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Fawlty Towers: For The Record – 6LP white vinyl box signed by John Cleese

All 12 episodes • 6LP white vinyl box set • Includes print *signed* by John Cleese • Limited edition of 1500

Fawlty Towers / For The Record 6LP white vinyl signed by John Cleese

Fawlty Towers: For The Record is a new 6LP coloured vinyl box set that features all 12 TV episodes of the classic British comedy series. This limited edition set comes with a art print of harassed hotelier Basil Fawlty SIGNED by co-creator John Cleese.

This new set is made up from the four original BBC vinyl albums – Fawlty Towers, Second Sitting, At Your Service and A La Carte – and two newly created collections, Plat du Jour and Enjoy Your Stay. Together they form a box of all 12 episodes which have a special linking narration – supplied by hapless waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) – which is unique to the vinyl versions and hasn’t been available since their original pressings.

The episodes are presented in their original vinyl LP edits and are as follows: Communications Problems (aka ‘Mrs Richards’), The Hotel Inspectors, Basil the Rat (aka ‘The Rat’), The Builders, The Kipper and the Corpse (aka ‘Death’), The Germans (aka ‘Fire Drill’), Waldorf Salad (aka ‘The Americans’), Gourmet Night, A Touch of Class, The Wedding Party, The Psychiatrist and The Anniversary.


Fawlty Towers: For The Record 6LP white vinyl with signed print (click image to enlarge)

Fawlty Towers remains the ‘situation comedy’ series by which all others are judged. There were of course only ever 12 episodes, all painstakingly written by John Cleese and Connie Booth. The show stars Cleese as Basil Fawlty, with Prunella Scales as Sybil, Connie Booth as Polly and Andrew Sachs as Manuel. Among the guest cast were Bernard Cribbins, Joan Sanderson, Geoffrey Palmer, Ballard Berkeley, Nicky Henson, Ken Campbell and Una Stubbs.

The six 140g LPs are pressed on white vinyl and are presented with all-new artwork, although a nice touch is that inside each is a facsimile of the original BBC Records & Cassettes cover (plus ‘faux’ period covers for Plat du Jour and Enjoy Your Stay).

This set comes with a booklet detailing the development of the show, plus a history of the original LP releases, by Tim Worthington, author of Top of the Box  – a guide to every single released by BBC Records And Tapes.

The icing on the cake is the print of a grinning Basil Fawlty signed by comedy legend John Cleese. All 1500 of this limited edition come with the print.

Fawlty Towers:For The Record will be released on 28 May 2021 (US fans: fear not, this signed edition will be coming to Amazon USA, soon).

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Fawlty Towers: For The Record - 6LP white vinyl box signed by John Cleese

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Tracklisting

Fawlty Towers / For The Record 6LP white vinyl signed by John Cleese

Fawlty Towers: For The Record Fawlty Towers / 6LP white vinyl box set

    • Side A
      1. Communications Problems
    • Side B
      1. The Hotel Inspector

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Edward

“So that’s two eggs mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering and four Colditz salads…” Contemplating this… just need to convince the WT.

Ross Sutherland

I absolutely can’t wait for mine to arrive. I used to take these out of the library when I was younger and they are just like great audiobooks. For those who don’t like the idea, I would suggest they simply don’t buy them! I think this is a wonderful souvenir not only of the show, but of a great time in my childhood listening to these albums.

Guy.S

Thank you Paul for the update, I ordered from RoughTrade. After buying the book Creativity (Signed Edition) from Waterstones I will be surprised if any signature comes out looking like the one in the mock up, I hope to be proved wrong. Anyway, this is looking like a great box set.

Larry Davis

I was debating buying this, as no visuals/DVD/BluRay included and not sure if this is/was available on CD, but I too jumped at this, as Paul said it would become available on Amazon US…mainly for Cleese’s signed pic (he is getting up there in age) but yes the packaging looks great & I love coloured vinyl…I do wonder if there is a unique charm in these classic episodes on vinyl vs watching it on video…in the US, it was remade as Newhart but nothing beats this, never gets old…

Michael

It was also remade as Amanda By The Sea with Bea Arthur. This is John Cleese talking about it:

The most extraordinary remake was with Bea Arthur. I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, “That’s wonderful, are you going to change anything?” They said, “Well we have changed one thing, we’ve written Basil out”. And that’s absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil’s lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur.[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda%27s

Arthur O'Brien

No connection between “Newhart” and “Fawlty.” The only similarity is that both are set in an inn. It ends there.

Stephen Moran

Thanks for the heads-up. I was thrilled to order this. Nostalgia plus laughter is a great combination.

Fogarrach

Talking of comedy on vinyl. Shout out to the hector Nichol albums that I listened to as an adolescent.

Bawdy, basic and hilarious.

I revisited one a few years back and, for a while, wondered what it was I could have liked so much.

Then one anecdote, a man goes home at lunchtime and catches his wife with his best friend.. a sad monologue ensues where he pours out his pain and his feelings of being let down….
and then suddenly, in a defeated way, he says.. “you could at least stop while I’m talking to you”
the perfect moment of pathos….

I hope I served hector well.

Mark W

Just a heads up for those based in the UK. The first series is being shown on BBC 1 from March 15th.

Frank Sidebottom

i should imagine the BBC have hacked them to death thus not to offend anyone….

The Golden Age Of The Phonograph

I ordered this box set as soon as you announced it and then wondered why? I have the entire series on DVD and Bluray.

I admit the box and contents look fabulous but do I really need it?

I now realise that that I don’t need it, nor do I really need that Who box set, Lennon’s box set and the other 20+ albums/books/Bluray I have on pre-order.

But I am going ahead with my order for the Fawlty Towers Box Set and all the rest because these things enhance our lives. They bring a smile to our faces, they lift us.

I’m not a wealthy person far from it and I realise others may not be fortunate in being able to have the money to throw at these things. In times like these I try to be positive and do what little I can to help others. I’m starting to ramble now but as Bob Dylan said, “Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast”. I interpreted that as make the most of what you have. Right I’m off….

David Fisher

Totally agree. I don’t need this at all – same here – I have the DVD and Blu Ray sets and two of the original BBC vinyl releases so I don’t need this at all – I doubt I’ll ever play it… but… I’ve ordered it anyway despite not being able to easily afford it! My justification as a big Python fan is to get the Cleese signature (assuming I’m one of the first limited number of buyers.) I’m also a sucker for coloured vinyl.

I had to reply to you because you quoted my favourite Dylan song “You’re a Big Girl Now” – the version on Biograph always brings a tear to my eye. Sublime.

Rich P

My understanding is that all 1500 will be signed?

Nathan Thomas

There’s very little in life that is ‘essential’ but life is about more than just essentials. Anything that gives you joy is worth the price.

Jack

OMG Paul this is a wonderful release – thank you for promoting this. I had to dig deep but this will be absolutely worth it.

Nathan Thomas

So weird that comments section are now so full of the “how dare record companies release things that I personally am not interested in “ posts . Was it always thus?

John MC cann

Oooh mate! I thrive on tit _for_ tat!

The Golden Age Of The Phonograph

Have a LIKE for that Paul!

Andrew Connell

like

Dr Volume

I’ve had the misfortunate to be involved in moderating a website in the past (never again) and Paul does a remarkable job here. I guess the thing with SDE is there are regular posters but also lots more will just fly in at random convinced that they’re surely the only person to ever post a comment that says “cash cow”, “cash grab”, “milking the fans dry”, “flogging a dead horse” 0r quote the “reissue – repackage” line from The Smiths ‘Paint a Vulgar Picture’ on whatever article brought them here.

What keeps me coming back is here is whether it’s Fawlty Towers on Vinyl or Sonia CD Singles it’s interesting to hear when people are really into something and why, and talk about the details and share their passion and knowledge. Often the arguments ‘For’ are way more interesting and informative than the endless bleating of ‘Cash Cow’

Electric Sydney

I’m pretty sure if there was a like/dislike button for SDE the likes would definitely be the predominant choice. This site more than others strikes me as a fair and positive one, while others seem like “I’m WAY smarter than you about Foghat, so I WIN!”. But I agree with Paul that such a button might invite the nasties.

Adam

Paul, could you also enable email notifications when our comments are commented on? Or digest type of alerts for comments/follow?

Todd G

The Selecter has a 40th anniversary 3 CD set and a 2 LP + 7″ set of Too Much Pressure coming out in April at very friendly prices. Very much looking forward to these 2 releases.

Freek

They are sold out at Amazon and Rough Trade does not want to take me to check-out…..
And my comments are not showing up. I’m doing something wrong, but what???

Paul Mac

On Amazon UK, I couldn’t see this as my default delivery address was outside the UK. Changed to the UK, and it appeared. I’d ordered it elsewhere by the time I realised why I couldn’t see it on Amazon….

Freek

Will there be European distribution for this?
Thanks to Brexit I now have to pay taxes and VAT on ‘imported’ items.
Does anyone know? Paul?
Thanks, Freek

Jim

As long as nobody mentions… oh, never mind.

Jasper Carrott

It feels to me that many have missed the point of this release. Maybe you have to be of a certain age to understand the logic of tv programmes released on vinyl. As Paul says, at that time, we had no catch up facility so this was the only way to listen to these programmes. And you did listen. Perhaps those who have jumped on the latest vinyl revival don’t quite grasp the concept that it was about the joy of hearing these scripts rather than filling up your shelf with the obligatory, totally obvious records being bought now to try and look super duper cool. My opinion !

Chris Squires

Odd with the moniker you have chosen but this is spot on. It wasn’t vinyl for me back in the day but cassettes rented from my local lending library for 15p for two weeks or whatever it was back in the late 1970s.

My 9 – 12 year old life was full of things like (and sadly I can probably quote most of the best bits)
Jasper Carrott – Carrott in Notts & A Pain in the Arm.
Mike Harding – The Rochdale Cowboy Rides Again & Captain Paralytic
Max Boyce – We All Had Doctors Papers & I Know Cos I was There
The Goon Show
Billy Connolly – Atlantic Bridge & Rioutous Assembly

And do you know why it was so good on pure audio? Because you could let your imagination run riot. The impossible things the Goons were talking about or the problems of using public transport in Birmingham were best when trapped in your own pre-teen head. The best of the 1970s comedians didn’t tell jokes, they sang songs and told stories. Stories that got stupider and stupider and wilder and wilder with each listening. Something that just doesn’t translate to a screen with a guy in front of you. Just that sound in your head as this distant voice describes how 57 Welsh Rugby fans went up to Edinburgh to see a game of Rugby and only one actually saw the game and he saw it in Jail…..

Imagination. When you are brought up in an era where you had to use it, it became a wonderful, comic resource. Nothing spoon fed, all in your head!

Gareth Jones

I was the same. As a child, I’d beg my mum for a little pocket money so l could rent BBC cassettes from the library.

Buy it wasn’t just comedy. I rented children’s shows like Henry’s Cat and The Magic Roundabout (which contained the exact same audio from the TV series, with no new narration links, but it didn’t seem to matter at all).

And l’d rent BBC sound effects cassettes! I’d ty to record my own little radio shows in my bedroom and use the FX on my twin tape deck. I never listened back to my recordings, and l never played them to anyone else, so I’ve no idea why l did it!!

But perhaps the most bizarre release was a BBC cassette of Paul Daniel’s trying to teach you magic tricks! Of all the things that probably did really require visuals, this might be one of them! Did l learn many magic tricks from that tape? No, not a lot!

Peter Muscutt

Agree! I got into lots of comedy from old cassette and LP releases, and love it that old series like this are coming out. I normally go for radio shows (looking forward to On The Hour with Chris Morris getting a vinyl release) but I missed the “narrated” Fawlty Towers first time round as I was too young. I just hope they don’t see fit to release an ‘Only Fools…’ vinyl set as that would be mammoth! The signed John Cleese print is a lovely bonus.

George glazener

@jasper, there is a certain kind of enjoyment to be gained by listening to comedy rather than watching it on the telly. It can trigger one’s imagination to think about what’s happening, picture it in your mind a bit differently, etc. I have an old double LP of Monty python from the 70’s full of their classic sketches and it’s a hoot to listen to. Different from the series, but just as fun. And a John Cleese auto? I’m in…!

Michael

As an aging music and comedy fan I remember having the Not The 9 O’Clock News albums (still have them) and taping them to listen to repeatedly on a battery powered cassette player throughout a camping holiday back in 1982. I must have bored my parents silly. The ability to repeatedly ‘learn’ the sketches mean that even now I can quote Constable Savage, The Gramophone sketch, and The Gorilla sketch.

No VCR (in my home) and 3 channels, also no 24 hour TV with repeats several times a week back then. The records served a purpose and were loved. I suspect Fawlty Towers like Not The 9 O’Clock News, Doctor Who and Hitchhikers Guide vinyl are aimed at many of us oldies. I for one appreciate it, even though most of my listening is from CD these days.

Mister Stick

I worked for a US public television station in the 1980s. We aired Fawlty Towers in a marathon once or a year or so. Huh-Yooooge hit, every time.

Viewers would, on occasion, offer to pay us technicians to record VHS tapes for them straight from the 1″ video reels in our library. Which, of course, was illegal. When you told them that, they just laughed and said, “No, really… How much?”

That show attracted a different crowd from the folks who tuned in for Nature and Masterpiece Theater. They A) were so inept they couldn’t find the REC button on their VCRs, B) were too cheap to pledge a new membership and legitimately get the tapes of Fawlty Towers as a thank-you, and C) believed copyright law did not apply to them.

In other words, a subculture of corner-rounding louts who saw themselves in Basil, and worshiped him as their messiah.

BillyD

£90 + shipping for a Cleese autograph. Does it come with a COA?

Gary Dunaier

Technically, yes. But those who aren’t into vinyl would be buying it just to get the John Cleese photo, so to them it IS £90 plus shipping for a Cleese autograph; the records are either an added bonus or a waste of space, depending on their point of view.

Reed

Considering the price, why not include a Blu-ray of the shows so that you cover all bases.

Angus

I’m curious: do the two new discs also include Andrew Sachs’ narration, or are they just (edited) audio of the episodes themselves?

Nathan Thomas

Andrew Sachs recorded narration for all of the episodes & they have been out for decades on cd/cassette – it’s not like they are recreating new audio versions from scratch for the extra two discs ! I would assume that after releasing 4 lp’s the vinyl market was nosediving so the remaining episodes never got a vinyl release but went straight onto cd/cassette so have been ‘recreated’ in a vinyl format where a vinyl version never originally existed.

Angus

Ah, got it – thanks Nathan!

Mike

The narration took me by surprise when I heard it for the first time a few years ago. The versions I had on cassette from 25 or so years ago didn’t have any narration at all, presumably because back in the day (how old does this make me sound), what with such a small selection of channels, most people could recite things like Fawlty Towers word for word.

PTaylor

So … these are the edits featuring the Manuel / Andrew Sachs linking narrations?

Franky

Why listen to a series you can actually watch on Blu Ray and DVD? Although a nice looking LP set, I would certainly not waste my money on it. Might as well have the moving images along along with the spoken words, than just hear them. To me, it is a pointless release. What next, all episodes of Coronation Street on thousands of LPs? LOL

WILLIAM ENGLAND

and not just Fawlty Towers, but top selling lps from the Goons, Hancock, ‘Til Death Us Do Part, Monty Python, Round The Horne, Magic Roundabout, Take It From Here Steptoe & Son, I could go on… And didn’t the recent Not The Nine O’Clock News do rather well on vinyl too?

Djr

SPOT ON

Nathan Thomas

Why listen to a live music album when you could watch a dvd of the concert ? Why listen a soundtrack when you could watch the film ? Why listen to a cd of a musical show when you could go to the west end & watch it ? Why listen to an audiobook when you could read the actual book ?

Alain

My thoughts exactly. I have the wonderful, remastered 3 DVD edition, full of extras and outtakes in a slender and elegant dvd box set…
can’t really see why I should buy this heavy, bulky chunk of vinyl which would just take precious space on my shelves – while losing all the visual elements…

Totally pointless.

Chris Squires

for you Alain, for you.

Tim

Farty Owls walks just the right side of the line except in the episode where Basil accidentally gropes a Lady hotel guest. Even then its Basils incompetence and bad luck that is seen & he does not show any intent in the scene. I’m sure Booth & Cleese would not write such a clumsy scene now. Such episodes should carry an explanation hopefully by the creator and still be shown. The German episode needs no such explaining as clearly the joke is on the British and how they come across about the war. The German guests are shown as reasonable, compassionate & intelligent.
Till Death Us Do Part with the brilliant Warren Mitchel & Dandy Nichols was again laughing at ourselves and our ridiculous hang ups about race, sexuality & the Empire. It finds itself banned with the likes of Mind Your Language & Love Thy Neighbour. Misunderstood much like Springsteen’s Born In The USA (token music referance)
When I was at school the comedy albums from Goons to Python to Not the 9 o’clock news were the only way to relive your favourite comedy & long may they continue.
Bridget Christies “Mind The Gap” while not as good as her live shows is well worth checking out.

Chris Squires

Ordered. One of the few things I have broken my embargo for this year. The NTNOCN set (signed by Rowan Atkinson) will complement this set quite nicely. I can’t imagine two UK comedians who would be held in much higher esteem worldwide.

I do wonder whether John will manage to sign all 1,500. It’s quite a task. Numbers have been known to change downwards. I also like the fact that it’s all white rather than mixed colours.

One of my worst (I remember vividly it so it must have been quite serious) childhood Asthma attacks came during the car beating scene. I ended up in A+E and it was the first time I was prescribed Ventolin over the previous awful and useless Fisons Spincaps. I was only 8 and after years of painful attacks Ventolin literally changed my life. All thanks to Fawlty Towers.
No car beating scene = no laughter induced Asthma attack = no A+E = no Ventolin. I think it would have been years before my (seemingly) ancient GP would have prescribed it.

Mark Hughes

Mrs Richards: When I pay for a view, I expect something more interesting than that.
Basil: But that is Torquay, madam.
Mrs Richards: Well it’s not good enough.

John MC cann

Demolished the gleaneagles hotel about 5 years ago! Now retirement flat’s for wealthy Torquay pensioners, got a blue plaque, was actually not a bad hotel stayed in it on several occasions, best Western if I remember correctly ,,very reasonably priced

Albert

Better get this while I still can. Before the social media woke stasi get it banned because it ‘offends’ Germans.

Blade Runner

I´m a German and I laughed out very loud about this episode! It doesn´t offend Germans it´s more about the Brits who can´t get over the the wat.

Tony wolkowski

American guest: ‘Is there anywhere they do French food?’
Basil: ‘Yes, France, I believe. They seem to like it there. And the swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You’d better hurry, the tide leaves in six minutes.’

Paul Taylor

It was actually the young guest played by the late Nicky Henson that he used that line on. Immediately before that, when the guest asked for a recommendation for a place to eat, Basil asked “What kind of food, fruit?”

John Humphries

Listen, don’t mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right. [returns to the Germans] So! It’s all forgotten now, and let’s hear no more about it. So, that’s two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering, and four Colditz salads.

Guy

Hmmmm. Tempting.

Of course the hilarious scripts and the acting are fantastic, however a lot of the laughs do come from the visual comedy which is just as brilliant. If you’re one of those who has watched it so often you could visualise whilst listening, no problem – but would that it itself negate your need for a 6LP box set, albeit a reasonably priced one?

Matthew North

Guy, I actually really like the soundtracks, FT didn’t get repeated in the 80s until around 86/87 and I had the soundtracks way before that, and played them to death. Always through they were great. be nice If the last two got a standalone release.

Guy

Matthew, I’ve just pulled the trigger! I remember the Not The Nine O’Clock News LPs from the early 80s, I loved those. Fawlty Towers on vinyl is a no-brainer really!

Ray Oakley

Thanks for the information Paul. Excellent news of this release with the signed print… seems reasonably priced too! I ordered it from Amazon instantly.

Pete

As much as I love this show, listening to the soundtrack would only drive me directly to the Blu-Ray version.

Matthew North

I wonder if the Majors ‘Cricket’ Joke has been cut?

David

If it’s BBC release then 100% it will have been edited out!!
Don’t want to upset the cancel culture lot do we…

David

It’s still currently on the episode being broadcast on UK Gold which I was taken aback by considering the current mass hysteria regarding comedy and given the fact that also on UK Gold, the Open All Hours episode in which Granville dresses in Asian clothing and paints his face has been pulled.

Chris Squires

The back cover, which is expandable on Amazon has….
“Please Note: Fawlty Towers is a classic comedy which reflects the broadcast standards, language and attitudes of it’s time. Some listeners may find this offensive. This edition features the ORIGINAL BBC records LP edits”

Hopefully this means the episodes have not been bowdlerized and are as originally released.

Auntie Sabrina

The episodes are presented in their original vinyl LP edits David. Hopefully they’ll spell Sybil’s name correctly though, unlike the Blu-ray release eh?

AmyB

David, the only “mass hysteria” exists in the shared delusions of the Mail and Express. Phrases like “woke” and “cancel culture” are only used by those who feel it’s their right to shove their offensive far right views down everyone’s throat. Free speech doesn’t mean everyone has to listen to everything – it’s just as much about the freedom to reject outdated insulting nonsense. The world moves on.

J Douglas

Will this be NTSC or PAL?

(Just could not stop myself.)

PSB Fan

Why no Blu-ray version?