10 October 2004

Stypod on Daryl Hall's "Sacred Songs"

Part of Robert Fripp’s infamous MOR trilogy, Daryl Hall’s Sacred Songs found itself in limbo upon its completion, unable to be released because of its so-called challenging nature. Hall, who was consciously trying to reinvent himself outside of his more famous duo with a certain Mr. Oates, plunged back into duo work and soon found his commercial feet again with some of their best-loved material on Voices and Private Eyes.

That being said, while some of the work on Sacred Songs was undeniably pop, “Without Tears” being a prime example, many of the songs suffered from a battle between the twin impulses of Fripp and Hall. This push/pull can be seen no better than on “Babs and Babs”, which goes from oompah-pop stomp to Fripper-tronic guitar theatrics and back again over the course of its seven-minute length.
[Todd Burns]

Yeah, but it's that collision of Daryl's pop sensibilities and Fripp's rampant experimentation that makes this such a unique, fascinating artifact of '70s Artrock. "Babs and Babs" works beautifully in my view; Fripp's gorgeous waves of frippertronics gently caressing the song until eventually disolving into the dead-calm of "Urban Landscape"...before suddenly knocking our heads off with the awsome prog-punk dynamics of "NYCNY". One of the greatest segued song-triads ever!

Buddha's CD re-issue includes two extra tracks, the second of which, "North Star" features a true supergroup line-up of Daryl (vox), Fripp (guitar), Eno (synth) and, er, Phil Collins (drums). Did they all record their parts together at the same time? I wonder what they all talked about....