Bill Hicks – LoveLaughterandTruth (Rykodisc 2002)
Bill Hicks was one of the greatest comedians to come out of the 80’s comedy scene. He died 10 years ago of pancreatic cancer having left behind a legacy for those in the know but not a household name for himself which to many people including me is a tragedy. This is the 4th posthumous disc released by Ryko (the first 2 were planned and arranged by Hicks before he died) and unfortunately the least essential. Don’t get me wrong – there’s some great hilarious material here but most of the routines are previously available on his earlier discs and this is edited from 3 different performances so the quality ranges and the tone changes keep it from being a great collection of stand-up.
I’m in favor of exhuming the Hicks vaults and releasing a well produced series of discs but frankly there are bootlegs that have better chosen recordings on them. What about releasing his last full gig at Igby’s where a still fuming from his censored Letterman appearance Hicks stalks the stage with a dark levity that has still since been unmatched. Another infamous audience provoking recording circulate of Bill at the Funny Firm in Chicago – again a better choice than this album. Simply stated LoveLaughterandTruth is for the Hicks hardcore – everyone else should go for Dangerous, Relentless, or Rant In E-Minor. You’ll be glad you did.