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Fred Frith


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Fred Frith Cheap at Half the Price album cover
3.75 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Some Clouds Don't (3:12)
2. Cap the Knife (2:47)
3. Evolution (3:21)
4. Too Much, Too Little (2:09)
5. True Love (2:58)
6. The Welcome (2:28)
7. Same Old Me (2:58)
8. Some Clouds Do (2:49)
9. Instant Party (1:53)
10. Person to Person (2:20)
11. Walking Song (2:38)
13. Heart Bares (4:56)
14. Absent Friends (3:58)
15. The Great Healer (2:07)

Total Time: 37:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Fred Frith / guitar, 6-string bass, Casio-101, violin, xylophone, voice, home-mades

Additional Musicians:

- Tina Curran / bass (4)
- Sheena Dupuis / voice (5)
- Bill Laswell / bass (7)
- George Cartwright / alto (10)
- Aksak Maboul / clapping (14)
- Frank Wuyts / drums
- Fred Maher / drums
- Paul Sears / drums
- Hans Bruniusson / drums

Releases information

LP, New Ralph Records, FF 8356, USA, 1983
CD, RecRec Music, ReCDec 903, Switzerland, 1991
Cass, RecRec Music, ReCDec 903, Switzerland, 1991
CD, East Side Digital, ESD 80572, US, 1991
CD, ReR Megacorp/Fred Records, ReR FRO 06, UK, 2004

Tracks 5 and 10 appear on 1991 releases only

Thanks to syzygy for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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FRED FRITH Cheap at Half the Price ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

FRED FRITH Cheap at Half the Price reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Cheap at Half the Price is the third solo album by Fred Frith, it is preceded by the brilliant world music influenced first album Gravity, and the more avant-garde sophomore effort Speechless. Cheap, just like Gravity, turns to Eastern Europe and the Middle East for musical inspiration, but unfortunately Cheap is not nearly as successful as Gravity. The difference between the two albums is that Gravity is mostly instrumental, but Cheap is made up of odd world/avant/pop songs that often feature Frith's 'quirky' vocals, and that is a problem.

Fred Frith cannot sing. I think he knows this but assumes that since this is avant-garde rock his clever socio-political insights will be good enough to pull things off. The truth is Frith's music sounds so much better when he stays instrumental, which is proven on this album by the several instrumental songs on side two. The other problem with Cheap is that a lot of the songs were built from pre-recorded drum tracks that repeat the same pattern (some of these drum patterns also show up on other Frith albums). Once again Gravity was much better because the songs were performed by live musicians playing creative arrangements that included a lot of rhythmic variations.

This album is OK, but Frith is capable of much better.

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars I think I paid full price for this.

The first CD release of this didn't come out until 1991. The original LP came out in the 1980's.

Recorded at home on a four track using his own instruments with pre recorded 15 second drum patterns from actual artists. A Casio 101? It's cheesy, but it works. Frith sings and more than a few of the songs are of a left political bent lyrically, which I happen to like.

There's a couple of bonus tracks put in amongst the original album tracks. Frith decided on his latest re-releases not to include the bonus tracks. Damn shame. I really love the first one, True Love, "You broke the glasses, you broke the plates, you said I don't want your money I don't want your money" The second one Person To Person fit in well as well as the first one.

Just keep in mind that some clouds may not have a silver lining, but this one does or does it?

Latest members reviews

5 stars This cd is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. The remaster version of this 1983 album is excellent quality. Frith sounds as bright and fresh on guitar as ever. As always, Friths mastery of MANY instruments keeps the album diverse and interesting all the way through 15 tracks. This album is cer ... (read more)

Report this review (#106481) | Posted by SolariS | Sunday, January 7, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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