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Live Love Larf & Loaf Import, Original recording remastered

4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, April 7, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

2008 digitally remastered and expanded edition of this collaboration album featuring four previously unreleased live bonus tracks. The album Live, Love, Larf & Loaf was first released in 1987 and is a wonderful and rare collaboration between four experimental world-class master musicians. Richard Thompson once joked that if his presence on an album with John French, Fred Frith, and Henry Kaiser was expected to help it appeal to a wider audience, it didn't say much for the state of their careers. Their first album from this unlikely ensemble mixes sophisticated playing with some humorous repertoire and idiosyncratic covers. Live, Love, Larf & Loaf covers a bewildering variety of genres, from Folk and R&B to Avant-Garde and Comic Opera. The New York Times made it their Rock Album of the Week - "As it draws on music from at least four continents, Live, Love, Larf and Loaf romps past borderlines". Fledgling.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Wings à la Mode
  2. Killerman Gold Posse
  3. Where's the Money?
  4. Hai Sai Oji-San
  5. Drowned Dog Black Night
  6. Surfin' USA
  7. A Blind Step Away
  8. The Second Time
  9. Tir-Nan-Darag
  10. Disposable Thoughts
  11. Bird in God's Garden/Lost and Found
  12. Drumboogie
  13. The Same Thing
  14. Night Comes In [#]
  15. Invisible Means [#]
  16. Quick Sign/Suzanne [#]
  17. Madness of Love [#]


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Fledg'ling UK
  • ASIN: B0014KSY9E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,757 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeremy York on August 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is an oddball supergroup. You have amazing avant-garde players like Henry Kaiser (guitar) and Fred Frith (here playing bass, like he did with John Zorn's Naked City, though much of his reputation is built on guitar work). You have Richard Thompson, a fantastic singer-songwriter. French I can't comment on, except to say that he can keep up with the others musically and he has a screwball sense of humor.
The album veers all over the place, a mixture of (mostly) obscure covers and original songs. There's some jerky, rhythmically complex progressive rock songs, there's a post-punk type song, there's a very silly cover of surfin' usa, there are some very nice instrumental tracks, there's a japanese folk song, there are some great Thompson-style songs, it finishes out with a pretty standard blues track. Thompson does most of the singing, although I think French sings some of the songs. Eclectic and quirky.
However, don't buy it if you're hoping to hear Kaiser and Frith play completely freaky oddball stuff. Although the playing is twisted and unusual, it doesn't veer too far from standard rock-and-roll styles. It's more about them just having fun and relaxing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this originally before I aged dramatically. Still looking for the old pleasures of the centers of my brain ,I found they were gone but my intellect still remained agog of this incredible display of talent.Almost none of the political sentiment that hyped the left element (or right,if u must know) were present anymore,just damn good playing.( i must tell you,I am not suffering from "memory-loss" just self-imposed exile n a little selective memory) There is no digital enhancement on this Rhino disk,just what was put down originally.But I was surprised how my favoritism switched to John French's 'Disposable Thoughts' from 'Tin Nan Durag '.that's where the relocated synapses of my intellect still work.Ego is the main mind killer,which there wasn't much of,these fellows seems to enjoy their friendship as well as playing together. So I am not biased by any one player.This is a great collaboration in music history.
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Format: Audio CD
(To add to the last review, John French was the percussionist for Captain Beefheart for many years. You can hear him stand alone quite well on "Drum Boogie.")
The entire album is entertaining and showcases each artist's talents. Highlights include "Where's the Money," a powerful rant written by Fred Frith, who uses the song to carry not only his wit but also his oddly timbred, thumping, and complex bass stylings. Perhaps my favorite song is the traditional Okinawan folk song, "Hai Sai Oji-San." It has a melody that is fun, unforgettable, and infectious. It may be the greatest drinking song ever composed (sorry, Mr. Waits).
Perhaps the only reason why the fifth star is missing is because the album is not so much an album as it is a loose collection of remarkable songs. Let not the absence of one star dissuade you; I highly recommend it, especially to fans of any of the band members. It's an album where sounds can be deceiving; there's so much wonderful oddness slightly camoflaged under each pop song facade.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first of two collaborations between folk/rock guitar legend Richard Thompson, avant-garde guitarist Henry Kaiser and bassist Fred Frith, and former Beefheart drummer John French. While it's not a bad listen, you get the impression that they were throwing things at the recorder to see what would stick. The album is all over the map, going from the frantic and funny "Where's the Money" and a joyously silly "Hai Sai Oji-San" (an Okinawan folk song) directly into "Drowned Dog Black Night", a tremendously depressive song of the type only Thompson can write, and then into a goof on Chuck Berry's "Surfin' USA". My favorite cut is "Bird in God's Garden", a Sufi song given a big assist by Frith's violin playing. Thompson contributes the good but minimalist unrequited-love song "A Blind Step Away" and "Killerman Gold Posse", a ditty about a youth gang that was reprised on the "Mirror Blue" tour. French and Frith also provide a catchy rocker, "The Second Time". There is a cover of Willie Dixon's "The Same Thing" (a LOT of bands I like have covered this one). To keep the album from building any momentum, there is a five-minute drum solo in the middle. Overall, I prefer these guys' second CD, "Invisible Means".
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