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Richard Pryor (album)

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Richard Pryor is the debut album of comedian Richard Pryor[1][2] It was recorded live in 1968 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California[1] Gary Burden, an American artist, designed the album cover which was nominated for Best Album Cover at the 12th Annual Grammy Awards[3][4]


  • 1 Track listing
  • 2 Album cover
  • 3 Review
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 References
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 External links

Track listing

Richard Pryor live at the Troubadour
1"Super Nigger"3:16
4"Prison Play"9:12
5"TV Panel Show"7:09
7"Army Life"4:48

Album cover

Gary Burden, who designed the album cover, said Pryor wanted to do something "kind of Roots-y" for the cover[3] Burden thought "roots" for Pryor would be some kind of tribal or African thing, so he got authentic African artifacts and weapons that fit the idea of a "tribal bushman"[3] Pryor said he knew of a cave right near his home in Beverly Hills that would be an ideal location for the shoot Burden found charred sticks from a previous fire, and Pryor donned the necklace, belt and the authentic brass nose ring, and posed with the bow and arrow for the cover[3] After seeing the photos, and how primitive Pryor looked in them, Burden thought they had the look of National Geographic[3][5] Burden then enlisted his friend Rick Griffin to do artwork that resembled their magazine border, which made the cover look "totally real, like a cover of National Geographic"[3] Burden said that as a result of that cover, he received two letters: "one was a letter from the National Geographic Society’s attorneys offering to sue me for defaming their publication The second letter was a Grammy nomination for the best album cover"[3] The album was later re-issued with a modified cover, the yellow border was intact, but the inner border of oak and olive leaves was replaced with the Statue of Liberty in what appears to be a lined ruler[6][a]


In Scott Saul’s book, Becoming Richard Pryor, Saul opined that in 1968 when Pryor was performing at the Troubadour; "he invented a style that was as far-out as Frank Zappa and as defiant as H Rap Brown, and was catalyzed by the fusion of the two movements On the one hand, the freewheeling ethic of the counterculture shaded Richard’s act with irony, making his more political moves seem provisional and subject to revision On the other, the militancy of the Black Power movement sharpened his zaniness, giving it a point: his improvisations could cut you open with their poignancy or shock you with their bitterness"[7]

See also

The Anthology 1968–1992


  1. ^ The modified cover can be seen here - Richard Pryor at AllMusic click on photo to enlarge; and a side by side comparison of the two covers at National Geographic Collectors Corner[6]


  1. ^ a b Sullivan, James June 8, 2010 Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin Da Capo Press p 115 ISBN 978-0-7867-4592-0mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-right
  2. ^ Luft, Eric September 21, 2009 Die at the Right Time!: A Subjective Cultural History of the American Sixties Gegensatz Press p 103 ISBN 978-1-933237-39-8
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Violet, J September 1, 2009 "Richard Pryor" Gary Burden
  4. ^ "Gary Burden" Recording Academy - Grammy Awards 2019-11-19 Best Album Cover, Richard Pryor Album
  5. ^ Haggins, Bambi February 2007 Laughing Mad, The Black Comic Persona In Post-Soul America PDF Rutgers University Press p 51 ISBN 978-0-8135-3984-3 – via Arizona State University
  6. ^ a b Wilson, George Thomas December 5, 2017 "The National Geographic Society vs Richard Pryor" National Geographic Collectors Corner Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= help
  7. ^ Yaffe, David; Saul, Scott December 10, 2014 "How Richard Pryor Beat Bill Cosby and Transformed America" The Daily Beast

Further reading

Kreps, Daniel November 28, 2015 "Classic Richard Pryor LPs Released Digitally for First Time" Rolling Stone

External links

  • Richard Pryor at AllMusic
  • Richard Pryor at Discogs

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Richard Pryor (album)

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