I remember seeing the Rutles mocumentary, All You Need Is Cash, back in 1978, and being quite fond of it. A story about it in the NY Times last week sent me to YouTube, where my reaction was of a somewhat different sort. What I remembered as cute parody back then, plays as alternative Beatles tracks now. As Paul Simon says in the Times’ story, “it is more of a panegyric than it is a satire.” I think maybe the confusion stemmed from the title, which sounds satirical. Meanwhile, the music is so much like the Beatles sound that on the surface on crummy speakers it can almost pass.
That’s why Neil Innes, the songwriter, paid when the Beatles’ publishing company sued. And why these songs are a pleasure to hear even today.