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The Rutles Archaeology is an album by the comedy band The Rutles. Like their previous release, the album contains pastiches of Beatles' songs.

Three of the four musicians who had created the soundtrack for the 1978 film — Neil Innes, John Halsey, and Ricky Fataar — reunited in 1996 and recorded a second album, Archaeology, an affectionate send-up of The Beatles Anthology albums (although its original cover design rather parodied that of The Beatles' Past Masters singles compilation). The fourth 'real' Rutle, Ollie Halsall, died in Spain in 1992. Eric Idle was invited to participate, but declined.

Like the Anthology project that it lampooned, it featured tracks ostensibly from all periods of the Rutles' career, sequenced to reflect the fictional band's chronology. Several of the songs were actually older Innes songs that were dusted off and given the "Rutles" treatment. The reunion was blessed by George Harrison, who encouraged The Pre-Fab Four to proceed. (When approached, he told Innes, 'Sure. It's all part of the "soup"...', an encounter that Innes related in interviews in 1996.)

The reunion was triggered by Innes's appearance at the Los Angeles festival "Monty Python: Lust For Glory!", celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Monty Python troupe produced by Martin Lewis for the American Cinematheque. Innes performed two sold-out gigs at Los Angeles's Troubadour Club under the name "Ron Nasty & The New Rutles", using a local Beatles tribute band.

Following the success of the shows, Lewis and Innes collaborated on the project that became Archaeology.


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