Liner Note Author: Allan Sherman.
Recording information: Mr. Kelly's, Chicago, IL.
Photographer: Ed Thrasher.
"I STARTED OUT AS A CHILD," like Cosby's debut, RIGHT, is made up entirely of short pieces, but by the time he made this, his fourth album for Warner Brothers, he had developed his delivery to a much greater degree. As a result, the short pieces here are more effective than his earlier material, as he works in a more intimate, understated style to put across the various characters that populate his world. Cosby's drawn-out stories about his Philadelphia upbringing were becoming his trademark, and on his previous album two such stories, "Tonsils" and "Chicken Heart" clocked in at over ten minutes each.
I STARTED OUT AS A CHILD opens with a suite of vignettes about kid stuff that includes "Sneakers," "Street Football," "The Water Bottle," "Christmas," and "The Giant." The last of these is a riff about Cosby's dad that would blossom into the epic monologue "To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With" on the album of the same name. Elsewhere, Cosby takes on the Wolfman, Tonto and the Lone Ranger (and an irate Silver), and a handful of slightly more grown-up topics--like owning a rhinoceros.