Personnel: Bill Cosby (vocals); Bill Cosby (spoken vocals).
Photographer: Howard Bingham.
As far as Cosby compilations go, the thing Cosby and the Kids does very right is present the tracks unedited, important since the comedian's languid reflections on his childhood are best left untouched. Yep, this is Cosby talking about his childhood for an adult audience, not Cosby talking to children, as the crayon-scrawled cover might suggest. First released when his television show was on top, Cosby and the Kids was originally coupled with the not reissued Cosby Classics in a two-cassette set. Cosby Classics' track listing is too close to his Best Of collection to warrant a reissue, but the fact that Cosby and the Kids is the lone compilation of his ten-minutes-and-over cuts makes it worthy, besides hilarious. Too bad Rhino put no effort into their 2005 reissue. There are no liner notes and there's still that "Cosby sweater" the man is wearing on the cover, still disguising these '60s recordings as '80s recordings. Shabby packaging till the day it dies, but with five prime routines no matter how you dress them. Do yourself a favor and grab the original albums, where the sequencing is much smoother. If your wallet doesn't allow it, Best Of and Cosby and the Kids give you a good representation of the man's early work. ~ David Jeffries