Rutlemania returns to the world on October 29 when the most legendary band in music history -The Rutles - release their long-anticipated Archaeology album of previously unreleased material. The album includes their newest song "Shangri-La" - which will be promoted by a music video depicting the most eagerly-awaited reunion in music history, and featuring The Rutles accompanied by an all-star chorus of some of the world's leading entertainers. Archaeology will be issued worldwide by Virgin Records.
The album contains a total of 16 tracks. 13 are vintage recordings; the other three are newly recorded tracks created after the band reunited to supervise the release of the historic recordings. The titles of the songs are:
"Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band;" "Rendezvous;" "Questionnaire;" "We've Arrived! (And To Prove It We're Here);" "Lonely-Phobia;" "Unfinished Words;" "Hey Mister!;" "Easy Listening;" "Now She's Left You;" "The Knicker Elastic King;" "I Love You;" "Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Music;" and "Joe Public." The three new tracks are: "Shangri-La;" "Don't Know Why;" and "Back In '64."
Unlike many anthology albums of historic recordings - which contain only outtakes and alternative versions of familiar songs - the Rutles album consists of material entirely new to fans. The long-unissued tracks are drawn from the album the band was working on when they broke up many years ago amid squabbles and lawsuits. The project was abandoned and the master tapes were buried. Literally.
As was widely reported at the time, all of the tapes were placed in a time capsule and buried in a secret location. Announcing that action, a spokesman for The Rutles had stated that this was "to thwart bootleggers. And tax authorities." And that the capsule would "stay buried for a thousand years." He added that the album wouldn't be released unless it was "discovered by archaeologists, or whoever digs these things up." This led to Rutles fans dubbing the interred recordings the Archaeology tapes.
Asked why the legendary tapes have been dug up by The Rutles themselves - a mere 26 years later - Rutles leader Ron Nasty has stated simply, "things change." All further queries have been referred to the band's accountants.
The album is being released on CD, with a full-color 28 page booklet containing all the lyrics.
The music video for "Shangri-La" shows The Rutles recording the song in New York, with an all-star chorus lending vocal support.
The impressive and fascinating blend of stars appearing in the video with The Rutles range from rock stars Peter Gabriel, Graham Nash, Cyndi Lauper and Slash (of Guns 'N Roses) to rock legends Ben E. King and Richie Havens; and from disco divas Gloria Gaynor and Vicki Sue Robinson ("Turn The Beat Around") to comedian/actors Richard Belzer, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Maher, Marsha Warfield and Taylor Negron.
Other notable faces singing in the chorus are Beach Boy Al Jardine; jazz giant David Sanborn; Living Colour's Corey Glover; alternative rockers Aimee Mann and Michael Penn; singer/ songwriters Stephen Bishop and Paul Williams; kitsch '60s pop icons Nancy Sinatra and Pat Boone - and the inimitable Eartha Kitt!
Three of the four original Rutles reunited to prepare the old recordings for release and to record the three new songs - Ron Nasty, Stig O'Hara and Barry Wom. The fourth Rutle - Dirk McQuickly - was unavailable for the sessions. The Rutles have issued a simple statement: "Sadly Dirk is no longer with us. He's gone into comedy."
The Archaeology album is the first release of any Rutles material since their Grammy-nominated greatest hits compilation, All You Need Is Cash, was released in 1978 by Warner Bros. Records. That album - and its 1991 CD reissue by Rhino Records - has been an outstanding seller.
The release comes at a time when interest in The Rutles is at an all-time high. Many of today's hottest bands - including Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins and R.E.M. - cite The Rutles as a major influence.
To celebrate the return of Rutlemania, VH1 will air the classic 1978 Rutles documentary All you Need Is Cash (which traced the rise and fall of the Rutles). Two airings have been set: Saturday, November 2 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, November 3 at 5:00 PM. (All times are good for east and west coasts.)
Coinciding with all this Rutlemania, the All You Need Is Cash documentary has been reissued, and is currently being re-promoted by Rhino Home Video.
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