The Essential Collection (2 CD + 2 DVD)
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The Essential Collection is a 4 disc set (2 CD / 2 DVD) that encompasses Bill Hicks short but powerful career as a satirist, social critic and stand-up comedian. The 2 DVD discs feature over five hours of performance footage from Bill Hicks personal archives. The video content includes rare, never before seen performance footage of Bill from the early 80 s. Also included is the cult short film, NINJA BACHELOR PARTY (starring Bill Hicks, Kevin Booth and David Johndrow), interview footage with Bill, and a DVD photo gallery with pictures from Bill s personal archives. The 2 CD discs feature over two hours of Bill s best stand up material. Included are never before released performance pieces by Bill from a San Ramon, CA performance that was found in Bill s archives. The package also features liner notes from Henry Rollins, noted UK author Paul Outhwaite and UK journalist/tv personality, Clive Anderson. Also included in the package is a download card containing 11 original song recordings by Bill entitled, Lo-Fi Troubadour.
Top Customer Reviews
2 discs of audio, and more importantly 2 DVD's.
The 2 audio discs are culled from all of Bill's previous releases, with
a handful of tracks from a previously unheard tape.
Bill's material is brilliant, however it could have used some clever editing.
It seems like someone just made a 2-disc compilation at random.
These 2 audio discs are beside the point. Consider the 2 discs as extra's.
The 2 DVD's are something I've been waiting many years to see.
These are an absolute goldmine.
I'm still absorbing all that is here. It's a lot of performance footage.
First, we have a full 1981 performance from Houston.
It's amazing that this footage exists at all.
All of Bill's releases are from 1989 to 1993, so it's
nice to get some balance to these early years.
Then there's a long set from 1985. Maybe my favorite.
Bill does an amazing Tom Waits impression....I have
read that Tom Waits is a fan, so I imagine him
getting a real kick out of hearing Bill talk about him.
This is followed by more Houston performances from 1986.
Bill seems dark and weary. There is also a long poolside
interview with Bill on some of the details of the
Houston Outlaw Comics.
THEN, my friends...we have NINJA BACHELOR PARTY in excellent quality!
The audio is perfect. The video is great. The Karate action preserved.
I've had this on dubbed VHS for years, glad to have it in DVD quality.
NINJA BACHELOR PARTY is the Citizen Kane of Ninja Bachelor Party movies.
A sweeping epic. In the DVD notes, Kevin Booth mentions a future expanded
NBP release. Thank Allah!Read more ›
Regrettably these releases can dilute the legacy & each subsequent release has less & less of the good, new stuff to go on. This has happened a little with Bill Hicks, as is evident by the CD release: Shock & Awe (which is the same material as Salvation, though admittedly it wasn't an official release).
So, is this a great collection or more of the same?
Well, it's a mixture. Essentially the further you progress through the collection, the better it gets, as the CD's are poor, but the MP3's are priceless.
From the beginning then - the CD's. Both CD's lack any form of structure and are a lazy mixture of the best material from all his other CD's. Those who've heard Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks will recognise most of the material, and all that seems to have been done here is to blend unreleased tracks that are mostly worse versions of already released routines (e.g. 'Elvis', 'Beelzebozo' and 'Drugs have done good things').
There are 5 truly unreleased tracks (of 50 on both CD's), but these are either very short (e.g. 'Audience member/ Dental Assistant') or familiar (e.g. Handguns UK vs USA).Read more ›
The first two cds are somewhat of a "Best of" collection with a lot of his old material re-packaged but there are a few unreleased tracks on there. The main point of this set is the DVDs. Us longtime Hicks fans love finding unreleased footage of Hicks even if we know the lines by heart. Whats interesting is you get you see a very young Hicks whos about 19 or 20 getting his feet wet starting his stand up career. Over the course of the DVDs you see his act progress from regular stand up comedian to the funny social critic he would later become.
The DVD also includes Kevin Booths silly short film Ninja Bachelor Party, and while the film is low budget and silly the picture quality on the DVD is much better than the majority of Ninja Bachelor Party bootlegs out there.
All in all i give it four stars as its not perfect, but if you love Hicks and his work its refreshing to see more footage of the legendary comedian.
Word of advice=
If you are new to Bill Hicks you probably dont want to start with this collection, you should first pick up the DVD "Bill Hicks Live-Satirist, Social Critic, Stand Up Comedian".
Or if you want to get a good CD of his pick up "Philosophy" or "Rant in E Minor"
The dvd material is pretty rare from '81 - '86 on the first dvd. First clip he is straight out of graduating highschool and his material reflects it (school, parents, classmates, etc). Lots of the same material gets repeated but he is a joy to watch him hone his craft through the years.2nd dvd visibly shows Bill as he is getting sicker. the addition of the 'ninja party' home movie is such a waste of time. the scathing chicago '91 show would of been brilliant in it's place. The cd's have a handful of unreleased stuff but if you already own the entire BH collection already from Ryko then chances are that you've heard 93% already.
can someone answer me why the Hicks family is not releasing anything? They put of "Flying Saucer tour V1" a decade ago! How long does it take for a volume 2 ? BitTorrents have a better BH selection than his own family makes avilable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Huge Bill Hicks fan here. There's a review above that clearly states how ALL of the audio is old news, but that the DVD's hold the value. Read morePublished 4 months ago by wallace c davis
Genius at work! The cds I am pretty much familiar with everything on there. The real deal here is the dvds, especially the one that deals with his earliest performances. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Brendan P. Delany