Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Flanders and Swann

It's interesting how some things from Britain catch on in the US while other things do not. Take for a start the musical comedy team of Flanders and Swann. Though they released albums and even toured the US back in the 50s and 60s, they are certainly not as well known here today as say Monty Python.

Even Tom Lehrer (who is US based) has a bigger US following than Flanders and Swann despite having similar comedic styles of writing and singing satirical songs accompanied by the piano and the fact that they all retired their comedy music careers roughly around the same time (circa 1967).

There is an import CD box set that contains all three of their original albums, plus some bonus unreleased tracks that are all very funny. Perhaps they weren't a bigger success here because Michael Flanders' delivery on some of his opening remarks is so dry and so droll at times, that it requires a bit of paying attention to in order to get the joke, something we Americans don't seem to be able to do, easily (US comedy style seems to veer more towards the Three Stooges, which I highly enjoy as well).

I think they're great and it's too bad that they are no longer with us (Flanders died in 1975, and Swann in 1994). I highly recommend these albums especially if you are a Lehrer fan!

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