What makes it stand out so much? The surprising choice of producer, Robert Fripp. If you were looking for two polar opposites in the music world, Hall & Fripp would be a fine start. Throughout his career, Daryl Hall epitomized the concept of pure pop. Some of his songs were deeper than others ("She's Gone" versus "Maneater," for instance), but they were always catchy, and immediately accessible. Fripp was all about making intellectual music, music that nearly closed the gap between rock and classical. His music tends to take some time to get into, but can be very rewarding if you do the right amount of work. Hall made music that was easy and instant, Fripp made music that was challenging and occasionally even frustrating. under no circumstances should this collaboration have worked.
And yet, it did. Beautifully. Sacred Songs combined the best tendencies of both artists, being both accessible and innovative. Fripp's blistering guitar lines fit better against Hall's cheerful choruses than anyone would have guessed. The album is not dominated by either artist, as each put their stamp on it through different songs. On "Something In 4/4 Time," Hall even dares to mock his place as pop songwriter, writing a catchy song about the simplicity of writing a catchy song "All you need is something in 4/4 time," says the chorus. The fact that it would've made a great single only serves to prove him right.
What makes it even worse is they could have; they were supposed to, actually. Following the completion of Exposure and Sacred Songs, Hall and Fripp were planning on hitting the road with a touring band, and possible collaborating on more albums. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the cards. Hall's scheudle with Oates got int he way; he went on to have several more hits during the duo's early 80s run of chart dominance. Meanwhile, the band Fripp was forming with Hall morphed into the 80s version of King Crimson, with Adrian Belew on vocals, which would go onto to record classic albums such as Discipline and Three Of A Perfect Pair.
Admittedly, the two did some great work without each other, so who knows, maybe it was for the best that this Hall/Fripp band never materialized. But after hearing the brilliant music they produced during their short together, I have to think this would have been a fruitful arrangement.
Luckily, Daryl Hall, and Robert Fripp are both still alive, which why, on the oft-chance either one of them reads buffaBLOG, I'd like to use this to persuade theme to please make some new music together. Both are brilliant musicians, and the way their highly disparate styles compliment each other is truly a marvel. A new Hall/Fripp collaboration would generate new interest in both artists, and fulfill a great musical promise that went undeveloped.