Salvation (Oxford, November 11, 1992)
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It is really interesting how Bill's material seems to be getting more and more pertinent to the times, as the many months had passed since his death. One would think that it would be less so, but here in America, we seem to be trapped and mired in the same issues as we were thirteen Novembers ago. There is a man named Bush in the White House, and we are at war with Iraq.
When us Bill fans get to the dreaded IF ONLY BILL WAS HERE TODAY line of thinking, we often wonder what might Bill think about our world of today? Well, Hollywood is still churning out garbage and corrupting the youth. Washington, DC is still lying to America, and the public is still believing the lies. Most of America are sleep-walking through life, which is disturbing for those of us who are awake.
This release replaces the now unnecessary SHOCK AND AWE: LIVE AT THE OXFORD PLAYHOUSE title, which was an edit of this show, which happens to be the complete performance.
Coming up in 2005: the year of Bill --- Sane Man FINALLY on DVD on December 6th!
Between these two discs, you get a broad span of most of Bill's jokes that appear on the rest of his. The only odd thing about the production is that the tracks on disc one seem to be broken down more conveniently, the tracks on disc two are much longer and tend to blend into each other. Damn deadlines.
What I prefer in this over Rant is that there is no music between tracks, giving it a real live feel. What is most effective about Bill's presentation is that he is real, and he gets you to think. I hope people don't agree with everything he says. He's not even a role model, but I appreciate how he encourages the puppet people to wake up and smell the BS. If you don't think Bill is funny, check this out. There might even be a DVD of this out somewhere. Definately worth listening to, especially for dubya-haters.
The first thing that struck me - other than how much more jaw ached from laughing - is how prescient Bill Hicks was. All the material about Bush and the evangelical right is as valid today as it was in 1992, if not more so. I can't imagine what he would have made of contemporary America with the so-called 'War on Terror' and Pop Idol etc. Sarah Palin would be an entire show!
Beyond the actual content, Bill's skill is in telling highly visual jokes. One can picture the vignettes, such as the scene with Jack Palance ('Pick up the gun') or grammy with Chuck Norris. His use of the microphone to make sounds - the ubiquitous gun shots, the monkeys - is inspiration itself!
Obviously not all the material works, though I'm sure this is a personal matter. I for one am less interested when he's talking about porn or drugs than the political stuff. Partisan or not, I do have a few criticism. There are quite a lot of visual gags that are dependent on Bill's facial expressions; obviously these don't work in this format. He also uses a strange Robin Williamesque British accent. And at 1 hour and 50 mins it's just not long enough! (As an aside, I'm sure the night I saw him, the show was longer. I seem to recall a whole section on gun control.)
Nevertheless, this is some of the finest, funniest, most savage stand-up comedy you will ever hear. If you've never heard the genius that is Bill Hicks, you should start here; if you know this show already, it's time to reacquaint yourself.
I wonder what he'd have to say about the current [...] regime if he were alive today.
Miss you Bill. RIP
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bill Hicks is a tru hero. One ho speaks from the Hart of all. Hear and be enlightend!!!Published 14 months ago by Lars Bjørnland
Recorded in Oxford, England (and with the material missing from Shock and Awe) this CD is another gem showing Bill at his funniest. Read morePublished on March 4, 2011 by Spider Monkey
I discovered Bill Hicks after he had died - yes, my loss. I made up for lost time, however, and I am constantly at war with myself as to who deserves the #1 space on my list of... Read morePublished on October 22, 2010 by Rhonda Poynter
It's funny with Bill Hicks how you go through phases of loving him & loathing him. At the moment, I'm just starting a love phase and this CD (which I thought was crude, puerile... Read morePublished on October 5, 2010 by Magic Lemur
You certainly get your money's worth with this double-disc performance. Some of the material is available on Bill's other CDs, but the excellent audience makes the material come... Read morePublished on October 30, 2008 by ninjasuperstar
I absolutely LOVE this CD set! It is Bill in his element on stage in a place where he was admired and adored! Read morePublished on March 9, 2008 by UWSMom
Wasn't as humorous as I'd hoped from previews. But the Bush jokes are still relevant and my British In-Laws loved the hometown references.Published on November 27, 2007 by A. Leong