FM & AM (1972)

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  • Little David #7214. Produced by Marty Kay & Jack Lewis.

  • Recorded June 25-26, 1971 at Cellar Door, Washington DC

  • Released January, 1972

Tracks

“FM” side:

  1. Shoot [5:55]

  2. The Hair Piece [2:53]

  3. Sex in Commercials [5:20]

  4. Drugs [4:23]

  5. Birth Control [5:10]

“AM” side:

  1. Son of WINO [6:31]

  2. Divorce Game [4:29]

  3. Ed Sullivan Self-Taught [3:26]

  4. Let’s Make a Deal [4:48]

  5. The 11 O’Clock News [7:10]

About

FM & AM was Carlin’s first album release on the Little David label, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records which released the rest of Carlin’s albums of the 1970s. It won the 1973 Grammy award for Best Comedy Album, Carlin’s first of five Grammy awards he’d end up receiving.

The title FM & AM refers to the evolution of Carlin’s stand-up style at that point in time. AM radio is often associated with more commercial, “safer” music and the like, and here the album’s “AM” side contains Carlin’s earlier, less personal, more commercial routines. FM stereo on the other hand is where one would have normally found the newer, edgier music, and likewise the “FM” side of the album contains Carlin’s newer, edgier material at the time that he was transitioning to.

Although I personally enjoy all of the tracks, the opening track “Shoot” is worth keeping in mind for historical reasons. It was Carlin’s exploration into the curious nature of “bad words”, which would eventually evolve into his routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”.