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Let The Buyer Beware Box set

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, September 14, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

For all his importance, Lenny's recorded legacy is spotty, and that's where this boxed set comes in-10 years in the making, it includes seven and a half hours of performances, interviews and wire taps, including 69 unreleased recordings, 10 unreleased selections from Bruce's voluminous personal collection, classic routines like Religions, Inc.; How to Relax Your Colored Friends at Parties; Airplane Glue; Jewish and Goyish , and more. An 80-page book contains unpublished photos, essays, tributes, a glossary and much more. 119 reminders why the First Amendment is so precious.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Are There Any Niggers Here Tonight?
  2. The Clap
  3. Lenny On Comedy Pt. 1
  4. On Third Shows
  5. Father Flotsky’s Triumph
  6. Lima, Ohio
  7. Introduction To “The Palladium”/Annie Ross/What Was I Talking About?
  8. The Palladium
  9. Explanation Of Frank Dell And Bullets
  10. Censorship On The Steve Allen Show
  11. Taking Requests/Hip Diseases
  12. The Lawrence Welk Story
  13. How To Relax Your Colored Friends At Parties (with Eric Miller)
  14. Gotta Split
  15. Lenny On Playboy’s Penthouse (with Hugh Hefner & Nat “King” Cole)

Disc: 2

  1. Testing The Sony Microphone
  2. Lenny On Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts (with Arthur Godfrey & Sally Marr)
  3. Critics/Club Owners
  4. Monster Routine With Hecklers
  5. I’ve Never Been In Love Before
  6. Religions, Inc.
  7. Lenny Interview (with Studs Terkel)
  8. Airplane Glue
  9. The Phone Company
  10. My Trip To Miami
  11. Psycho Doctors/Faye Bainter/Jack Paar
  12. Ike, Sherm & Nick
  13. Non Skeddo Flies Again

Disc: 3

  1. Working Carnegie Hall
  2. Point Of View
  3. Christ And Moses
  4. Spanish Harlem
  5. The Joke
  6. Pretty Bizarre Show
  7. Dirty Toilet/Bad Early Toilet Training
  8. If Your Body Is Dirty, The Fault Lies With The Manufacturer
  9. What Should Be/What Is
  10. C.E. Hocksey Letters/My Father Solomon Osterow
  11. To Is A Preposition; Come Is A Verb
  12. Blah Blah Blah
  13. Dick Tracy Is An Orthodox Jew
  14. Milton Berle/Dykes/Homosexuality
  15. Cops/Where The Heat Are
  16. Going To Court/Wear A Blue Suit
  17. S.F. Gossip/Jewish & Goyish/Cat Downstairs Taping Show
  18. The Phantom
  19. Would You Want Your Sister To Marry One Of Them?
  20. Chick Singer With A Gimmick
  21. Billy Graham Is Not Qualified
  22. Touch It Once
  23. The Black Cat/Get Stuffed/Why Did You Lie To Me?
  24. Closing/Will Rogers Quote
  25. Lawrence Welk The Hipster
  26. Hubert’s Museum

Disc: 4

  1. I Just Do It And That’s All
  2. Ruby The Robot
  3. Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman, Jack Parr, Joey Bishop & Phyllis Diller/The Reason I Wear The Coat
  4. Why The Breakfast Show
  5. The Meaning Of Obscenity Pt. 1/Drew Pearson’s A Son Of A Bitch
  6. Norman Rockwell/The Jazz Scene
  7. The Word Or The Act/We Fucked Their Mothers For Chocolate Bars
  8. Jimmy Hoffa/Castro & Cuba
  9. Thank You Mask Man
  10. Dangerous Drugs/Marijuana
  11. Jews Killed Christ
  12. Marilyn Monroe/Narcotics Vs. Juice
  13. You Don’t Remember Me, Do You?/You’re So Classic… Smoking A Cigar
  14. Kennedys/Jonathan Winters
  15. W.C. Fields The Anti-Semite/Hookers On Record
  16. The Meaning Of Obscenity Pt. 2
  17. San Francisco Bust/Judge Entrapment
  18. The Act Is Kissin’ & Huggin’
  19. Las Vegas Pt. 1/Johnny Mathis
  20. I’ll Show You How Prejudiced You Are
  21. Corrupt Cities/Chicago Schtarkers/Shelley Berman
  22. Audience Banter/Why Doesn’t He Do The Bits On The Records?
  23. Lenny On Comedy Pt. 2
  24. Snot
  25. The Nerve Of Faggots
  26. Hooker That Balled The President
  27. Divorce/Get Even/Stag Movies Vs. King Of Kings
  28. Norman Thomas/Filipinos/Midgets
  29. Las Vegas Pt. 2/Pearl Bailey
  30. Australia
  31. Bela Lugosi & Wallace Beery/Entrancing Transylvania/Herb Caen
  32. The Warning (With Long Island Police Officer)

Disc: 5

  1. The Best Man In The Tribe
  2. The Tribunal
  3. Schmuck
  4. Reading The Court Transcript
  5. Pissing In The Sink
  6. Jewish & Goyish
  7. Philly Bust/Judge Axelrod
  8. Tits And Ass
  9. Never Cop Out
  10. Jackie Kennedy Hauls Ass/Selling Out Your Country (A.K.A. Hot Lead Enema)
  11. Dick Gregory
  12. Census Takers
  13. Barry Goldwater/The Truth About Men/Doing It To A Chicken
  14. LBJ
  15. Toilets/Flashers/Mark Eden Bust Developer
  16. How The Law Got Started (Eat, Sleep & Crap)
  17. Playing Milwaukee
  18. Marijuana/Flashers/Confusion/Bust In The Audience
  19. Lenny Gets Busted Onstage & Audience Gets ID’d

Disc: 6

  1. All Alone
  2. The Heroin Bust
  3. Juror Phone Calls Re: The Heroin Bust
  4. Zeidler & Zeidler Commercials (with Honey & Kitty)
  5. Eleanor Roosevelt Had Nice Tits
  6. Religions, Inc.
  7. Phone Call Reading A Letter
  8. Christ & Moses
  9. Phone Call To Harry Kalvin
  10. Describing The Fillmore West/Yorty & L.A.
  11. Southern Accents
  12. Art And A Big Piece Of Shit (With Anonymous Friend)
  13. I Picked On The Wrong God
  14. My Name Is Adolf Eichmann

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Shout! Factory
  • ASIN: B0002RUPGK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,024 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason Crane on September 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As a Lenny Bruce fan and collector since my teens, I was thrilled to see this painstakingly crafted boxed set. Over the course of six CDs, you'll get to hear Lenny at his creative peak as a "bit comic" and as a free-form legal scholar. Lenny was a brilliant and perceptive commentator on the world around him, and a true patriot who often seemed shocked that the country he grew up in was turning its back on its founding freedoms. This set captures all the controversy, all the passion, and all the genius.

If you're new to Lenny Bruce and you have some extra bread lying around, this is a wonderful set to pick up. (If you're more cash-conscious, start with the two-volume Lenny Bruce Originals on Fantasy records.) If you're a longtime fan of Lenny, this will not only reaffirm your love for his material, it will open new windows into the mind of one of America's great thinkers. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This anthology is aptly titled: LET THE BUYER BEWARE, an announcer's introduction to Bruce's show used to signal rough language forty years ago, now somewhat ironic, because the buyer of this pricey collection is getting less than a "classic" anthology of "definitive" versions. First, a disclaimer: I edited some Bruce albums for Ralph Gleason at Fantasy, including the Curran Theater concert. That said, I have major reservations about this collection. The selections and their order are seemingly without reason, not chronological or thematic. There are a number of repeats, for no seeming reason except perhaps padding. Some new materials are interesting, like the Godfrey show and the Terkel interview, but some are borderline, like the phone conversations, the microphone test, and the Z&Z commercials, compounding the general bloat of the printed materials. There are basic mistakes (Robie, not Ruby the Robot; his SF lawyer was Al Bendich). This seems like a project dictated mostly by the material available to Marvin Worth and Bruce's daughter Kitty. There's nothing wrong with marketing a stash of tapes, but not as a comprehensive, definitive, or original collection. The buyer would be much better off spending the money on the Originals collections plus the three major concert recordings, Carnegie Hall, Berkeley, and Curran Theater.
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Format: Audio CD
Remember the old story about the old actor famous for his death scenes?

"Dying," he explained to a younger acolyte, "is easy. It's comedy that's hard."

Comedy may be hard, but anyone can do it. But none ever did it as well as Lenny Bruce.

The funny man died of an overdose, at age 41, nearly 39 years go, but his legacy lives on. It's a life and legacy of laughter, and it's ripe for rediscovery.

Now, a generation who never have heard of Bruce, for those who only know him from Bob Fosse's smoky (but well intentioned) bio-flick, for those who glance at an image of Bruce and think "Castro," can grasp one of the most inventive and prismatic talents of the last century in a set of rare recordings.

"Lenny Bruce: Let the Buyer Beware" is a six-CD compendium of Bruce's best material, lovingly compiled by producer Hal Willner and Bruce's daughter

Kitty. More than half has never been heard before, and a great many variants and alternate riffs of his most well-known material has been anthologized here. His debut on Arthur

Godfrey's show is here, as well as the classic routines about Father Flotsky (a parody of Warner Brothers prison flicks), the Palladium (about an American comic dying on an

English stage), as well as (real) taped phone calls to his lawyers.

Horribly illustrated is his descent into near madness, not through drugs or degenerate lifestyle, but through the systematic persecution by the U.S. government. In

America during the '50s and '60s, you could make jokes about anything, except, maybe, Jesus Christ, Milton Berle and Eleanor Roosevelt. Sacrosanct bastions were not to be

made fun of, and especially not by an outsider, someone different, someone who was not a Christian.
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Format: Audio CD
As a long-time fan of Lenny Bruce's work I have collected every available recording and book on the man and his art. The Lenny Bruce boxset, LET THE BUYER BEWARE, is a cultural event as important as a trunk filled with unpublished Mark Twain novels being unearthed. LET THE BUYER BEWARE presents over 7 hours of Lenny Bruce material, much of which has never been released in any form. As a hardcore fan, I was amazed to find virtually no overlap between this boxset and previously released Lenny Bruce albums.
As for the comedy on this boxset, Lenny Bruce has never been more relevant, never more hilarious, as he lampoons santimonious religious and political leaders, gives frank and insightful opinions about the art of comedy and who the "real" comedians of his time were. Lenny himself does not escape his incisive eye and satire as one track on Disc 2 has him reading a scathing review his nightclub act received, admitting to the audience how the review rankled him.
LET THE BUYER BEWARE is much more than a "Best of" Lenny Bruce. It provides tremendous scope of this comic genius' career, from his very early apperance on THE ARTHUR GODFREY show (winning the talent contest for that week) to his being warned by a police officer to keep his nightclub act "clean" while performing in a particular city.
To this fan, the single most poignant track in the entire boxset comes on Disc 6 when Lenny explains how "I Picked on the Wrong God." Lenny is never maudlin, but introspective and painfully honest as he assesses what has been about his outlook and nightclub act that ignited his myriad legal troubles.
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