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Robert Fripp

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Robert Fripp Exposure album cover
3.66 | 253 ratings | 31 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Preface (1:15)
2. You Burn Me Up I'm a Cigarette (2:23)
3. Breathless (4:39)
4. Disengage (2:52)
5. North Star (3:12)
6. Chicago (2:11)
7. NY3 (2:17)
8. Mary (2:10)
9. Exposure (4:26)
10. Haaden Two (1:56)
11. Urban Landscape (2:35)
12. I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You (3:38)
13. First Inaugural Address to I.A.C.E. Sherborne House (0:04)
14. Water Music I (1:19)
15. Here Comes the Flood (3:52)
16. Water Music II (3:52)
17. Postscript (0:38)

Total Time: 49:43

Bonus CD from 2006 SE :
1. - 17. Full 1985 Remix ("Third edition")
- Alternative takes
18. Exposure (4:28)
19. Mary (2:06)
20. Disengage (2:49)
21. Chicago (2:02)
22. NY3 (2:15)

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitars, Fx (Frippertronics), producer

- Daryl Hall / lead (2,5,18,19) & chorus vocals (1), piano (2,6,21)
- Peter Hammill / vocals (4,6,12,20,21)
- Terre Roche / vocals (8,9,12,21)
- Peter Gabriel / vocals & piano (15)
- Edith Fripp / voice (4)
- John G. Bennett / taped voice (14)
- Evelyn Harris / voice
- Shivapuri Baba / voice
- Sid McGuinniss / pedal steel guitar (5), rhythm guitar (9,18)
- Barry Andrews / organ (4,7,12,20)
- Brian Eno / synthesizer (5,15), voice
- Tony Levin / bass (2-7,9,10,12,18,20-22)
- Jerry Marotta / drums (2,6,9,10,18,21)
- Narada Michael Walden / drums (3,7,12,22)
- Phil Collins / drums (4,5,20)

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Stein

LP EG ‎- EGLP 101 (1979, UK)

CD EG ‎- EGCD 41 (1985, UK) Remixed by Fripp & Brad Davies
CD EG ‎- EGCD 41 (1989, US) Remastered by Tony Arnold (from the 1985 remix)
2xCD Discipline Global Mobile ‎- DGM0602 (2006, Europe) 24-bit remaster by Fripp & Simon Heyworth with bonus CD including 1985 remixed version plus 5 tracks (alt takes)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ROBERT FRIPP Exposure Music

ROBERT FRIPP Exposure ratings distribution

(253 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ROBERT FRIPP Exposure reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by daveconn
4 stars Robert FRIPP notes on "Exposure" that the album was "originally conceived as the third part of an MOR trilogy" -- his work on Peter GABRIELl's second album and Darryl Hall's "Sacred Songs" being the first two parts. "Exposure" is FRIPP's most commercially successful solo album, actually charting in the US and UK, but he clearly had second thoughts about pandering to commercial tastes before creating this. Drawn from some wildly divergent recording sessions between 1977 and 1979, this collection ranges from the soothing ambient sounds of FRIPP & ENO to some violent rock recorded with VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's Peter HAMMILL.

In between are FRIPP's re-takes on songs that were recorded for the GABRIEL and Hall sessions, including the lovely "North Star" and "Here Comes the Flood". The intent of "Exposure", apparently, is to show off FRIPP's range as an artist, but it's presented in such a fractured format that the album's extremes often seem too extreme. Individually, many of the songs are terrific: the "Discipline"-era CRIMSON invoked early on "Breathless," Darryl Hall indulging in the strangeness of "You Burn Me Up I'm a Cigarette", a cleverly reconstructed version of "Exposure". But enjoying everything on "Exposure" is an impossible task -- there's simply no common thread that holds the songs together, and the very different vocalists tend to make or break the material.

Along with The League of Gentlemen, "Exposure" is a good place for curious KING CRIMSON fans to start in FRIPP's discography, as it comes closest to re-creating the frenetic arrangements and dark energy of that band. It remains a fine sampler of FRIPP's musical interests during his band's hibernation, but a cogent argument for MOR acceptance it ain't.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars This is the first real solo album from the somber genius. And a fitting resumé of his 70's musical activities and even a preview of things to come in the next few years. As he left Crimson to rest , Robert Fripp then meddled with Eno for two albums (listed here as his first two albums but not so IMHO), then went into production and guesting on many successful albums (he was no stranger to that success either) before actually recording this mixed-bag album. He will then re-form Crimson with some of the musicians he came to meet in this era.

I used the word mixed bag for this album and it is just that. This is very disjointed collection of tunes but that is so representative of the "Fripp"character. A star-studded cast of guests (from his many collabs) make this album very attractive but also rather uneven. Apart from two or three very short non-musical tracks, the doctor visits punk (track 2) , his earlier Crimson carreer (track 3 - Red - and 12 I believe), reminds us of his Frippertronics works with Eno , revisits also his production collabs with others (Peter Gabriel - track 9 and 15 - and Peter Hammill - track 4 - on four different tracks - all my personal favorite on this album) and even previews a future King Crimson style on another track. Not everything is succesful but the album as a whole is rather entertaining. The only hole in Fripp's carreer I find is that his work with Bowie is actually completely ignored.

I am not all that convinced this "Pot-Pourri" actually really is all that essential , but on the merits of Fripp's overall achievements , I rounded up this album rating to the upper fourth star.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars I listened to this album for the first time in 1985. I was playing then with a band which had eight members, including two keyboard players. One of the keyboard players liked Progressive Rock music very much, and he lent me several albums to listen to them. I also lent him other Prog Rock records.

This is a good album, experimental in most of the music (as usual with Fripp), and also with very good Prog songs. Some of the very good prog songs are: "I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You" (which I think was sung (very well) by Peter Hammill, as the credits in the inner sleeve list the musicians but not the songs in which they participated), "North Star" and "Chicago". The version included in this album of "Here Comes the Flood" has Peter Gabriel on vocals (and maybe playing the piano too) with Fripp playing "atmospheric guitars" in the background. Peter Gabriel also participated singing in the song "Exposure". "I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You" is the best song in the album, IMO, very King Crimson in style, with drums maybe played by Phil Collins. IMO, this album is better than the albums released by Fripp with the King Crimson line-ups with Adrian Belew as a member of the band. Some experimental sounds are interesting in this album, but others not.

Review by Philo
3 stars Sure enough, Exposure is a right crazy mess. This album, the former King Crimson ring leader's first solo outing, is packed tightly with an eclectic array of musical styles, noises, telephone rings, fetishes. In fact, this album contains styles of music that would hardly be in existence for many years, in fact it could even be said that Fripp was looking into his crystal ball, into the future and was exposing us to what was to come in the musical climate, and he'd love that wouldn't he. Samples litter tracks, there are hints of what the re-emegering King Crimson, with Adrian Belew, would soon do, and some wild and crazy guitar stuff too, you could even imagine an act like Massive Attack working on something like "Exposure", there is stuff you might even term late eighties indie if you didn't know better, and a [&*!#] load more. "Disengage" is a crushing almost hyper metal edged song which then makes way for the very melodic and the more or less pop like "North Star" which features Daryl Hall from Hall And Oats fame. In fact, I'm sure this song features on a Hall album, it's a dead ringer for a hit and certainly better than anything Hall and Oats themselves did in the same vein, none I can think of right now, but you get the idea. Of course lets not forget "Breathless", which is something akin to "Larks Tongues In Aspic". Exposure is a finely produced album. The recorded instruments are clear and clean and well mixed which can put the erratic nature of the track listing and the odd actual cluttered up arrangements in a clear perspective. Not an everyday album by no means, a historic piece perhaps, but an interesting affair from Fripp and much of which is ahead of its time. Also features Phil Collins, Brian Eno (of course), Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill and probably a cast of thousands more. Exposure is probably the kind of [&*!#] that goes on in the weird head of David Lynch all day long. Well done Mr. Fripp.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What can be said about the genious of Robert Fripp? I guess the only word that comes to mind is eclectic, and this album really goes to show that the man could adapt to any style that was needed at the time. After he ended King Crimson in 1974, Fripp became what he liked to call a "mobile intelligence unit". He was a guest on various albums, most notably Peter Gabriel's first three studio efforts. This album would also prove to be one of the greatest joint collaborations between Fripp and his many colleagues, most notably that of Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, and Brian Eno, who provide pieces to the album (although Hammill and Eno only helped collaborate on a couple really). Musically, this album has everything from ambient instrumentals to rollicking blues rock, and hints of Fripp's past with King Crimson and his future with King Crimson (and solo as well) can also be heard on this album as well.

The album opens with a rocking number with some fine vocals from Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates fame) in You Burn Me Up I'm a Cigarette (after a brief vocal introduction titled Preface). It has a nice upbeat swing to it and it really a fun piece overall. Breathless traces Fripp into his King Crimson past with heavy riffing in the vein of Red (actually essentially the same chords). It's also one of my favorite pieces on the album. Superb instrumental piece. Disengage is the first track to feature Peter Hammill on vocals. For some reason, though, his vocals just don't appeal to me that much on this album (they're too rough, and though I like the rough edges in his voice they just don't seem to work here). The jarring dissonant riffs, though, are quite nice and are reminicent of the riffing in Red. In songs like North Star, you can hear the future sound that King Crimson would attain (as it has a Matte Kudasai vibe) with Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, and Bill Bruford in the fold. Chicago, NY3, and Mary are three throwaway numbers, that despite having excellent musicianship don't really grab me that much or astound me in any real way. They act more as filler pieces than anything else in my mind (despite being pretty good in the end). Exposure is the first Peter Gabriel song on the album (the second would be Here Comes the Flood). Now, musically this song has the same groove and steady beat that was on the second Peter Gabriel album, but the vocals here are nothing short of annoying (just a female vocalist wailing exposure over and over again).

Haaden Two and Urban Landscape both are avant-garde instrumental compositions, with the first being a bit rougher on the edges and riffing and the second having a lighter, more ambient feel (reminicent actually of his collaborations with Brian Eno that yielded No Pussyfooting and Evening Star). I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You and the much maligned First Inaugural Address to the I.A.C.E. Sherborne House (mainly because it is essentially a useless track running at 4 seconds) follow those two pieces. I May Not... features Peter Hammill once again on vocals, and the jarring and disorienting riffs once again compliment the mood and atmosphere of the piece well. Both incarnations of Water Music (which sandwich Here Comes the Flood) also show shades of what Fripp would come to do with his solo career and are actually interesting soundscapes. This is in regards to both of them. Here Comes the Flood is the second Peter Gabriel song of the album and also one of the absolute best as well. This version being solely a piano/vocal display (from Gabriel himself) with some backing ambient guitar. I actually love this version a lot more than the original version and it seems Gabriel did as well (as he would play the piano only version in his live shows). Postscript ends the album much like Preface began it, with mixed dialogue and sound effects.

In the end, Robert Fripp's first true solo album would prove to be a labor of many different (and I mean many different) styles and influences. It's also a nice gem of an album in that the guest musicians are just incredible (I mean, essentially all of them are progressive rock all-stars). If you want an album that has a run of the mill of every style Robert Fripp has essentially lent himself to, then this is the album to do so. There are also some pretty incredible collaboration pieces as well (mainly the version of Here Comes the Flood, though). Comes with a high recommendation, although it is no masterpiece (mainly because of the vocals on Exposure and the three tracks I singled out). 4/5.

Review by fuxi
5 stars Utterly, utterly brilliant.

I remember I bought this album when it first came out. I had trouble with its noisier pieces. Now we have moved on 25 years. I decided to buy the new two-disc incarnation (from 2006) and it seems I've finally grown into this music. It sounds far better than it ever did on L.P.

The 'traditional' tunes, such as 'North Star', 'Mary' and 'Here comes the Flood' must be among the most moving Robert Fripp has been involved with. Because of star performances by Terre Roche, Daryl Hall, Peter Hammill (whose work with Van der Graaf Generator I'm not too familiar with) and Peter Gabriel, such songs alone are worth the entrance fee - and what's more, you now get 'Mary' in three different versions.

I was also bowled over by the uptempo (mainly instrumental) pieces, which feature Fripp, Tony Levin on bass, Barry Andrews (from XTC) on organ, and three different drummers (though they never play simultaneously): Phil Collins, Narada Michael Walden and Jerry Marotta. Just imagine a version of the 1973 (or early 1980s) King Crimson operating in a strange parallell universe... You know, I'm one of Bill Bruford's greatest fans, but I still find it amazing what these gentlemen manage to do here. Don't just picture Phil Collins as that jolly good fellow chirping 'You can't hurry love', picture him as the virtuoso he was on those early Brand X albums. And bear in mind that Walden was a similar kind of star in the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Now imagine such drum heroes (as well as Levin and Fripp, of course) working out on nerve-wracking tunes like 'Breathless' and 'Disengage' (both influenced by British punk). Prog doesn't get more intense than this!

P.S. One of the most amazing (and forward-looking) tracks on EXPOSURE is 'NY3', which contains samples of Fripp's shrieking neighbours from Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Listening to this (with headphones on; mustn't annoy the neigbours!) gives me an incredible adrenaline rush. Furthermore, Peter Hammill does sound truly glorious on 'Disengage' - guess I really have to check out some of his other work...

Review by Matti
2 stars Here I go with another lesser album from my record borrowing history. My little review won't be very accurate but for that purpose read all the preceeding ones. I can't say that I'm any Fripp-expert either, like a Crimso fan or something. But here's what I remember from this album I listened and partly taped long ago.

17 tracks, most of them shorter than the usual song legth, some under two minutes. I avoid the temptation to write the awfully long title of a 4-second track (Jesus! Supposed to be funny?). Most of the tracks are instrumentals and collaborations with numerous proggy musicians. Fripp's old album partner Eno is of course present. The title track is the one from Peter Gabriel II (which was produced by Fripp). 'Here Comes the Flood' from PG I is heard here as a reduced piano+vocals version. Beautiful. Peter Hammill sings 'Chicago' in his unique powerful style.

Unfortunately the CD I borrowed didn't have credit texts, so I don't know the vocalists of the two songs I was very charmed by. 'North Star' is a cool and smooth song with vocals similar to Todd Rundgren's. 'Mary' is a folkish song sung by a woman. These simple songs are little jewels! But for the album as a (rather messy) whole I frankly didn't warm up to. Apparently for a Fripp enthusiast this is an album not to be missed. There seems to be also a 2-disc edition of it...

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars "Well get out, there's the door, well get out, there's the door."

This album came out about the time I had really turned into a zombie-pod-prog-person. I didn't actually hear it for the first time until about a couple of years or so later. By then I was kind of used to progressive artists getting commercialitis and more open to new things. This one was fairly successful commercially although I'd hardly call it commercial. Still, it must have been quite a shock to those King Crimson diehards when it came out. Fripp had been getting around guesting with various musicians (Eno, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, the Roches), since Crimson's last studio album in '74, but I don't think even his cameo with Blondie would prepare you for this. The last part of a planned trilogy, Daryl Hall's Sacred Songs (recorded in '77), wouldn't be released until a year later, Peter Gabriel II being the first. I'm a bit of a latecomer to Hall's album (2001, I like it a lot and it's as close as I'll ever get to Hall and Oates), but Gabriel's had been in my collection for a few years. Both Hall and Terre Roche, make guest contributions here, as well as Gabriel and Eno.

This album is a bit of 90-degree turn from what KC was doing at the end of their '70's era, though there are bits that would certain appeal to the typical fan at the time. There were also hints of what was to come when KC reconstituted in 1981.

One of my favorite song titles here or for any album: "I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You". Breathless is my favorite track here for obvious Crimsony reasons.

If you have to have consistency in your albums, you might as well pass on this one. Fripp really stretches out in all kinds of directions. But come with open mind/ears and you won't leave empty headed. There's really nothing quite like this in his whole discography.

A little note of trivia, 50 seconds into Haaden Two there's a tape of a line from Monty Python's flying sheep sketch run backwards.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Exposure" is the debut full-length studio album by UK progressive/experimental rock artist Robert Fripp. The album was released through Polydor/E.G. in June 1979. After disbanding King Crimson in 1974 Robert Fripp had taken a break from the recording industry (more or less. He did a some live shows with Brian Eno in 1975) but returned as a session musician on Peter Gabrielīs debut solo album from 1977. After a very succesful collaboration with Brian Eno and David Bowie on the latterīs "Heroes (1977)" album, Robert Fripp must have felt the urge to work with music again because in the next couple of years he would participate on releases, write and produce a lot of music. In the liner notes to "Exposure", Robert Fripp explains that "Exposure" was originally conceived as the third part of a MOR trilogy. The first two parts being Peter Gabriel's second solo album, and Robert Frippīs collaboration with Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates) on the latterīs debut solo album "Sacred Songs (1980)" (recorded in 1977 but not released until 1980.

"Exposure" is a very eclectic release featuring different genre elements and styles. Itīs the kind of release whereRobert Fripp goes out of his way to create an album as diverse as possible. Showing off every possible angle of his talent. The above mentioned Daryl Hall originally layed down vocals on seven tracks on the album but because of a legal hazzle with Daryl Hallī management (one Tommy Mottola) and his record company RCA his contributions were cut down to vocals on two tracks. The rest of the tracks, that originally featured vocals by Daryl Hall appeared on the original "Exposure" release with re-recorded vocals by Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator). Peter Gabriel also contributes to the album with his "Here Comes the Flood" in a stripped down version that to my ears beats the original. The 2006 re-issue includes both the original album, a 1983 re-mix release and five bonus tracks. Some of the latter includes the original vocal tracks by Daryl Hall.

Stylistically the music is in styles like rockīnīroll, pop, progressive rock and instrumental sound experiments. Those looking for something that sounds like King Crimson will probably be very disappointed even though a song like "Breathless" does sound like an outtake from the "Red (1974)" sessions (and there are a few other places on the album that are reminiscent of King Crimson). Itīs the kind of album where Iīm thinking one moment that it sounds really great and the next that it sounds experimental for the sake of it. Iīll say the good outweights the bad though and a 3 star (60%) rating is deserved. Itīs not a very cohesive or strong album when you look at it as a whole though. More a collection of more or less interesting experiments.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is easily the best of Fripp's solo works, and by far the most King Crimson like. One reason it is so good is that Fripp has restrained his use of Frippertronics to background washes and short interludes. A wise choice.

Some nice high points here are Breathless which sounds like a logical step after the amazing Red album. The drumming on this track is incredible (I have drummer friends that insist that Narada Michael Walden played on that song), and Tony Levin's bass just growls. Disengage has Peter Hammill's vocals perfectly matching Fripp's ferociously angry guitar.

The album then gives the listener a rest, with the peaceful North Star, then begins to ramp back up with Hammill's creepy voice on Chicago. The album then goes back into high gear for NY3, a roller coaster ride of a song, with snippets from a fierce argument dropped in to strenghten the effect.

The second half of the album is good, but not as strong as the first half, with the only great track being I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You. The two songs that also appear on Peter Gabriel albums, Exposure and Here Comes The Flood are better here than on the PG albums, but not much better. And it's interesting to note how far ahead of the curve Fripp was, talking about what has now been termed "global warming", back in the seventies.

I wore out 2 copies of this album on LP, but somehow I can't quite get over the alternate vocals used on the CD release.

4.5 stars.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Robert Fripp is a magnificent artist but just like Tony Banks and a few others he never managed to transfer this talent from his band-work to solo and collaboration work.

After successful projects with Daryl Hall and Peter Gabriel the talented Mr.Fripp decided to record a solo album as a part of the so called MOR trilogy. This trilogy consisted of Exposure, Darryl Hall's Sacred Songs and Peter Gabriel's second album.

Since I am not a huge fan of this trilogy project to begin with I wasn't expecting much. But although the album felt very inconsistent and lacked a sense of direction I still managed to enjoy some scattered pieces here and there. I definitely think that fans of King Crimson will find Exposure to be a real treat since Robert Fripp manages to fuse together the 73-74 era with the 80's era of the band's sound on this record. This definitely creates a whole new purpose for this record's existence even outside of this so called album trilogy.

I really like the moody ending of the album which combines Frippertronics with a toned down version of Peter Gabriel's Here Comes The Flood which shows the composition from an entirely different side. This marvelous conclusion made me wish for a higher overall consistency of this release especially since there are so many other great things about Exposure. Just look at all these guest appearances and tell me that you're not even a bit tempted to check out this album!

***** star songs: I May Not Have Had Enough Of Me But I've Had Enough Of You (3:34) Here Comes The Flood (4:07)

**** star songs: Preface (1:15) You Burn Me Up I'm A Cigarette (2:23) Breathless (4:45) Disengage (2:46) NY3 (2:24) Exposure (4:26) Häaden Two (2:53) Water Music I (1:27) Water Music II (4:28) Postscript (0:37)

*** star songs: North Star (3:06) Chicago (2:12) Mary (2:08) Urban Landscape (2:34) First Inaugural Address to the I.A.C.E. Sherborne House (0:04)

Review by friso
3 stars Robert Fripp - Exposure (1979)

* This is my 225th review! Time for a promotion isn't it? I would enter the list of 100 MOST PROLIFIC REVIEWERS on number 69. *

I picked this up at a second hand market at Queensday here in the Netherlands. Just two euro's for such a vinyl record seem quite fair!

This Robert Fripp debut album isn't necessarily important for King Crimson fans. It has no longer compositions, almost all tracks are four minutes or even shorter. The album is very eclectic. Styles included are rock'n roll (on You Burn me Up), King Crimson like heavy metal, vocal based songs like Mary (with great female vocal) and Peter Gabriels Here Comes the Flood. Also we have a sound-scape track (Water music) and some psycho metal tracks with Peter Hammill going to the extremes with his vocals. The title track Exposure is a psychedelic but boring repetitive track.

An album with this cast should be a recipe for a masterpiece: Fripp, Gabriel, Hammill, Phil Collins (drums only), Tony Levin on bass and female vocals of Daryl Hall among. But as with your favorite foods, combining those will not always make a good meal. Fripp's debut sounds in-cohesive, chaotic, hasty, unfinished, anarchistic and at times confused. Some of the lyrics (especially the spoken word parts) are quite confronting. They do give an intimate view of the confused world of mister Fripp. The aggression of this album is either subtle or right in your face.

My favorite parts of the album are the KC-like Breathless, the gentle Mary and Gabriels Here Comes the Flood. The last track is peaceful and in combination with the sound-scapes at the end of the album it gives a feeling like you're left behind with the silence after a storm. The parts with Peter Hammill were a disappointment for me, his vocals are to extreme here and out of place (especially on the pointless That's the Way it is part).

Conclusion. This album has some great moments, but overall it's quite depressing and to aggressive for me. The album feels very much like an intense inner struggle that by surprise has a quite reasonable ending. The performances of the known prog artists aren't always functional and the album could have used some more cohesive elements. Still this album is recommend to dedicated followers of Fripp and KC and people who like very psychedelic and confronting music. Three stars because of some great moments, but still this ain't something I'm going to enjoy very often.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I actually enjoyed "the trio" of Robert Fripp-produced albums released by Mssrs. Fripp, Gabriel and Daryl Hall at the end of the 70s. Though Robert was not a very good producer (allowing poor sound engineering choices), the crossover contributions of Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Sid McGinnis, Brian Eno, Peter Hammill, Terry Roche, Barry Andrews, Narada Michael Walden, and Phil Collins made me really give these three albums a close listen--often together. Of the three, I have to admit that this was and remains my favorite--though "White Shadow," "Mother of Violence" and "The Farther Away I Am" and "Without Tears" still get listens from me every once in a while.

Exposure, however, was always an entertaining start-to-finish play-through. Though many of the musical styles were not really my cup of tea, the arrangements and collaborations--as well as the amazing and wild variety--are all fascinating.

Favorite songs: "Water Music/Here Comes the Flood/Water Music II" (19/20); "Exposure" (9.5/10) (my favorite version); "North Star" (9.5/10); I smile like "Chicago" (4.75/5); the KC-like "Breathless" (9/10); "Mary" (8.75/10); "Disengage" (4.25/5); "Hååden II" (4.25/5).

A solid four star album of cognitive chaos that is often-questionable in its progginess as well as confusing and challenging to compartmentalize but really worth giving your time to.

Review by Dobermensch
2 stars Uughh! What an album... I was so looking forward to this when I bought it.

Vocal snippets talking of 'commerciality' on the first track made my buttocks clench immediately and before I knew it 'You Burn Me Up I'm A Cigarette' sung by Daryl Hall gets thing going on track two. A drearily straight rock number without any enhancing features whatsoever.

The whole thing's a real hodge-podge. 'Breathless' sounds a bit like an instrumental 'Crimson' via 'Power to Believe' but is out of place with all the shenanigans of guest singers that follow. As a big 'Crimson' fan I find this to be a bit of a shambolic mess.

Peter Hamill's blistering voice on 'Disengage' ups the ante a bit with what is clearly the best singing on the album, but things plummet again with the snorefest 'Disengage' sung again by Daryll Hall. Undoubtedly he has a nice voice, but it's a hell of a lousy song, as are all the tunes he contributes to.

"Mary' is probably the low point of the album, sung by Joanna Walton. Instantly forgettable where generic tendencies are rife. Thankfully it's over in two minutes.

Even the assistance of Eno and Peter Gabriel can't raise my spirits. One or two moments do sound like the album 'Pussyfooting', but again, it's completely out of kilter with the general feel of the album.

Uninspired straight drumming in the form of Phil Collins finds me forming a big scowl across my face. Dreadfully run of the mill and unoriginal, the only reason I'm giving this two stars is for tracks 2 & 4, which, combined, run to just over 5 minutes.

The only good thing to come out of this recording was Fripp meeting Bowie in New York for the fabulous 'Scary Monsters' the following year.

As Bowie once sang - 'A saddening bore...' Avoid unless desperately curious.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars In the liner notes Fripp mentions that after he folded KING CRIMSON after the "Red" album he figured his days as a musician were over. He was so fed up with everything associated with the music industry, especially the greed. All it took was one phone call from Brian Eno and David Bowie (who were in Berlin working on Bowie's "Heroes" album) asking him if he'd play some guitar on the album they were working on to renew his passion for music.This was 1977 and Fripp would later go on to produce albums for a few of the guest vocalists on this his first solo album including Terre Roche, Daryl Hall and Peter Gabriel.This was recorded in 1978 and released the following year. Peter Hammill, Phil Collins, Brian Eno,Tony Levin and many more help Robert out. Some cool pictures in the liner notes of Fripp and various people around this time period.

"Preface" is really just a short intro with spoken words and there are some harmonies and samples. "You Burn Me Up I'm A Cigarette" sounds like a Brian Eno song as it's kind of punky and uptempo. Daryl Hall sings here. "Breathless" is my favourite. It sounds like classic KING CRIMSON. Heavy duty with guitar, bass and drums. "Disnegage" kicks in hard before a minute then Hammill comes in spitting out the lyrics. Collins is on the drums.The song ends abruptly. "North Star" is laid back with Daryl Hall singing. Not a fan. "Chicago" has a heavy beat with piano as Hammill comes in vocally. I like the guitar soundscapes late. "NY3" is intricate and heavy with vocals that sound distant. An inventive tune and a good one. "Mary" is a short mellow song with Terre Roche singing.

"Exposure" has Terre singing once again and she's great on this one. A heavy beat with guitar expressions early as she joins in singing "Exposure" on and off throughout. She gets passionate even to the point of screaming late. "Haaden Two" is spacey with Frippertronics and sampled words. It does kick into gear as samples continue. "Urban Landscape" is all about atmosphere as we get Frippertronics only here. "I may Not Have Had Enough Of Me But I've Had Enough Of You" kicks in right away and we get dual vocals (Roche & Hammill). The next three songs sort of blend together as we get samples and Frippertronics before a re-worked version of Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood" arrives with Gabriel singing. "Water Music II" is a spacey soundscape with lots in common with Electronic Prog. Sampled words and sounds end the album much like it began.

A mixed bag no doubt but better than what Robert would put out in "Beat" and "Three Of A Perfect Pair" in the following years with KING CRIMSON. A low 4 stars but definitely worth that rating in my opinion.

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars I feel like Robert Fripp's life between the 70's and 80's incarnations of King Crimson would make for a surprisingly interesting documentary or biopic. Imagine this pitch: a famous guitarist breaks up the band where he's been the de facto center for several years, just as the kind of music that band played is falling out of fashion with the general musical community. After a little dinking around, he quits the music industry completely and joins what some might consider a cult (The Fourth Way, originally conceived by a man named George Gurdjieff). After leaving this "cult" and taking some gigs, he moves to New York (Hell's Kitchen) and works to rebuild his career from scratch, doing support work for a musical movement that was, in part, a rejection of the type of music that had brought him fame in the first place. Incredibly, he becomes a mainstay of this new growing musical community, and eventually starts a new band (with the same name as the one he ended) that's basically a bridge between the music he left behind and the music that had come to embrace him. I don't know about you, but I'd definitely be interested in watching this once or twice.

In the midst of this stretch, which found Fripp doing groundbreaking work in support of Talking Heads, David Bowie, and less likely acts such as Blondie and others, he found himself involved in a trilogy of sorts where he would serve as producer and a collaborator across all three. One of these was Peter Gabriel's second album, which kinda made sense: Robert and Peter were in somewhat the same boat, former prog rock gods trying to carve out a new niche, and Robert had appeared on Peter's first album under an assumed name. One of these was a collabaration with Darryl Hall of Hall and Oates, which didn't seem to make sense: RCA was so freaked out by the relatively non-commercial nature of Sacred Songs (which, as of writing, I have not yet heard, though I'm curious) that they refused for two years to release the album, though it ended up being regarded well once it came out. And the third was Exposure, which not only features Hall and Gabriel on vocals (as well as Peter Hammill, yet another ex-prog rock leadman trying to force a niche in a post-prog rock world) but also has some crossover in actual song material (albeit in different versions). The title track would appear on Peter Gabriel 2; "Urban Landscape" (as well as "You Burn Me up I'm a Cigarette" and "North Star" among the bonus tracks) would appear on Sacred Songs; and "Here Comes the Flood," from Peter Gabriel's first album, would appear here in a very different form from the version on that album.

I find Exposure a little less stellar now than I did the first couple of times I listened to it in full, but I still think it's pretty remarkable. It's a fascinating span of the kind of music that held Robert's interest at the time: the album has boogie-rock, instrumentals in the vein of "Red," cacophonous screamer rock, dreamy ballads, tweaked blues rock (what else could I call "Chicago?"), cutting edge experiments, lots of soundscaping and lots of effective uses of sampling. The two tracks with Hall on vocals help make the choice of Adrian Belew for the next version of Crimson all the clearer; Fripp apparently thought Hall was the best vocalist he'd ever worked with, and seeing how Belew was basically a (maybe slightly inferior) dead ringer for Hall vocally, this made his selection all the easier. "You Burn Me up I'm a Cigarette" (coming after "Preface," a silly introduction sampling Fripp saying he's come up with material that might have commercial appeal, and some processed layered Hall vocals) does "Boogie Rock ... from the FUTURE" proud, and it's a blast to hear Robert knocking out lines like this over fun piano. "North Star" is basically an eerie precursor to "Matte Kudasai," right down to having Tony Levin on bass (and Phil Collins on drums! Not quite Bruford, but pretty close), and Fripp's guitar is just as dreamy here as there (though with a little less in the way of soundscaping).

I'm also very fond of the tracks featuring Peter Hammill on vocals. In addition to the menacing, bluesy "Chicago," "Disengage" and especially "I May Not Have Had Enough of Me but I've Had Enough of You" feature some absolutely pummelling riffage, and it's fun to hear Peter in full- blown "What are those horrible things you're doing to your vocal chords??" mode. "I May Not ..." also contains some very excited, noisy vocals from Terry Roche of The Roche Sisters, who makes an impact in a couple other tracks. "Mary" is another ballad loosely in the "Matte Kudasai" vein (albeit with Terry sounding like Joni Mitchell to me), but Terre's main showcase is definitely on the title track, a slow rhythmic soundscaped pounder (with a voice repeatedly spelling out the name of the track and another voice, I would assume Fripp, intermittently intoning, "It is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering") with her doing HORRIBLE things to her voice as she sings the title over and over. When people affix the "avant-punk" description to this album, I feel like the title track is the main reason for it.

The instrumentals are of mixed quality. "Breathless" is a terrific bridge between, say, "Red" and "Larks III," and "NY3" (which has a goofy organ and an indecipherable argument in the background) features some lines that definitely hearken back to "Larks I," but "Haaden Two" (with some more intermittent random vocal samples, including one of Robert saying, "What a dismal, pathetic chord sequence") is a bore, and "Urban Landscape" is just a fillerish drone whose main benefit is luring me into enough of a stooper that "I May Not ..." startles me when it starts up. The instrumentals that provide the most impact, though, are "Water Music I" (a brief soundscaped introduction to "Here Comes the Flood," featuring a voice talking about an impending ice age) and "Water Music II" (a lengthy soundscape following "Flood"), which provide an appropriate atmospheric bookend to the album's greatest highlight. "Here Comes the Flood" here is miles above the Peter Gabriel I version: while the original was overproduced and bloated to the point of ruining the song, this one is stripped down to Peter on solo piano and vocals, Robert playing some quiet atmospheric guitar lines, and Brian Eno contributing a smidge of synthesizer here and there. The end result is breathtaking, uncovering a marvelous melody and an emotional heft that had no chance to break through the orchestrations of the original. I have a longtime love and adoration for the piano-only version of the song on Peter's Shaking the Tree compilation, but this one has to take the prize of the best official version of the track.

And that's your album. Maybe it's not close to perfect, but it's extremely remarkable as both a collection of ideas and as a statement of purpose, and it shows that Robert had enough going on in his head that a new version of King Crimsom was pretty inevitable. I should note that the 2006 remaster contains two versions of the album: the original, and a 1982 version that's mostly just a remix but also has some lineup differences (like Daryl Hall singing "Disengage" instead of Peter Hammill).

Review by Warthur
4 stars Robert Fripp transforms from Crimson King to prophet of the New Wave. Featuring guests ranging from Daryl Hall (on a varying number of tracks depending on which edition you're listening to) to Peter Gabriel (who contributes a fantastic version of Here Comes The Flood - superior to the one on his first solo album) to Peter Hammill (whose own experiments in fusing prog and punk at the time meant that his musical interests and Fripp's were aligned like never before in 1979), this accomplished solo album runs the whole range from bouncy rock and roll to advanced courses in Gurdjieff and Frippertronics.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Even with the temporary disbanding of King Crimson, Robert Fripp was a busy musician. He was playing session guitar with a host of bands including Talking Heads, Blondie, The Roches, Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall and so on. He was also working on his first solo album which originally was supposed to be the last part of a trilogy that somehow was connected with his work on Daryl Hall's solo album and Peter Gabriel's 2nd album. Things didn't quite work out the way they were supposed to though, even though all 3 albums were eventually released to the public. Mr. Hall's solo album was not as commercial as the record company wanted. They were afraid that it would hurt the success of Hall & Oats, so the album was shelved. In the meantime, Robert Fripp's original plan for his own solo album was supposed to be completely sung by Daryl Hall, but, again the record company tried to intervene and wanted the album to be headlined by both Hall and Fripp and wouldn't back it any other way. So, Fripp got other lead singers to sing on some of the tracks and hence, you have several singers which I think actually adds to the album in a positive way. Also, there were a few different versions of the album because Fripp had some issues and thus a few versions of the album are out there, some are quite rare.

As far as the album, it is a pretty good collection of tracks. There are some great tracks here, however, because of the issues the album experienced, it is not always very cohesive. The variety in the music is great, but it does have a feeling of disjointedness, but not to the extent as to completely ruin the album. There is a mixture of past and future King Crimson sound here, some pre-Frippertronic sounds, vocals and instrumentals and sound/voice bits mixed through the album. It actually works quite well as a bridge from past to future albums for both Fripp and King Crimson. I can't help but think that if things had gone as Fripp wanted, that this would have been a masterpiece, because there are echoes of genius throughout. Some vocals are harsh sounding and some are very nice. Peter Gabriel's vocals on "Here Comes the Flood" are beautiful, Daryl Hall's vocals are sometimes very obvious while on other songs are surprisingly different. Terri Roche's vocals are very well done and even sounds similar to Joni Mitchell at times to a great effect. Peter Hammill's vocals are quite harsh and sometimes hard to listen to, but it doesn't distract from the overall feel of the album too much. The instrumentals are very obvious Robert Fripp tracks though. You get the industrial sound of KC's Discipline album on tracks like "Breathless" and "Disengage" and you get beautiful sustained notes that are obvious Frippertronic sounds on "Urban Landscape" and "Water Music II".

Overall, there is a lot going on here. It's a shame the cohesiveness that could have been there is lost probably mostly due to the issues that the record company were causing trying to compromise artistic freedom for commercialism, we all know that isn't the first or last time that would ever happen. But, even with all of that, this still turned out to be an excellent album. It is also a milestone as far as RF and KC fans are concerned as it show the transition from styles. The new KC sound that was to come makes a lot more sense and doesn't seem so abrupt now. Anyway, I still feel that RF was able to pull of an excellent album and I am proud to have it in my vinyl collection as I think anyone should be. 4 stars.

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars For those looking to get this album expecting some long lost King Crimson opus or a prog rock gem, bear in mind that "Exposure" does not say "King Crimson" on the cover - it is a wholly Robert Fripp album through and through. And as such, it deviates quite far King Crimson's early output.

The album has a superstar guest line-up, which I feel no need to list, and each of the guest musicians offers their own flavour from time to time but overall "Exposure" is not a musical project so much as an intellectual exercise by Fripp. Much of the material is unconventional to say the least, with hard rock riffs being overlaid by cryptic, looped-and-layered dialogue and it is quite evident that the album's purpose isn't to wow with musicianship, but to convey Fripp's philosophical developments. The one exception is "Here Comes The Flood", a wonderful ballad with Peter Gabriel taking lead vocals.

Overall this is an album that will appeal very strongly to Robert Fripp fans. It has plenty of raucous but intelligent thought-based pieces and its fair share of Frippertronics. But to a listener who doesn't care to get better insight into the mind of the artist, there isn't much going for it.

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4 stars Following the dissolution of King Crimson after their Red album, Fripp thought he'd retire from music. There's an audio recording out there featuring Fripp on the NYC radio staple The Nightbird in 1975 where one can clearly hear the pain in his voice when talking about his experiences in the ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#2009412) | Posted by WFV | Friday, August 24, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The debut of Robert Fripp still has some recognizable aspects of King Crimson's Larques Tongues - Red period. Exposure is the bridge between this period and the later King Crimson. Many great guests were invited to work on this record like Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel. Still this ain't no m ... (read more)

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5 stars Robret Fripp goes punk. So here is Bob Fripp's debut solo album, recorded in collaboration with many widely known progressive rock musicians such as Peter Hammill, Tony Levin, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel & Phil Collins and called by some critics the 'Sgt Pepper of art punk'. Indeed, it sounds very s ... (read more)

Report this review (#652193) | Posted by ole-the-first | Friday, March 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is Robert Fripp's solo début released on June '79 and it includes a huge list of guests on the album making an incredible lineup including Peter Hamill,Phil Collins,Peter Gabriel,Tony Levin and Brian Eno.You'll notice that many of the musicians listed Fripp has worked with before either coll ... (read more)

Report this review (#244437) | Posted by mrcozdude | Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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Report this review (#169184) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Definitely this very intriguing work is a milestone in a history of rock music. Considered by some critics as an excellent example of avant-punk it nevertheless covers a wider spectrum of styles. It may be declared as an audio aids to Robert Fripp's PhD thesis named: "The application of Frippertroni ... (read more)

Report this review (#147036) | Posted by groon | Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars With line-ups like Peter Hammil, Phil Collins, Tony Levin, Brain Eno, and Fripp playing a track togther you'd have to try not to like this album. Fripp does alot of cool things with pre-recorded voices and Frippetronics. Peter Gabriel does piano and vocals on a track while Fripp does some coo ... (read more)

Report this review (#81683) | Posted by | Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This wildly inventive, extremely diverse collection of songs has received a major sonic upgrade with a deluxe release today, 6-6-6 (!) available as a 2-disc collection. The first disc is comprised of a re-mastered version of the original 1979 LP release which was not previously availabl ... (read more)

Report this review (#80538) | Posted by Rutgers Joe | Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is for the dudes out there thinking I'm anti Uk. Robert Fripp IS the representant of english middle class, sometimes even full of himself and pretentious. BUT I DO LIKE HIM. He has ideas, which are not cliches, he makes musical movements, and have a hard time to follow them commercially. ... (read more)

Report this review (#27103) | Posted by | Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Good old guitar teacher and progrock master mind ROBERT FRIPP's first solo recording is (as the track titles might suggest) very diverse. Fripp is collaborating with various other "progressive people" on this recording, and the result is interesting in many ways. It is like a collection of short ... (read more)

Report this review (#27100) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Arguably Fripp's finest hour, although slightly less than that... Contains superb vocal performances from "The Hendrix Of The Voice", Peter Hammill, on the angst-laden Chicago, the angrily frenetic Disengage, and the superb I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You, which is a ki ... (read more)

Report this review (#27099) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 3, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of my all time favourite albums. Quite simply there is not a duff track lurking anywhere. Fripp's distinctive guitar work is excellent throughout, and there are some superb guest vocalists such as Peter Hammill, Peter Gabriel and Darryl Hall!!!! Very much a song driven album. Hammill's v ... (read more)

Report this review (#27098) | Posted by | Sunday, January 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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