Henry Rollins

Big Ugly Mouth/Short Walk on a Long Pier

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What's amazing about this two-disc reissue set is how it marks the evolution of Henry Rollins' spoken word performances from his earliest show in 1985, '86, and '87, to when he finally starts to get a bit more loose and comfortable behind the microphone in the early '90s. Short Walk on a Long Pier is an 18-piece collection of Rollins' first recordings (originally released on cassette only) and it's largely Rollins reading from his notebooks in a very awkward, dry, and direct fashion. The difference between Short Walk and Big Ugly Mouth is like night and day. On the latter, Rollins obviously has a few more shows under his belt and has gained immeasurable amounts of confidence in not only his anecdotes, but in his delivery and structure as a storyteller. Rather than just reading his notebook pieces, he goes off the marker and interacts with the audience more, making this a great marker for what Rollins would eventually become: one of the most popular and engaging spoken word performers in the industry.

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