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Sacred Songs

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Audio CD, December 1, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 1, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B002YUR2FA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,574 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Believe it or not, Robert Fripp not only joined Hall on the production of his 1980 solo album, he also played guitar! Includes Sacred Songs; Something in 4/4 Time; Farther Away; Why Was It So Easy; Urban Landscape; Without Tears and more. 12 must-have songs for both Hall & Oates and King Crimson fans!

Customer Reviews

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The Lowdown: This is a great album for fans of both Hall and Fripp.
Jeff Hodges
Title track will Really puzzle you, might even anger you, because of how different it is from Anything daryl ever did!
Even if you have the vinyl LP, upgrade to the CD for the pure-Fripp bonus track "You Burn Me Up I'm a Cigarette."
R. P. Spretnak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hodges on July 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reading the various reviews of "Sacred Songs," it is easy to spot the "Hall" fans and the "Fripp" fans. Hall's fans are surprised by the experimental nature of the album, while Fripp's are surprised at Hall's experimentation. Personally, I have a dichotomous investment in "Sacred Songs." As a kid with a single-speaker record player in 6th grade, the first record I ever owned was H2O, and the subsequent tour was the first concert I ever went to. However, my musical tastes grew through the years, and by the time I graduated from High School I was a dedicated King Crimson fan. In short, I am an honest fan of both Fripp and Hall, and the potential of their collaboration both confounded and fascinated me.

The difficulties associated with the release of "Sacred Songs" is well-documented elsewhere, but let it be said that the world is a better place because this album is available. Hall's incredible musicianship and vocal prowess shines though on this album in ways that was absolutely impossible in the confines of his collaboration with Oates. However, Hall's ability to collaborate reveals unexplored common ground with Fripp. The result is an album with the "blue-eyed soul" that Hall's vocals epitomize driven by Fripp's chunky, riff-driven musical conception.

In some ways, this is a "missing link" album between "Red" and "Discipline." It always seemed that the steps that it took to get from Greg Lake to John Wetton were relatively small. However, the steps from Wetton to Belew seemed to be large. Hall's vocal approach on "Sacred Songs" sits beautifully between the two. For reference, check out "Something in 4/4 Time," "Why Was It So Easy?" and "Without Tears." These tunes cause the mind to reel at the potential of a `78 Crimson with Hall on vocals.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Scott B. Arbeit on July 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Well, you really can't listen to this album without understanding the background of it: they had the big #1 hit, "Rich Girl," the record company wanted more, Daryl and John hated the 1977 follow-up (which I actually like a lot; so much for taste), and Daryl decided to record this one for himself alone, which caused the record company to shelve it until Hall & Oates had hits again. (Funny how I bought this AND Sophie B. Hawkins "Timbre" in the same trip to the store....)
Robert Fripp is such an interesting partner for him in this; we don't ordinarily think of Hall & Oates and prog-rock in the same breath. That a prog-rock supergroup featuring Fripp, Tony Levin, Brian Eno, and Jerry Marotta, with Daryl at the helm, was considered, blows my mind, and tells you all you need to know about the respect they had for him. All the details are in the CD....
It's interesting the way that Daryl really opened up on this one, lyrically and in his singing. He wanted something deeper here, and I think he got it. "Sacred Songs" is a killer romp, and a reminder that he actually used to play a pretty mean piano. My favorite is "Why Was It So Easy?" which I've been walking around and singing for a week, since I bought this again. You can't get it out of your head. "Survive" is a lot more cruel than it seems at first.
I had "Sacred Songs" on vinyl, but I haven't hooked up a record player in years, so I probably hadn't heard this in almost a decade, I guess. One wonderful thing is that I owned this album as a teenager, and really didn't appreciate it then. Now, at 29, going back to this album is absolutely wonderful. If you're ready to see a more eclectic side of Mr. Hall, you won't be disappointed.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. F. Curtin on January 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in 1977, 'Sacred Songs' came relatively early in the career of Hall and Oates and, as produced by Robert Fripp, presented an entirely different Daryl Hall that, had the album been properly handled, could have launched him into a very different area other than the recycled 'soul music' of his work with the duo. 'Sacred Songs' presented a Hall with Balls, barking out the lyrics to edgy songs, way removed from any kind of mock soul, tetering delicately on the fringes of punk, and pushed right over the edge in the Fripp controlled songs like 'You Burn Me Up,' 'Babs and Babs,' and 'NYCNY,' especially - All balanced by the beefy rock ballads scattered throughout, like 'Why Was it So Easy,' 'Survive,' and 'Without Tears'.
Intended as part of a Fripp produced trilogy (along with Fripp's 'Exposure' and Peter Gabriel II), 'Sacred Songs' was held up for release until 1980 by image conscious record monsters, severely lessening its impact, and consequential publicity, both as part of the Fripp triology, and as a solo break from the by then outrageously successful Hall and Oates.
If you are a really big fan of Hall and Oates, this is probably not for you. If you like Hall's voice and style, but not the H & O material, try this out for a HUGE surprise of what could have been.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Todd and In Charge VINE VOICE on March 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What happens when music is created solely for artistic and personal reasons? The answer, according to Robert Fripp in his incisive, cynical liner notes accompanying this remarkable record, is that the record gets shelved for almost three years. As Fripp observes, "there's only one thing worse than a record company that takes no interest in your work: a record company that takes an interest in your work."

This challenging collaboration is a fine bookend to the creative work Hall and Oates did with Todd Rundgren and Utopia on the slightly superior War Babies. Coming off the record company pressures and compromises that resulted in Beauty on a Back Street, Hall sought out former King Crimson guitarist and music renegade Fripp to reawaken his muse -- boy did it work.

Fripp's guitar loops and effects are an acquired taste, but their songwriting efforts produced several stand out tracks: the record company indictment, "Something in 4/4 Time," could have been a hit, but the boys purposely spiked it with Fripp's angular, experimental guitar break. Oddly, the song would not have worked without it.

More typical Hall efforts include "Why Was It So Easy," a Philly soul ballad with beautiful vocals; "Survive," with great guitar and hooks (again slightly skewed by Fripp's loopy effects in the background); and the introspective, very personal final track, "Without Tears."

Also included are two protopunk tracks off of Fripp's Exposure, the highlight being "You Burn Me Up I'm A Cigarette," with the line up that would ultimate morph into early 80s Crimson.

The record company had no reason to bury this record for three years. Again, Fripp is instructive: "The main feature of business interests surrounding a successful artist in control.
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