French Frith Kaiser Thompson

Band members               Related acts

- Fred Frith - vocals, bass, violin (1987-90)

- Henry Kaiser - guitar (1987-90)

- John French (aka Drumbo) - vocals, drums (1987-90)

- Richard Thompson - vocals, guitar (1987-90)




- Captain Beefheart (John French)

- Crazy Backwards Alphabet (Henry Kaiser)

- Fairport Convention (Richard Thompson)

- Henry Cow (Fred Frith)

- Henry Kaiser (solo efforts)

- The Henry Kaiser Band

- Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith

- Henry Kaiser and Sergi Kuriokhin

- Richard Thompson (solo efforts)

- Richard and Linda Thompson





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Live, Love, Larf & Loaf

Company: Rhino

Catalog: RNLP 70831  

Year: 1987

Country/State: US/UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG


Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4111

Price: $12.00

Cost: $66.00


I'm a big Richard Thompson fan and knew about his two projects with Fred Frith, John French and Henry Kaiser.  Thing is I'd never made an effort to track down either of the band's two albums.  Luckily this copy fell into my hands at a yard sale for a buck.

Perhaps best described as an alt-music super group, the quartet's roots actually lay in a series of mid-1980s projects drummer John French and guitarist Henry Kaiser had undertaken.  Expanding the project to include singer/guitarists Fred Frith and Richard Thompson (check out the differences in styles between the two), the group quickly attracted the attention of Rhino Records which, though it seldom signed new acts, made an exception to the corporate rule, releasing 1987's "Live, Love, Larf & Loan".  As you'd probably expect given the talented if eccentric cast, this may have been the year's most eclectic album, literally bouncing all over the musical spectrum.  Thompson's patented stark folk-rock efforts such as 'Killerman Gold Posse' and 'Drowned Dog Black Night' offer up the most mainstream of recognizable material, but the album's fascinating for it's bizarre mixture of styles, including stabs at the blues (a cover of Willie Dixon's 'The Same Thing'), alt rock ('Where's the Money?'), Japanese (okay Okinawian) pop, aural experimentation (the instrumental 'Disposable Thoughts') and standard pop (well, standard is used with some latitude).  With all four members contributing material, there's plenty of throw away goofiness, but there are also plenty of highlights including the bouncy opener 'Wings a la Mode', Frith's spiky 'Where's the Money?' and that weird slice of Okinawian pop 'Hai Sai Oji-San' (it translates as 'Hello Uncle' ).  Curiously, I was reading an interview with Thompson where he was asked about the song and didn't seem to have any real insight into what it was about - the band learned it phonetically.

"Live, Love, Larf & Loaf" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wings a la Mode    (Adams - John French) - 2:42
2.) Killerman Gold Posse   (Richard Thompson) - 1:42
3.) Where's the Money?   (Fred Frith) - 3:48
4.) Hai Sai Oji-San   (Kina Shockichi) - 2:37
5.) Drowned Dog Black Night   (Richard Thompson) -  6:45
6.) Surfin' USA   (Chuck Berry - Brian Wilson) - 2:18

(side 2)

1.) A Blind Step Away   (John French) - 5:38
2.) The Second Time   (John French - Fred Frith) - 2:58
3.) Tir-Nan-Darag   (Henry Kaiser - Richard Thompson) -  5:17
4.) Disposable Thoughts (instrumental)   (John French) - 2:55
5.) Bird in God's Garden / Lost and Found   (Archuletta) - 5:40
6.) Drumbo Ogie (instrumental) - 5:02

7.) The Same Thing   (Willie Dixon) -  6:50





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