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Rant In E-Minor: Variations
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Bill Hicks (vocals, guitar); Kevin Booth (keyboards, bass, percussion).
  • Recorded at Fossil Creek Studio, Austin, Texas from November 1992-June 1993; recorded live at Laff Stop (aka Capital City Comedy Club), Austin, Texas from March-October 1993; recorded live at Cobbs, San Francisco, California in July 1993. Includes liner notes by Kevin Booth.
  • Recording information: The Laff Stop.
  • Like his spiritual forefather, Lenny Bruce, the late Bill Hicks was a comedic visionary who used a profanity-laced approach in skewering societal sacred cows and made people simultaneously laugh and feel uncomfortable. Hicks' politically incorrect left-wing libertarian viewpoints saturate the posthumously released RANT IN E MINOR, where religious fundamentalism and politics are particular targets.
  • Delivered in an erudite twang, Hicks hilariously mocks Billy Ray Cyrus and Michael Bolton ("Fevered Egos"), PC extremists ("Non-smokers"), and wealthy celebrities (particularly Jay Leno) who deep-six their creative credibility by becoming corporate shills ("Artistic Roll Call"). The self-admitted "armchair psychologist" takes potshots at both the right ("Deficit [Jesse Helms], "Rush Limbaugh") and the left ("Waco," "One of the Boys [Clinton]) in a way that still reverberates years after the incendiary comic's passing. Although Hicks' inherent pessimism ("Love List [No Future]"), pro-drug stance ("Confession Time"), and borderline conspiracy theories ("Politics in America") often found him getting limited media exposure, his is a message especially relevant at a time when Noam Chomsky's predictions about corporate oligarchy seem increasingly accurate. Plus, the late Texan was a distinctly funny crank.
Professional Reviews
Musician (6/97, p.86) - "...As he learned his craft, he evolved into probably the best comedian of the late Eighties and early Nineties, working dangerous issues that kept him off television..."
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