Audio Review: Vintage Beeb


IN the years before video, the only way to enjoy one’s favourite television and radio programmes time and time again came through the limited release of vinyl LPs containing extracts or abridged recordings from a handful of classic shows.

Occasionally including special linking narration to fill in some of the on-screen visuals, these records were a much-welcomed means of capturing these programmes in a permanent format which could be listened to at the owner’s whim, instead of at the beck and call of the schedules.

This new range of releases collects some of the finest BBC LPs from the 1970s, presented with a special vinyl-look CD and including the original album sleeve notes, However, there’s none of the scratchiness of the records here, and they’ve also been digitally remastered to ensure a higher standard of listening pleasure.

The first six releases include two classic 1974 episodes of Dad’s Army: Sergeant Wilson’s Little Secret and Something Nasty in the Vault, 16 bedtime stories written and told by the legendary Johnny Morris, and a chance to join Great Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory, Madame Cholet and all the other Wombles in six wonderful tales read by Bernard Cribbins.

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I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again includes highlights from the innovative BBC Radio series, showcasing the comic talents of Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Graeme Garden, David Hatch, Jo Kendall and Bill Oddie. This compilation of classic sketches includes Full Frontal Radio, Prune Manifesto, Buffers, Critics, News in Welsh, Listening to Flowers, Eddie Waring Impersonation and Taming of the Shrew.

Some of the very best sketches from Monty Python’s Flying Circus are also collected on one CD, with the likes of Nudge Nudge Wink Wink and the Dead Parrot Sketch sitting alongside the Lumberjack Song in a breakneck spin through the series’ finest comic moments.

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Finally, things wrap up with Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor facing the moral dilemma of whether to destroy the Daleks at the dawn of their creation in Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks. Unquestionably one of the classic series’ finest hours, this condensed version of the original TV episodes also features the debut of Davros, the twisted scientist responsible for spawning the Dalek race onto the universe.

A highly accomplished wave of collector’s items, sure to appeal to anyone who remembered slipping the needle onto the vinyl of the original releases, and then played them to the point of no return.

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