NOT THE NINE O'CLOCK NEWS: THE ALBUM - ROWAN ATKINSON, PAMELA STEPHENSON, MEL SMITH & GRIFF RHYS-JONES
LABEL: BBC Records
TRACK LISTING: Death of a Princess (An Apology), David Attenborough! David Bloody Attenborough!, Confrontation Song, Airline Safety, National Wealth Beds, Simultaneous Translation, General Synod's Life of Python, The Ayatollah Song, Closedown, Points of View, That Bleeding Bloody Esther Bloody Effing Bloody Rantzen Woman, Stout Life, Gob On You, Gay Christian, Final Demands, Bouncing Song, American Express, Oh! Bosanquet!, I Believe
IMPRESSIONS: Back before I got a VCR (top loader, thanks) in 1982, the only possible way to have a permanent record of favourite telly shows was either to back my radio shack tape recorder up to the TV speaker and press record or else to be lucky enough to find a record album of the show. Around 1980, due to the newly-acquired habit of my local PBS station to play British comedy shows, I first saw NOT THE NINE O'CLOCK NEWS and was thrilled when visiting my local Sam Goody at the Moorestown Mall to find an LP of said comedy show in the record racks so I naturally bought it. The album of course was on BBC Records and finding any LP from this label was a red letter day for me; this same Sam Goody also provided me with LPs of THE TWO RONNIES, THE WORST OF MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS and a couple GOON SHOW albums including THE LAST GOON SHOW OF ALL. There was also a sort-of "BBC Records Greatest Hits" collection called "THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE BBC" which featured selections from all these records and more (one I will surely discuss on this blog one of these fine days). NOT THE NINE O'CLOCK NEWS would come and go rather quickly on my TV then without warning (as did many other British comedy shows aired then) so having these records was the next best thing to watching the show. And I played this album (and all the other BBC Records I had) quite a lot. As infrequent as the show's airing proved to be, it must've made some impact on American TV since a couple years later, HBO ripped off the format with their own NOT NECESSARILY THE NEWS comedy programme which some old farts like me might remember. But that wasn't a patch on the original. This album features many of my favourite sketches from the programme including the absolutely brilliant satire on the religious controversy over MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN and especially the TV debate in which John Cleese and Michael Palin defended their film against the likes of a close-minded Malcolm Muggeridge. Also, there are many short comedy bits in between the tracks listed above including the show's patented comedy news reports and tiny skits lasting only a matter of several seconds including one featuring a cameo from Billy Connelly.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Death of a Princess (An Apology), David Attenborough! David Bloody Attenborough!, Confrontation Song, Airline Safety, General Synod's Life of Python, The Ayatollah Song, Closedown, Points of View, That Bleeding Bloody Esther Bloody Effing Bloody Rantzen Woman, Stout Life, Gob On You, Final Demands, Bouncing Song, I Believe
GUEST ARTISTS: Billy Connelly
FACT SHEET: NOT THE NINE O'CLOCK NEWS: THE ALBUM is the first of a few LP's culled from the programme. The sketch comedy show starred Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys-Jones. This album (as well as it's successors) managed to crack the UK top albums list which was a rarity for "spoken word" or "comedy" albums. The "fake photo" album cover was made by Steve Connelly. "Gob On You" was written by Chris Judge Smith.