Monty Python

Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album

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Like the title says, by the late '70s Monty Python was less interested in continuing under their group name, except for the occasional foray into film. John Cleese was busy with Fawlty Towers, while Michael Palin was branching out into film, Terry Gilliam was making a name for himself as a director, and the rest were involved in television and other projects. For all intents and purposes, this is almost an Eric Idle solo album, since a majority of the songs were written by him or with Neil Innes (the two had recently collaborated on the brilliant Beatles parody, The Rutles). Not that they aren't funny: "I Like Chinese," "Medical Love Song," and "Never Be Rude to an Arab" raise a smile, and "Decomposing Composers," (not by Idle) despite the obvious pun of the title, is actually quite affecting, delivered in a gentle Cockney drawl by Michael Palin. Yet the record suffers from many weak tracks, most of which are old standards with new dirty lyrics ("Sit on My Face") or experiments in repetition and boredom ("I Like Traffic Lights," "I'm So Worried"). What sound like new skits from Cleese and Graham Chapman ("String," "Bookshop") are actually pre-Python skits written for Cleese and Marty Feldman given a dusting off in lieu of any real writing. The only other track of note is "Rock Notes," a parody of rock journalism from where the future rock group Toad the Wet Sprocket got its name. A spotty finale for the Python's recording career.

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