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Monty Python

Another Monty Python Record

In a motif established on their first long-player, Monty Python's Flying Circus (1970), much of the material incorporated into Another Monty Python Record (1971) was derived from the less visually oriented surrealistic sketches from their BBC television program. More importantly, this disc was the first to be issued throughout North America -- although the show was initially aired only in major markets on PBS stations. The quintet of writer/actors Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and the distinctly American Terry Gilliam revolutionized comedy from slapstick physical humor into an exceedingly more cerebral space, where the satire could be directed squarely at "serious" works of art, literature, or historical figures as easily as it could be a series of Dadaist non sequiturs. They take siege of the vinyl LP medium, as Palin's sincere opening "Apologies" establishes that listeners should immediately suspend their disbelief and, in the words of the Beatles, "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream." However, between the Viking-led tributes to "Spam" or Palin's abrupt interjections as Cardinal Ximinez during the "Spanish Inquisition" entries, there is the thoughtful madness of "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. One of the longer pieces is the somewhat involved story of "The Piranha Brothers," Doug and Dinsdale, and a giant hedgehog named Spiny Norman. According to a female-impersonating character played by Cleese, "Norman was wont to be about 12 feet from snout to tail, but when Dinsdale was depressed, Norman could be anything up to eight hundred yards long." 'Nuf said. In addition to the aforementioned "Spam" skit, another of the scenes that Python would keep in their live act features cross-dressing Palin and Idle as a pair of high court and highly camp "Judges." Whereas their debut album may have seemed like a bunt to the comparative home run of Another Monty Python Record, the troupe would score a grand slam their next time up at bat with the follow-up, Monty Python's Previous Record (1972).

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