AFL1-3573 Sacred Songs
Produced by Robert Fripp
Released on 1980
US CHART POSITION #58
Find it at GEMM
AFL1-3573 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

Y es, that Daryl Hall. The story here is that Hall teamed up with Robert Fripp, the former King Crimson guitarist who was dabbling in relatively commercial projects at the time (David Bowie, Peter Gabriel), and with Elton John’s backing band recorded an album that was initially deemed too unusual for release. As often happens with these things, the legend is better than the learning. Sacred Songs is a little strange, insofar as it’s unusual to hear Frippertronics in the context of pop music, but anyone who bought Fripp’s Exposure has already been exposed to the better parts of this union. Not being familiar with the history of Hall & Oates, Sacred Song’s reference point for me is Todd Rundgren or (at its tightest) Adrian Belew. Nothing on here is as blasphemous as “You Burn Me Up I’m A Cigarette” or as sublime as “North Star,” but even among the safer cuts there are some surprises, like “Something In 4/4 Time” or “Don’t Leave Me Alone With Her.” The one song that Sacred Songs and Exposure share is “Urban Landscape,” an instrumental of Frippertronics. That track leads into “NYCNY,” which comes closest to capturing the energy of “You Burn Me Up I’m A Cigarette” and was re-swizzled for Exposure’s “NY3.” Among the albums that Fripp produced or participated in around 1977 (Heroes, Peter Gabriel 2), Sacred Songs will be of the least interest to sonic adventurers. It’s a shame that the most hair-raising songs from the session were released under Fripp’s auspice, leaving Hall to commemorate the remarkable meeting with unremarkable entries like “Babs And Babs” or “Why Was It So Easy.” If you’re interested in unusual pop music, there are plenty of Todd Rundgren and Adrian Belew albums that deliver more than Sacred Songs. As for Exposure, it’s stylistically all over the place, which may leave pop fans feeling cold. Ironically, Hall’s first solo album took three years to be released, by which time the album’s edginess had been suitably dulled by the punk movement.

AFL1-3573 back cover AFL1-3573 lyric sleeve
AFL1-3573 back cover AFL1-3573 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. SACRED SONGS    3:12
  2. SOMETHING IN 4/4 TIME    4:20
  3. BABS AND BABS    7:20
  4. URBAN LANDSCAPE    (Robert Fripp)    2:24
  5. NYCNY    (Daryl Hall/Robert Fripp)    4:24
  6. THE FARTHER AWAY I AM    2:52
  7. WHY WAS IT SO EASY    5:18
  8. DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE WITH HER    6:24
  9. SURVIVE    6:40
  10. WITHOUT TEARS    2:50

CREDITS

DARYL HALL -- vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, mandar
ROBERT FRIPP -- guitars, Frippertronics
KENNY PASSARELLI -- bass
ROGER POPE -- drums
CALEB QUAYE -- guitar
Charlie De Chant -- saxophone, background vocal (2)
David Kent -- background vocal (2)
Ed Sprigg -- engineer
Sara Allen -- album cover
William Coupon -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN 1980 RCA LP/CS AFL1/AYK1-3573 lyric sleeve
UK 1980 RCA LP PL1-3573  
GER 1980 RCA LP NL 83573  
JPN 1980 RCA LP RVP-6457 lyric insert
JPN   BMG CD BVCP-2091  
US   Buddha CD 99604 digital remaster
JPN   BMG CD BVCM-37300 24-bit remaster

 

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