Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bill Hicks' Essential Collection

Bill Hicks was a comedian...short and simple. Bill Hicks' extraordinary social commentary is as fresh and stunning today as it was in the 80's and 90's. He was confrontational, occasionally angry, and very, very funny. He confronted mainstream beliefs that were as cringe worthy as it was sob worthy. Hicks' career was short in span but his impact was legendary. Touring just about every day and appearing on shows like Letterman more times than you can shake a stick at, Bill Hicks was everywhere and yet somehow he's still relatively unknown in America. 4,000 miles away in the UK, however, Hicks was huge and was recently ranked the UK's 4th Greatest Comedian earlier in the year.

His recently released, The Essential Collection is a massive four disc set that includes two CD's of classic material that spans twenty years and two DVD's that collect the Ninja Bachelor Party Film, rare performances, and all sorts of other things that will have you rolling on the ground for hours. It's amazing to sit and just listen to the wry sense of humor and how on edge Hicks always was. The man was like John Stewart twenty years ahead of schedule and with a whole truckload of foul mouthed language this is stuff that will offend as much as it will make you think. It's hilarious material and if all the comedy wasn't enough there's the Lo-Fi Troubadour which are a series of lo-fi songs that paints a whole different picture of this amazing talent.

Say what you will, but Bill Hicks was an amazing comedian. Sure he's rude and foul mouthed, but he's also intelligent and spot on and it's amazing how progressive some of his comedy was nearly 30 years ago. It's truly funny stuff and while it might offend half of you, the other half will undoubtedly be rolling on the floor in tears. That being said, The Essential Collection is just that...essential. It's such a massive set that it's almost too much comedy for any one person to handle...I, myself, had to pace myself as I could not stop laughing at how relevant some of his material still is. If you love listening to comedy records, do yourself a favor and find this box set sit down, grab a beer, strap in, and hang on; The Essential Collection is one wild ride.

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