The Rutles (album)

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The Rutles
Soundtrack album by The Rutles
Released March 1978 (1978-03)[1]
Genre Comedy rock, rock and roll
Length 50:27
Label Warner Bros.
The Rutles chronology
The Rutles
(1978)
The Rutles Archaeology
(1996)
Alternative cover
The cover to the American CD reissue of The Rutles. From left to right: Dirk McQuickly, Barry Wom, Stig O'Hara, and Ron Nasty.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link

The Rutles is a soundtrack album to the 1978 telemovie All You Need Is Cash. The album contains over 14 of the tongue-in-cheek, pastiches of Beatles' songs that were featured in the film.

Multiple listenings are required to discern all the sources referenced in titles, lyrics, melodies, and song structures. The primary creative force of the Rutles music was Neil Innes, the sole composer and arranger of the songs. Innes had been the 'seventh' member of Monty Python, as well as one of the main artists behind the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band in the late 1960s, who had been featured in the real Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour movie performing "Death Cab For Cutie".

Innes himself credits the three musicians he recruited to assist him on the project as having been enormously important in helping him capture the feel of The Beatles. Guitarist/singer Ollie Halsall and drummer John Halsey had played together in the groups Timebox and Patto. Multi-instrumentalist Rikki Fataar had played with The Flames before joining the Beach Boys in the early 1970s.

Eric Idle is not heard at all on the music soundtrack of the film. He did not play or sing on any of the recordings. He is skillful at lip-syncing the "Dirk" vocals that were in fact sung by Ollie Halsall. Innes says that Idle, who had recently had an appendectomy, offered to help but was encouraged to recuperate. Were it not for the inherently ironic lyrics, it might be difficult to distinguish the songs from true Beatles numbers (indeed, the 1978 Beatles bootleg Indian Rope Trick included The Rutles' "Cheese and Onions", incorrectly — and perhaps jokingly — attributing it to John Lennon). In the early 1980s, Innes was accused by one American Beatle fan of stealing unreleased Beatles tracks to use in the film; this was based on a recording of "Cheese And Onions" obtained by the fan which he believed to be by John Lennon. When the recording was played to Innes, he was amused to discover that it was actually his own demo of the song, a tribute to his skills as a parodist.

The songs written by Innes so cleverly parodied the original source material that he was taken to court by the owners of The Beatles' catalogue. Innes had to testify under oath that he had not listened to the songs at all while composing The Rutles songs, but had created them completely originally based on what he remembered various Beatles songs sounding like at different times.

Songs[edit]

The album contains some obvious send-ups of Beatles numbers such as "Ouch!" ("Help!"), "Hold My Hand" ("I Want to Hold Your Hand"), "Love Life" ("All You Need is Love"), "Good Times Roll" ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"), "Piggy in the Middle" ("I Am the Walrus") and "Doubleback Alley" ("Penny Lane"). "Get Up And Go" was not on the original LP (allegedly after John Lennon warned Innes that it resembled "Get Back" too closely, which might prompt McCartney to sue)[2][3] but was included on the CD reissue. Many of the other songs require a thorough understanding of The Beatles' entire discography in order to decipher which song(s) they most resemble, as Innes' goal was to compose pastiche-like parody songs.

All songs were actually written by Neil Innes. Songwriter attributions are the "fictional" writing credits listed as they would have been in the "Rutles universe." Reflecting the balance of songwriting credits on most Beatles albums, the vast majority of the songs are credited to Ron Nasty and Dirk McQuickly (the "Lennon–McCartney" of The Rutles), with one composition each credited to the rivals for "George" (Stig O'Hara) and "Ringo" (Barry Wom). The liner notes of the album give the names of the Warner Brothers as "Stan & Reg".

The only song from the film not on the soundtrack is "You Need Feet", which is not a Rutles song. It was written and performed by comedian Bernard Bresslaw.

Track listing[edit]

1978 vinyl album[edit]

The original 1978 vinyl release of the soundtrack omitted some of the material due to time restrictions of the medium. The design of the record's inner sleeve reflected the Apple/EMI "red" and "blue" compilation Beatles albums released in 1973, with printed lyrics, red, blue and white layouts, and the track listing for the two album sides using similar time periods (side one: 1962-67, side two:1967-70)

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Hold My Hand" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:31
  2. "Number One" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:50
  3. "With a Girl Like You" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 1:50
  4. "I Must Be in Love" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:04
  5. "Ouch!" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 1:49
  6. "Living in Hope" (Womble) - 2:37
  7. "Love Life" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:50
  8. "Nevertheless" (O'Hara) - 1:29

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Good Times Roll" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 3:03
  2. "Doubleback Alley" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:54
  3. "Cheese and Onions" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:37
  4. "Another Day" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:09
  5. "Piggy in the Middle" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 4:07
  6. "Let's Be Natural" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 3:23

The remaining songs floated about as bootlegs until the 1990 re-release on CD.

1990 CD re-release[edit]

The 1990 CD re-release not only restored the full Rutles canon, but also changed some of the order of the tracks (this time intending to obviously align the songs chronologically as they would have been released individually in the "Rutles universe"). This broke some resemblance to track orders on original Beatles albums where the ending of a Rutles song closely resembled the ending of a Beatles song, and the same for the beginning of the next song.

Additionally, "Hold My Hand" had originally featured a fake "airplane" intro sound (a nod to "Back in the U.S.S.R.") which actually was a hairdryer, along with a count-in to the song. Due to the fact it wasn't the first song on the CD re-release anymore as it had been on the original LP, this intro was removed.

  1. "Goose-Step Mama" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:18 (not on LP)
  2. "Number One" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:52
  3. "Baby Let Me Be" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 1:57 (not on LP)
  4. "Hold My Hand" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:11 (shorter than LP version)
  5. "Blue Suede Schubert" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:13 (not on LP)
  6. "I Must Be in Love" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:06
  7. "With a Girl Like You" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 1:53
  8. "Between Us" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:03 (not on LP)
  9. "Living in Hope" (Womble) - 2:39
  10. "Ouch!" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 1:52
  11. "It's Looking Good" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:02 (not on LP)
  12. "Doubleback Alley" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:57
  13. "Good Times Roll" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 3:05
  14. "Nevertheless" (O'Hara) - 1:29
  15. "Love Life" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:52
  16. "Piggy in the Middle" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 4:11
  17. "Another Day" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:13
  18. "Cheese and Onions" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 2:42
  19. "Get Up and Go" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 3:19 (not on LP)
  20. "Let's Be Natural" (Nasty/McQuickly) - 3:22

All lead vocals by Neil Innes except: Ollie Halsall on tracks 7, 12, 17 and 19, Rikki Fataar on tracks 5, 8, and 14, and John Halsey on track 9.

The Rutles (Soundtrack) - Alternate Versions, Reissues[edit]

Warner Bros. Records/WB-W53151(1978/Cassette Version)

  • Side 1: "Good Times Roll", "Doubleback Alley", "Cheese And Onions", "Another Day", "Piggy In the Middle", "Let's Be Natural"
  • Side 2: "Hold My Hand", "Number One", "With A Girl Like You", "I Must Be In Love", "Ouch!", "Living In Hope", "Love Life", "Nevertheless"

The Canadian version, on cassette, is the only version of this release to actually be titled, "Meet The Rutles"

Warner Bros. Records/S142137/M83151/1978/8-Track Tape Version

  • Track 1: "Hold My Hand", "With A Girl Like You", "I Must Be In Love", "Love Life"
  • Track 2: "Number One", "Ouch!", "Nevertheless", "Doubleback Alley"
  • Track 3: "Living In Hope", "Good Times Roll", "Let's be Natural"
  • Track 4: "Cheese And Onions", "Another Day", "Piggy In The Middle"

Rhino Records/1990/R275760/U.S. only release/1st CD issue

  • Contains the original 14 tracks + "Goose Step Mama", "Baby Let Me Be", "Blue Suede Schubert", "Between Us", "It's Looking Good" and "Get Up and Go"
  • Airplane sound effects and count in missing from "Hold My Hand"
  • Insert folds out into "Rutlemania" memorabilia mini-poster.
  • First appearance of catalogue numbers for each track.
  • First mention of "The Silver Rutles Demos" and "Rutle Soul" albums.
  • CD label designed to look like Capitol Records Yellow & Orange Swirl 45 RPM Label

Rhino Records/2007/8122-79968-9/U.K. only release/1st U.K. CD issue

  • Same material as U.S. CD (including edited "Hold My Hand" as noted above.)
  • Digi-pack designed to open as a gatefold album with alternate front cover.
  • Booklet contains most of the original Rutles booklet (Paul Simon interview is missing.)
  • CD in Mini-Sleeve that duplicates the "other artistes on the Rutle label" album sleeve.
  • CD label designed to look like Parlophone yellow and black label.
  • Does not include song lyrics.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ("...released on album by Warner Bros (#HS 3151) in March 1978".). "The Rutles Tragical History Tour". rutles.org. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ Harris, Will (2008-03-24). "Hooks 'N' You: The Rutles, "The Rutles"/"Archaeology"". 
  3. ^ "Fake Beatles that never were are back". Washington Post. 1996-04-01.