Watch Out Boy! Today in 1982 Hall & Oates Took on a 'Maneater'

Hall and Oates
REX USA/Andre Csillag

Hall & Oates photographed in 1982.

“Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up.”

On this day in 1982 (Dec. 18), Hall and Oates started a four week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Maneater,” giving the world a valuable piece of advice: “I wouldn't if I were you."

In the music video for the cautionary tale (speculated to be inspired by actress/model Kelly LeBrock), the jaguar is a metaphor for "woman on the prowl." She preys on wealthy men who fall for her beauty, before unleashing the beast within. "The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a jaguar." In the wild, these "beautiful and powerful beasts" will pursue almost any kind of animal prey within range.

In an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Oates shared that the song is actually about New York City in the '80s.

“It’s about greed, avarice and spoiled riches, but we have it in the setting of a girl because it’s more relatable. It’s something that people can understand. That’s what we do all of the time.”

Amidst the shadows, Charles DeChant plays the saxophone, a boppin' Daryl Hall sings the verses and Oates sways in the background, before chiming in on the chorus.

According to Hall, the actual “man-eating” jaguar seen in the video “probably cost $10,000,” and at one point got loose on set, at which point he left the building.

In 2006, Nelly Furtado put a spin on the Hall and Oates classic. Her take on "Maneater" describes a manipulative woman (“you wish you never met her at all”) and peaked at No. 16 on the Hot 100 chart.


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