Friday, October 22, 2010

L.A. Jail (1976)

Although technically not a Laff release, this deserves inclusion becuase of its similarity in content and context to the other Laff albums. It was released on the Tige Lily label, an offshoot of the Roulette record label, which is best remembered for being financed by Mafia crime-family ties. Tiger Lily was no different, apparently existing for tax and record-pressing scams. Mystery has always surrounded this particular release, as Richard himself is said to have supplied the recording for this album. Whichever way you look at it, everything about it smacks of exploitation and the making of a quick dollar, from the unimaginative cover and album title, to the choice of material.

It starts off fading up while Richard is adjusting the microphone, mumbling, not sounding ready or even interested in being onstage. And on it goes, repeating a few things already found on Are You Serious??? and Who Me? I'm Not Him. The only routine missing is "Black Ben The Blacksmith". The only notable cut on here is a word-for-word routine based on a recent viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he would later (and bizarrely) reference on the "Acid" routine on the Bicentennial Nigger album.

Anyone picking this album up to hear what Richard's early stuff sounded like was sure to have been disappointed and would rightly have them asking how he came to becoming a comedian in the first place!

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