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Daily Record 2/2/11: The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

In 1970s, 1975, British humor, comedy, Monty Python, movies, record collecting, records, Rich's House of Vinyl, soundtracks on February 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I think the 1960s and ’70s were the golden age for comedy record albums. I don’t necessarily have the stats at my fingertips, but I would imagine that some of the best-selling, as well as critically-acclaimed, comedy records were released during those decades. I’m thinking about Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Cheech & Chong, and many more.

Monty Python certainly would fall into this group, though I don’t necessarily think that records were the best vehicles for Python’s surrealist, very British brand of comedy. While it’s fine to leave the visuals to one’s imagination while listening to a standup act, with Monty Python it seems important to be able to see, as well as hear, what’s going on.

Having, said that, it’s still fun to listen to Monty Python records, and I have a few of them, passed on to me from a friend’s collection. Among them is the soundtrack to Python’s 1975 movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, though it should be noted that the record’s complete title is The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

According to the back cover of the LP, the album was “recorded live at the 3:10 showing at The Classic, Sidbury Hill,” which means that listeners hear classic bits from the movie along with running commentary about the alleged showing of the movie as it happens. Other tangents occur as well, as can be well-imagined with any Monty Python performance. It’s a fun album to listen through once, but it’s actually even more fun broken up into short increments that can serve as goofy segues between songs on an MP3 playlist.

As for the movie itself, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of my favorites. I don’t really go much for watching that many movies over and over again, but hearing this record reminds me that its been awhile since I watched the movie and, since I received it on DVD for Christmas several years ago, I plan on re-viewing it again soon.

I was trying to remember when I first became aware of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and concluded that it probably wasn’t until one summer in the early 1980s. I could probably track the exact summer down in my old journal. PBS (Channel 12 where I lived) had the rights to show the movie at that time (I just read today that Monty Python was angered by an earlier television showing of the movie that was badly edited to bleep out language and cut out some of the bloodier scenes) and it was on often that summer. I may have been working at McDonalds then, but it still seems like I had plenty of time to watch the same very funny movie practically anytime I wanted.

Watching Holy Grail that summer was probably what led to my excitement when Monty Python and the Meaning of Life was released a few years later. I think I saw that one very close to the day of its release; Meaning of Life is funny too, but I think I’d have to say that Holy Grail probably edges it out as the funnier movie for me these days.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go obtain a shrubbery.

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