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Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band
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1 June 1967


Recorded 6 December 1966 – 21 April 1967, EMI and Regent and Shallow Sound studios, London







Preceded By

A Collection of Rutles Oldies (1966)

Succeeded By

Tragical History Tour (1967) (US)

Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band

Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band (Released as Sgt. Rutter's Only Farts Club Band in the US) is an album released in 1967 by The Rutles. While regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time by hipsters at frat parties, at the time it was quite controversial.


The origins of Sgt. Rutter can be traced back to the "bigger than God" controversy, where Ron Nasty was incorrectly quoted as saying the band was bigger than God. Following this, the group decided to stop touring, and took a few months off of music. During this time, the compilation album A Collection of Rutles Oldies was released by Parlourphone.

The original album the band began working at this point was quite different. Titled Travolta, a name which came to Dirk McQuickly in a dream, it was to be a concept album about a deaf, mute, and blind disco-dancing champion who is directed off the bus at the wrong stop, and promptly becomes the biggest star in the world. However, at the 1996 article The Rutles: Turn Left At Greenland noted, the world was not ready for a Rutles concept album.

But their interest in making a themed album did not end, and eventually culminated in Sgt. Rutter, which disguised itself as a concert by a fictional band played by the four Rutles.

It was released following the band's open endorsement of Tea, which caused a stir in the press and lead to several members of the band being arrested. The BBC banned all of the even tracks on the album from being played on their stations, believing these were all in reference to tea.

Many Stig is Dead conspirators believe that this album is sprinkled with clues. If you sing the title of "Sgt. Rutter's" backward, it is supposed to sound like "Stig has been dead for a long time, honestly." In fact, it sounds just like "dnab bulc strad ylno srettur tnaegres." On the cover of the album, Stig appears to be standing in the exact position of a dying yeti (as in the Rutland Book of the Dead).

Additionally, some believe that the cover of Sgt. Rutters depicts Stig's funeral. If one looks to the left, at the four "original" Rutles, the original Stig looks bewildered and confused, as if to say "Why am I at my own funeral?" Barry and Dirk seem struck with grief, because they miss Stig, and Nasty is smiling, because he never really liked him.

Much later, a theory called Dark Side of the Darts Club Band of Oz on LSD took hold. This claimed that if you played Sgt. Rutter, Dark Side of The Sun, and the The Wizard of Oz at the same time (while also slightly high) they sync up perfectly and create an episode of Bonanza. While not necessarily true, this shows just how excited fans became to experience the album in as many ways as possible.

Track listing[]

Side one[]

  1. Major Happy's Up and Coming Once Upon a Good Time Band
  2. Rendezvous
  3. Good Times Roll
  4. The Knicker Elastic King
  5. Rutting a Hole
  6. She's Leaving Rome
  7. For the Benefit of Mr. White

Side Two[]

  1. Nevertheless (called Written By You Without You in US release.)
  2. When I'm Lynn Seymour
  3. Shitty Rita
  4. Bad Night, Bad Night
  5. Major Happy's Up and Coming Once Upon a Good Time Band (Reprise)
  6. Cheese and Onions


Sgt. Rutter led to the Summer of Lunch, an entire two months of people discussing peace, drinking tea, and of course, passing around food.

There have also been multiple tribute albums, including Sgt. Nutter Butter in 1978 and I Saw Mommy Kissing Sgt. Rutter in 1981.

An infamously bad film entitled Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band was created in 1978. It starred ZZ Top as the Darts Club Band.

Release Dates[]

United Kingdom/North America: 1 June 1967

South America: August 1967

Asia: 3 January 1968

Australia: 1 November 1967