Bill Hicks

The Essential Collection

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Much more than a collection of greatest hits, Ryko’s posthumous Bill Hicks set The Essential Collection crams tons of material into its two-CD/two-DVD box, which also holds a download code giving access to a digital version of the comedian's long-lost musical effort Lo-Fi Troubadour. The two CDs feature well-chosen selections from Hicks’ official albums along with quite a few bits from an unreleased show in San Ramon that was found in the late comedian’s archives. The DVDs are very desirable for fans as they collect a set of early-‘80s shows from Houston and a set of early-‘90s shows from Austin, plus Hicks’ low-, low-, low-budget feature film Ninja Bachelor Party, which has no ninjas, just cough syrup addicts. If the two audio discs were released on their own, this would be a perfect primer, but the avalanche of extras is overwhelming and only loyal fans will be able to devour them all. That said, they will be devoured and with the Hicks family’s full involvement plus Ryko’s solid commitment finding the best source material, the set ends up a Hicks lover’s dream. Check a couple of his regular albums before coming here, but feel free to open this treasure chest once you realize the man’s claim to be “Chomsky with dick jokes” was spot-on.

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