Mr. Pryor was certainly that, and we can all be thankful that such an accomplished comedian, and general observer of life, lived during a time of recorded material. How many Richard Pryors lived in the 19th century, and how would they compare by today’s standards? This man, his time… it was outrageously perfect.
Another Laff Records rush-to-get-it-out, recycled-without-a-hint-of-shame, X-Rated, listen-after-your-parents-have-long-gone-to-bed release, The Very Best of Richard Pryor embezzles from “Craps” After Hours (1971), Are You Serious??? (1976), Who Me? I’m Not Him (1977), Black Ben the Blacksmith (1978), Outrageous (1979), and what sounds like a Scotch tape merging of cutting room floor excerpts. This is all, of course, certainly not to say that The Very Best of Richard Pryor is without merit, and shouldn’t be owned by everyone who enjoys the idea of laughing until you cry.
RIP Richard Pryor.
Recording only one, proper album for Laff Records, Richard Pryor saw many, recycled releases throughout the label’s tenure, up, and until to their ultimate demise sometime in the 1980s. Among the two I just acquired (Who Me? I’m Not Him and The Very Best of Richard Pryor), Laff Records released the following slue of cut and past jobbers showcasing the funniest man alive (RIP Richard Pryor): “Craps” After Hours, Rev. Du Rite, Are You Serious???, Insane, L.A. Jail, Holy Smoke, Who Me? I’m Not Him, Black Ben the Blacksmith (I just passed this one up on 8-track), The Wizard of Comedy, Outrageous, Supern!gger, Richard Pryor Live, and The Very Best of Richard Pryor. Milking the money cow that was Mr. Pryor proved to be profiting for the “adults only” label, and as far as I’m concerned, the more Richard Pryor, the merrier.