The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief

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The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief
Studio album by Monty Python
Released December 1973
Recorded September 1973
Genre Comedy
Length 41:11
Label Charisma / Arista
Monty Python chronology
Monty Python's Previous Record
The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief
Monty Python Live at Drury Lane
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Free Record Given Away with the Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief, later shortened to simply The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief, is the fourth album by the comedy group Monty Python, released in 1973.

Cover and packaging[edit]

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 grooves[edit]

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. CD reissues provide the full contents of the album and every track on one side.

Track listing[edit]

The following sketches are from the TV series: "Church Police", "Bruces/Philosopher's Song (minus The Philosophers Song)", "Cheese Shop", "Mrs. Niggerbaiter Explodes", "Boxing Tonight", "Oscar Wilde", and "Buying a Cat". The remainder are exclusive to this album.

Side One: Single-Groove[edit]

  1. "Church Police"
  2. "Elephantoplasty"
  3. "Novel Writing"
  4. "Word Association"
  5. "Bruces/Philosopher's Song"
  6. "The Adventures of Ralph Mellish/Hot Dogs and Knickers"
  7. "Cheese Shop sketch"
  8. "Wasp Club/Tiger Talk"
  9. "Great Actors"

Side Two: Groove One[edit]

One or the other of these two series of tracks will play, depending on which groove the stylus is cued on.

  1. "The Background to History"
  2. "First World War Noises"
  3. "Boxing Tonight (Fight Of The Century)"

Side Two: Groove Two[edit]

The second series of tracks is referred to as "Side 3":

  1. "Minister for Overseas Development (aka Mrs. Niggerbaiter explodes)"
  2. "Oscar Wilde and Friends"
  3. "Buying A Cat (aka Taking in the Terrier)"
  4. "Phone-In"

2006 bonus tracks[edit]

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


Grammy Awards

Year Award Result
1976 Best Comedy Album Nominated