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on 5 October 2002
Bill Hicks's comedy has a reason behind every gag. Converts don't need to told, but if you're curious, then this is the one for you. I'm keen for everyone to enjoy his views; Arizona Bay will not disappoint. Bill is at his most relaxed; less anger, less swearing. But not at the expense of humour or focused insights.
I might be criticised for suggesting that he often refined and then repeated his views, but that's to be applauded. When you get to know Bill, you'll realise he speaks from the heart, and not always with absolute clarity.
Arizona Bay represents Bill at his most concise, his most worldy, his most generous.
Still interested? This is your first Bill Hicks CD.
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on 20 September 2002
This is not just an excellent comedy album, but an important one. Representing Hicks' ongoing battle for creative control of his material, the initially distracting use of background music works well, and was used to even greater effect on 'Rant In E-Minor': the almost 'new age' music of Marblehead Johnson contrasting with Bill's explosive delivery. 'Arizona Bay' is not Bill's best album, and contains a couple of misfires- very rare for this brilliant comic. However, there is enough scintillating material to make it a must buy: the segment on the LA Riots is amongst his very best work, a well-judged, consistently hilarious deconstruction of events: "They're on foot, you're in a truck... I think I see a way out of this!", he incredulously shouts. As with 'Relentless' and 'Rant', the noises coming from the crowd are baffling- one lady screams for close to five minutes, managing to drown out much of the dialogue, but all in all this is a marvellous record. It's also a grower, and even if the 'Elvis' skit (redundant without the visuals) falls flat, and the 'Hooligans' sketch (complete with somewhat patchy English accent) is overlong and mostly dull, the marvellous novelty of Bill's solitary "pun" (believed to be the only one he ever attempted on stage)- pigeons were behind the Kennedy assasination (he heard them saying "Coup"/"Coo") more than makes up for that.
As an introduction to the work of this great man, 'Arizona Bay' is probably not your best bet- however, if you've got hold of 'Rant' and 'Relentless', this should compliment your collection admirably- it's just over an hour in duration and, providing you're not offended by jokes, and have a passable knowledge of US History 90-93, you won't be disappointed.
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on 1 April 2000
Hicks made this CD, personnally. There is love in this CD. He wrote and played the music and the comedy. He chose his best moments to put in this CD. His material is right on the money, as it always was. Its also the kind of CD you play alot, its a stayer. As it says on the case "He never disapointed" and he doesnt. If theres a comedy family tree or road map, Hicks has his own branch.
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on 14 February 2002
This is one of my favourite Bill live albums. The material on here is not as savage as, for example, "Rant In E Minor" - but it definitely still rates as the one consistently funny pieces of work he did.
The guitar playing that appears throughout the album also annoyed me a little at first, but after a while I realised how well it fits into the vibe of the record extremely well.
Bill's skit "Hooligans" is worth the price of the album alone - could have done with working on his English accent a little more though (!!). In addition "Clam Lappers..." and the "Marketing..." routines are also priceless.
Still a genius. Still sorely missed.
Bill's never been a comedian to me, he's more of a lifestyle choice.
...and finally, if you haven't bought Cynthia True's biography yet I also recommend you check that out straight away!
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This is another great album showing Bill at his funniest. 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 accompanying music he wrote takes some getting used to, but it really adds to the overall feel of the album. Not as caustic as Rant in E-Minor, or as fresh as Dangerous, but a great album regardless. 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.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 15 February 2012
A masterful display of the usual philosophical humour expected from the comic genius of Bill Hicks (1961-1994). His delivery consists of a subtle blend of insight, wit, social commentary and the occassional piece of defining vulgarity. Although deeply spiritual, Hicks often criticised establisged Christianity for its insistance upon a literal interpretation of the Bible - in this recording Hicks mentions how a Christian he knew described the presence of dinosaur fossils upon the Earth as 'god testing his faith' - but nevertheless always professed a deep spirituality and a belief 'in a living god'.

The 1997 CD edition contains 18 individual chapters taken from Bills Hicks' live performance of December, 1992, at the Laff Stop - aka Capital City Comedy Club, Austin, Texas:

Bill Hicks - Arizona Bay
1) Goodbye You Lizard Scum. 2) Step On The Gas (LA Riots). 3) Hooligans. 4) Officer N'gger Hater. 5) As Long As We're Talking Shelf Life (Kennedy). 6) The Elephant Is Dead (Bush). 7) Me & Saddam. 8) Bullies of the World. 9) Shane's Song. 10) Dinasaurs in the Bible. 11) Living God. 12) Marketing & Advertising. 13) Don't Talk For Me. 14) Clam Lapping & Sonic The Hedgehog. 15) She's Got A Broken Heart. 16) Pussywhipped Satan. 17) LA Falls. 18) Elvis.

This is a very strong performance from a man who died far too young. Hicks demonstrates a staggering intellectual assessment of American history and culture, and the impact of that culture upon the world. Hicks is able to integrate UFO's, philosophy, theology, political satire, and social communtary with the poignant observation of 'the everyday'. Spiritually uplifting and intellectually inspiring.
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on 16 December 2011
The thing about comedy albums is that they have a tendency to grow less funny the more you listen to them. Bill Hicks, perhaps the cleverest comedian ever to walk the Earth, and certainly the one dearest to my heart, was acutely aware of this. It is why Arizona Bay, the last album released in his own lifetime, has the feeling of being more an event and a celebration than a comedy album per se. Weaving around the tremendous humour is a music track that almost bizarrely feels right at home and not a step out of place. Listen to the track about the Republican Elephant to know exactly what I mean. The comedy is actually kept quite clipped and there are no enormous monologues that outstay their welcome; what we find at the end is that we have laughed our heads off, thought very deeply, and will almost certainly listen to it again and again. Bill Hicks was not only uproariously funny, but was capable of opening doors in our minds that we didn't even know existed.
To hear him at his most raucously loud and offensive, the posthumously released Rant in E-Minor is your better option. This, however, is pretty much a work of art. He was an immensely clever young man was Bill Hicks.
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2009
Many have said 'Rant in E-Minor is better'. I disagree. Rant in E Minor is less sharp and darker than the material on here whereas Arizona Bay, I found, is actually even better than Philosophy: The Best Of Bill Hicks!

It reminds me of that scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the Black Monolith transforms mere apes into Humans, and Humans into the Star Child. Bill Hicks reached a new evolutionary paradigm with this material as he had ditched much of his more puerile and ad nauseam material (e.g. 'Your Kids aren't Special'), in favour of stuff that is more insightful and wittier.

An example of this is 'Hooligans', which is THE funniest bit of Stand-up ever, and there is much material that is hilarious and resonant even today (e.g. 'The Elephant is dead (Bush)' - what with the latest Bush incarnation dead & gone!)

Of course, the material is still offensive, but one gets the impression that Hicks got past his childish offense-for-offense's-sake phase, and hence achieved his prophetic heights. It also benefits from having been edited by Kevin Booth & so being less indulgent of his dark tendencies.

As is the cliche, it is an enormous pity he died so young, as what he could have achieved after this album is anyone's guess. Maybe what we see in the artists who produced the real Dark Side of the Moon, is what Bill Hicks would have become - not always as brilliant as their (his) creative peak, but truly inspiring and enriching when he was on top form...
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on 17 April 2016
As some other reviewers have noted, the material is first rate (was Hicks ever less than hilarious?) but I found the music played over the skits to be very distracting. If they had stuck to playing the music in between Bill's routines like they do with the first 2 or 3 tracks on this album then that would've been a lot better, but most of this has music actually playing during them.
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on 2 May 2009
Being a fan of the late Mr Hicks and already purchasing his available DVD's, this was the first of his audio sets I bought and I was not dissapointed.
The album is a mix of his stand-up show and music composed by the man himself. An intimate insight into the mind of a genius. It is hilarious, it is dark and it is bold... it is Bill Hicks on top form as he always was.
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