Monty Python / Monty Python's Flying Circus

The Final Rip Off

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This ironically titled set was not the final Monty Python anthology; contrarily, it is the troupe's first CD compilation. Nor could it be considered a ripoff, as it draws upon practically all of their albums, the exceptions being their debut long-player, Monty Python's Flying Circus (1970), as well as the Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983) soundtracks. This is more likely due to licensing constraints than a dismissal of the contents. The bulk of the Final Rip Off (1988) has been derived from Another Monty Python Record (1971) and Monty Python's Previous Record (1973) -- which consist primarily of sketches from the four series of their groundbreaking BBC-TV program, Monty Python's Flying Circus. Likewise, there are copious inclusions from their post-telly recordings Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1973) and Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album (1980). As this (or really any Python platter) demonstrates, the collective and respective talents of writer/actors Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam are as aurally unequaled as they are visually incomparable. Even as personalities and egos clashed behind the scenes, the results were uniformly inspired; this remains true of Palin's newly recorded "Introduction" and a few other brief links as well. A glance at the running order will inevitably reveal favorites for all dimensions of enthusiast, from the absurdist pet-related humor of "Fish Licence" and "Parrot (Oh, Not Again)" to the rare Cleese singing vocal on "Eric the Half-a-Bee Song" to the witty and worldly pokes at pompous pretenses on "Australian Table Wines," "Four Yorkshiremen," or the "Gumby Theatre" adaptation of Anton Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard." Plenty of Python's demented ditties are here as well, such as the Viking-led ode to "Spam," "I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio," and the Dadaist dig at Cleese on "Do Wot John." The sole cinematic representation comes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). Final Rip Off is arguably the best representation of Monty Python's remarkable comedic range, although fanatics may find it doesn't replace owning each of the individual titles from which it has been compiled.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:48
2
2:51
3
2:49
4 2:06
5 2:20
6
3:46
7
2:25
8
1:38
9 3:39
10 1:35
11
5:40
12 0:06
13
0:44
14 1:34
15 2:34
16
0:21
17
2:19
18
2:23
19
1:56
20
3:45
21 3:20

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:15
2
2:01
3 4:09
4
2:02
5
2:48
6
1:08
7
2:27
8
1:08
9
0:15
10
1:22
11
3:01
12 2:09
13
3:15
14
0:20
15 0:55
16 3:02
17 4:27
18
0:30
19
2:11
20 3:17
21 2:48
22
2:34
23
2:07
24
4:04
25
2:30
26
0:16
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