20 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Six years before This Is Spinal Tap, Monty Python’s Eric Idle and Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Band stuck it to the Beatles. What started out as a fictional band for a mockumentary became a short-lived phenomenon known by fans as the Prefab Four. They toured, recorded and even landed a couple of UK hits. This collection boasts 20 songs that helped make the 1978 comedy All You Need Is Cash a cult film. Like Spinal Tap, each of the Rutles played their own instruments and sang. But members Ron Nasty, Barry Wom, Stig O'Hara and Dirk McQuickly were not only influential to other rock mockumentaries, as evidenced by 1990s Rutles Highway Revisited (A Tribute to the Rutles) comprising artists such as Galaxie 500, Shonen Knife, Daniel Johnston and others. The opening “Goose-Step Mama” perfectly parodies the early incarnation of the Beatles when they mixed Merseybeat with skiffle folk, while “Blue Suede Schubert” rips on the pre-moptop Teddy Boy era when back-beat was added to rockabilly. “Piggy In the Middle” nails “I Am the Walrus,” replete with warbly Mellotron.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Six years before This Is Spinal Tap, Monty Python’s Eric Idle and Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Band stuck it to the Beatles. What started out as a fictional band for a mockumentary became a short-lived phenomenon known by fans as the Prefab Four. They toured, recorded and even landed a couple of UK hits. This collection boasts 20 songs that helped make the 1978 comedy All You Need Is Cash a cult film. Like Spinal Tap, each of the Rutles played their own instruments and sang. But members Ron Nasty, Barry Wom, Stig O'Hara and Dirk McQuickly were not only influential to other rock mockumentaries, as evidenced by 1990s Rutles Highway Revisited (A Tribute to the Rutles) comprising artists such as Galaxie 500, Shonen Knife, Daniel Johnston and others. The opening “Goose-Step Mama” perfectly parodies the early incarnation of the Beatles when they mixed Merseybeat with skiffle folk, while “Blue Suede Schubert” rips on the pre-moptop Teddy Boy era when back-beat was added to rockabilly. “Piggy In the Middle” nails “I Am the Walrus,” replete with warbly Mellotron.

TITLE TIME
2:17
2:49
1:54
2:08
2:11
2:04
1:50
2:00
2:36
1:49
1:59
2:53
3:00
1:25
2:48
4:06
2:10
2:38
3:15
3:23

About The Rutles

Originally broadcast on network TV in 1978, ex-Monty Python member Eric Idle's satire of the Beatles' legend was one of the very few successful rock parodies; only Spinal Tap, perhaps, has outdone it. One of the key elements of this mock rockumentary was the brilliantly executed soundtrack by Python associate and ex-Bonzo Dog Band member Neil Innes (he also played the character loosely based upon John Lennon in the film itself). As an actual peer of the group in the '60s (the Bonzos even appeared in the Magical Mystery Tour film), Innes was well-qualified to satirize the Fab Four in song. With the exception of Idle, each of the four Rutles played their own instruments on the recording in addition to acting in the film. To complete the gag, the Rutles reconvened in 1996 to record a second album, Archeology, to coincide with the Beatles' Anthology projects. Masquerading as archival material, most of Archeology was in fact newly recorded in the mid-'90s, and was as witty and well-executed as the soundtrack to their TV special nearly 20 years ago. ~ Richie Unterberger

Top Songs by The Rutles

Top Albums by The Rutles

Listeners Also Played