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4.2 out of 5 stars34
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 13 September 2000
Following in the path of the Beatles anthology comes this offering of up until now unheard songs from the other fab four, The Rutles. Song's written by Neil Innes include some originally intended for the first Rutles Album "All You Need Is Cash". All songs are brilliantly Beatle like without actually being copies of any. The song " I Love You" is as good as any pop song would have been from the masters themselves. If you already have the other Rutles Album, get this one too. If you don't, then get both because you don't know what you're missing.
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on 11 September 2004
The songs in "All you need is cash" showed that Neil Innes is the Master Crafter of the Beatles pastiche, and I would give that CD five stars. I found the "Archaeology" CD a tad disappointing, certainly the first half. But, the second half really gets into stride, with some of the expected subtle touches and excellent writing - Innes is a good song-smith In His Own Write. The references pile on thick and fast in "Shangri-La", which might also be called "Hey Jude! - all you need is a day in the life of Mr Kite in Penny Lane", complete with quotes from Prokofiev! Very clever; even the exasperatingly long run-out is there. The playing is up to the same high standard as "Cash".
So, while "Cash" gets five stars, I'll be honest and give "Archaeology" a well-deserved four.
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2010
I'm surprised by the reviews on here that express disappointment with 'Archaeology', particularly when comparing it to the first Rutles album. One of the main complaints seems to be that most of the songs are not obvious matches for Beatles songs. For me, that's one of this album's strengths. Several sound like something you've heard, but you can't quite recall what. 'Major Happy', one of the few that is obvious ('Sergeant Pepper') is probably the most pointless track on the album. 'Back In '64', on the other hand, is a hilarious take on 'When I'm 64': 'Back in '64 we were at it like knives'. Indeed.

Some of the songs are identifiable by certain devices. There's the 'With A Little Help From My Friends' call-and-response, for example, which is genius. There's the long ending on 'Shangri-La' and the false start on 'We've Arrived'. Much of the humour fits in with The Beatles own offstage sense of humour. Neil Innes simply puts it into song. The track that drives me round the bend trying to liken it to a Beatles song is 'The Knicker Elastic King', another extremely funny item. Perhaps the only two that don't quite fit are 'Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik' and 'Questionnaire'.

What makes this album so good, however, is that it stands up on its own as a musical work and that's more interesting than just changing the lyric from 'Help!' to 'Ouch!'
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on 4 February 2004
While I am open to the possibility that the joke is not as funny the second time around, I think the better explanation here is that Neal Innes is being a bit more subtle on his Beatles take offs this time around. Sometimes, as with "Rendezvous," the joke is to be found in the lyrics (cf. "A Little Help From My Friends") rather than the music. The first time around with "All You Need Is Cash" it was just much more obvious which Beatle hit Innes was twisting musically. This time I engaged in much more head scratching and running through a mental inventory of Beatles songs to finally make the connection (and there are still several where I do not have a clue). For me this is the most important consideration because if you do not get the joke right away, that takes away from a lot of the fun. So "Archaeology" is not bad, it is just not as great as the initial Rutles collection. But if you enjoyed that wonderful parody then you have to at least give this one a listen.
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on 20 July 2007
The original and best pastiche of the fab four, the Rutles' 1978 album accompanying the film "All You Need Is Cash" is a sparkling set of moptop parodies. This album, intended to mock the release of the "Anthology" series doesn't quite match it but is still a great effort. Eric Idle declined to become involved leaving Neil Innes free rein to craft songs that touch on all parts of Beatles mythology but stand up well on their own. Highlights are "Joe Public" which sends up Oasis into the bargain and "Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik" an utterly brilliant subversion of Lennon's bag of chips on both shoulders attitude and the nearest thing to an anthem for the Volvo driving classes.
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on 11 September 2014
The Rutles (a.k.a 'The Prefab Four') started life as a sketch on ex-Monty Python star Eric Idle's 'Rutland Weekend Television' series in 1975; within 3 years Idle (with more than a little help from his friend, the multi-talented singer/songwriter Neil Innes) had developed a spoof documentary called 'All You Need Is Cash', which cleverly parodied the life and songs of the Beatles, as well as spawning a moderately successful album 'The Rutles' (1978) and a minor hit single, 'I Must Be In Love'.

Although Eric Idle acted in the original 'mocumentary' (playing the part of 'Dirk McQuickly' - essentially Paul McCartney), he was unable to sing (due to medical reasons) on the original album and, in any case, it was Neil Innes (portraying the part of 'Ron Nasty' - a thinly disguised caricature of John Lennon) who was the real inspiration behind the project. The lovely 'Lonely-Phobia' and the superb rock workout of 'Hey Mister' represent just two of the cunningly fashioned pastiches featured here.

I guarantee that you will derive many innocent hours of pleasure from trying to work out which original Beatles songs gave Innes his inspiration here - don't worry, if you get stuck then Wikipedia will ride to the rescue with a decent stab at the answers. This album is great fun and well worth buying at a low price. [NOTE: The Rutles are effectively a real group in the 21st century - playing Rutles songs as well as Innes solo material.]
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on 13 February 2008
"Sequels" in music are rarely successful, but that's not the case as far as Archeology is concerned. The basis was naturally the same i.e. "Pre-fab Four" concept presented 18 years earlier in All You Need Is Cash movie and soundtrack, but with definitely fresh "reading of the subject" and all 14 new - or semi-new as 2 or 3 of them were recorded during "original" Rutles sessions, while some others launched before by Neil Innes on his solo albums - tunes of great quality also outside the Beatles context and references.

For certain reasons and some bad luck in timing of the release, Archeology was not much successful with neither Fab Four nor general public (despite big hit potential of not only Shangri-la, but also some other songs). It's a pity, as its better performance on charts would certainly also result in more attention drawn on other 80s and 90s achievements of Mr. Innes - one of the most noble, intellectual - and very human - artists in contemporary music, unfortunately totally unknown to younger generations (though still active: recent tours, both solo and with reunited Bonzos, were in 2005 and 2006, unfortunately again - only in cameral UK and US halls).
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on 31 January 2003
As a musician myself I know how hard it is to recreate a sound from a bygone age,but yet again Neil Innes and his fab team of equals pull it off, two many to mention but full respect to them all.
The original concept of The Rutles was a master stroke thanks to Eric Idle, but Neil Innes writes songs that not only fit The Rutles 60's spoof but are great songs in there own right.
Neil is one of those musicians who for me doesn't get the plaudits he deserves, but hey that's showbiz, but there are a lot of so called musicians who would willingly swap star status for a talent like he has to write such memorable songs.
Archaeology isn't an album of just copy songs, it's a bit more than that, it's been thoroughly researched but also has an original edge.
I hope this is not the last Rutles offering but if it is it's a hell of a swansong and a swansong you should most definitely listen to.
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on 11 February 2015
I thought I'd get this because I'm a fan of Neil Innes/The Bonzo Dog band et al but actually found it to be brilliant! I've got the first Rutles album (on LP) and the film on DVD so you can't really go wrong can you? It's all so well done and like their other work, it's great fun 'spotting the spoof'; (i.e. which bit is a parody of which Beatles song - and I do think it helps be a a big Beatle fan to appreciate this fully) when you first play it but then, I got into it just because it's such a great entertaining listen and a bit cheeky in places - not in a cheap way though! Enough reasons to own it yet? I could give more, but I'll leave it there as I think I've given sufficient. :)
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on 23 February 2015
Following in the steps of The Beatles Anthology,this collection released in the mid 90's,bring together more Beatle style parodies.Having said that,there is only maybe half a dozen tracks which i feel mirror the first Rutles album.Some other songs don't really have that Fab Four feel.

It's still a decent collection,but a bit of a mixed bag,and probably not as good as the first album.

one of the best tracks on the album for me is "Back in 64". . .and "I love you" is another great number.

To sum up then. . .not as good in places as the first album,but well worth buying for your collection.
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