Hall & Oates had achieved some commercial success in the 1970s, largely on the strength of the singles “Rich Girl,” “Sara Smile,” and “She’s Gone,” but were unable to sustain it as the decade wound down. But with the release of Voices in 1980, that all changed. The duo scored four Top 40 U.S. hits, with “Kiss On My List” hitting #1.
The original cover of Voices featured a black & white photo of Daryl Hall and John Oates, with embossed sound waves traveling from Oates to Hall. The pair was photographed in different poses for different editions. Here are two of them:
Daryl looks rather unimpressed by the whole thing on this one. But then things get crazy…
Whatever John is saying (via telepathy) to Daryl, it’s making it hard for him to keep a straight face. And keep his clothes on.
Yikes! I guess the ’80s had officially arrived, it just took Hall & Oates a bit of time to catch up. This was the album cover used on issues of the album from 1981 on. Oates’ pants are just so… I’m not even sure what’s going on there.
According to AllMusic, photography on Voices was by Masashi Kuwamoto, with cover art and design by Sara Allen (Hall’s former long-time girlfriend and the subject of the aforementioned “Sara Smile”). I’m not 100% certain which cover those credits are for, or if they’re for both — so if anyone knows please drop a comment!