Lenny Bruce Let The Buyer Beware (6-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 6
- Released: September 14, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Shout Factory
Entertainment Weekly - p.180"[T]he definitive audio-biography of Bruce as a revolutionary craftsman and antic wit."
Down Beat - pp.80-15 stars out of 5 - "Bruce challenged contentment, especially when polished in the gloss of hypocrisy. He spoke the language of jazz in his monologues, which were more like free-form satirical essays and psychodramas laced with Yiddish slang than standup bits."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Are There Any Niggers Here Tonight?
- 2.The Clap
- 3.Lenny On Comedy Pt. 1
- 4.On Third Shows
- 5.Father Flotsky's Triumph
- 6.Lima, Ohio
- 7.Introduction To "The Palladium"/Annie Ross / What Was I Talking About?
- 8.The Palladium
- 9.Explanation Of Frank Dell And Bullets
- 10.Censorship On The Steve Allen Show
- 11.Taking Requests / Hip Diseases
- 12.The Lawrence Welk Story
- 13.How To Relax Your Colored Friends At Parties (with Eric Miller)
- 14.Gotta Split
- 15.Lenny On Playboy's Penthouse (with Hugh Hefner & Nat "King" Cole)
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Testing The Sony Microphone
- 2.Lenny On Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (with Arthur Godfrey & Sally Marr)
- 3.Critics / Club Owners
- 4.Monster Routine With Hecklers
- 5.I've Never Been In Love Before
- 6.Religions Inc.
- 7.Lenny Interview (with Studs Terkel)
- 8.Airplane Glue
- 9.The Phone Company
- 10.My Trip To Miami
- 11.Psycho Doctors / Faye Bainter / Jack Paar
- 12.Ike, Sherm & Nick
- 13.Non Skeddo Flies Again
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.Working Carnegie Hall
- 2.Point Of View
- 3.Christ And Moses
- 4.Spanish Harlem
- 5.The Joke
- 6.Pretty Bizarre Show
- 7.Dirty Toilet / Bad Early Toilet Training
- 8.If Your Body Is Dirty, The Fault Lies With The Manufacturer
- 9.What Should Be / What Is
- 10.C.E. Hocksey Letters / My Father Solomon Osterow
- 11.Come Is A VerbTo Is A Preposition
- 12.Blah Blah Blah
- 13.Dick Tracy Is An Orthodox Jew
- 14.Milton Berle / Dykes / Homosexuality
- 15.Cops / Where The Heat Are
- 16.Going To Court / Wear A Blue Suit
- 17.S.F. Gossip / Jewish & Goyish / Cat Downstairs Taping Show
- 18.The Phantom
- 19.Would You Want Your Sister To Marry One Of Them?
- 20.Chick Singer With A Gimmick
- 21.Billy Graham Is Not Qualified
- 22.Touch It Once
- 23.The Black Cat / Get Stuffed / Why Did You Lie To Me?
- 24.Closing / Will Rogers Quote
- 25.Lawrence Welk The Hipster
- 26.Hubert's Museum
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.I Just Do It And That's All
- 2.Ruby The Robot
- 3.Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman, Jack Parr, Joey Bishop & Phyllis Diller / The Reason I Wear The Coat
- 4.Why The Breakfast Show
- 5.The Meaning Of Obscenity Pt. 1/Drew Pearson's A Son Of A Bitch
- 6.Norman Rockwell / The Jazz Scene
- 7.The Word Or The Act / We Fucked Their Mothers For Chocolate Bars
- 8.Jimmy Hoffa / Castro & Cuba
- 9.Thank You Mask Man
- 10.Dangerous Drugs / Marijuana
- 11.Jews Killed Christ
- 12.Marilyn Monroe / Narcotics Vs. Juice
- 13.You Don't Remember Me, Do You?/You're So Classic...Smoking A Cigar
- 14.Kennedys / Jonathan Winters
- 15.W.C. Fields The Anti-Semite / Hookers On Record
- 16.The Meaning Of Obscenity Pt. 2
- 17.San Francisco Bust / Judge Entrapment
- 18.The Act Is Kissin' & Huggin'
- 19.Las Vegas Pt. 1/Johnny Mathis
- 20.I'll Show You How Prejudiced You Are
- 21.Corrupt Cities / Chicago Schtarkers / Shelley Berman
- 22.Audience Banter / Why Doesn't He Do The Bits On The Records?
- 23.Lenny On Comedy Pt. 2
- 25.The Nerve Of Faggots
- 26.Hooker That Balled The President
- 27.Divorce / Get Even / Stag Movies Vs. King Of Kings
- 28.Norman Thomas / Filipinos / Midgets
- 29.Las Vegas Pt. 2/Pearl Bailey
- 31.Bela Lugosi & Wallace Beery / Entrancing Transylvania / Herb Caen
- 32.The Warning (with Long Island Police Officer)
Tracks on Disc 5:
- 1.The Best Man In The Tribe
- 2.The Tribunal
- 4.Reading The Court Transcript
- 5.Pissing In The Sink
- 6.Jewish & Goyish
- 7.Philly Bust / Judge Axelrod
- 8.Tits And Ass
- 9.Never Cop Out
- 10.Jackie Kennedy Hauls Ass / Selling Out Your Country (aka Hot Lead Enema)
- 11.Dick Gregory
- 12.Census Takers
- 13.Barry Goldwater / The Truth About Men / Doing It To A Chicken
- 15.Toilets / Flashers / Mark Eden Bust Developer
- 16.How The Law Got Started (Eat, Sleep & Crap)
- 17.Playing Milwaukee
- 18.Marijuana / Flashers / Confusion / Bust In The Audience
- 19.Lenny Gets Busted Onstage & Audience Gets ID'd
Tracks on Disc 6:
- 1.All Alone
- 2.The Heroin Bust
- 3.Juror Phone Calls Re: The Heroin Bust
- 4.Zeidler & Zeidler Commercials (with Honey & Kitty)
- 5.Eleanor Roosevelt Had Nice Tits
- 6.Religions Inc.
- 7.Phone Call Reading A Letter
- 8.Christ & Moses
- 9.Phone Call To Harry Kalvin
- 10.Describing The Fillmore West / Yorty & L.A.
- 11.Southern Accents
- 12.Art And A Big Piece Of Shit (with Anonymous Friend)
- 13.I Picked On The Wrong God
- 14.My Name Is Adolf Eichmann
Liner Note Authors: Kitty Bruce; Marvin Worth; Hal Willner; Lenny Bruce; Paul Krassner; Bob Dylan.
Recording information: Ann's 440 Club, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (10/1948-??/1966); Curran Theater, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Facks II, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Jazz Workshop, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Los Angeles, CA (10/1948-??/1966); New York, NY (10/1948-??/1966); Off Broadway, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Peacock Lane, Hollywood, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Radio Station KPIX, San Francisco, CA (10/1948-??/1966); Radio Station WCBS, New York, NY (10/1948-??/1966); Radio Station WFMT, Chicago, IL (10/1948-??/1966); Television Station WBKB, Chicago, IL (10/1948-??/1966); The Den, New York, NY (10/1948-??/1966); The Gate Of Horn, Chicago, IL (10/1948-??/1966).
Photographers: Fred McDarrah; Norm Schindler; Corbis Bettman; Barry Feinstein; Jim Dickson.
Considering what an enormous impact Lenny Bruce had on modern social mores, satire, politics, and entertainment, it's surprising that a box set of his material didn't appear until nearly four decades after his 1966 death. LET THE BUYER BEWARE presents six discs' worth of Bruce at his best. Shockingly, it consists predominantly of previously unreleased recordings. For as much fine Bruce work as there is on previous releases, the mercurial, spontaneous nature of his art was such that even the performances that had fallen through the cracks, as on this set, were masterpieces in and of themselves.
Listening to Bruce's humanistic but uncompromising skewering of everything from legal and moral hypocrisy to jazz musicians and fellow comedians, it also becomes apparent how much craftsmanship actually went into his free-wheeling style. Many of the routines heard here exist in different forms on other Bruce albums, and comparisons reveal the masterful manner in which Bruce would branch off and experiment even within a predetermined framework. While some of the references may sound dated to 21st-century ears, the incisive themes and expert comic technique in abundance on LET THE BUYER BEWARE make it clear why Bruce remains an iconoclastic legend.
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