With some friends working on a Peter Cook / Dudley Moore project recently, my mind wandered back to thinking about the many hilarious and truly outrageous things that they had filmed and recorded over the years. Someday I'll do a long article about them but for today I just want to talk about one of my favorite comedy albums as a teenager - Derek and Clive / Ad Nauseum. My record-buying budget was slender in those days (1979), and I recall vividly how upon seeing the new copy of Ad Nauseum in the store, with its cleverly designed cover and special screen-printed clear bag I had to have it. But as usual with my "going up to the city to buy new records" trips, this meant that some cheaper lps would be sacrificed altogether in order to get the higher-priced import vinyl (Ad Nauseum was on Virgin Records, right when they went from the sweet little painting of a virgin on the label to the more punk 'side one RED and side two GREEN' format).
Here's a (NSFW) sample of one of the few fully pre-scripted scenes from this record: Horse Racing
Little did I realize then that this project would STILL stand this many years later as one of the most borderline-(and over the) offensive comedy records ever waxed. In further exploration of things Peter Cook related I found this lovely website about him, which also contained an excerpt from an interview with amazing British engineer Hugh Padgham (in two parts: here and here), who, along with spending a great deal of time with Peter Cook assembling this lp, also worked with loads of other artists I admire (Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, and I believe he has some Monty Python lp credits as well) who brings into focus how the album was made and dispels some myths that have accrued around the famous sessions.
It's actually hard to not wax enthusiastic here about the 100 other projects that they worked on together or seperately that I also love, but like I said - I'll try and cook up a longer article soon. In any case, I highly recommend giving the lp a listen - there are six bonus cuts on the (probably well out-of-print) CD version as well to enjoy. It was a jaw-dropper at the time and still has some power to shock. Below, however, is a 'clean' clip from the boys, taken from an episode of their TV programme "Not Only, But Also", and featuring (along with a special guest cameo) a wacky lip-synched version of their then-current single "The L. S. Bumble Bee", which as regular readers know, has been featured on WFMU before, and so there's the vinyl version for you as well.