Sara Smile

"Sara Smile" is a song written and recorded by the American musical duo Hall & Oates. It was released on August 18, 1975[1] as the second single from their album Daryl Hall & John Oates. The song was the group's first Top 10 hit in the US, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Sara Smile"
Sara Smile - Hall & Oates.jpeg
Single by Hall & Oates
from the album Daryl Hall & John Oates
ReleasedAugust 18, 1975[1]
RecordedJune 12, 1975
GenreSoft rock,[2] blue-eyed soul
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Daryl Hall, John Oates
Producer(s)Chris Bond, Daryl Hall, John Oates
Hall & Oates singles chronology
"Alone Too Long"
"Sara Smile"
"She's Gone"

"Sara Smile" was the second single released from Hall & Oates' 1975 self-titled album for RCA Records. Cowritten by both halves of the duo, it was Hall & Oates's breakthrough single,[3] with a #4 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1976.[4] It was written about Hall's then-girlfriend, Sara Allen.[5] The couple were together for almost 30 years before breaking up in 2001.[6]

Critical receptionEdit

Nathan Brackett and Christian Hoard, in the Rolling Stone album guide, referred to the song as a "love bead ballad,"[7] and Steve Pond of the Los Angeles Times cited it as an example of the duo's R&B influences.[8] Following the success of "Sara Smile," the Atlantic Records label re-released the duo's previous single, "She's Gone."[9]

Chart performanceEdit

"Sara Smile" was the duo's first top-ten hit, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at No. 23 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and No. 18 on the Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 11 song of 1976. On the R&R Airplay chart, the song debuted at No. 38 on April 2, 1976, and peaked at No. 7 seven weeks later.[10] The single earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[11]

Cover versionsEdit

After 7 versionEdit

"Sara Smile"
Single by After 7
from the album The Very Best of After 7
ReleasedFebruary 11, 1997
Songwriter(s)Daryl Hall, John Oates
Producer(s)Babyface, Keith Andes

R&B group After 7 released a cover version in 1997, on their greatest hits album The Very Best of After 7.

Chart performanceEdit

It peaked at number 31 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts,[21] number 99 in Australia,[22] and number 130 in the UK.[23]

Boyz II Men versionEdit

"Sara Smile"
Single by Boyz II Men
from the album Throwback, Vol. 1
ReleasedAugust 24, 2004 (Japan)
LabelMSM / Koch,
Pony Canyon
Songwriter(s)Daryl Hall, John Oates
Producer(s)Boyz II Men and Johnny Wright (executive)

R&B group Boyz II Men released a cover version in 2004, on their album Throwback, Vol. 1.

Jimmy Wayne versionEdit

"Sara Smile"
Single by Jimmy Wayne with Daryl Hall and John Oates
from the album Sara Smile
ReleasedOctober 3, 2009
LabelValory Music Group
Songwriter(s)Daryl Hall, John Oates
Producer(s)Dann Huff
Jimmy Wayne singles chronology
"I'll Be That"
"Sara Smile"
"Just Knowing You Love Me"

Country music singer Jimmy Wayne released a cover version in 2009, with backing vocals from Hall & Oates. This version debuted at #51 on the Hot Country Songs chart dated October 3, 2009 and serves as the title track for Wayne's third album, Sara Smile. It became Hall & Oates' first single to chart on the country charts.

Critical receptionEdit

Sam Gazdziak of Engine 145 gave the song a thumbs-down, saying that it was "almost reverential" to the original and that Wayne's vocals showed R&B influences, but added that it "has no business being played on a country radio station."[24] Bobby Peacock of Roughstock gave a more positive review, also saying that it was well-sung but not country-sounding, but adding that it was a "refreshing change of pace" from the "bombast of Do You Believe Me Now", Wayne's last album.[25] Thom Jurek described the cover favorably in his review of the album, saying that Wayne "basically apes Hall's lead vocal[…]note for note" but "pulls it off in spades."[26]

Chart performanceEdit

Jimmy Wayne's version of "Sara Smile" debuted at number 51 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in September 2009. After seven weeks on the country chart, the song peaked at 31 in December 2009.

Chart (2009) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[27] 31

Rumer versionEdit

"Sara Smile"
Single by Rumer
from the album Boys Don't Cry
ReleasedJuly 8, 2012
GenreEasy listening, jazz
LabelAtlantic Records
Songwriter(s)Daryl Hall, John Oates
Producer(s)Geoff Foster
Rumer singles chronology
"P.F. Sloan"
"Sara Smile"

British female singer-songwriter Rumer released a cover version on July 30, 2012 as the second single from her second studio album Boys Don't Cry (2012). The song has charted in Belgium

Rumer and Daryl Hall perform the song together on Live From Daryl's House.

Music videoEdit

A music video to accompany the release of "Sara Smile" was first released onto YouTube on June 28, 2012 at a total length of three minutes.[28]

Track listingsEdit

Digital download[29]
1."Sara Smile"3:33

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[30] 98

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom July 8, 2012[29] Digital download Atlantic records


  1. ^ a b "Sara Smile | Hall & Oates".
  2. ^ Jesse Sendejas Jr. (August 7, 2014). "The '70s' Seven Sexiest Soft-Rock Songs". Houston Press.
  3. ^ Frank Halvonik (Sep 10, 1976). "Hall & Oates album "bigger" and better". The Collegian. Retrieved Sep 29, 2009.
  4. ^ Chuck Taylor (Feb 15, 2003). "A Little Rock & Soul Goes A Long Way". Billboard: H3.
  5. ^ Maury Dean (2003). Rock N Roll Gold Rush: A Singles Un-Cyclopedia. Algora Publishing. p. 545. ISBN 978-0-87586-207-1.
  6. ^ "Biography for Daryl Hall". IMDb. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  7. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 358–359. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  8. ^ Steve Pond (Oct 31, 1976). "Pop Album Briefs". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; J. Scott McClintock. "Hall & Oates biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Search results for Hall & Oates". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4147a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-05-15. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  14. ^ " – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Sara Smile". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  15. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  18. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  19. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  21. ^ After 7 - R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Billboard. Accessed December 14, 2016.
  22. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 06 Apr 1997". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 2017-06-24. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  23. ^ "Chart Log UK 1994–2010 > A – Azzido Da Bass". Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  24. ^ Gazdziak, Sam (2009-09-28). "Jimmy Wayne — "Sara Smile"". Engine 145. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  25. ^ Bobby Peacock (2009-09-17). "Jimmy Wayne — "Sara Smile"". Roughstock. Archived from the original on 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  26. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Sara Smile review". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  27. ^ "Jimmy Wayne Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  28. ^ Rumer - Sara Smile [Official Video. YouTube
  29. ^ a b "Sara Smile (2012) - Rumer - MP3 Downloads - 7digital - United Kingdom". 7Digital. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  30. ^ " – Rumer – Sara Smile" (in Dutch). Ultratip.

External linksEdit