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 (the American rockumentary parody) Spinal Tap, perhaps, has outdone it. One of the key elements of this mock "rockumentary" was the brilliantly executed "soundtrack" by Python associates 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 phenomenon 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 previously.
Richie Unterberger, All-Music Guide
Rutles music available
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