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Flying Saucer Tour Vol 1
is the first in what will hopefully be an exhaustive series of archived Bill Hicks performances. This one, as the sleeve notes admit, is something of a cut-and-shut job: on this particular night in Pittsburgh in 1991, Hicks got carried away and went on for longer than his tape, so the closing stages of this routine are spliced from another show in the same run. The compilers are unnecessarily apologetic: there's no way any listener would notice the edit if they hadn't been told.
Flying Saucer Tour Vol 1 captures Hicks in magnificently combative form, spurred to spectacular heights by a crowd he takes exception to--"the worst audience I've ever faced", he jeers at them after 15 minutes, before going on to accuse them of responding to his routine like "a dog that's been shown a card trick". His hostility is strange--it certainly sounds like they're laughing--but it brings out the best in him. Many of the bits here will be familiar to Hicks fans--his ruminations on smoking, the Gulf War, drugs and pornography--but they were never delivered better than this. --Andrew Mueller