18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2001
John Cleese, once said in a magazine interview that he loved Bill Hicks and was truly sorry that the man was dead. He also said that Bill Hicks was one of the best comedians of the 90's. The greatest tragedy of Hick's career was the same as Van Gogh's. Unknown while alive, after death Hicks is recognised as one of the finest comic minds of the twentieth century. Some would say that the problem with satire is that it dates very quickly. This isn't the case with Hicks. His observations
on life, America, drugs and religion are as relevant today as they ever were. His tongue is sharp, his comedy mercilous and his views uncomprimising. Who could forget such gems as "A lot of christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think if Jesus ever comes back, he ever wants to see another cross?" No-one is spared, and this CD captures Hicks at his peak. Unwilling to be a corporate puppet, his art ALWAYS came first. If you're a fan of any sort of comedy, then do
yourself a favour. Get this CD and then get Hicks' other three CD's and witness one of the masters of twentieth century comedy at work. You won't be sorry.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2011
This iconic album is comprised of recordings made over several nights of comic performance by Bill Hicks at The Laff Stop, (that is, The Capital City Comedy Club) of Austin, Texas, between the 14th and 17th of November, 1991. The disc contains 14 chapters of comedy insight and 1 chapter - the 15th - that is a song:
2) Sex On Trial.
3) The News.
4) The War.
5) Odd Beliefs.
6) A Killer Idea.
8) Great Times On Drugs.
9) Drugs Have Done Good Things.
10) Rockers Against Drugs Suck.
12) Summer Trip.
13) What Is Pornography.
14) The Sanctuary Of Life.
15) Chicks Big Jerks - Song.
This material on this album discusses the topics of news-led hysteria, media controlled war, governmental hypopcracy, racism, pornography, racism, religion, ufo's and conscious awareness. In many ways, this recording is a perfect example of Bill Hicks at his creative best. Despite the title of 'Relentless', Hicks is infact incredibly measured in his output, am output that contains the usual central core of intellectual genius that is typical of Hicks' creativity. In all his recordings, Bill Hicks manages to convey a deep, clever message, (often left of centre in its political thinking), disguised by an outer layer of hilarious absurdity. For instance, Hicks points out that Americans love hand-guns - (when Hicks says this, he says to the audience that he is getting a stiffy, just thinking about guns!) - he continues by making a comparison between gun-related murders in the UK during a particular year, which amount to just 14, and the amount of gun-related deaths in the USA in the same year, which amount to 23,000! He reiterates his point that in the US, where gun ownership is allowed, 23,000 people died in a single year, whilst in Britain, where gun-ownership is not generally allowed, only 14 people died. The punchline is this; an intelligent person would assume that there is a connection between owning a gun, and using it, unless of course you happen to be a gun-owning American, where such an attitude of association would be considered idiotic and possibly the product of Communist propaganda!
Hicks admits to taking drugs and enjoying his experiences. Infact, the section of this recording that explains how Hicks took drugs, had a good time and did not cause any damage, lose his job or hurt anyway, actually appears in the 1999 British film entitled 'Human Traffic'. For Hicks, drugs have been apart of the creative art and rock scene for decades. He critcises the so-called 'rock artists' who named themselves 'Rockers Against Drugs', as being mere lap-dogs of then US President George Bush Sr. The first Gulf War is cleverly renamed the 'Gulf War Distraction', and described as a joint media creation of the US government and subserviant US news corporations, designed to take attention away from domestic problems in the USA. In more or less the same breath, Hicks rubbishes the allusions of the Bush government's attempts to prevent drug taking by supplying adverts where a man who appears to be 'drunk', compares a person's brain to an egg. Hicks points-out that he has seen UFO's ripping the sky in two, and heard aliens explain that we are all one and that there is no death, but he has never seen a brain compared to an egg! The same kind of intelligent humour is applied to the subject of pornography - which Hicks presents around the Clarence Thomas Affair - Thomas, a Supreme Court judge, was accused of sexual misconduct by a longterm female employee, although nothing came of the allegations. Hicks admits to liking pornography, and dismisses the Establishment's attitude to pornography. Instead, Hicks thinks that 'true' pornography has nothing to do with explicit sexual acts, but rather is exemplified by the US government spending billions of dollars on nuclear weapons, but not educating the American public. Hicks finishes by stating that as long as he does not hurt another living being, it is no one's business what substances he puts into his body, or what he does with his body.
In 'Summer Trip', Hicks discusses the 'hellish' summer trips of his childhood, where families take long drives together, having to live in close proximity, with nowhere to go. Instead, Hicks suggests that the family should stay at home and trip-out together with magic mushrooms. The 'trip' would be better and home movies would consist of 20 minutes of someone's thumb! The death-penalty is described as cruel and unimaginative, as is keeping elderly relatives in sterile hospitals, to die amongst strangers. It would be much better in an alternate reality, if the elderly were used as stunt-extras in action movies, where actors such as Chuck Norris could kill them on-screen. The double benefit of this concept is that an elderly relative would be put out of their misery, and we, as viewers - would get to see a good film! Always looking toward the spiritual, Hicks asks that UFO's be allowed to land, as he would like to get off this planet! A beautiful performance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The legacy of Bill Hicks has grown since his death, to the extent that there are is far more material available now than there ever was when he was alive. I am one of the majority who only discovered this genius when it was too late, but on this CD are some of the funniest observations I have ever heard. The first time I put this CD on, I was in a shopping centre in Edinburgh, and I had to turn it off because I was getting the kind of looks normally reserved for nutcases.
The material is dated in places, but the Gulf war references are still relevant, the war on drugs is still ongoing, and the idea of "A lot of Christians wear crosses round their necks, d'you think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a xxxxing cross?" cracks me up every time I hear it.
This is not Forsyth/Davro family listening, hell it's not even Jim Davidson. This is swear-tastic from beginning to end, and is a must for the anti-establishment teenager in your household.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is an outstanding album showing Bill at his funniest and probably one of the best places to start. It's not as caustic as Rant in E-Minor, or as fresh as Dangerous, but is a great album regardless. I love it that he can make you laugh and open your eyes wide to the irony in life at the same time. His political jokes are sharp and witty and his life observations are not only true, but hilarious. The jokes on the first Gulf war are especially funny and pertinent. Not necessarily one to share with your mum, but one to share with all your friends, family and colleagues and as many people as possible!!! Simply brilliant.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2004
'Relentless' is the best starting point for those not yet familiar with the unique voice of Bill Hicks, still America's best, most challenging, most thought provoking and, of course, funniest comedian. If you haven't yet heard Bill i feel sorry for you that you've gone this long (however old you are) and yet also envious of what I know you have in store to discover. Listen on, laugh and weep...
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2003
Hicks provides the truth, and in his recordings still does for many present day agendas.Hicks pulls off the covers of many areas of our lives that are still manipulated and globally controlled.The global dominators and mind controllers are a single central command,governments,religion,free masonary, etc.Down the line they all intergrate at the top level,Bush wasn't selected by choice of the people and you all know who shot kennedy-"yeah wright".
Hicks material is fairly broard based, with savage attacks on personal freedom;drugs,society in general and many over comedic gems.
As a commedian, there is Bill hicks and then an Everest like drop off.The comedy that this guy blended into the material mentioned above, thus into his stand up, is second to none and i mean, no one comes anywhere near as good.
Maybe one day there will be someone eles who can keep the fires burning.While His thoughts will never be destroyed the best thing you can do is have a daily dose of reallity with Mr Hicks as often as possible and pass on the vibe
BUY all of the CD recordings......their priceless