Friday, December 2, 2011
OUT DEC. 13 ON RYKO, DIGITAL EP CONTAINS PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MATERIAL
ACCLAIMED BOX SET THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION WILL BE OUT DIGITALLY JAN. 17 WITH NEW MATERIAL
"Still better than most stand-ups working today...like watching a 20-year-old Jesus trying out new material on a crowd." - Vanity Fair
In celebration of what would have been comedian Bill Hicks' 50th birthday, Ryko is releasing 12/16/61, a 5-track EP containing previously unreleased material. Recorded in Texas when Hicks was just 21 years old, the EP fully encompasses his short but influential career as a satirist, social critic, and stand-up comedian. Available digitally on December 13, the release comes on the heels of SPIN naming Hicks' 1997 release Rant in E Minor as #11 of the "40 Greatest Comedy Albums of All Time."
The aptly titled EP is a reference to Bill's birthday - December 16, 1961.
His brother Steve Hicks explains:
"Harder to grasp that Bill would be turning 50 and that he has been gone almost 18 years, is the idea that he has reached so many people around the world. Old fans remain fiercely loyal and new fans discover Bill and his work every day. So, appropriately, this is a big Thanks to all of you. Thanks for remembering Bill and thanks for keeping his memory alive. Enjoy this little tidbit from a 21-year-old Bill. Happy Birthday Brother."
The release of the EP comes 4 weeks in advance of the digital release of 2010's acclaimed box set The Essential Collection, a career retrospective featuring Hicks' best stand-up performances and several hours of unseen footage, interviews, photographs and more. Previously available only as a physical package, the comedic genius of Bill Hicks lives on in this updated, digital package. This 4-disc set contains all 50 skits from the physical box set's two audio CDs plus a previously unreleased, intimate audio journal titled "The Adventure." Lo-Fi Troubadour, a collection of songs written and performed by Bill (and previously only available on the physical box set's download card) will now feature the never-before-released song, "Ice Cold Macaroni." The Essential Collection digital box set is scheduled for a January 17 release date on Ryko.
Bill Hicks' extraordinary social commentary is as fresh and stunning today as it was in the 80's and 90's. He engaged his audiences by confronting mainstream beliefs and hypocrisy in a manner that provoked thought as well as laughter. Hicks called himself "Chomsky with dick jokes" and The New Yorker described him as an "exhilarating comic thinker in a renegade class all his own." Hicks' career was short in span, but powerful in impact. His rigorous touring schedule from the early 80's into the early 90's often tallied over 300 nights per year. He appeared on Late Night with David Letterman eleven times during his career. He also gained a dedicated fan base in the UK where he currently is listed as the UK's 4th Greatest Comedian in their 2010 poll (conducted by Channel 4).
For more information on Bill Hicks visit www.billhicks.com.
The physical Bill Hicks Essential Collection is available via Amazon.
Posted by MOVEMENT MAGAZINE at 2:22 PM