The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief

The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief
MontyPythonMatchingTie&HandkerchiefOriginal.jpg
Studio album by Monty Python
Released

7 December 1973 (UK)

21 April 1975 (US)
Recorded September 1973 at Radio Luxembourg Studios, Maximum Sound Studios & Sunflower Music (Garden Shed), London
Genre Comedy
Length 41:11
Label

Charisma (UK)

Arista (US)
Producer Andre Jacquemin
Dave Howman
Terry Gilliam
Monty Python chronology
Monty Python's Previous Record
(1972)
The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief
(1973)
Monty Python Live at Drury Lane
(1974)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief is the fourth album by the comedy group Monty Python, released in 1973. Most of the material was newly written for the album along with a handful of sketches from the third series of Flying Circus, one from the second ("Bruces") and another from the first ("Pet Conversions"). The team were once again joined by Neil Innes, who provided a trio of rock music parodies for "The Background To History". The album was famously mixed and edited in a garden shed belonging to the father of producer Andre Jacquemin.[2]

Contents

Cover and packagingEdit

The initial pressings were packaged with a real tie and handkerchief and distributed to menswear stores, the concept being that the record was merely a 'free gift' included with a tie and handkerchief. It is also notable for its inner sleeve art, which is visible through a cutaway hole in the album's outer sleeve. It appears to be a simple Terry Gilliam artwork of a tie and handkerchief, but when the inner sleeve is pulled out, it reveals that the tie and handkerchief are actually on a man hanging from a gallows. Later releases of the album would have just a picture of the clothing on the front cover, with no inner sleeve or hidden artwork.

Double groovesEdit

The album's original LP edition (on Charisma Records in the U.K., catalog no. CAS 1080, released 1973, and on Arista Records in the U.S., catalog no. AL 4039, released 1975) is particularly notable in that it was mastered with two concentric grooves on side two, so that different material would be played depending on where the stylus was put down on the record's surface. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as a "three-sided" record. The cutting was carried out by George "Porky" Peckham. To further confuse the listener, both sides of the LP are labelled "FREE RECORD Given away with the Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief - Side 2" - only the matrix numbers identify which are the first and second sides.

The album did not have a track listing, so that this feature would come as a complete surprise to listeners, who might on a subsequent listening hear material they had never heard before, creating genuine confusion.

Since the record had two concentric grooves, they were spaced considerably apart, halving the length of the playing time. Subsequent editions of the vinyl incorporated both grooves sequentially as separate tracks, eliminating the double groove. However, when Virgin reissued the album in the UK in 1985, the double groove was retained, but with the "Great Actors" sketch cut from the end of Side 1 and moved onto the start of the second side which previously began with "The Background To History". This meant the two B-sides no longer had equal length, resulting in a long silence following the "Phone-In" sketch at the end of the second Side B. CD reissues provide the full contents of the album and every track on one side.

No single was released from the album in the UK but the belated US release (the group's first on Arista) in 1975 was promoted by a 7" single entitled "The Single" (AS 0130) which consisted of three excerpts from the album tracks "Elephantoplasty", "Mrs Niggerbaiter" and "Pet Conversions". Both sides of the record were labelled Side B, with the other side containing "The Cheese Shop" in it's entirety.

The 2006 reissue featured new sound effects on some sketches as well as four previously unreleased bonus tracks, although these date from the 1980 Contractual Obligation Album sessions.

Post-punk band Department S took the name of their 1981 hit single "Is Vic There?" from a line of dialogue from the album's closing "Phone-In" sketch.[3]

Track listingEdit

The following sketches are from the TV series: "Dead Bishop", "Bruces", "Cheese Shop", "Boxing Tonight", "Mrs. Niggerbaiter", "Oscar Wilde", and "Pet Conversions". The remainder are exclusive to this album.

Side One: Single-GrooveEdit

  1. Election Forum
  2. Dead Bishop
  3. Elephantoplasty
  4. Novel Writing
  5. Word Association
  6. Bruces
  7. Bruces Song
  8. Ralph Mellish
  9. Doctor Quote
  10. Cheese Shop
  11. Wasp/Tiger Club
  12. Great Actors

Side Two: Groove OneEdit

  1. The Background to History
  2. Record Shop
  3. First World War Noises
  4. Boxing Tonight

Side Two: Groove TwoEdit

  1. Mrs. Niggerbaiter
  2. Oscar Wilde
  3. Pet Conversions
  4. Phone-In

2006 bonus tracksEdit

  1. Psychopath
  2. TelePrompter Football Results
  3. Radio Tuning Radio 4: Announcer Graham Chapman / Radio Time Announcer Terry Jones
  4. Radio Shop

AwardsEdit

Grammy Awards

Year Award Result
1976 Best Comedy Album Nominated

ReferencesEdit