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Big Ugly Mouth/Short Walk On a Long Pier

Henry Rollins

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Album Review

What's amazing about this two-disc reissue set is how it marks the evolution of Henry Rollins' spoken word performances from his earliest show in 1985, '86, and '87, to when he finally starts to get a bit more loose and comfortable behind the microphone in the early '90s. Short Walk on a Long Pier is an 18-piece collection of Rollins' first recordings (originally released on cassette only) and it's largely Rollins reading from his notebooks in a very awkward, dry, and direct fashion. The difference between Short Walk and Big Ugly Mouth is like night and day. On the latter, Rollins obviously has a few more shows under his belt and has gained immeasurable amounts of confidence in not only his anecdotes, but in his delivery and structure as a storyteller. Rather than just reading his notebook pieces, he goes off the marker and interacts with the audience more, making this a great marker for what Rollins would eventually become: one of the most popular and engaging spoken word performers in the industry.

Biography

Born: 13 February 1961 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Spoken Word

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the '90s, Henry Rollins emerged as a post-punk renaissance man, without the self-conscious trappings that plagued such '80s artists as David Byrne. Following Black Flag's breakup in 1986, Rollins was been relentlessly busy, recording albums with the Rollins Band, writing books and poetry, performing spoken word tours, writing a magazine column in Details, acting in several movies, and appearing on radio programs and, less frequently, as an MTV VJ. The Rollins Band's records are uncompromising,...
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