Monty Python

The Worst of Monty Python

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This double-LP collection contained no new material sans a silly cover illustration presumably from Terry Gilliam. Rather, it is a simple repackaging of Another Monty Python Record (1972) and Monty Python's Previous Record (1973). The release of The Worst of Monty Python (1976) was most likely to take advantage of the troupe's stateside successes on PBS television and their recent tour of North America. Each of the respective albums consists primarily of re-recorded sketches derived from the Monty Python's Flying Circus television program, which had ceased production in 1974. However, the quintet of writer/actors Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and the aforementioned Gilliam had not broken up, but moved on to creating grander visual epics such as the definitive Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). Another Monty Python Record followed up the show's self-titled debut, Monty Python's Flying Circus (1970), which had initially been issued by the BBC, making it harder to locate in the U.S. Keen-eared listeners who are familiar with the show will note slight variations, notably the addition of the occasional sound effect. Among the most memorable are "World Forum," where Idle quizzes the likes of Karl Marx, Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, Che Guevara, and Mao Tse-tung on the subject of British football, the somewhat involved story of "The Piranha Brothers," Doug and Dinsdale, and a giant hedgehog named Spiny Norman, and Palin's abrupt and frequent interjections as Cardinal Ximinez during "Spanish Inquisition." Another favorite is "The Architect" sketch, featuring Cleese, whose design for a block of flats involves tenants being "carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives." Monty Python's Previous Record follows in much the same fashion with new links, such as the introductory "Embarrassment/A Bed-Time Book" and the recurring "England 1747 -- Dennis Moore" bit from the TV show. This is also the platter that hails the classic "Argument Clinic" and the cerebral wordplay of "A Minute Passed," as well as "A Fairy Tale" with Cleese and Connie Booth. The visual counterpart was never aired during any of the BBC series, but was included on the second of two Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus specials aired only in Germany and Austria. While this two-record set is not in print, both components are readily available on CD.

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