Monty Python’s Previous Record is the third album by Monty Python. Released in 1972, it marked the group’s first collaborations with regular sound engineer Andre Jacquemin as well as musician Neil Innes, who had previously appeared with future members of the Python team on Do Not Adjust Your Set. The album contains many sketches from the third series of Flying Circus, one (Fish Licence) from the second as well as an abridged version of “The Tale of Happy Valley” from the second German show. The album was released midway through the broadcast of Series 3, whose sketches featured on the album were all from its first half, with the exception of “Dennis Moore” which aired a month later and therefore made its debut here. The oldest sketch on the album, Eric Idle’s “Radio Quiz Game”, dates back to I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again where it was performed by Graeme Garden – Idle having subsequently performed the sketch himself on two editions of Do Not Adjust Your Set. The rest of the material was specially written for the album.

Among the proposed ideas for the record were a ‘B’ side consisting of four concentric tracks, all starting at different places on the first groove, so that the listener could get any of one of four different versions of the ‘B’ side”. When this proved impossible, a three-sided ‘B’ side was attempted. But as Jacquemin later explained, “That’s why you hear ‘and now a massage from the Swedish Prime Minister’ three times on it. Each groove was going to start with that, but unfortunately, the three grooves ran into each other towards the centre of the record. In the end, we cut all the bits together for a standard, single-groove side.” A year later, a less ambitious version of the same idea, with just two concentric tracks, would be used on the next Monty Python LP, The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief.

The cover design, by Terry Gilliam, pictured an elongated arm which wrapped around both sides of the sleeve. Its hand can be seen trying to catch a six-breasted woman with butterfly wings. The inner sleeve pictured the covers of sixteen fictional albums on one side, with the other containing the album credits and lyrics to the “Yangtse Song”.