Sunday, February 25, 2007

Number 659 - Spinal Tap


Number 659

Spinal Tap

"Stonehenge"

(1984)
.
.
Genre:Piss Rock
I'm sort of loathed to class this genre as piss rock as for this music eptomises the sound of the 80's metal scene all those eons ago, actually i am more inclined to rate Spinal Tap as "Classic Metal/Rock" ! For a movie which was a send up "rockumentry" of the time they (Spinal Tap) are far better sounding than most of their peers of that era, in fact, there are legions of Elmo's and wanna be Petrol Pot Heads who think(ed) at first Spinal Tap was a real music group! By the way, i ached over the choices of either "Big Bottom" and "Sex Farm" for the entry @ Number 659, trust me "Stonehenge" only won because of that video clip which still cracks me up to this day. (Talk about Some Kind of Monster)

Some people who have grown up in a post-'80s generation fail to recognize the rock group , and the reason they probably don't is because the band is totally fictitious. comes from the 1984 satirical movie This Is Spinal Tap, a film starring actors/comedians , , and . The film, which poked fun at such bands as and , placed the comics as members of a wacky, ill-minded '70s band facing a popularity dive in the '80s. The picture was a moderate success, and the supporting soundtrack (in which the cast members even played their own instruments) was a smash hit. In fact, the soundtrack itself described the rock & roll of the '80s so well that it made many people who hadn't seen the movie think that was a real group. According to This Is Spinal Tap, the band's story goes as follows:
Good friends () and (Guest) of Great Britain joined forces in 1964 after seeing their similar musical tastes, forming the Originals. After finding out that there was already a group of that title, they would go through a series of name changes until finally joining up with bassist Ronnie Pudding and drummer John "Stumpy" Pepys, becoming the Thamesmen. They released two minor hit singles, "Gimme Some Money" and "Cups and Cakes," songs that established them as a unique and noticeable band. After a tour in the United Kingdom, the group would continuously change their name until finally settling on , hiring keyboardist Denny Upham. Pudding would leave shortly afterwards to form Pudding People, and was replaced by (). With this lineup, the band recorded "Listen to the Flower People," which would be released on the 1967 single Spinal Tap Sings "Listen to the Flower People" and Other Favorites. A surprise hit, the single went gold in the United Kingdom and the band toured worldwide, although their following LP, We Are All Flower People, was rather unsuccessful. After Upham was fired and replaced with Ross MacLochness, the group released Matchstick Men (1968) and Silent but Deadly (1969), their first live album.

The band's "success" came to a halt when Pepys died in a bizarre gardening accident in 1969. He was replaced with Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs, and this lineup would release Brainhammer (1970), Nerve Damage (1971), and Blood to Let (1972). Intravenus de Milo, which was the group's seventh record and released in 1974, is still known to be the first album to ever reach the status of bronze, which a band can only attain if one million copies of an album are returned. Childs choked to death on an unknown offender's vomit that same year, and was replaced with Peter James Bond for the 1975 release The Sun Never Sweats. A tour would follow, inspiring their second live album, Jap Habit. Shortly afterwards, MacLochness and manager Glynn Hampton left the band to pursue their own interests. They were replaced with keyboardist Viv Savage and manager Ian Faith, who would both take part in the minor hit LP Bent for the Rent. Trouble began when the group sued their record label, Megaphone, for back royalties, but the label counter-sued, claiming they had a "lack of talent." The band reluctantly stayed with this label until 1977, when their latest release, Rock and Roll Creation, became a surprise hit in the United States due to the hit single "Nice n' Stinky." They quickly signed with Polymer Records and began to record their new album, but were halted when Bond spontaneously combusted on-stage. He was immediately replaced with drummer Mick Shrimpton, and the group released Shark Sandwich in 1980, which contained the hit "Sex Farm." Shark Sandwich was followed by a European tour, but demand for the band's U.S. appearance grew so large that they decided to tour America in support of their 1982 album, Smell the Glove.
's 1982 tour got off to a bad start when some of their biggest gigs were canceled, and they were forced to play in much smaller arenas. Smell the Glove's release would also be postponed after the public expressed disdain for its sexually explicit cover. (When the album was finally shipped, both sides of the cover were solid black, a decision made by Faith rather than the band members.) U.S. appeal continued to decrease, and the band grew further apart due to ' and 's opposing ideas. A mistake in prop sizing would prompt the group to fire Faith and replace him with ' mistress, Jeanine Pettibone. Shortly afterward, momentarily quit the band, frustrated with their sudden downfall and Pettibone's poor management. Unable to find a decent replacement, what was left of the group talked about retiring after the tour, but this idea was soon forgotten when and Faith returned for the band's final U.S. performance and one Japanese gig. Despite Shrimpton's sudden combustion and his short replacement, Joe "Mama" Bessemer, in hiding after many of the group's props were reported stolen, both shows were a success. In 1983, the band would split and go their separate ways. married Pettibone and opened up a soccer "clinic," retired to his home in London to begin an inventing career, and joined and toured with the Christian metal band Lamb's Blood. Both Savage and Faith would die under unusual circumstances.
It wasn't until 1992, when seemed almost forgotten, that rumors began to erupt (in real life) that they had re-formed and were working on a new album. The band proved these rumors true when they appeared on the MTV Music Awards (with new drummer Ric Shrimpton and keyboardist C.J. Vanston), announcing their return to the spotlight with their upcoming album, Break Like the Wind. The record was released that fall, featuring the hits "Bitch School" and "Majesty of Rock," along with appearances by Slash, Cher, and Joe Satriani. The band embarked on another tour, finishing in London to record their first and only live video cassette, Return of Spinal Tap, to be released in 1993. After the tour, they once again faded away.

For Slash see Number 795
For Cher see Number 889
For Joe Satriani see Number 688
For Led Zeppelin See Number 957

Although may never release another album, film another movie, or do another tour, their work provides rock fans with authentic '80s metal that, ironically, surpasses the work of many of the artists they imitated. A song entitled "Goat Boy" was recorded for an IBM commercial in 1995 and an official Internet site was set up in 1996, showing the public's interest in keeping this mythical band alive. And while , , and express no desire to ever don the silly wigs and outrageous costumes again, hope remains in the hearts of the many metal fans they reached that will once again make their triumphant return. ~ Barry Weber

What does Rolling Stone think about Spinal Tap?
Crumbling under the weight of a tiny Stonehenge, Spinal Tap split up in 1984 – leaving "Big Bottom" and "Sex Farm" to the annals of classic rock. Break Like the Wind marks the band's reunion and, by some bizarre twist of fate, coincides with heavy metal's resurgence in popularity and sales. Until recently, guitarist-vocalist Nigel Tufnel had been adrift in the murky waters of a solo career, making a kind of gumbo of African music, Polynesian music and even the obscure sounds of the Pee-Wee Islands off Tasmania. In January, he told Rolling Stone, "What we're saying with this album is 'We're back Join us, won't you, in a consumer sense.'"
Sure, this is a joke, but Spinal Tap is a joke that everyone is in on – unlike most metal, which some people think isn't funny. Tufnel, guitarist-vocalist David St. Hubbins and bassist Derek Smalls are great parodists, from their absurd British pomp and their bulges swathed in crushed velvet to histrionic guitar solos and the endless exploding-drummer gag. This album, like its predecessor Smell the Glove, covers the obligatory rock & roll ground: sex, women, machismo, romantic longing, a Beatles nod. And to make it modern, Spinal Tap has added an environmental song ("Stinking Up the Great Outdoors"), the influence of world music ("Clam Caravan," which St. Hubbins describes as "a brilliant sort of East Indian sound picture") and an impressive list of guest producers and artists (from the omnipresent Slash to Cher, who hasn't sounded better since "Dark Lady").
On "Majesty of Rock," Spinal Tap mocks metal titans (AC/DC, Black Sabbath, even Zep) and their spiritual children: "That's the majesty of rock!/The mystery of roll!/The darning of the sock/The scoring of the goal!/The farmer takes a wife/The barber takes a pole." Clever criticism disguised as bathroom humor, Break Like the Wind amplifies the absurdity of pop music in general. After all, Nigel, Derek and David are fellas who would proudly check into the Beverly Wilshire under the alias Richard Head. (RS 627) CHRISTIAN WRIGHT
Crowbarreds choice for Website to find more on Spinal Tap ... Click on the address http://www.spinaltapfan.com/
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We thought they were real) and the Album ranked at Number (Boy did we look like dicks ~ meh)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 70.2 out of 108 pts

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