Great Rock Albums of 1978: The Rutles

You’re probably thinking, “Is he serious? How can he post something like this after recent visits to great 1978 albums from such Gods as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, The Who and AC/DC?” You may be even be thinking that I am posting a joke album here. After all when the programme that influenced this album, “All You Need Is Cash” was shown on NBC in that year, the main attraction was that it featured members of both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and original members of Saturday Night Live. So I can understand why people may think that.

“All You Need Is Cash” was about a band called The Rutles and followed their history from their formation in 1958 to their break up in 1970. And yes, it was very much fashioned on The Beatles, but with a more humourous approach. My one high school friend refused to watch the programme because he was a Beatles fan and thought it was taking the piss out of them. Okay, maybe it was and while, in spite of the cast, didn’t have me rolling on the floor laughing throughout, it was still pretty funny.

All that said, let’s take a look at the album by The Rutles. When I first listened to it, I assumed that it was going to be full of satirical lyrics making fun of Beatles classics. When you listen to the album, you can definitely hear the Beatles influence on it and can accurately identify most of the Rutles songs with the appropriate Beatles song it’s associated with. Some are quite obvious, like “Ouch” is definitely based on “Help” and “Love Life” is definitely “All You Need Is Love” and so on. Others you may have to listen a bit more carefully, but you do figure out which song it’s based on. However, most of the songs aren’t funny lyrics making fun, some are what you can call serious. While I did laugh my rear end off when I heard “Piggy in the Middle,” the song “With A Girl Like You” could be seen as a light hearted love song.

One thing that strikes me is that Neil Innes is a good musician who seems to have been overlooked. You may remember him as one of Sir Robin’s minstrels in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and he has some singing parts on the album “Monty Python Live at City Center,” but the man does have musical talent. He was the brains behind The Rutles and wrote the songs on the album. I think he deserves more credit than he has been given.

Track Listing:

1. Hold My Hand

2. Number One

3. With a Girl Like You

4. Living In Hope

5. Ouch

6. Love Life

7. Nevertheless

8. See How the Good Times Roll

9. Doubleback Alley

10. Cheese and Onions

11. Another Day

12. Piggy In the Middle

13. Let’s Be Natural

The Rutles

Ron Nasty (Neil Innes) guitar, piano, vocals

Dirk McQuirkley (Eric Idle) bass, vocals

Stig O’Hara (Rikki Fataar) guitar, vocals

Barry Wom (John Halsey) drums

Note: Eric Idle didn’t actually play on the album, other muscians also contributed

I hope you like my little break in the action, but in the mean time, why not listen to the album. You will have a laugh as well as hear some good songs. Back in 1978, this was a real “feel good” album for me and I still feel that way after 34 years.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Weekend Warriors

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes& Noble and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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