The Rutles are a rock band known for their visual and aural pastiches and parodies of the Beatles. This originally fictional band, created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes for 1970s television programming, became an actual group – whilst remaining a parody of the Beatles – which toured and recorded, releasing many songs and albums that included two UK chart hits.
Originally created as a short sketch in Idle's British television comedy series Rutland Weekend Television, the Rutles gained notice after being the focus of the mockumentary television film All You Need Is Cash. Former Beatle George Harrison appeared in the film and assisted in its creation. Encouraged by the positive public reaction to the sketch, featuring Beatles' music pastiches by Innes, the film was written by Idle, who co-directed it with Gary Weis. It had 20 songs written by Innes, which he performed with three musicians as the Rutles. A soundtrack album in 1978 was followed in 1996 by Archaeology, which spoofed the then recent Beatles Anthology series.
A second film, The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch – modelled on the 2000 TV special The Beatles Revolution – was made in 2002 and released in the US on DVD in 2003.
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