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Sir Henry At Rawlinson End Extra tracks

4.9 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 May 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B0000082FB
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,157 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Born out of short interludes in Bonzo Dog albums and Peel Show contributions in the late Seventies, this recording contains, quite possibly, the most entertaining 50 minutes you are ever likely to enjoy. The scene is set in the faded grandeur of dust-shrouded aristocratic manor Rawlinson End where the terrifying Sir Henry and a cast of larger than life grotesques, of League of Gentlemen proportions, go about their daily excursions under Stanshall's relentless microscope.

His use of language is extraordinary, and he can move from the bawdily asinine (the downtrodden manservant is called Scrotum: the wrinkled retainer) to space-cadet surreal in the course of a single sentence.
The piece is crammed to the gills with throwaway one-liners... for example when some of the characters are playing cards, one remarks to Sir Henry "why, if filthy fingers were trumps, what a marvellous hand you'd have."
All is narrated with his plummy, rounded, and hugely expressive voice morphing wonderfully into each perfectly realised character. The scenes are intersperced with musical interludes, which the idiosyncratic but canny Stanshall made timelessly gauche (echoes of the Bonzo's here).

Viv Stanshall's exquisitely sharp, savage and witty descriptions paint some of the most vivid and side splittingly laugh-out-loud funny scenes this writer has ever heard. The rich density of the descriptions and narrative will bring the listener back time and again to find nuances and meanings that elude first listens. Without doubt, the album is an undeniable work of genius from the finest hour of this sadly missed English eccentric ... Indispensible.
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Format: Audio CD
I came across this album in the early 80s, after hearing some of Viv's eccentric musings on the John Peel show, and having been a Bonzos fan for years.
His masterfully precise use of the English language evokes the pompous, gout-ridden world of faded landed gentry, personified by Sir Henry ("Afterlife, Afterbirth, don't hold with any of it") Rawlinson. Viv gets more mileage out of a seemingly ordinary phrase than a theatre full of double entendres.
Worth listening to very closely, again and again (especially when stoned ... apparently). Especially when Sir Henry's imbecile brother "offers his seat to a lady in a public lavatory. There is considerable confusion."
In my opinion (obviously!) there is not a weak moment on the whole album.
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By A Customer on 28 Mar. 2002
Format: Audio CD
The original version of the late Mr Stanshall's magnum opus, it is the story of a deranged English squire, and his manor house full of grotesques.
Stealing a line from it, "English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, Rawlinson End sat armoured and effete." This is true, electric soup poetry. It parodies, and laments the end of an England that never really existed.
Warm, english surrealism, as comforting as strong tea and hot toast. Buy it, it will improve your life.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Vivian Stanshall's crowning achievement - a poetic and brilliantly witty epic tale delivered in Viv's wonderful rich baritone voice with musical interludes. It features the decadent eccentric aristocrat, Sir Henry Rawlinson, along with his grotesque relatives and acquaintances inhabiting Rawlinson End, a stately pile "nestling in green nowhere" in the English countryside.

John Peel believed that Viv Stanshall was "on his day,the funniest man in Britain" and along with producer John Walters encouraged Viv to develop the Sir Henry character on his Radio 1 show which led to this marvellous album.

Viv Stanshall's influences included Marcel Duchamp, Dada and Oscar Wilde and all are evident on this bizarre, hilarious and literate masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
Perhaps Viv's finest hour. On this CD you will find a segment of the gorgeous and brutal story of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. I have listened to this album many, many times over the years and it still gives me the greatest pleasure. His reading of the text is superb and the songs are rich, ridiculous and marvellous. Along with Milligan and the Pythons, Stanshall remains one of the most original comic writers and performers of the last century.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the most perfect things in existence. Pure poetry read by the perfect voice. Extremely funny, but also beautifully written prose as well. With surreal lines such as "his face was a crumpled tissue on which a lobster might well have wiped it's bottom," you kind of get the idea. I grew up with this album and have spent my life bemusing people quoting from it. "I don't know what I want, but I want it now!" "Do you know what a palmist once said to me? She said WILL YOU LET GO!" Rawlinson End exists in it's own wonderfully preserved corner of British eccentricity and I would recommend anyone to listen to it. It will enrich your life I promise.
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Format: Audio CD
I jus readded this to my cd collection after first having the vinyl album many years ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Vivian Stanshall's loquacious monologue demonstrates his intellectual abilities often hidden through the vehicle of the Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band. This group were often written off as a comedy group along the lines of the New Temperance Seven whereas in fact they had more affinity with Frank Zappa in their pithy social commentary.

Stanshall was the epitomy of the band and yet was clearly something much, much, more. I encountered him in 1968 on the stage of the Empire Theatre in Sunderland following a performance where they topped the Bill made up of Mad Dog, Yes, Roy Harper and the Bonzo's. The maestro was sat in a chair on the stage overlooking the empty theatre and sipped champagne with his two great Dane sentries on each flank. Clearly no ordinary rock star he.

There are many similarities between himself and Kevin Ayers which demonstrate themselves in ways other than music. Although not generally seen as such, Vivian was the quintissential English gentleman, articulate and free thinking.

It is my earnest belief that inspiration for this piece of exquisite art came from two major sources. As I listened to this for the first time for years I realised that there are references therein about the previous owner of George Harrison's house Friar Park, Sir Frankie Crisp, who was renowned as a great eccentric himself. Vivian's portrayal of Sir Henry melds together the image of Sir Frankie Crisp within the overall gothic novels of Mervyn PeakeThe Gormenghast Novels
to depict a world in it's own way as weird and wonderful as Alice in Wonderland.

Sir Henry at Rawlinson's End is a great work of art and deserves to be treated as such.
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