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Let's say it again. Great soundtrack for a great film by a great band. Though this review won't be very neutral since I'm great Spinal Tap fan, I think every metal fan has to accept that this is very well planned and made joke. Spinal Tap has plausible history with it's pop rock and hippie eras, just like first real heavy metal bands had (Black Sabbath started as blues band, Deep Purple was first referred as acid rock and Led Zeppelin was progressive rock group...). Songs are carefully made and without the over-the-top lyrics about sex, rock 'n' roll, sex, myths, sex, fantasy, sex, epic things and sex, no one could guess this is made as joke.
The most impressive thing on this album it it's diversity. There are fast rock tracks ("Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight"), epic Black Sabbath style things with hints to occult ("Rock 'n' Roll Creation"), epic sing-a-longs ("Big Bottom", which is with it's line "big bottom drives me out of my mind, how could I leave this behind" one of the funniest tracks ever recorded...) and just weird stuff ("Cups and Cakes"). Another highlight is "Stonehenge", which thanks to idiotic medieval style solo and insane speak intro by Nigel Tufnel is also very funny. "Gimme Some Money" is also great parody from pop rock bands of 1960s and is as annoying as Beatles were - though same time extremely fun.
My favourite song from this album is however "(Listen to the) Flower People" which is really symphatic track. It makes me same time smile and cry:
"Listen what the flower people say
Listen, It's getting louder every day
Listen, it's like a bolt out of the blues
Listen, it may be calling now for you"
Yeah, let's take some acid and listen that track again, again, again and again. I just love that track (also the music video which can be seen on the DVD release of the film is hilarious).
If there is something actually bad on this album, I don't like very much the production. Though the 'older' tracks (GSM, C&C, LTTFW) sound very much like how that time albums really sounded, on the metal tracks sound is quite thin. Massive wall of sound with lot of distortion would work better on this heavy music.
But still, this is a classical heavy metal album, and though before this album Spinal Tap was just a joke, it became after that as real band as Iron Maiden and the other popular bands of 1980s. Though they have after that released another album (and third is coming soon...) and couple of singles, as well as live VHS, this is still the greatest moment of now legendary Spinal Tap.
I saw the film of this soundtrack when I was 13 years old and thought it was the funniest movie ever. To be honest, I find very few movies today funny as I am not much of a comedy loving person. This Is Spinal Tap is of course a rockumentary parody. Being a prepubescent kid at the time, I thought it was actually about a real band and that was one of the things that made it so funny. Alas, I actually enjoyed the music as well! I went out and bought the soundtrack.
Christopher Guest and Co. really knew their target for parody when they laid down these tracks and since they seemed to have had some musical experience they do it well. There really is some spirit of heavy metal to these tracks and most importantly, they are great fun. There are some non-metal songs included on here from the film that aren't really worth mentioning for their own sake except for Cups and Cakes. I don't know why I get such a kick out of that little diddy of a song but I do. It was another reason why I bought this album because it was only featured very shortly in the movie. It's just a spoof of flowery 60's rock but I liked it in a silly stoner type of way.
Big Bottom brings back memories. Nigel's bass guitar drives this whole tune. His little passages on the bass are very catchy. Heavy Duty is a bluesy piece of thunder cheese that will bring out the duty in your heavy metal soul.There's a funny guitar chord of that classical musical piece by Mozart or something I can't remember what it's called. Hell Hole was the first song I remember hearing from the flick. When I was a small child, heavy metal always seemed to sound like this. There are a few places where it sounds a little like George Thorogood. That chorus verse is a hoot!
Probably the most well known song from the soundtrack is Stonehenge. This song just flat out rocks. Those synthesizers really give it metalness. Any metalhead who was around in the eighties has to love this song. How can anyone not get a howl from that "meeooow!" before the transition to the slower part? This song will always remind you of that scene with the little model Stonehenge being lowered down to the stage.
Ok, let's get down to easily the most metal song on here: Rock & Roll Creation. Just some little background information; Christopher Guest enlisted the help from a couple of guys from the NWOBHM scene (most notably the guitarist from Iron Savior) to help with some ideas for this song. Whoever was onboard with some inspiration must have slipped in a Venom song for the guys to hear because that first riff sounds(and the little solo from the minute and a half mark)very much like something that band would come up with. But I would say this song has a pure 80's power metal spirit. My favorite song though on this album is Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You. Yes, this track is so fucking fun! David St. Hubbins'(Michael McKeon) really comes out strong with those vocals in a great and glorious way. The guitar work is pretty clever metal riffing. I love how the solo towards the end gives off to the drum roll for St. Hubbins to scream "...meeeeee!" at the finale.
There is a fictional discography of Spinal Tap. I've seen it and is cool that such a thing was put together to list. Some of these fictitious albums from their 70's era are called Brainhammer, Nerve Damage, Blood To Let, The Sun Never Sweats and of course my favorite: Shark Sandwich! Those album titles sound like a metalhead's dream! Some of the songs on this album are supposed to be from alot of those albums in the Spinal Tap backstory. This album makes me wish they would have actually recorded some of them. Probably most metal listeners have heard some of these songs but I suggest you give it a spin for shits and giggles and great celebration of why exactly the metal genre is so great looking back.