Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ranking All 18 Discs of Bill Hicks: The Complete Collection

The release of Bill Hicks: The Complete Collection in September represents the absolute final word on the subject of the late comic. The 18 disc set, charmingly boxed up to look like a pack of cigarettes, brings together his standup albums, televised specials, and a wealth of bootleg recordings that provides a comprehensive look at his evolution as a comedian. You can see and hear his confidence grow as his material became more pointed, political and brilliant.

While it is surely instructive for fans to tackle this set in chronological order so you can follow the arc of his career from his days at the Comix Annex in Houston, Texas to performing at 1200 capacity theaters in the U.K., for the newbie, you might give up after watching his nervous, youthful set filmed in 1981. With that in mind, we offer up our ranking of the 18 discs found in this collection, from the best to the worst, as a way for you fresh fans to dive into this trove of audio and visual comedy. All the better to appreciate just how good Hicks could be and then flesh out the story with the rest.


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