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4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Released posthumously (alongside it's sister album Arizona Bay) in 1997, some three years after Bill Hicks' passed away far too soon as a victim of pancreatic cancer, the 'Rant in E-Minor' album captures him at his most dark and angry, even literally screaming at the audience in the places. He announced on the second track that this would be his final stand-up performance ('ever''), and with hindsight, perhaps he already knew that the time was near? This isn't a straightforward live album in that it was recorded at the same time and place, a complete performance, because the tracks on here are taken from various gigs over his last-ever tour.

Most of usual material that Bill became so much loved for is included on this CD (and now download), the kind of subjects that lots of people wouldn't even dare to touch upon, things like government hypocrisy, the state of the world today and it's current trends, the holes in religions, and the self-righteousness of non-smokers, but here he really lets rip and pushes it all to the limit. The joy of 'Rant in E-Minor' is the chance to hear things (and names) that aren't so familiar coming from Bill, and to say that he is compulsively listenable, I don't think would do him justice, his delivery and presentation was always as commendable as his comedy, or 'teachings' as I think of it.

These live performances were recorded between November 1992 to December 1993, and some of what he says is unapologetically ruthless and unflinching, but very entertaining, and as brutally honest as anything else he had ever done. The clue is in the name, this is a 'rant', and if you're easily offended, 'Rant in E-Minor' isn't for you. However, if you are open minded enough to listen to Bill and to do so properly, then you'll probably find yourself looking at things from a different angle, and nodding your head, whilst perhaps feeling guilty. Here was a troubled genius, and unlike any other comedian you've heard before or since.

'Rant in E-Minor' is a real fan's essential, but those who haven't yet become quite as converted might be better off buying the Philosophy: The Best Of Bill Hicks compilation album instead, to get their first fix and flavour of what this wonderful man was all about, not just as a comedian, but equally as a philosophiser.
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on 29 October 2016
Poor
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on 6 August 2015
The stand-up comedy genius has recorded this rant-a-long album to teach us all !
A must have for all hicks fans
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on 2 February 2015
One of his best...must own.
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on 16 September 2013
If you know that line then you know what I am about to say. This is Bill at his best, the man, the legend the genius. I bought this because I wanted it on my phone to walk to work with and couldn't find my original cop, I'd buy this again and again and again it's that good.
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on 23 February 2013
Bill Hicks was a preacher man- he was a genius- he was funny, brilliantly funny and he was brave. Ahead of his time and sadly missed
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VINE VOICEon 25 November 2011
I would love to be able to write this review sounding like Bill's exaggerated texas drawl, but that's impossible.This man was and always will be a comedic genius,I had heard a lot of this material before, but the bits about the pro-lifers and the catholic church were so shockingly brilliant, that it seemed he had a new lease of life, sadly he was actually dying when this was recorded, and it shows, as he pretends he has a t.v show and that is why he is giving up stand up comedy, when in fact this is his personal obituary.

Bill you are irreplaceable no one has come close since your sad early demise, and I for one mourn your passing.

I remember in the past year the so called comedian Jimmy Carr rubbishing the claims by some Hicks fans that Dennis Leary had plagiarised Hicks work, well sorry Mr. Carr but he did, and you do yourself no favours in denying this fact.
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VINE VOICEon 8 August 2011
I will keep this short.... buy it and have your mind opened real wide, its the only time a comedian will inspire you and make you cry with laughter. it will be the best money you have ever...EVER...spent!

long live the memory
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2010
For those who haven't hear this before, you are in for a real treat. This album (like the similar masterpiece Arizona Bay) is unique in many ways for blending music, live routines & studio-recorded speech to make something above & beyond a normal comedy album.

Although some of the references are a little dated (e.g. Waco, Jesse Helms & Clinton), the album still sounds fresh & covers a wide variety of topics.
And the great thing is that no other comedian comes close to discussing what is on this CD. Further, no other comedian (with the possible exception of George Carlin) was or is so talented at making serious topics funny or bringing such insight to them.

As an example, there is my favourite track - track 8 (Gifts Of Forgiveness).
First of all, no comedian would be able to talk about taking mushrooms in such an open, non-pretentious way (or without 'going for the gag').
Second, no comedian would be able to so clearly convey his philosophy from it, let alone make people laugh all the way through.

This is the best thing about this CD & is probably why the Quasi-religious documentary Zeitgeist used material from this CD - it really is good stuff for 'squeegeeing your third eye'.

Funny thing is though that this is also its weakness. Bill's philosophy was open & compassionate, but it was also Dark & Bleak in places. Many tracks are crude & disgusting, pandering to the worst instincts of comedy-club audiences (esp track 23 - Rush Limbaugh).

This is the nature of 'Dark Poetry' though - it reveals & enlightens unusual places, but also brings blackness. And, to be honest, most of this blackness can be ignored & discarded & the good stuff kept.

Bill brought to the World something fresh & complete in this album & it is a Great pity that it was released posthumourously.
It is often said that the World kills its Prophets (something that Hicks realised).
However, in this case the meme still lives on & (in the words of V from V for Vendetta): ideas are bulletproof.

P.S. As I am a HUGE Bill Hicks fan, I thought I'd write reviews of two of my favourite tracks/ MP3's off the album. If you only ever hear one bit of Bill Hicks in your life, then get the 1st one:
Gifts Of Forgiveness
Politics In America
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on 11 March 2010
A must-have for people who love the genre. Maybe the only thing is that being a collection, I found myself listening to some sketches I already had. So, better check before you buy.
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