Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Day 2 of music from the post-punk era ('78-'84)...
King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp released his debut solo LP Exposure in 1979. Due to his prog roots he isn't usually associated with post-punk, but IMO this album is his post-punk record - just look at that skinny tie (both he and King Crimson get mentioned in Simon Reynolds' book). It features a great lineup of musicians* and is musically all over the place - instrumental ambience, frenetic raging rock, art funk, new wave and dark electronics jostle for space. At the time it's lack of a cohesion might have been a bit much, but I was always thrilled by it's variety, and in today's mash up world it works. One of my fave thing about it is his inclusion of Daryl Hall, blue eyed soul crooner of mega hit duo Hall & Oates. Fripp had produced Daryl's solo LP Sacred Songs, and this album was originally conceived as part of a trilogy consisting of Daryl's solo album and Peter Gabriel's second album (also produced by and with contributions from Fripp). I have always been a fan of Daryl's smooth voice, and it is put to good use on two tracks on this album. The first is You Burn Me up I'm A Cigarette, a straight up rocker with manic guitars and twisted piano pounding. I love hearing Daryl's voice on something so different from Hall & Oates. He also provides the vocals on the beautiful ballad North Star. It's a gorgeously mournful tune (co-written with fellow progger Peter Hammill), awash in Frippertronics and brushed cymbals and Daryl's blue eyed swoon. While it is music made by a bunch of established/ment figures, it has a sense of experimentalism and invention that fits right in with it's post-punk peers. This LP also has a great version of Peter Gabriel's Here Comes The Flood, originally from his 1977 solo debut - it might even be better than the original.

* Barry Andrews (XTC) - keyboards, Phil Collins - drums, Brian Eno - synthesizer, Peter Gabriel - vocals & piano, Daryl Hall - vocals, Peter Hammill - vocals, Tony Levin - bass, Jerry Marotta - drums, Sid McGuinness - guitar, Terre Roche - vocals, Narada Michael Walden - drums, Joanna Walton - lyricist, J.G. Bennett - voice

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