Category: Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap – Break Like the Wind

ARTIST: Spinal Tap                          220px-break_like_the_wind

TITLE:  Break Like the Wind

YEAR RELEASED: 1992

CHART ACTION: #61 US, #51 UK

SINGLES: Bitch School (#35 UK), The Majesty of Rock (#61 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Christmas with the Devil

LINEUP: Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins, Derek Smalls, Rhyan Gordon, Ric Shrimpton, CJ Vanston with help on a track from Jeff Beck, Cher, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, Slash, Timothy B. Schmidt, Waddy Wachtel and Dweezil Zappa

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The band reunites, this time without a movie tie-in. Kind of funny in lampooning late 80’s metal, but not as funny as the songs in the movie.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Spinal Tap was growing in popularity as the 80’s rolled on, and they ‘reunited’ for this album in 1992 to capitalize on that. Without a movie to provide some context of the songs, it’s just a kind of funny parody.

The record starts out strong with “Bitch School” and “The Majesty of Rock”, but then kind of peters out a bit. Some of the jokes seem hackneyed, which is unusual for anything from the Guest / McKean / Shearer trio from the movies.

Except for a couple of tracks, Tap plays it all themselves. The music sounds on point, but the parody is a bit flat.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was a ‘hidden’ track, “Now Leaving on Track 13”. It was track 13.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: C+:  Chuckles diminish as time goes on.EXILED

Spinal Tap – This Is Spinal Tap

ARTIST: Spinal Tap 220px-Solid_black.svg
TITLE: This Is Spinal Tap
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: #121 (That’s all? Dang, people…)
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Every song’s in the movie. You HAVE seen the movie, right?
LINEUP: Michael McKean (Derek St. Hubbins), Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnel, lead guitar), Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls), David Kaff (Viv Savage), Ric Parnell
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Fictional band’s music soundtrack actually is better than a lot of movie soundtracks with real bands.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The movie is a glorious send-up of heavy metal bands and rock-and-roll touring. I don’t need to tell you that. In the actual film, the songs are used well to illustrate the history of the band, to show the foolish nature of some heavy metal song tropes, and to provide a plausible musical storyline along with the mockumentary line.

The music is all over the place, much like the band’s history. Basically it covers many styles from British Invasion, to psychedelic, to laughing at bands such as Uriah Heep (which had to had given them a lot of material) and early 80’s metal.

A few of the songs don’t really work well separated from the movie, and in my heart of hearts I’d love to have it sequenced like an anthology, in fake chronological order. It is nice to hear the full version of “Gimme Some Money” (GO! NIGEL! GO!) and others.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There are fans out there that have actually made bootleg albums of Spinal Tap, much like they did for metal bands in the 70’s

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The CD added “Christmas with the Devil” and a reissue added another version of it.

GRADE: B+: Lots of fun, and it’s great to share “Cups and Cakes” with you.