Title - Richard Pryor / 'Craps' (After Hours): Expanded
Artist - Richard Pryor
For those who cannot recall, naming him the #1 stand-up comic of all time, Rolling Stone wrote of Richard Pryor: “Pryor was untouchable ... If [George] Carlin is the brain and conscience of comedy, Pryor is its guts and heart, and it’s unlikely the man referred to as the ‘Picasso of our profession’ — by no less than Jerry Seinfeld — will ever be topped.”
On February 26th, 2021, Omnivore Recordings will release expanded editions of Pryor’s first two recordings, the self-titled Richard Pryor and ‘Craps’ (After Hours) (both will be available on CD and Digital).
Richard Pryor, originally released in 1968, featured cover art (shot by legendary photographer Henry Diltz) that should have let the buyer know this was not your average comedy record.
Pryor was at a career crossroads that year, when the album was recorded at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. He’d already become a regular on The Merv Griffin Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, and was signed to the same agency that handled the Beatles and the Supremes.
But it wasn’t just his love of artistic freedom that pulled him toward what many looked at as defiance. Pryor wanted to not only change comedy, but how we look at ourselves and those around us.
Richard Pryor’s original eight tracks make up the first disc of this new edition, while the second disc contains 21 tracks from the out-of-print Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974) collection — originally co-compiled by producer Reggie Collins, who helms this new set along with Jennifer Lee Pryor and Grammy®-winning producer Cheryl Pawelski (remastering is by Grammy®-winner Michael Graves).
1. Super Nigger
4. Prison Play
5. T.V. Panel Show
7. Army Life
I mean, come on now. How can one man have been so funny for so damn long? Pryor’s genre-shaping, and even Grammy-winning ’70s albums, all contained evidence that long the way we watch, look and listen to Pryor growing up, from a stand-up who offered inspired observations, into a performer who turned his own flaws into transcendent comedy.
Featuring early pieces like the opener 'Super Nigger,' the comical 'Farting' and even his unique show ending piece 'Frankenstein,' Pryor was a genius who could weave the intricate nature of the extant social issues with familiar personal events that we all could relate, appreciate and find the amazing humor.
1. Peoria [Bonus Track]
2. Improv, Pt. 1 [Bonus Track]>BR>
3. Heart & Brain [Bonus Track]
4. Taxi Cabs & Subways [Bonus Track]
5. Playboy Club [Bonus Track]
6. Rumpelstiltskin [Bonus Track]
7. Slippin’ In Poo Poo [Bonus Track]
8. Birth Control [Bonus Track]
9. Nigger Babies [Bonus Track]
10. Faith Healer [Bonus Track]
11. Black Power [Bonus Track]
12. I Feel [Bonus Track]
13. Jail [Bonus Track]
14. Directions [Bonus Track]
15. Movie Stars In The Bathroom
16. War Movies [Bonus Track]
17. The Army [Bonus Track]
18. Hippy Dippys [Bonus Track]
19. Hank’s Place [Bonus Track]
20. Improv, Pt. 2 [Bonus Track]
21. Mankind [Bonus Track]
For all intents and purposes, this second disc traces Pryor's transformation from a slightly naughty Cosby wannabe (Rumpelstiltskin) to raunchy comic icon (Whorehouse), stopping along the way at any given junction for both giggles and bell laughs aplenty.
Originally released in 1971, ‘Craps’ (After Hours) arrived on a new label, Laff Records. It also came from a tumultuous time in Pryor’s personal life.
But this new arrangement and Pryor’s need to create saw him — for the first time since his earliest days in Peoria — performing in nightclubs that drew an almost entirely black audience.
In these lively black clubs, he could say anything he wanted. and those parts of himself that had been buried, by shame or censorship, could now serve as his creative fuel.
The original 32 tracks from ‘Craps’ (After Hours) are now teamed with four bonus tracks from the out-of-print Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974) and No Pryor Restraint: Life In Concert collections (production and remastering credits are the same as for Richard Pryor).
1. Gettin’ High
2. F**k From Memory
3. Big Tits
4. Gettin’ Some
5. The President
7. The Line-Up
10. Black Preachers
11. Being Born
12. Blow Our Image
14. I Spy Cops
15. Sugar Ray
16. White Folks
18. Ass Wupin’
19. Get A Dollar
20. Pres’ Black Baby
22. Wino Panthers
23. After Hours
24. 280 Pound Ass
25. Crap Game
26. Insurance Man
27. Black And Proud
28. Gettin’ The Nut
29. F**k The Faggot
30. Jackin’ Off
31. Snappin’ Pussy
33. Whorehouse, Pt. 1 [Bonus Track]
34. Whorehouse, Pt. 2 [Bonus Track]
35. Wino & Junkie (Alternate Version) [Bonus Track]
36. Attica (Behind Those Walls) [Bonus Track]
As great as Eddie Murphy's stand-up shows of the 80s were, when you look back, he owes most of his success to Pryor. Eddie had the boundless energy and the dead-on impressions, but he didn't have a fraction of the depth.
Simply put, 'Craps' (After Hours) was Richard's all-time best XXX-rated comedy album that had his fans, and even casual passerby's dying from laughter in less than five minutes of exposure to him!
Featuring some of his, in my humble opinion, all time funniest routines, when he concentrated on his earlier life growing up in his hometown of Peoria, IL, he simply floored the audience with his raw, and beyond humorous anecdotes.
It also includes one of worldly renowned and funniest comedy bits, 'Black Preachers' - "You know, I first met God in 1929 in a little Jefferson Hotel in Baltimore walking down the street. I was eating a tuna fish sandwich. That's right! 1929! You can eat anything that you can get."
"I heard this voice calling unto me and the voice had this par and majesty and the voice said "Psst"! And so I walked up to the voice and I said "What?" And with a magnified voice and with a Holy and resounding "Uh" the voice said back to me, "Gimme some of that sandwich"!"
As a whole, Pryor had the nerve to say what everyone else only thought. He gave insights that were both universal and unique to this country's African-American experiences.
His timing, delivery, inflection was, without a shadow of a doubt, totally and completely unequaled. We memorized his observations and recited them as the situation called for, never with his touch, but always with the utmost respect.
He was, is and will always be, THE TRUTH!
Official Richard Pryor: Expanded CD Purchase Link
Official 'Craps' (After Hours): Expanded CD Purchase Link