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Derek Smalls' Solo Album Brings Spinal Tap Style to 2018

Posted by on August 23, 2018 at 9:43 am

Source: Derek Smalls via Facebook.

When Spinal Tap performed their One Night Only World Tour in 2009, it looked like their one date live at Wembley would be the last we would see of the legendary metal band that began life as fictional creations but developed into something more real. As it turned out, that Wembley performance would be followed by a surprise showing at Glastonbury, but since then, Spinal Tap have fallen dormant. The band may remain inactive in the knowledge that their mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap is one of the most influential films of all time, but through Derek Smalls' recent solo album, fans of the band get another chance to experience some of that Spinal Tap magic.

Smalls, played by Harry Shearer, has very much captured the essence of Spinal Tap, but has made it a product of its time. 'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' finds Smalls coming to terms with the rigours of old age, with Shearer now in his mid-seventies. There is a lyrical focus upon the mental and physical implications of being past your prime, but because this is Derek Smalls the lyrics are imbued with trademark comedy and satire.

Derek Smalls in his prime. Source: Harry Shearer via Facebook.

While the debate about which band is the greatest ever metal band will rage on for eternity, the debate about which fictional metal band is the greatest ends with Spinal Tap. The 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap is not only renowned for placing the life of a rock band on centre stage, but has also been hugely influential cinematically. Spawning several iconic lines and scenes, the movie has helped Spinal Tap retain cultural significance. References to the now legendary amps that go up to eleven rather than the customary ten have been made in a diverse set of television shows, as well in the recent hit movie Deadpool 2.

This Is Spinal Tap may be approaching its twenty-fifth anniversary, but its influence endures. It is not just television and cinema that pay homage to the film. There is a Spinal Tap slot game available on many online casinos like Casumo that takes visual influence from the movie and brings an element of rock-and-roll to the hunt for the jackpot, with Gambling Metropolis ranking the casino bonus from Casumo as the best of August 2018. Clearly, Spinal Tap is no less relevant than it was upon its release. The release of Derek Smalls' solo album only serves to confirm its legacy.

Smalls still rocks as hard as ever, albeit with the help of some very well-known friends. Joe Satriani, Rick Wakeman and Taylor Hawkins are just three members of the plethora of guest stars that lend their musical talents. We may never get another Spinal Tap reunion, but this is by no means a bad thing. Their legacy remains untainted by an unnecessary reunion, while Smalls/Shearer is clearly still having a lot of fun making music. His album will scratch the itch of many Spinal Tap fans, with the perfect blend of rock and comedy making Derek Smalls album the ideal listen in a year blighted by social and political turmoil. Sometimes the best way to forget your problems is to turn it up to eleven.

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