Spinal Tap

Back From the Dead

Billed as the “25th Anniversary Deluxe Package,” this innovative CD/DVD combo celebrates the cinematic debut of 1984’s This Is Spinal Tap, the mockumentary that showcased what was billed as “heavy metal’s loudest band.” Starring Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer as—respectively (if not respectfully)—David St. Hubbins (lead singer), Nigel Tufnel (guitarist, whose amp famously goes to 11) and Derek Smalls (bassist), the three zanies managed to parody some of rock’s most outrageous excesses. Their big hits are all here, re-recorded, and on the DVD the lads spend an hour chatting about them. Thus about “Big Bottom” (“Talk about bum cakes, my gal’s got ’em … how can I leave this behind?”) Hubbins observes that “we attract the larger-posteriored women.” Regarding “Stonehenge,” Tufnel believes that the historic structure celebrated in the song dates from the “1920s to 1935.” Smalls, whose free-form “Jazz Oddyssey” (sic) began as a concert filler, says “this is how jazz should be played: attacked with volume, energy and an unusual time signature—4/4.” As for their anthemic “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You”—“the ultimate opening number”—Hubbins explains that they’re using the “Royal I.” The CD’s 19 tracks seethe with energy and wit. Highly recommended!