Today is Towel Day, the greatest of all Internet holidays because it celebrates the life, work, and enduring legacy of the late, great Douglas Adams. Fans of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy creator (although, really he was so much more, as his Dirk Gently books and environmental advocacy work illustrates) are encouraged to carry a towel around today due to the fact that one of these bathtime necessities is, according to the guide, “about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”
Let’s have Ford Prefect (David Dixon) shed some more light on the subject in the following clip from the hoopy 1981 TV version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Okay, got that?
So while Adams himself tragically left this galaxy in 2001, his work continues to live on and inspire new generations. This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series that kicked the entire saga off, and while it seems like everyone is rightfully waiting until its 42nd birthday to truly celebrate, there is some huge news that has just been released.
On August 24th, the UK-based Demon Records will release all six episodes of the first BBC radio series (known as “The Primary Phase”) on vinyl for the very first time. Released in deluxe hardcover packaging that includes newly created artwork, an introduction from Neil Gaiman — who wrote the official Hitchhiker’s companion book Don’t Panic before he was a household name for his comics work — and liner notes and making of info from historian/author Jem Roberts, this beautiful red vinyl release will be the initial offering, with the subsequent five series hitting stores throughout the rest of the year and into 2019. Here’s a video announcing the release that gives you a look at the care that is being put into this project:
A special limited edition of this release signed by Gaiman has already apparently sold out on Amazon UK, though if you search hard enough around the web you may still be able to land one. A pre-order for the standard edition is available here for £69.99. (As of this writing it is not available through the U.S. Amazon site, but you aren’t going to won’t to miss this one).
It should be noted that while this is the first time the radio series has been issued as an LP, there was a truncated, re-recorded version of it offered by Original Records in the 1980s, as well as several tie-in records, including singles by Marvin the Paranoid Android himself. We inform you of this just so that we can run the following clip of Marvin “singing” on the famous UK children’s show Blue Peter:
With Demon’s upcoming releases of all the Hitchhiker’s Guide LP sets, fans who have somehow missed out on this, our preferred version of the story, will get to experience it for the first time. The only thing really to panic about here is how much this will cost you. Better start saving those Altarian dollars.