The Rutles – LP

As their website says:

The Rutles are a legend. A living legend. A legend that will live long after other living legends have died. This is the semi-legendary story of the Prefab Four who made the sixties what they are today!

For such a huge cultural phenomenon the Beatles have attracted surprisingly few parodies and send-ups over the years. That is until The Rutles came along…..

We’ve just scored a nice vinyl copy of their 1978 LP The Rutles:IMG_9939IMG_9940IMG_9946

Created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes for British television, The Rutles first appeared in 1975 as a sketch on the BBC TV comedy series called Rutland Weekend Television. The sketch presented a mini-documentary about the 1960s band “The Rutles”, and featured Innes singing “I Must Be In Love”, a pastiche of a 1964 Lennon-McCartney tune.

The Rutles gained more fame after their 1978 mockumentary television film, All You Need Is Cash (in which George Harrison actually appears). The Rutles LP is the soundtrack album from that film and it contains 14 of the film’s 20 songs.

The Rutles comes with a gatefold cover and pasted inside is a lavish 16-page, full colour book containing text and images detailing the history and (imaginary) releases of the band. Here’s a selection:IMG_9941IMG_9943IMG_9944IMG_9945

And there’s an inner sleeve containing more band parodies, too:


What we have here is the US pressing. Released on the Warner Brothers label in 1978.

If you’d like a taste of what The Rutles are about:

The Rutles DVD – and Lunch

I mentioned on an earlier post that while visiting Australia’s capital city Canberra recently I found a CD/DVD store advertising “20% OFF ALL STOCK”.

That’s a good sign for any decent collector. Inside though I didn’t find much in the way of Beatles or Beatles-related material – except for a heavily discounted, brand-new DVD of  The Rutles“All You Need Is Cash”.

The Rutles is an Eric Idle and Neil Innes invention, a very funny and clever Beatles parody group. I’d never seen the film, and for A$6.40 it was a bargain. “All You Need is Cash” comes from 1978, and  started life initially as a comedy spot on the US TV show Saturday Night Live. It grew from those humble beginnings into a fully-blown “mockumentary” style film that was shown on NBC-TV. George Harrison lpayed along and even appears briefly in the film.

It has had numerous releases around the world, and hence a variety of cover images. This is the cover of the Australian edition I got:

Other people making cameo appearances are Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Paul Simon, the late John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray. Here is the rear cover:

This is the printing on the DVD itself. Notice that its a fruit half opened – just like the Beatles Apple label….:

In addition, at the same time I’m discovering this DVD, the Rutles have a brand new presence online – with a fully-blown comic parody of the the Beatles/Cirque du Soliel CD and Las Vegas show “Love”.

It’s called The Rutles “Lunch” and its only recently gone live. There is a lot of fun content to click through on the “Lunch” web page, including a stream of the entire album. It also has sections on The Show, Music, Making Of, and Contact – all a very close mimic of the Beatles own official “Love” site.

As you can see, even the artwork closely resembles the original. If you’d like to listen to individual songs and not have to download the entire album there’s a song-by-song download page with background to how each song came about.

Click here for more on the official Beatles releases of “Love”.