it being released since that was the time that Halls AND Fripps record companies were having boners about it being released. Anyway, in 77 here comes Hall and Oates to Corvallis to do this tour, and KFLY took us (and them) to lunch to Nendels, at the time, the “best” restaurant in Corvallis (meaning that a burger cost $4). After a few glasses of beer, which of course I was not allowed to have, I brought up his solo album, and asked when we would see it ( I REALLY did love KC as a kid, so I was interested). Hall squinted (yes, i know it’s weird with those eyelids of his, but I SWEAR he did) and said “How the hell did you hear about THAT?”. All eyes were on me, and so I stuttered, “Um…Rolling Stone?”. Daryl said, “Well, its still in talks”, and left it at that, rambling on about other stuff. Three years later, the damn thing finally came out (I Think that “Discipline” gave enough street cred for Hall’s label to finally give it the ok). And guess what? It SOUNDED like a 1977 album being released in 1980/81. And then? Rolling Stone DISSED it while giving some new shitty Jackson Browne album 5 stars for being cool and shitty and probably coke inspired.
    Seriously, I dropped my subscription to RS after the whole fiasco. But I have a true, and cool story as a result. And I still think it’s cool that Daryl Hall recorded an album with Robert Fripp!

    • Willard
      July 30, 2011 - 22:01 | Permalink

      Great story! I especially like the “All eyes were on me” part – a pants-wetting rite of passage for any & all who deem themselves worthy of sitting with the stars. Thanks.

  • Horst
    July 31, 2011 - 09:37 | Permalink

    Sacred Songs has become one of my favorite albums (thanks for introducing me to it). I’m not expecting big things from this one, but I’ll give it a try.

    • Willard
      July 31, 2011 - 15:41 | Permalink

      It’s not as weird… but he sings like a banshee on it.

  • June 1, 2013 - 09:27 | Permalink

    Thanx Willard! It’s a hard to find record!

  • Supersonic75
    July 28, 2013 - 12:18 | Permalink

    “Dreamtime” is one of those songs that I listened to around 5 times per day (on an edited 7″ version), but haven’t thought about in years. Will be nice to hear it again; I remember buying the LP and had a similar reaction to others here- great, great singing but the material was not that strong, particularly trying to follow “DT” as the lead-off track. I’m curious to see that I’d think of it now. Thanks for all the great/interesting choices on this blog, Willard…I’m definitely a fan.

  • Anonymous
    February 18, 2016 - 10:52 | Permalink

    thanks Willard

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