Python's "Matching Tie and Handkerchief" album had 3 sides?

Coming across this page today, I was puzzled to read the following:

Puzzled, because I actually own a copy of this album, have listened to it many times (years ago though), and have never heard this “third side”. Some possible explanations are:
[li]By an astounding coincidence, I just never played the extra track. This though would be like flipping a coin a hundred times and getting all tails. It would seem unlikely.[/li][li]The above web page has its facts wrong.[/li][li]There was also a normal two-sided edition of the record, and this is the one in my possession. If that’s the case, then I’m curious if I’m missing out on anything, or if the normal edition contains the exact same material as the “prank” edition.[/li][/ol]
My copy of the record was purchased in the U.S., not the U.K, and my guess is that Theory #3 is the correct one: a normal-playing edition was released for the foreign market. But why then? Foreign turntables wouldn’t work right? They feared lawsuits from dim-witted customers?

Unfortunately my turntable is packed away, so I can’t play the record again and tell you how long each side plays. That might have given us a clue. In my memory though both sides are a little over 20 minutes long — the usual length for an LP record side.

So, anyone know what’s going on?

Oh, and before I forget: Rondar! Untie Mr. Paslo!

Option #3. IIRC, only the first printing was three sided. Cutting two groves into an album must have been horribly expensive. I don’t think you’re actually missing any content, though.

Just wanted to confirm that the three-sided version does indeed exist. First heard it in the mid-1980s when I was babysitting and listening to my client’s record collection, I was convinced I’d gone completely bonkers when side B didn’t give me what I’d heard last time. I listened to it, restarted the record, and got the first thing I’d heard. Two parallel grooves. Absolutely mental. I also have the tape which combines the two tracks - thinking about it, they’d probably only be as long as half an album side.

I don’t have a copy of it, but a friend of mine did when we were in high school. And I don’t think he had a special pressing of it, either. On one of the sides, a second groove was cut with it’s starting point (opening) 180 degrees away from the other track on that side. I don’t think it would be any more expensive to cut a record with two grooves on one side than it would to have only one, once the mastering was completed. The things were pressed, not individually cut, remember.
And the content was different. Again, I can’t remember the specifics, but I do know that you had three different programs per LP, as opposed to just two (one per side) like the rest of the albums we owned.

I own the three-sided version.

I also own two sheds. And I have a theory about dinosaurs…which is mine, and belongs to me.

Rear Admiral Augest J. West USSPA, Ret. (Mrs.)

Matching Tie and Handkerchief also originally came out with a die-cut sleeve; the illustration seemed to show a matching tie and handkerchief, then when you pulled out the inner sleeve the complete illustration showed the tie and hankie on a hanging man, IIRC. I believe the 3-sided version shipped in this die-cut dual sleeve; if you have one with an ordinary uncut sleeve, you have the “2-sided” version. That was the version I had for many years; when I found the die-cut version in a used record store, I picked it up on the gamble that it contained the 3-sided LP, and it did.

Just to clarify: the three-sided edition was definitely released in the USA. (The Python LPs were staples of the import bins, so it doesn’t go without saying that copies owned by Americans are American pressings.)

And I have a theory about dinosaurs…which is mine, and belongs to me.

posted by Augest West

Let’s see, would said dinosaurs be pointy at one end, very wide in the middle, and pointy at the other end?

I once had a radio show where I played Python and other eccentric humor. I checked out a copy of the Matching Tie and Handkerchief from the library and it did have three sides. It was a shock to me because I was queuing up a track on the turntable(1989 at a station that still had two turntables, a CD Player, a reel to reel machine, AND an 8 track cart (mostly used for PSAs and commercials).

Of course, I also made the boo boo of not listening to Fairy Tale off of one of their other albums before playing it. I was in mortal terror for a few days that the FCC was going to do terrible things to me because they said ‘fuck’ in the piece and it was at 8pm when I played it.


Still, that wasn’t as bad as what I did a few days later. It was about 10:30pm or so, and I made a mistake and hit the wrong button. Instead of one turntable switching to another, both were playing over the air at once. I yelled SHIT at the top of my lungs and scrambled to fix it.

I hadn’t podded down my microphone.


*I have a theory I would like to share which belongs to me, Miss Ann Dre.

Men are big at the top, tiny in the middle, and big at the bottom.

And they have issues.

This is my theory, which I came up with, a theory by Miss Ann Dre.

Ah, now mine is just like that actually: two sleeves, and a bug-eyed guy being hanged on the inner sleeve. (Lucky for him though, his tie and handkerchief match perfectly.) Yet my LP seems to be the normal two-sided edition, not the three.

My dad’s an English teacher at a junior college. He bought that album to use as an example of writing satire. He took it home, listened to both sides so he’d know what was on it, took it to class with him, and the first time he used it in front of a classroom full of students, he got the different track.

I wish I could have seen his face…

I don’t mean to sound like I’m nitpicking, but I wanted to understand if you have the die-cut cover. That is, the cover has a hole that allows you to see the inner sleeve. That’s the one that has the 3 tracks.

If you don’t and you have 3 tracks, then I guess we’ll call you “3 tracks Bytegeist”


"That’s your wife? And … that’s your dog? Oh. I think I might be coming around often Sergeant. I’m rather fond of dogs–

–fond of dogs–

–fond of dogs–


I have the 3-sided version, too – with the die cut cover. The local PBS station gave it as a membership gift.

One big thing missing from CDs were the elaborate covers – die cuts and gatefolds and all sorts of fancy stuff they can’t do any more.

Actually, all the pressings of this album have three sides, but on some, the third side is an exact copy of the second side.

I hear the whole thing was cooked up by a man with three buttocks.

I also have this album; bought it when it first came out. One other thing about the record: the labels on both sides say “Side 2.” So it is a one-sided, two-sided, three-sided album! Pure genius!!

If you look carefully the dual tracks are evident in the runoff grooves.

Couldn’t resist posting, even if I’m not really adding anything new.

I was in high school in Florida in the early 1970’s when Matching Tie and Handkerchief first cam out.

My friend and I (both big Python fans) went out and purchased the album, and brought it back to his house to listen to it.

He thought that the one side was kind of short… but I dismissed the idea.

I think it was the “word association football” sketch we wanted to hear again (or for the third or fourth time) when we played the side again and got (no pun intended) something completely different.

On a different (but related) point of interest, Mad Magazine had one of their record inserts during the 70’s that also had multiple tracks, but the eight different grooves started in the middle of the record!

It started out somthing like “It’s a great big beautiful wonderful fantastical day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing…” (I’m singing along to myself and the lyrics aren’t right, but you get the idea). Continuing the song:

Until:” and at this point, one of 8 different endings kick in with all the things that went wrong.

I would amuse myself for hours on end, playing it over and over and over…

There used to be records you could buy with 6 or 8 parallel grooves. Each track was a call of a horse race, with a different horse winning on each. So the idea was you could bet on the horses in the comfort of your own home. Of course as it was purely random you could have just drawn straws …

… and the kids today think we didn’t have fun in the days of our youth.

Can I just mention that this is the first time I’ve posted in this thread?

I don’t see why it should be; you’d only have to cut the master that way (using two recording heads, one slightly offset from the other, and use a wider track pitch); the records themselves would be pressed as normal.