Robert Fripp's post-King Crimson activities included guitar lessons with Robin Trower, studying the philosophy of J.G. Bennett and a trip to Berlin to record guitar on David Bowie's Heroes. He eventually switched base to New York, where he began producing a wide variety of artists, including Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates), The Roches and Peter Gabriel. It's no wonder that his debut solo album Exposure was recorded with a host of musicians, including Narada Michael Walden and Phil Collins, Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta and Sid McGinnis (on loan from Peter Gabriel's band), along with Barry Andrews from XTC and the ever-present Brian Eno. After a snippet of his voice, Darryl Hall adds an edge to the punky "You Burn Me Up I'm A Cigarette," while the guitars of "Breathless" blasts away with the power of King Crimson's Red. In fact, it's so musically current, it's a testament to how forward-looking that band was. Peter Hammill's distinctive growl gives "Disengage" and "Chicago" a suitable edge, while Hall's smooth, blue-eyed soul graces "North Star." Terre Roche's voice floats alongside Fripp's guitar on the beautiful "Mary." The raucous "Exposure," first appearing on Gabriel's second album, opens the second side; and over its white-funk beat, Fripp uses samples and Frippertronics to alienate the soundscape. This approach is furthered on what Fripp called the "incredibly dismal, pathetic chord sequence" of "Häaden Two," while the remainder of the album alternates between a few more rockers (the amazing "I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You"), pure Frippertronics ("Water Music I & II") and a stark, haunting re-recording of "Here Comes the Flood" by Gabriel. The album is extremely contemporary, and stacks up alongside any then-current "new wave" releases. It was intended to be released as a part of a trilogy of albums Fripp produced, with Gabriel's second album and Hall's 1977 Sacred Songs rounding out the trio; however, the associated record companies completely nixed the concept. They were right: commercial the album was not-it failed to chart in any territories; but it was a complete artistic success. Caveat emptor: Fripp has released several different mixes of the album since its debut release.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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"Always ready with the ray of sunshine"