Robert Fripp’s 1979 album, Exposure (DGM0601), was intended to form part of a trilogy together with Peter Gabriel’s second solo album and Sacred Songs, by Daryll Hall. Fripp produced all three albums and also plays on all three. As things turned out, the scheme was too much for “dinosaur” (Fripp’s term) record company executives, they regarded Hall’s album as uncommercial then buried its release.
Exposure is (for me) the most successful of the three. Although it mixes styles and vocalists (Daryll Hall, Peter Hammill, Terry Roche and Peter Gabriel singing his own ‘Here Comes the Flood’), it manages to maintain a consistent atmosphere very much influenced by Fripp’s life in New York and his connections with the NYC New Wave of the time (he played on ‘Fade Away and Radiate’ by Blondie). It also forms the bridge between the King Crimson of old and what would become the Eighties’ Crimson. Fripp’s experimental side is to the fore here, with the first showcasing of his “Frippertronics” in a musical setting and many taped conversations being mixed into the music.
The new CD set released this week manages to reinvent the album to some degree, presenting the original album on one disc then a whole disc of different vocal mixes on the other, some of which use different singers, such as Daryll Hall singing on tracks that featured Peter Hammill originally. The sound is also considerably enhanced, making the heavier pieces sound especially ferocious. An album that’s nearly thirty years old suddenly sounds fresh again.
More details after the jump.