Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Lenny Bruce Originals 1
Genres: Special Interest, Pop
These 1958 tracks from The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce and Interviews of Our Times are the roots of the rage but not the rage itself. When Bruce first made the scene in the late 1950s, he was considerably tamer than he would... more »
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These 1958 tracks from The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce and Interviews of Our Times are the roots of the rage but not the rage itself. When Bruce first made the scene in the late 1950s, he was considerably tamer than he would become (although he was already quite volatile by the era's standards). Most of his early humor was based on bits and routines, with the comic providing a litany of voices for a passel of ethnic characters and bizarre situations. While not as shocking or as memorable as his later freeform work, much of this material still rings true, especially the hilarious "March of High Fidelity" and the dead-on "Non Skeddo Flies Again." Certainly these roots are worth researching. --Michael Ruby
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Eric Petersen | USA | 01/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My father owned all of Lenny Bruce's early albums. They were pressed on gorgeous red vinyl discs, released by Fantasy Records in the late 1950's. I first listened to these records as a kid in the mid 1970's, on Dad's Hi-Fi stereo phonograph. The records have since gone to the great turntable in the sky, except for American, which is scratched up, but kept for sentimental reasons. Imagine my delight to find all four albums remastered and released on 2 CD volumes!
At the time these albums were recorded, Lenny Bruce had just become a star. Like most of his contemporaries at the time, his act consisted mostly of "bits" - prewritten routines. He hadn't yet discovered his true improvisational genius, but these routines are still brilliant and filled with Bruce's caustic wit and social satire. They are an absolute must for all fans of the greatest standup comic of all time.
This disc, Originals Volume 1, is comprised of Lenny's "The Sick Humor Of Lenny Bruce" and "Lenny Bruce's Interviews Of Our Time" albums, plus a few great bits from "American" that couldn't fit on the Volume 2 CD. This is classic early Bruce, featuring some of the routines that got him into trouble, like the great "Religions, Inc.", "Ike, Sherm, and Nick", and "Psychopathia Sexualis."
The only flaw in these early albums is not Lenny's fault, but the record company's. The flaw is incontinuity - lack of flow. These albums are not complete shows, but bits assembled from various performances. They couldn't release complete shows due to censorship considerations at the time, but hey, if Lenny had recorded for a major label like Capitol, he would have been censored even more. At least Fantasy was a little flexible. They could have done a better job editing the bits together, though.
"Religions, Inc." and routines like it were, in my opinion, more damaging to Bruce's career that his occasional use of profanity and sexual references. No comedian in the late 1950's dared to make fun of religion, the government, and the police. Bruce's vicious anti-establishment satire is what really led to his downfall. The use of profanity and sexual references were the excuses given by authority figures for their persecution of Lenny Bruce, but we know why they really had to silence him - he told the truth, and the truth hurts.
With the exceptions of George Carlin and Richard Pryor, there has never been another comedian as bold and brilliant as Lenny Bruce. Most of today's comics take for granted the freedoms Lenny fought for and ultimately died for. They swear nonstop and deliver endless, boring monologues on their sex lives, but when it comes to intelligent, cutting edge anti-establishment humor, there is a marked absence of material. They don't want to go there. Lenny went there before they were born.
Buy this CD and listen for yourself to the caustic genius that was Lenny Bruce."
Eric Petersen | 11/17/1998
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Censored "bits" of Lenny Bruce. His earliest work, but not nearly as great as he was to become. Has some great stuff but not really his best work. Get a live performance for the real reason people love Lenny."
SICK, SICK, SICK
Larry Brill | ny ny | 01/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS HIS FIRST...IF YOU LOVE LENNY...YOU'LL LOVE THIS. his beginning. before the trials...before the crazies...before the rants. SICK, SICK, SICK. HUMOR, HUMOR, HUMOR...you'll laugh!"