When Joan Rivers released The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album in 1969 on Buddah Records, could she have realized that the title would indeed remain accurate? The first album from the trailblazing comedy legend arrived on Warner Bros. in 1965, while the last Joan Rivers album came via Geffen Records in 1983. Now, the next to last Joan Rivers album – that just so happens to be called The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album – is making its CD debut on Record Store Day this April 18 on the Stand Up! Records label.
Recorded in June 1968 at cabaret impresario Julius Monk’s Upstairs at the Downstairs club in New York City, The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album featured the future comedy icon riffing on such subjects as “Nurses,” “Stewardesses,” and “Cooking??” This first-time CD reissue adds an eight-page booklet featuring liner notes penned by comedy historian Kliph Nestereoff, an essay by Sarah Silverman, and photographs by John Shearer of Look Magazine. In addition, the set has been remixed and remastered.
The press release provided by Stand Up! illuminates the late Rivers’ singular art, as so captivatingly – and humorously – captured on this reissue: “Unapologetically, Rivers owns her own experiences as great material. She doesn’t have to pick on audience members to get a gasp or gross them out by saying things they don’t expect from a woman; instead, Rivers delivers a tight set packed full of real life. Within minutes, the listener can actually hear the audience melt into her hands. The women laugh with true freedom: Rivers is saying what they haven’t been able to say, giggling along with her about the absurdities of juggling roles and living up to the expectations of their mothers, their husbands, and their peers. And the men guffaw at this brassy, whip-smart Jewish dame pulling back the curtain. Together, they’re swept up, liberated by a woman saying the truth and everyone finding it funny. Rivers, who clearly considers her audience as in-on-the-joke as she is, dropping clever asides and subversively referring to her set as ‘the rally,’ leaves the stage as she left the world: to shouts of ‘Brava!’”
Indeed, tributes poured in for Joan Rivers upon her untimely death in 2014, cheering the life and career of a comedy legend who remained a vital presence until the very end. Needless to say, her incisive, bold, frank and taboo-breaking comedy will live on thanks to releases such as this one. The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album will be found at finer independent record retailers on Saturday, April 18, for Record Store Day. You can peruse the track listing below!
Joan Rivers, The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album (Buddah LP BDS-5048, 1969 – reissued Stand Up! Records, 2015)
- Diamond Ring
- 27 and Single
- Football and the Baton Twirler
- Catch Me! Catch Me!
- Pregnant and Beautiful
- Glorious Marriage
- Tim, It’s Alright
- 1000 Cups
- Omaha, Nebraska