Album of the day: Robert Fripp, "Exposure"

Album of the day: Robert Fripp, “Exposure”

Robert Fripp
Exposure (2 CDs DGM 0601)

There are records which, in addition to being perfectly accomplished works of art in themselves, contain within them the spirit of an entire era and point the compass towards the years to come with prophetic intuition; let's think of works like “Hot Rats” by Frank Zappa, “Revolver” by the Beatles, “Electric Ladyland” by Jimi Hendrix, “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis, just to name a few titles. This album, although certainly not having had the commercial resonance of the aforementioned titles, belongs to the same narrow category and over the years has proven to be an essential point of reference for anyone who wants to understand the developments of contemporary rock.

The first solo album by Robert Fripp, the famous guitarist and leader of King Crimson, “Exposure” (1978) had a very troubled gestation due to misunderstandings with the world of the record business.
Initially almost the entire album had been made with the singer Daryl Hall (in those years king of the charts with the pop/soul duo Hall&Oates) with whom Fripp had also made the album “Sacred Songs”, but when Hall's manager heard the album Complete was horrified and forbade its publication considering it a certain commercial failure; Fripp was then forced to replace several tracks with other singers, including Peter Hammill and the Roches vocal group.

The album contains many facets of Fripp's complex personality, from the rock'n'roll of “You Burn Me up I'm a Cigarette”
to the obsessive funk of “Exposure”, from the electronic experiments of
two “Water Music” to the schizoid scream of “Desangaged”. A veritable parade of superstars have gathered to help him: Brian
Eno, Phil Collins, Narada Michael Walden, Tony Levin, Barry Andrews, Peter Gabriel (who records on piano for the occasion
the most beautiful existing version of his “Here Comes the Flood”).

There is an air of total experimentation, free from the constraints of commercial concerns. Many of these sounds were subsequently copied, trivialized and exported to the English charts of subsequent years but here they remain intact in
time their provocative and stimulating charge.

This recent edition offers us both versions of the album (with five unreleased songs sung by Hall); Fripp himself remastered the sound with impressive results in terms of depth and dynamics.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.