Richard Pryor - Live at The Comedy Store, 1973 (2xLP, SUR exclusive Clear w/Smoke Swirl Vinyl)
Exclusive SUR variant color edition. Cover painted by Jason Edmiston. Edition of 500.
Richard Pryor contained multitudes, each fully inhabited character funnier and more insightful than the last, so it’s no wonder when he took the stage at The Comedy Store in Hollywood in 1973, it’d be a full 15 minutes before he spoke to the adoring audience as himself. No, he needed to start where he started, on the streetcorner, with all the wit, wisdom, and general jackassery of Wino & Junkie. Throughout a set full of hard jokes and detailed character sketches (including the men of the Saturday night police lineup in his hometown of Preoria, Illinois—the first and riskiest stage he knew), the audience has the chance to get caught up in the silliness so inherent to Pryor while never losing sight of the issues America had yet to face (and hasn’t still). There are sex jokes that hit so hard the women in the audience take an audible refractory period, drug advice that has you weighing the relative trip-laden merits of dope and acid, and a call-and-response on sandwiches that proves the irresistibility of zealous Black midwestern preachers; there’s a litany of celebrities whose names and projects have blurred in Pryor’s mind, but whose faces and friendship so clearly light him up; there’s even fighting advice (don’t fight Italians, their mothers get involved, and try to avoid a paternal cowboy whuppin’, because no one wants to get hit with a chair). And then you get hit with the hardest punch: Pryor reaching out from 50 years past to make the truth plain. You never hear about civilians accidentally killing cops, so why is it that cops are always “accidentally” killing Black men? As it turns out, 1973 and 2023 aren’t so far apart that the legendary Richard Pryor can’t bridge the gap.
We’ve teamed up with Omnivore Records and Richard Pryor’s production company Indigo to pack this double-deluxe vinyl release, “Live at the Comedy Store, 1973,” with delights aplenty: sides one and two are the newly mastered album, “Live at the Comedy Store, Hollywood, CA—October 1973,” making its first-ever debut on vinyl.* Also for the first time on vinyl, the first track of side three comes from ”…Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992)” and the remainder hails from “Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974).” This set, which will come in three color versions of the vinyl and two different covers contains both the original and expanded liner notes; the Mondo and Stand Up! Records releases also feature new artwork, created by illustrator and painter Jason Edmiston. What can we say? It’s another, in Pryor’s words, wing-dang-doodle!
*Released only as a 2013 promo with purchase alongside the “No Pryor Restraint” box set.
Track ListingSide A
- Street Corner Wino
- Wino & Junkie
- Black Movie Stars
- The Line-Up
- Celebrities in the Audience
- Niggers & Italians
- Jim Brown (Alternate Version)
- Black Films
- Jesus Saves
- Street Corner Wino (Evolution/Revolution Edit)