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Another Monty Python Record is the second album produced by the Monty Python comedy group, released in 1971. Dissatisfied with their monaural BBC debut album released the previous year, the group took full control of the follow-up, which would be the first release of a six-album deal with Charisma Records in the UK. Most of the material is from the second BBC series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with a few newly written pieces. One track, “Stake Your Claim”, is an English-language version of a sketch from the team’s first German episode.
The production, with its innovative use of stereo and sound effects, was handled by Terry Jones and Michael Palin and proved a technical challenge. According to Jones: “We had this horrendous time because we were recording in this rather hippy recording studio. We were very keen to use the stereo and everything, but what we hadn’t realised was that the guy who was doing the recording, who I think was out of his head most of the time, had not been making any notes. We’d end up with tapes and tapes of material with no idea of where anything was on the tapes. That was a bitter experience.
The sleeve was designed by Terry Gilliam, from an idea by Terry Jones. Packaged as a classical music recording (“Beethoven – Symphony No. 2 In D Major”), the cover was defaced by the Pythons to serve as their own record jacket. (The “serious” liner notes on the back also bear a Pythonesque stamp: the biography of Beethoven quickly turns into a commentary on Beethoven’s Wimbledon tennis debut.) Included with the original vinyl LP were three card inserts printed with detailed instructions, scripts and cut-out props for the “Be A Great Actor” sketch on side 2.
Due to the limitations of the vinyl format, the original 1971 UK release had many sketches edited down while others, such as “Communist Quiz” and “Penguin On The TV”, were omitted altogether causing a re-sequencing of the “Royal Festival Hall Concert” and “Spam” sketches. This truncated version was used for all UK cassette releases until 1994. When the album was released in the US in 1972 to coincide with the US release of And Now For Something Completely Different, the full unedited version was used. This longer edit was used for all CD releases in both the UK and US.
As well as featuring a pared down track list, the original UK vinyl enjoyed two subtly different releases. Initial pressings were issued on the pink “famous Charisma label” (erroneously listing the release year as 1970) with subsequent pressings replacing this with the “Mad Hatter” label design (correcting the year to 1971). Both editions featured a trick continuous runout groove at the end of Side 1 where the sound of a record scratch is followed by Michael Palin’s exclamation of “Sorry squire! I scratched the record” repeated ad infinitum, at least until the listener chooses to lift the stylus off the vinyl.
The album marked the group’s first chart success, reaching No.26 in the UK album chart.
A 7″ single, the Pythons’ first, combining Spam Song/The Concert (CB.192) was issued in the UK on 8 September 1972, almost a year after the album’s release. Later pressings were issued in a picture sleeve featuring a still from the “Dirty Fork” sketch from And Now For Something Completely Different.
- 01 – Introduction (Part 1)
- 02 – Introduction (Apology)
- 03 – Spanish Inquisition (Part 1)
- 04 – Gumby Theatre
- 05 – Contradiction
- 06 – Abattoire
- 07 – Spanish Inquisition (Part 2)
- 08 – Ethel the Frog
- 09 – Mary Queen of Scots
- 10 – Spanish Inquisition (Ending)
- 11 – Sound Quiz
- 12 – Be a Great Actor
- 13 – Neville Shunt
- 14 – Festival Hall Emilie
- 15 – Spam Sketch
- 16 – Spam Song (Edit)
- 17 – Camp Judges
- 18 – Stake Your Claim
- 19 – Lifeboat
- 20 – Camp Judges (Part 2)
- 21 – Undertaker
- 22 – Knees Up Mother Brown Sketch
- 23 – Treadmill Lager
- 24 – Bishop at Home (Mr. Stoddart)
- 25 – Court Room Sketch
- 26 – Undertaker (Dead Bishops On the Landing)