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The Goon Show Compendium, Vol. 9: Vintage Goons Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Thirteen remastered episodes of the legendary series, plus bonus material.
About the Author
Spike Milligan was perhaps best known as one of the Goons. He went on to become one of Britain's foremost comic writers and performers. His bestselling titles include Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, Puckoon and Where have all the Bullets Gone? He died in 2002.
Larry Stephens was a scriptwriter who wrote for several popular comedy shows in the 1950s, including The Tony Hancock Show and The Army Game. He is probably best known as co-writer of many Goon Show episodes, along with Spike Milligan. He died in 1959.
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11-12 Dread Piano Clubber Rehearsal.
13-15 (half way) Warm up for Piano Clubber
15 (half way through) Russian Love song x2
16-17 Mummified Priest inserts
18-19 Greatest Mountain inserts
20 Has all the following - Missing Number 10 false start, 3 Sign offs - Fort Night, Albert memorial X 2. In answer to the earlier reviewer, the Missing number 10 show will be unavailable until EMI, now owned by Warners, release their copyright. This is highly unlikely. That goes for all the shows they own the rights for. Sorry folks.
The episode "The Missing Ten Downing Street" has not been included in this Compendium, for copyright reasons. Most of you Goons fans will know it's only ever been released by EMI, minus the music, a very irritating state of affairs! However, the documentation in the package indicates that a PDF file of the relevant script is included on Disc 7 of the set - but no such appears to be on mine. A small matter, as many Goon Show scripts are available freely online, courtesy of many fans meticulously - and very kindly - transcribing them from audio. Anyone else experienced the "Missing Missing Ten Downing Street PDF Script"? (a good subject for a new episode!) - or, in the words of Terry Wogan - "Is it ME?"
Well, let's hope Compendium Volume 10 will follow its predecessor more quickly than did the current one, as it's my ambition to collect all of these before I die! Thankfully, touchwood, I'm still only on the waiting list.
The BBC only holds recordings from the beginning of series 5 onwards. Some series 4 episodes exist (and are finally being released in a separate edition here: The Goon Show: Series 4, Pt. 1 (Golden Age of BBC Radio Comedy)). Series 1-3 are, sadly, totally lost to us. Hence, this definitive collection began with series five, and aims to release all extant recordings the BBC still hold from all subsequent series.
If you're looking here you don't need to be told how good the humour is, so I will just review the release itself. Volume 9 collects thirteen of the fourteen episodes of the Vintage Goons. Aired in 1958, these are re-recordings of scripts that were first aired 1953, and are now the only versions of these early shows available to us Goonistas. This series was broadcast between series 8 and 9. The episodes are across 7 discs, with some usual fascinating extras on the last disc. The remastering is worthy of especial praise. In the main these episodes sound much better than they have in any other release. I'm very impressed with the overall quality. This really will be the definitive collection when finished.
This release contains 7 CDs, with two episodes per disc and extras on the 7 disc. These are collected into two 4 CD jewel cases, encased in a flimsy cardboard outer. There are two booklets, one in each case, with essays, details for each episode and original Radio Times listings.
The Mummifies Priest
The Greatest Mountain In The World
The Giant Bombardon
The Kippered Herring Gang
The Vanishing Room
The Ink Shortage
The Mustard And Cress Shortage
The Internal Mountain
The Silent Bugler
The Great Bank Of England Robbery
The Dreaded Piano Clubber
The Siege Of Fort Night
The Albert Memorial
Episode 3 of this series, The Missing Ten Downing Street, is still being held to ransom by EMI, and is present merely as a PDF of the script on Disc 7. This is a shame, as the absence of these episodes is the only thing that has spoiled these releases.
Extras are various snippets of rehearsals and prerecording warm ups. .
This really is as good as it gets. 5 stars for the episodes, and 5 for the quality of the release.
This release has been over a year late due to the problems AudioGo have been facing. It is to be hoped that future releases will not be so delayed! Hopefully we will have the collection completed soon? The remaining series were all a lot shorter than series 1-8, and by my estimation there are about 25 episodes left to be released, or about 2 Compendiums worth. Here's hoping that there is some way of tying up the series with a compendium of the EMI episodes held hostage these 50 plus years? Their omission from the previous releases has been the only mar on an other wise excellent set. Come on EMI, there's money to be made out of these episodes, and your prospective market is not getting any younger! Their continued withholding of this material defies all commercial logic.
Having said all that, well done BBC, keep them coming! And any chance of a proper release for Men From The Ministry or I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again?