Jesse Jarnow

“ouch!” – the rutles

“Ouch!” – The Rutles (download) (buy)
from The Rutles (1978)
released by Rhino

(file expires July 16th)

Ostensibly parody, Bonzo Dog Band leader Neil Innes’ songs for the Rutles are more like what the Beatles themselves might’ve written under slightly different circumstances. Sure, repurposing “Help!” into “Ouch!” is silly, especially with those extra-long verse phrasings, but the sentiment is just as sincere. Why should “Ouch, don’t desert me, ouch, please don’t hurt me!” be any less emotional or effective than “Help, I need somebody, help, not just anybody”? It’s just that John Lennon chose the latter. Innes’s version, really, is just as naked and direct. That’s not to say that Innes is a better songwriter than Lennon, but the whole original soundtrack is great stuff. Like top grade Nuggets faux-fabs, Innes nails the Lennonesque wistfulness repeatedly. In fact, I might even prefer Innes’ “I know you know what you know/But you should know by now that you’re not me” to Lennon’s “I am he as you are me as you are she and we are all together.”

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