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Back from the Dead

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Editors’ Notes

Filmmaker Marty DiBergi (who bears a striking resemblance to real-life filmmaker Rob Reiner) famously captured “England’s Loudest Band” during its comeback tour in the acclaimed 1984 rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. Though Spinal Tap fed upon the excesses of success — elaborate tours, groupies, customized amps that go to 11 — the band survived rotating (and one could argue, smoldering) personnel changes, confusing backstage mazes, round lunchmeat, and a knee-high replica of Stonehenge. Today, the founding trio of guitarist/vocalist David St. Hubbins, lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel, and bassist Derek Smalls return to gobsmack a new generation of metalheads on Back from the Dead. Tap show their growth and versatility with updated versions of classics “Hell Hole,” “Big Bottom,” “Sex Farm” (played in the key of funk) and “(Listen to The) Flower People” (done inna reggae stylee). A few artists influenced by Tap — Keith Emerson, John Mayer, Steve Vai, and Def Leppard’s Phil Collen pay respects. Welcome back, direct from hell, where eardrums go to die — Spinal Tap!

Customer Reviews

The Tap is back! Seriously? Did you know? Yeah, it was news to me, too. I know, I know.

How often does one get to say "I'm going to go buy the new Spinal Tap album?" Not very often, that's for sure, and even less these days when many of us choose to just click a button and download the album. (Legally! This isn't Taspter, after all!) Now you can. I did. The Tap boys (er, mature men) are back with an album of remakes and new material. The remakes are fun, having a brighter and clearer sound than the original versions (no doubt reflecting modern music production qualities). There are quite a few surprises as well, like "Listen to the Flower People" in reggae style. Some of the new tracks are also very competent rock songs... But would you expect anything else from England's loudest rock band? The inclusion of studio versions of Jazz Oddyssey (in multiple parts) and Celtic Blues just let us know once again how versatile Spinal Tap is. Real history or comical parody, there's some good music here. Spinal Tap fans should be happy. Newcomers may be fooled. And the neighbors will be angry. Especially if you play this with the volume cranked to 11. (Latest iPod firmware update required.)

Death Sentence

I can't believe the boyz in Spinal Tap would be so thoughtless in bringing Greg Bissonette into the band. Greg is such a fantastic drummer, but I can't believe he has such a death wish. RIP Greg (once you eventually spontaneously combust!)

Spinal Tap Keeps it Comin'

Spinal Tap never disappoints. Their performance on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien was right on par with the classic Spinal Tap. The interview was just as classic. Even though much of these tracks are previously recorded Spinal Tap hits, they are able to maintain the same high level of hilarity.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Although originally conceived as the fictional subject of a music documentary, Spinal Tap became a real band -- a parody heavy metal band, to be exact -- following the film's release. The joke began with the release of 1984's This Is Spinal Tap, a satirical Rob Reiner film starring actors Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. The film, which poked fun at groups like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, cast the comics as members of a wacky, ill-minded '70s band facing a popularity dive in...
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