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The Rutles  

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Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
A fab gear interview with Rutles drummer Barry Wom.
The Rutles
Interview with Neil Innes, history, TV/film appearances.
History of The Rutles
A thorough history of the Pre-Fab Four, from their inception on Rutland Weekend Television through the release of "Archaeology," their reunion album. Includes rarely-heard audio, photographs, and hard-to-find promotional material and memorabilia.
OLGA Index: The Rutles
Index of user contributed tablature of Rutles' songs.
Neil Innes: The Rutles
Lyrics to songs from Rutles albums, Rutland Weekend Television, and Monty Python related songs. Plus photographs and articles.
Tragical History Tour
The official Rutles home page, with a history of the Pre-Fab Four and other information, song lyrics, photographs and trivia.
Amazon offers The Rutles (Audio CD),03 July, 1990
rock music |  The Rutles  | rock n roll List price $9.98
Why Don't You Own This Already? / 4
"The Rutles" is a Beatles spoof that, surprisingly enough, is so well-loved by Beatles fans that it practically qualifies as supplemental material. All the music here is written by Neil Innes and parodies virtually every distinct period in Beatles history. From the early days of Beatlemania, to their psychedelic era, to their "get back" stage - the Rutles includes something for everyone. Far from being a one-joke phenomenon, "The Rutles" holds up very well almost 30 years later and there's a lot of cleverness contained within the CD. For sheer entertainment value, these 20 songs beat most of the "Anthology" hands-down.

Innes himself sounds an awful lot like John Lennon, and the songs lean more heavily towards the Lennon side of the Lennon/McCartney partnership. (Even before he became a Rutle, Innes sounded like one - just check out his Lennon-like "Angelina" on the "Recycled Vinyl Blues" compilation.) While even the most casual of Beatles fans can appreciate Innes' songwriting skill, it's only when you pay closer attention to Innes' production values that you'll realize "The Rutles" was far from a quickie cash-in. Put on a pair of headphones and skip through the CD - you will find that Innes paid close attention to George Martin's production and arrangement style, right down to the mixing, reverb, and EQ. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find any sounds on this CD that aren't historically accurate (although I am surprised that Innes didn't include a Mellotron on some of the later period stuff). There's an attention to detail even the most obsessive Beatles impersonators can't match.

I've listened to this CD many, many times. To my ears, it's the early period Beatles parodies that hold up best. Innes' arrangements incorporate multiple references to different songs into each new Rutles song, making seemingly obvious jokes like "Hold My Hand" pretty darned complex. Furthermore, some of songs stray far enough from their original targets to almost pass for Beatles outtakes. "Between Us" is a fine little ballad that would have been at home on "A Hard Day's Night," and "I Must Be In Love" is as good as any 45 Lennon/McCartney wrote in 1965. "Baby Let Me Be" is a good "Meet the Beatles"-style tune, and Innes even revives his own "Blue Suede Schubert" as a Chuck Berry-style rocker to remind us that in the early days, the Beatles often included covers of Chuck Berry songs like "Roll Over Beethoven."

I'm less fond of the psychedelic stuff. Aside from "Piggy in the Middle," a hilarious send-up of "I am the Walrus," the humor isn't as focused and the songs just aren't as creative as their inspirations were. You can find far better psychedelic tributes on XTC's "Chips from the Chocolate Fireball," although Innes certainly wins points for his "Penny Lane" parody. Innes' heart seems to have been with happy-go-lucky Beatlemania and not the heady "Sgt Pepper" days.

By the time we reach the final song, a Lennonesque guitar-based ballad that owes a lot to both "Julia" and "Dear Prudence," we are genuinely sorry that the CD has come to an end. The Rutles would return for a sequel CD that isn't nearly as good, and Innes still periodically performs these songs in concert. But all the Rutles you really need is on this disc. I think you'll find it a rewarding purchase, and it really belongs in every serious Beatle lover's collection.

DVD Verdict Review - The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch
... eager to revisit the legendary impact of the Rutles, the band of four ... Review content copyright © 2005 Dennis Prince; Site layout and review format ...
Expert Reviews - Rutles, The: All You Need Is Cash (DVD-1978)
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