It's True! It's True!
Bill Cosby concluded his five-year (1964-1969) run with Warner Brothers -- which yielded no less than eight Top 40 spoken word comedy long-players -- with It's True! It's True! (1969). If the written copy on the rear LP jacket is to be taken at face value, the material on this roughly half-hour platter consists of spontaneous and extemporaneous items that Cosby "winged" during a run at Harrah's Casino in Lake Tahoe, NV. Concurrent with his scheduled performances -- in early 1968 -- the Reno Musicians' Union went on strike. While the artist would make the occasional references to his childhood memories, Cosby's repertoire had expanded considerably. Decidedly mature themes began emerging as early as Revenge (1967) -- particularly with "Wives" -- and the motif continued as To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With (1968) on the shorter pieces "Conflict" and "The Apple." In fact, the opening selection is more or less a continuation of the latter title as "It's All the Women's Fault" delves into similar territory as he playfully chides the fairer sex about their responsibility and roles in the process -- dating all the way back to Eve. Of the numerous shorter monologues, Cosby's observations on "Helicopters" is among the best of the bunch as he proffers an alternative for those who might suffer from the fear of being able to see "where you're going to crash." The solution is to have helicopters that "go about eight feet in the air. No higher than that." "Ants Are Cool" is one of the disc's rare bits to be infused with some classic Cosby kiddy nostalgia. He comments that even when "you cover up their hole, they [will] start moving the stones again and they don't even curse at 'cha." In "Burlesque Shows" he talks about his earliest experiences in show biz, while "The American Gambler" is a poke at the extroverted morays of people as they basically pull a type of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The irony and Murphy's Law-nature of "Shoelaces" is very briefly -- at under a minute -- touched upon before Cosby launches into the innocent, yet definitely adult-oriented "Spanish Fly" that ties in a universal experience and an aside that includes Cosby's co-star Robert Culp in the acclaimed I Spy television series. "Mr. Ike & The Neighborhood TV Set" is perhaps work that is most akin to his earliest endearing character sketches of those whom he had known as an adolescent. The kicker includes a humorous retelling of Cosby's early encounter with chewing tobacco. "Foreign Countries" is the lengthy Globe-trotting diatribe and concludes the album with recollections of filming abroad with Culp in such exotic locations as Greece and London and a show-stopping routine about the bath houses in Japan. Although It's True! It's True! would be his last for Warner Brothers -- not counting compilations -- for nearly two decades, Cosby resurfaced on his own co-owned Tetragrammaton Records imprint -- a subsidiary of ruce Post Campbell, Roy Silver, and Cosby's CSC Corps. Incidentally, the disc was mastered in so-called HAECO-CSG monaural processing -- which many Warner Brothers and Reprise Records of 1968 and 1969 were encoded with. The result on modern playback equipment is the loss of low frequencies and a poorly defined audio image.