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Publisher's Summary

Don’t panic! Reissued for the first time in 40 years, two unique recordings of Douglas Adams' sci-fi comedy drama.

When Earthman Arthur Dent learns that first his house and then his planet are about to be bulldozed, it’s the beginning of an interplanetary adventure for him and his friend, Ford Prefect. After fleeing Earth they hitch a lift with hoopy frood Zaphod Beeblebrox, who hurtles from one improbability to another - literally. With Trillian and Marvin the Paranoid Android in tow, the answer to life, the universe and everything is soon revealed: 42. But what was the question?  

Following the success of the BBC radio series, Douglas Adams adapted his scripts for these two full-cast albums, with incidental radiophonic music provided by Paddy Kingsland. First released by Original Records in 1980, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe star Peter Jones as The Book, Simon Jones as Arthur Dent, Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect and Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox. 

Produced by Geoffrey Perkins and Tim Souster, the cast also includes Cindy Oswin, Stephen Moore, Richard Vernon, Valentine Dyall, David Tate, Jim Broadbent, Bill Wallis, Roy Hudd, Frank Middlemass, Stephen Greif and others.  

Hang onto your towel - it’s going to be the ride of a lifetime. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Albums

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The same but different!!!???

always loved that every version is different. from book to radio show to record. Every one slightly different.

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  • Bruce
  • 22-05-2020

Disappointing Audio Quality

As the self-proclaimed biggest Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan in the world, I was really looking forward to the release of these albums, which I owned on vinyl back in the eighties. I had my preorder before it was even announced to be in my library, and I eagerly listened to it.

First, the albums themselves. This is essential listening for any true fan of the series. There are aspects of it that are both better and worse than the radio series. Some of the technical gaffes due to editing, particularly in the first two episodes, are accounted for in this reimagining. Peter Jones sounds more himself, and less subdued, at the beginning. Some good use is made of improved technology. Unfortunately, particularly in the first two records, the dialog is rushed somewhat for time. Some scenes are cut, others are abridged. But over all, the albums served a purpose in a time which, for reasons that were very entertainingly written out on the album cover, the actual radio series could not be sold.

The area that is especially disappointing, however, involves the audio quality of the remastering. Obviously, a form of noise-reduction is being applied here by Audible. As with Earthsearch, another BBC offering, this noise reduction has the undesirable effect of removing some of the background sound, such as the Heart of Gold on sides 2, assuming those sounds to be noise, and not intentional sound. The result is a very choppy-sounding set of background sounds. I really hope these albums are eventually released on CD without this excessive noise-reduction being applied.

10 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 23-05-2020

Absolutely the very best HHGTTG version *ever*

As someone who has listened many times to the original broadcasts (on autographed CDs), read the books and the scripts, and watched the video productions I am confident that this is the very best version of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy ever. The recording (voices, acting, and sound effects) are better than the original. I like the script better than the original (and most of it is the same).

4 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph Norton
  • 21-05-2020

At Last! After 40 years, it's here!

At last, after 40 years, you can now hear the original LP version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and it sounds great!

Back in 1979, the first album, released as a double LP featured material from the first 4 episodes of the Radio series, with a few cast changes, such as Cindy Oswen as Trillian, and Valentine Dyall as Deep Thought. Douglas Adams, himself, can be heard. See if you can figure out where he shows up. This material very closely matches material from episodes 1-4 of the original radio series.

In 1980, another LP was released, featuring material similar to episodes 5 and 6 of the radio series, but, being a little more like the tv series. For example, the ship Zaphod steals turns out to belong to the rock band Disaster Area, and it's not going to be a fun ride. That's all I'll say, not wanting to give away too many spoilers.

This is a must for Hitchhiker fans who want a more complete audio collection.

Back then, you would have had to buy the first album in 1979, then wait until some time in 1980 to buy the second LP to complete the set. but now, you get it all in one convenient package. It's all here and you don't have to wait! Add this to your cart right now! You'll be listening in seconds.

4 people found this helpful

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  • NM
  • 21-05-2020

Beware of the Leopard!

This version is similar-but-different to previous releases - which of course means it's worth purchasing!! Guessing this was originally released Long Long Ago and has been re-issued in 2020 as a Limited Physical Media (Album) release along with a Digital Version. Getting the Digital Version (via Audible) is a matter of a Click and a Credit, so of course went with Digital.

This release is closer to an audio version of the 1980 TV series rather than the original radio scripts, and comes in six chapters like the TV series consisted of six episodes. Starts at (Part 1 Side 1 #1) with Arthur trying unsuccessfully to save his home from a Big Yellow Bulldozer and ends at (Part 2 Side 2 #5) pulling letters out a scrabble Bag on Pre-Historic Earth to discover what 6x9 really is...

Total time is about 2hr 38 mins. The PDF (listing below is from the PDF) is eight pages and contains what I assume to be artwork from the LP release.


Part One
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Side 1 (Digital Chapter 1)
===========================
In which the Earth is unexpectedly destroyed and the great hitch-hike begins. . .
1. JOURNEY OF THE SORCERER
2. THE GUIDE SPEAKS
3. NONE AT ALL
4. GARGLEBLASTER SONATA
5. I DON’T LIKE THURSDAYS
6. VOGON CONSTRUCTOR FLEETS
7. THE BABEL FISH
8. MICTURATIONS OF A VOGON

Side 2 (Digital Chapter 2)
===========================
After being saved from certain death during the demolition of the Earth, Arthur Dent now faces a hopeless choice, between meeting certain death in the vacuum of space or finding something pleasant to say about Vogon poetry. . .
1. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE EARTH
2. THE BIG ONE
3. UNEASE BY THE SEA
4. HEART OF GOLD
5. INFINITELY IMPROBABLE
6. SONG OF THE MINDLESS JERKS
7. WAVEBAND ON THE RUN

Side 3 (Digital Chapter 3)
===========================
After being improbably rescued from certain death in the vacuum of space, Arthur Dent and his new companions now face a missile attack and certain death. . .
1. YORE KIND OF MUSIC
2. CONSOLATION No. 1
3. OUT TO LUNCH
4. CONSOLATION No. 2
5. WHALE SONG No. 1
6. WHALE SONG No. 2
7. PINK PLANET
8. BIRO GYRO
9. DOUBLE SUNSET
10. THE DOLPHINS’ FAREWELL
11. FACTORY FLOOR

Side 4 (Digital Chapter 4)
===========================
It has been revealed to Arthur that the Earth has been built by the Magratheans and run by mice. Meanwhile, his companions have other problems to contend with (probably, certain death) .......
1. THE EARTH, Mk 2
2. TELL US WHY
3. AUBADE
4. THE ANSWER
5. THE MESSIAH
6. IS THERE A LIFESTYLE AFTER DEATH
7. ARMS OF THE LAW
8. JOURNEY’S END


PART TWO: THE RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE
----------------------------------------------------------------
Side 1 (Digital Chapter 5)
===========================
The End
1. JOURNEY OF THE SORCERER
2. THE STORY SO FAR
3. BREAKFAST AT MILLIWAYS
4. DISASTER AREA
5. REG NULLIFY IN CONCERT
6. APOCALYPSE WHEN?
7. BIG BLACK CARS
8. HOW ARE WE FOR TIME?
9. INS AND OUTS OF THE UNIVERSE

Side 2 (Digital Chapter 6)
===========================
The Beginning
1. IS THERE A LIFE AFTER LUNCH?
2. EMPTY VESSELS
3. ‘B’ ARK UP THE WRONG TREE
4. POETIC CIRCLES
5. ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES


Simon Jones as Arthur Dent
Geoffrey McGivern as Ford Prefect
Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox
Cindy Oswin as Trillian
Stephen Moore as Marvin (The Paranoid Android)
Peter Jones as The Book

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  • Ivy Epsilon
  • 08-04-2021

Good for the completist, otherwise, eh.

Its just the first 2 seasons of the radio series with some tweaks and edited down a bit. If you don't already own the HGttG radio series itself, I recommend getting that first.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jim Vaughan
  • 26-05-2020

Fantastic! But the original radio version (Primary Phase) is better.

HHGG is a fantastically funny Sci-Fi satire. If you’ve ever wondered what the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything is.. it’s 42. Hence the Earth was created as the ultimate supercomputer to try and find out the original question... all well and good!

However, this recording is from the vinyl version, which is an abridged and modified version of the better and more complete original BBC radio series (also available on Audible as HHGG “Primary Phase”). Do take a listen at that on Audible, before deciding whether to get this.

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  • Richard Poyle
  • 20-09-2020

Why mono when my original vinyl LPs are stereo?

I've listened to my original LPs so many times over the years that they're now distorted and scratchy. So I was excited by this re-release in digital quality but how disappointing to find it's all in mono rather than stereo! The originals were such a wonderful headphone experience especially the music and sound effects, which really added to the atmosphere. The writing and performances are as terrific as ever but it just doesn't sound so good in mono. It even misses out "Arthur bruised his upper arm" which is unforgiveable.

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  • ivoconk
  • 12-09-2020

Great to hear these albums again

Apparently taken from the vinyl rather than the master tapes, this sounds pretty good. I love all the versions of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but this one is extra special to me as for a long time it was the *only* way to listen to the show after the repeats had finished on Radio 4 in the late 70s. Despite the vinyl origins the sound quality is better than the original radio show (though the Dirk Maggs remixes have greatly improved them) and the backing music, from Tim Souster and Paddy Kingsland of the Radiophonic Workshop is completely recomposed, and rather better for the most part - Rainbow in Curved Air, Jean Michel Jarre, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Louis Armstrong are all missing (rights issues) but you don’t miss them that much as the new music is so well fitted to the script with a delightfully light pizzicato feel shading to passages of choral synth grandeur - additional sound effects throughout make for a very rich and textured experience. This is the first appearances of Disaster Area (predating the TV show and novel adaptation) and Valentine Dyall as Deep Thought. David Jason is absent, but Jim Broadbent and Roy Hudd are both there. The rewritten scene with the mice is much funnier than the original with mouse voices that crack me up every time. The performances are great across the board, tight and finely honed. The only thing that I really miss - and it’s a big one - is Susan Sheridan in her role as Trillian as she was recording the dialogue for a Disney cartoon at the time, but Cindy Oswin does a great interpretation and gets to appear as one of the two operators of Deep Thought, which makes those scenes feel a fair bit more modern. These albums, lost for decades, bring fresh perspective to THHGTTG - if you’re a fan of the original show and into completism then these are a must-have. If you’re new to Hitch Hiker then this is a great - and compact - way to get into the show. Right, I’m going back to the desert of Kaktafoon Kappa for the finale of Disaster Area’s gig...

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-05-2020

My favourite version of Hitchhiker, at last!

For me, this always trumped every other version. So pleased people can hear it again!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Wibble
  • 21-05-2020

Don't Panic

Very surprised and delighted to have this again after all these years. I had feared this re-release was about to be cancelled when my pre-order of the CDs on Amazon was suddenly pushed all the way back to October with no explanation & I fully expected the same to happen here. Thank Zarquon, Almighty Bob & his holy sandwich-maker that didn't happen.

As for the release itself, it sounds much better than any of the copies you'll find on YouTube and elsewhere, all of which have the pops and crackles you get from decades old vinyl. I had hoped this might be from the original master tapes, but listening with decent headphones I can clearly hear surface noise from a vinyl record during the quietest sections of the story so this is also a needle drop capture. It's most noticeable during the "I've bought some peanuts" scene, however apart from some harshness to the sibilant sounds, this does sound like the vinyl they used was practically mint condition, so no real complaints. Just temper your expectations as to sound quality.

I will still be buying the CD if it actually gets released in October...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-12-2020

enjoying show.

I enjoyed the show and it was funny. the show was good and funny with story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S
  • 02-11-2020

The original and the best

This is the original LP recording and nothing betters it. Don't listen to any others.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andy Harper
  • 15-06-2020

Don't Panic!

These recordings are from the 1979/80 LPs and are re-recordings of the Radio 4 series. However, none of the original brilliance is lost. Some lines have been edited and different actors in parts. It's a great listen though

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amadeus
  • 07-08-2021

A re-recording of the original BBC radio scripts

The hugely influential and widely admired Hitchhiker's Guide started life on BBC Radio as a comedy drama. because recordings of this were unavailable Douglas Adams adapted the scripts for a commercially released two disc album which included material from the first 4 radio episodes. This was followed by a second release of scripts for the last two episodes - Restaurant at the End of the Universe. while the first Album may even have been better than the Radio series, the Restaurant album lacks the spark of the original, possibly becuase the new material that was added to make it long enough for an album acts like filler rather than contributing to the comedy. It's all still a good listen though and great value for one credit.

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  • Midnight Caller
  • 02-07-2021

I love Hitchhiker

I love Hitchhiker in all its guises. I have read all of the books more than once, and although the recordings in this book vary from the 'authentic book in places, they still represent Hitchhiker at its best. This book is very close to the BBC TV series of about 1980, though that was adapted from the BBC radio series.

Well worth buying whether you are a fan of the series or not, even if it is just to hear Marvin The Paranoid Android!

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