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The Raw Material for 'Rant in E Minor' (and 'Shock & Awe'),
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This review is from: Salvation: Oxford, November 11th, 1992 (Audio CD)
It's funny with Bill Hicks how you go through phases of loving him & loathing him. At the moment, I'm just starting a love phase and this CD (which I thought was crude, puerile rubbish) has been overturned in my estimation.
Yes, there is a lot of Goat-Boy routines and his rather disturbing 'Satan's c.ck' routines, but these are mostly on the second CD & you can forgive the man (as he'd just given up cigarettes and hadn't been laid in 3 years).
The contents of the CD are very interesting as it is a full run-through of his entire act. Flying Saucer Tour Vol. 1 is the only thing comparable, but this is better as:
a) The audience is more lively and engaged.
b) The material is more advanced and wittier.
It includes the usual themes of drugs, pron, the LA riots, politics and Christianity, but has several interesting snippets that aren't available on the compilations he did later. For example, Bush being voted out is covered in great depth, along with material about the Gulf War (e.g. Saddam Hussein to the Arms Dealer who sold him Scuds: "I don't think you understood me when I said 'I need a weapon I can *aim*!'")
And the best thing is there is lots of material where he takes the rip out of England (which I always think is his best stuff). He takes on Snooker (on all 4 channels as it seemed in the 90's), our 'crime' ("Yesterday some Hooligans knocked over a Dustbin in Shaftesbury!") and the fact that we have Chips with everything ("I saw a Hooker offering "Head & Chips" in London; You haven't had good head unless you have a Piping-hot plate of fries with it!")
That being said, there are bits to avoid and Hicks seems to run out of steam in CD2. You also may get fed up with all the stuff you've heard before (e.g. Christians & Crosses), although thank God he spins the material slightly differently each time.
All in all, this CD is worth having and far from being a waste of time. It is one of only two CD's where the content hasn't been edited, abridged or played with and so offers the nearest approximation to a Bill Hicks gig outside of the DVD Totally Bill Hicks.
Incidentally, am I alone in hoping that Mr Hicks struck a 'cord' with some people at the concert?
Even now, I'm hoping that Bill's insistence that women should "f artists" bore fruit at this particular show & that maybe there is now a 17 year old novice-comedian playing Jongleurs in Oxford (who was born of a single mother and wears a curious goatee beard). Maybe Children aren't so bad after all...
P.S. Just to make it clear - this isn't the actual material for Rant in E-Minor (which was taken from several performances), but it is essentially the same routines you'd find on there.