on June 16, 2002
Rant in E-minor is Bill Hicks at his best. Not holding anything back. At all. Right from the start,no one is safe. From Billy Ray Cyrus to George Bush, Hicks' addresses many issuses that the averege comdeian usually stays away from, such as Abortion to Gays in the millitary. This, out of all four major releases, is by far the best. Though Rant in E-minor is better off to save as the last of Hicks' CD's to buy, because it's so out there, and really truly greatly funny. Bill Hicks ranting under the stars for all of us the apathic masses. RIP Bill, you are missed.
on December 30, 1999
I first heard Hicks on a comedy special on showtime I believe about 8 years ago. I didn't catch the name..but I thought the guy was hilarious. He was doing a routine about playing the new kids on the block backwards, and I was rolling on the floor. Well, years later, I was listening to Dennis Leary, and decided to buy a cd by what I thought was an unknown artist, and lo and behold it was the same guy I had seen so long ago. I nearly cried with laughter, and immediately ran out of my job (no kidding) to buy his other 3 albums. It was money well spent. You can't go wrong with this purchase...and if you need the cash..go sell anything by Dennis Leary you may have...As Bill Hicks once implied, his big secret was that he stole all Leary's material and just to throw people off, he did it before Leary, and actually made it funny. (Listen to them both, especially the bits on non-smokers and rockstars, and it becomes eerily obvious where Leary "borrowed" much of his material from...)
on January 28, 2004
If there is one Bill Hicks album you must own, Rant In E Minor is it. No, I take that back, if there is one album in general that you must own, Rant In E Minor is it. This album will seriously change the way you look at everything. It was his last stand up performance ever, after he learned he was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. He takes no prisoners with this one. Everything he says is like another blow to the gut. He had a way with words like no other. I agree with the people that say that Bill Hicks was more of a philosopher than a comedian, well a philosopher with punchlines I guess. This performance was executed with passion, honesty, and sincerity. He uses his time onstage to shed light on true human thoughts and emotions. You know? The stuff that everyone thinks about, but acts offended when brought up verbally. Check out the end of his hilarious Pro Life bit. His stuff is like fertillizer for the ever growing mind. I'll wrap this up by saying this, if you don't own this, scroll back up and click the add-to-cart icon right now!
on January 9, 2001
Bill Hicks is one of the greatest, most profound and important artists of the century that just past. For this quite possibly outlandish claim to make any sense one has to listen to this disc and then think about what it must have been like to tour as a nearly anonymous stand up bravely putting his entire, uncensored, highly personalized views of life on the line in front of drunken bar full after drunken bar full of total strangers from all walks of life. This man had a truly unique vision and the courage to subvert a contemporary art form to provide him with a method for disseminating it. This is high art, and vulgar humor, and hysterical humor, and offensive humor, and provocation, and courage in action. Even those who disagree with his assault on conventional thinking should have the honor and integrity to recognize that this was one of the most courageous men in comedy. He didn't perform to get laughs or be liked, he got laughs to keep people listening to the things he had to say and the ideas he wanted to communicate. In a time when the idea of standing on a soapbox to speak about the world is dead Bill Hicks found a way of communicating extremely complex ideas in a completely original way. He redefines what comedy, art, and a single person with a single point of view are capable of. If Andy Kaufman can be declared a genius for throwing a wrench into the works of mass media then it probably won't be long until Bill Hicks is taken up by a wider and wider audience and hailed for throwing a complex, unique, entirely thought out world view in to the mix as well. Even more incredible is that he found a way to do it. Agree with him or disagree with him, the man found a way to communicate his individual ideas and point of view in an age where the din of mass media drowned out individuals. Taking that into account should make it possible even for those who disagree with what he had to say to admire him for the way he stood up to say it. If Bill Hicks were a stock now would be the time to invest. Give this album a listen. You will love it, or you will hate it, and there will be nothing in between. Anything that intense will continue to de discussed, and generate more and more interest. So don't wait for the posthumous T-shirts, or the inevitable movie. Bill Hicks is a pop cultural Icon still cooking in the heat he generates when people listen to him. Many may slam the door closed after getting their nose hairs singed by a quick peak. Eventually though, the time will be right to realize who he was, and what his astonishingly courageous contribution represents.
on August 24, 2005
"Rant in E-Minor" is not quite as polished or hilarious as the stunning "Shock & Awe" CD recorded in England at around the same time (near the end of Bill's life), but it remains as valid today as when it was first delivered.
These are crazy times, and Hicks' take on things, from Iraq (after the first Gulf War) to 'right-to-lifers' to Rush Limbaugh is a voice of sanity amidst the nutso headlines and phony TV "news" shows.
A word of caution, however. This is not for children or those with tender sensibilities. Bill's take on Limbaugh, for example, is a dark musing on the latter's probable sexual problems, featuring speculation as likely true as it is disgusting. To be shared with close friends, allies, and all others seeking a good hour's worth of laughter which sometimes hits 10 on the Richter Scale.
We miss you, Bill.
on May 16, 2005
First of all, I'd like to say that I am a Bill Hicks fan. I was a Bill Hicks fan before I purchased this album. And if you are new to Bill Hicks or are thinking of picking up this album as your first impression of him, you should maybe think twice.
This shows Bill at his darkest. He's about to die, and the frustration and anger at the world around him is coming to a boiling point.
The reason why I say if you're a new fan, don't go for this is because if you're not used to him, this isn't going to come off well to you. I would recommend Relentless or Dangerous (although Dangerous doesn't have the best sound quality). This is when is was much more in tune with the "make people laugh" agenda than the "I'm going to die and I need to get my messages across even if I have to hammer it into your skulls".
Now, this is probably my favorite hicks album. You get much more insight into the man and his beliefs and just why he's on stage at all. But I really do need to stress (I know, I'm getting redundant) don't make this your first Hicks album!
on July 19, 2005
During the horrible republican dynasty, liberals would hide themselves in dark places like coffee shops and bars. The dark poet was among this order of the trashed souls. Bill Hicks was a dark poet with the grandest ideals and highest opinion. He said once that his brother was a genius, though I doubt that anyone really came close to Bill's ingenious response to dividing poitical issues and satirical view of a skewed america; worthy of Twain, Swift, Pryor, Carlin, Bruce, and Vonnegut, who carried the same burden with as much heft.
Everyone has their own logic in life, and no matter how insane they are to think what they think, their logic will work out on their own, crazy, burning, paper. It's is the human experience, and no matter how far right you are, you will at least have to deal with one of these so-called "psycho"'s in your life time.
The same could have been said of the moderates; like carlin, who does not push so much as he suggests. Bill was a pusher, and no matter what you thought, he was there with that inkling of pure sanity in the back of society's dirty mind.
A lot of what Hicks says in his albums is relevant today, what with another conservative dyansty rearing its ugly head. Why, the world needs Hicks more than ever, now that we have shot ourselves in the foot again, for the fifteenth time.
The sad truth is that pancreatic cancer and fate left him in the dust, while his words remind today of how screwed we were and how similar things are now. Hicks was a sign of his time and can never be brought back, even in spirit, because his wonderful dream has been crushed so unhopefully by the Roves out there. The chaneys and bushes that so underhandedly make our decisions for us and represent the worst of this country so poignantly. The presidential regime we now have clearly proves that not enough people were listening to the great Bill Hicks. The boybands and destruction of music to widespread minimalism today clearly shows a largely positive opinion of Billy Ray Cyrus. And, there are more Rush Limbaughs today than you can point two sticks at. The people have voted for immorality and evil. Christians are so scared they're planning to secede the union in South Carolina, and their insanity is just barely above the level of Washington D.C. No wonder the rest of the world hates us. I'd be afraid if there weren't billions protesting every move we make.
America is dying and there's no turning back, listen to Bill Hicks and you'll understand that.
Rant In E Minor is among Bill Hick's best cd's, filling in around the legendary Relentless, and Arizon Bay plus the almost as good Dangerous. It starts off with, "I'm here to sing some songs for my momma," and it characterizes his magnitude of dislike for country hacks. His go-to jokes for when he flounders on stage are few and rare inbetween his ranting benevolent faux charm. Poor Willy.
His abortion stuff is very good, and shows the similarity between Bush and his dad. In fact, the best bit on here may be the one about father bush, mother bush, Rush Limbaugh and a bath tub--that one's a classic for the ages. Not to leave out, of course, the final truth about Jay stupid-Leno. I always wondered about Jessie's collection of Little Shoes.
In summation, pro-lifers should listen to this album 24/7-or at least they should be forced to in the dark. Comedy Central made a list of the best stand-ups ever, and Bill was number 7. That's because without him Lewis Black would be scarfing IHOP pancakes, Jeneane Gorofalo would be in one of those coffee houses off some dark avenue, and Comedy Central would still be a liberatarian's pipe dream.
on October 9, 2001
I first discovered Bill from the band Tool. I had seen his picture in the insert for Aenima and decided to search him out through the internet and used CD stores.
Best thing I ever did.
Bill isn't for everyone. If your idea of comedy is a person standing up on stage telling corny one liners and your typical sex jokes, stay away from Bill Hicks. You have to have a strong mind to listen to Bill. In the tridition of George Carlin and Andy Kaufman, Hicks will make you think every once in awhile and question your beliefs. His stands on political issues and world events (some so true sometimes it's painful) make him more of a philosopher then your traditional stand up comedian. Probably the reason why I laughed so hard while listening to this CD is because most of the stuff he said was true. Someone said once, "the truth hurts"... well sometimes the truth is hilarious!
If you're new to Bill Hicks, I'd say this is the best CD to start out your collection along with the Sane Man Video (probably Bill's best work although sometimes rough around the edges), that you can order from sacredcowproductions.com
5 stars aren't enough for this CD!
on January 16, 2000
I played this CD for a group of friends at a party and one guy out of the group was this card carrying conservative geek... I swear to God both of his parents worked for the NSA... The actual National Security Agency - we have all kinds here in Seattle - Anyway I played the Rush Limbaugh cut off Rant in E-Minor and the entire room collapsed laughing uncontrollably... Except for.. You guessed it.. That little conservative NSA spawn.. I am not lying.. his mouth dropped and his face turned white as a ghost... He stood up and said to his girlfriend "I think it's time to go honey." It was the weirdest thing... And that's exactly how Bill Hicks was live... The first time I saw him he destroyed for about forty minutes and then grabbed the audience by the jugular with this rant about God, Jesus, the PTL Club and his girlfriend dumping him for a three hundred pound x-welder with hair all over his back... Pure brilliance... About twenty people got up and walked out while the entire room was howling... At the end of his act the audience exploded into a standing ovation that went on for about five minutes until the owner had to bring him back on stage... And stand up comedy is not like live music where they always milk the encore... I have only seen two encores in my fifteen years of comedy... It was beautiful and somewhat spooky at the same time because I knew I was watching a certifiable genius... Ten years later I know it to be true... And the rumors about his death are greatly exaggerated... Because Hicks captures his live show perfectly on this CD... People die laughing and others will walk out on him while you play this in your own living room... Long live Bill Hicks! ...
Hicks was way ahead of his time, and boy do I wish he'd been around during 9/11 and the ensuing mythology.
This is his best work, almost non-stop brilliance and so much truth you'll laugh 'til it hurts.
One of the top ten stand-up albums of all time.