Billy Connolly

The Transatlantic Years

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The CD-era has proved that just about anything that can be reissued will be. This double-CD collection of Glaswegian comedy minstrel Billy Connolly is a curious collection of material from the years 1969 to 1974. Besides the amazingly irritating and stupidly smarmy liner notes by Shaun Stallard, who attempts to somehow encapsulate Connolly's daft and deft sense of humor in written words, the music here is mostly very fine. The tracks from Connolly's first bands, The Humblebums, and the The Humblebums (with Gerry Rafferty), are documented here with a few cuts, but are generally short-changed by the vast amount of material from his solo recordings: Open up the Door, Billy Connolly Live, and Solo Concert. In fact, the latter album is issued in its entirety here, comprising the last track of Disc One, and all of Disc Two. With Connolly, what you hear is what you get, and this collection will do little to reveal anything other than the in-your-face idiosyncratic humor of a self-styled outsider. This is for the fanatics only.

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