Orleans

Fronted by the guitar playing vocalists John Hall and Larry Hoppen, Orleans built its initial reputation through relentless touring on the Northeast club and college circuit in the early 1970s. Based out of the artist/musician community of Woodstock in the Catskills of New York, Hall's formidable gifts as a songwriter and the band's finely crafted songs and polished live performances earned them early recognition from Rolling Stone magazine, which declared Orleans "the best unrecorded band in America."



Showcase performances in New York City led to a recording contract and the release of the band's debut album in 1973. However, it was two years later that the band scored its first hit with "Let There Be Music" in 1975. Now forever remembered for the sweetly harmonious hits that soon followed, "Dance With Me" and "Still The One," in reality the group was far more adventurous, incorporating reggae, R&B, soul, and jazz elements into their uplifting finely crafted pop-rock songs, many with elaborate vocal arrangements.

Unlike many groups of this era that relied on studio wizardry to create a highly polished sound, the members of Orleans were talented musicians who had the vocal prowess to deliver the goods outside the studio.

John Hall (along with his wife and co-songwriter, Johanna Hall) remained part of the Orleans team through 1977, but by the middle of 1978, he departed to pursue a solo career and become politically active over the issue of nuclear power. In 1979, with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Graham Nash, Hall launched the No Nukes benefit concerts to raise awareness against nuclear power plants.

Orleans would carry on with brothers Larry and Lance Hopper at the helm. They actually scored one the band's biggest hits, "Love Takes Time," after Hall left. Hall's solo career stalled and he returned to Orleans in the early 1990s. By the late 1990s, he again followed his political aspirations, eventually winning a seat in Congress. Orleans (with and without Hall) continue to work sporadically, as does Hall with a solo band. "Don't Throw Our Love Away," captured here, would resurface years later on a studio album released after the band reformed.

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