Diluted but still (fairly) dandy
Ed Brickell | 12/14/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"These "bleeding chunks" from the classic Firesign albums of the late 60's - early 70's give an acid-tinged taste (but alas, only that) of one of comedy's greatest national treasures. Imagine James Joyce as the fifth Marx brother and you'll have an idea of the fast n' furious wordplay and whacked-out satirical perspective this legendary quartet dishes out.Their multi-layered albums are not only listenable after dozens of playings -- they can actually reveal new depths, uncover laughs you never heard on previous listenings, and become part of your life.Docked two stars because it's impossible to limit the far-reaching brilliance of the original albums to what are, in effect, no more than "laugh bites." Note to Rhino or whoever is sitting on the original material: there was never a better time than now to release all of the classic Firesign Theatre albums in the now-standard "digitally- remastered-new-liner-notes-by-the-original- artists-with-seventeen-outtakes-no-one-thought- good-enough-to-release-with-the-original- recording" format. Do it today! FORWARD INTO THE PAST!"
Dogged nerve and rubber determination
J. Greg Clark | Atlanta, GA United States | 07/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That most of their Columbia work is out of print while the mediocre latter day Rhino CDs are readily available is a disgrace. That far too much of the unlistenable solo stuff is included here - - - to the exclusion of many other fine bits - - - is a shame. Still, this is essential comedy, a sampling of the most ambitious group of laffmakers in history. Not as consistent as Monty Python, but easier to take over repeated listening, because the stuff is so damned layered and rich. This will tide you over until someone reissues more of the complete albums, or until free hands on both sides of the big ditch can press the same button at the same time."
What Kind of A Chump Do You Take Me For?
John P Bernat | Kingsport, TN USA | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
It goes without saying that any attempt to do a "best of" Firesign Theatre is going to disappoint someone, as the reviews here indicate. But, let's face it: the culture's attention span keeps getting shorter and shorter.
Firesign's oblique references and literary depth are not for everyone. The rewards of listening to their work are not unlike reading James Joyce. In addition to the sheer musicality of their work itself, they delight in language and obscure references. And, as they say in a cut here, you have to understand how radio works: audio-only feed stimulates centers of the brain which create imagery.
OK - take the Firesign test: get this CD and then wait for some long trip in a car when it's dark out. Preferably on a fairly deserted road; at least try for easily-flowing traffic.
Pop it on and, if you're not completely satisfied, it's because you did not buy the whole versions of these inimitable classix..."