As some of you may know yesterday was the 72nd birthday of Mr. King Crimson himself... Robert Fripp! For this we are going to take a serious, critical look at his 1979 debut record, Exposure... Just kidding, let's get right down to the good stuff! First off the lineup on this album is SUPREME, musicians include Daryl Hall, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Phil Collins, Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta, to name a few. This record combines elements of prog, punk and pop creating a mish mash of music.. a perfectly placed mess that somehow manages to make one solid nucleus of sound. It's frightening, forward yet eloquent.
At this time Fripp had done a ton of work helping to produce and collaborate with artists such as Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Daryl Hall and Brian Eno. It was the late 70s and he had disbanded the 2nd lineup of King Crimson. He was living in New York and closely recording and performing with Blondie and similar mainstream groups which seemed to be a big influence on this first solo album.
Fripp utilized his one of a kind technique which he aptly named "Frippertronics" where he would loop two reel to reel tapes in order to achieve a slight delay and overlap of music... the output was a whole new experience that is now associated with Fripp's guitar work and his iconic sound. Fripp first used this technique while working with Brian Eno and can be heard on their 1973 album, No Pussyfooting.
This first song we're going to get into features Daryl Hall like you've NEVER heard him before... bet ya didn't know he could rock like this! No I'm not kidding, he literally ROCKS this song with his wailing vocals, near screaming. Phil Collins kills it on the drums, bringing back his progressive tempos from the early Genesis years. It's shocking, it's panic!
This next song is a precursor to the future sound of King Crimson and hits hard with it's repetitive musical loops which ever so slightly change each time they come around. This track truly demonstrates Fripp's progressively inclined sound in which he utilizes obscure time signatures and key changes to make for an insanely rockin' tune... it really does leave you Breathless..
And of course we can't forget my most favorite... Fripp's collab with Peter Gabriel on the haunting track, Here Comes The Flood originally featured on Gabriel's debut solo record in '77.. this version is much different from the original with Fripp's fluttering Frippertronics supporting Gabriel's demure piano playing. It's raw and minimal but so moving.
...and to conclude this blog here is some footage of Robert back in 1979 when Exposure was first released; a beautiful example of his colorful techniques. Happy spinning everyone!