Bill Hicks: The Essential Collection Review

This great 4 disc set is split into two. There are two CDs with selected clips from many of his performances and two DVD discs with rare early footage.

First the DVDs! There is some minimal overlap in the jokes in the early material and the sound and picture quality is never great but is audible enough for you to enjoy. There is also the inclusion of a rather bizarre short film as well which really needs to be seen to really get what is going on there.

The early stand up shows have a slimmer, shorter haired, Hicks at smaller venues doing a range of shows from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. You can see right from the get go that he’s got his persona down even if the early footage does see him talking about things more close to home and are a lot less political as he becomes later in his career.

The CD set is a great listen and amounts to over two hours of material taken from some of his more famous shows. Some of the jokes are dated only in terms of the politicians he is talking about, but they have not lost any of their meaning or power.

The package also comes with a download card to let you digitally access a host of songs recorded by Hicks as well.

If anything this will make you get out there and buy any DVDs you haven’t already got or go looking for a polished re-release. But we are treading former glories with the CD set? The DVD set is the real treasure here for Hicks enthusiasts as it shows us that his level of humour was on its way to set him as one of the most beloved comedians in history.

Steven Hurst

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