October 3, 2020

#STS: Spinal Tap



Have you ever been watching a movie and thought to yourself, “Hey, this is some pretty good music here!”?   That is what this theme is all about. Soundtracks from movies.

As we are celebrating the month of Rocktober here...

Today’s soundtrack is courtesy of the movie ‘This is Spinal Tap’, or more commonly known as ‘Spinal Tap’.

Wikipedia tells us this about the movie:

This Is Spinal Tap (stylized as This Is Spın̈al Tap: A Rockumentary by Martin Di Bergi) is a 1984 American mockumentary film co-written and directed by Rob Reiner. It stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer as members of the fictional English heavy metal band Spinal Tap (who are characterized as "one of England's loudest bands"), and Reiner as Martin "Marty" Di Bergi, a documentary filmmaker who follows them on their American tour. The film satirizes the behavior and musical pretensions of rock bands and the hagiographic tendencies of rock documentaries such as Gimme Shelter (1970), The Song Remains the Same (1976), and The Last Waltz (1978) and follows the similar All You Need Is Cash (1978) by The Rutles. Most of its dialogue was improvised and dozens of hours were filmed.

This Is Spinal Tap released to critical acclaim, but was only a modest success upon its initial release. However, it found greater success and amassed a cult following after it was released on VHS. In 2002, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress, and was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. In 2016, film critic and author Jeremy Arnold chose it as one of the "52 Must-See Movies", describing it as "one of the single most influential movies of the past thirty-five years" and arguing that it "effectively launched a new genre—the mockumentary"


The Plot:

Filmmaker Martin "Marty" Di Bergi is creating a documentary that follows the English rock group Spinal Tap on their 1982 United States concert tour to promote their new album Smell the Glove. The band comprises childhood friends David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel on vocals and guitar, bassist Derek Smalls, keyboardist Viv Savage, and drummer Mick Shrimpton. They found early success as the Thamesmen with their single "Gimme Some Money", before changing their name and achieving a minor hit with the flower power anthem "Listen to the Flower People", and finally transitioning to heavy metal. Several of their previous drummers died in strange circumstances: spontaneous human combustion, a "bizarre gardening accident", and choking on someone else's vomit. Segments of Marty's film show David and Nigel to be competent but dimwitted and immature musicians. At one point, Nigel shows Marty a custom-made amplifier that has volume knobs that go up to eleven, believing this would make their output louder.

Several of the band's tour shows are canceled because of low ticket sales, and major retailers refuse to sell Smell the Glove because of its sexist cover art. Tensions arise between the band and their manager Ian Faith. David's girlfriend Jeanine, a manipulative yoga and astrology devotee, joins the group on tour and participates in band meetings, influencing their costumes and stage presentation. The band's distributor opts to release Smell the Glove with an entirely black cover without consulting the band. Despite their manager convincing the band that it would have a similar appeal to the White Album, the album fails to draw crowds to autograph sessions with the band.

Nigel suggests staging a lavish show, and asks Ian to order a Stonehenge megalith. However, Nigel, rushing a sketch on a napkin, mislabels its dimensions; the resulting prop is only 18 inches high, making the group a laughing stock. The group blames Ian, and when David suggests Jeanine should co-manage the group, Ian quits. The tour continues, rescheduled into smaller and smaller venues. Nigel is marginalized by Jeanine and David. At a gig at a United States Air Force base, Nigel is upset by an equipment malfunction and quits mid-performance. At their next gig, in an amphitheater at an amusement park, the band finds their repertoire is severely limited without Nigel, and improvise an experimental "Jazz Odyssey", which is poorly received.

At the last show of the tour, David and Derek consider exploring old side projects, such as a musical theatre production about Jack the Ripper. Before they go on stage, Nigel arrives to tell them that their song "Sex Farm" has become a major hit in Japan, and that Ian wants to arrange a tour there. As the band performs, David invites Nigel onstage, reuniting them, which excites everyone but Jeanine. With Ian reinstalled as manager, Spinal Tap performs a series of sold-out shows in Japan, despite the loss of drummer Mick, who explodes onstage.


The movie trailer:




Today’s Soundtrack Playlist:

  1. Hell Hole
  2. Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight
  3. Heavy Duty
  4. Rock and Roll Creation
  5. America
  6. Cups and Cakes
  7. Big Bottom
  8. Sex Farm
  9. Stonehenge
  10. Gimme Some Money
  11. (Listen To The) Flower People
  12. Christmas With The Devil
  13. Christmas With The Devil  (Scratch Mix)






Do you have a favorite movie that has a great soundtrack? Tell me about it. I’m happy to share.  

See you again soon!








2 comments:

  1. "It's in D minor, which everybody knows is the saddest key."

    "That's beautiful. What do you call it?"

    "'Lick My Love Pump'."

    Great movie! "These go to 11" is the line everyone seems to remember...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a fun movie to watch, definitely. I was torn between posting this one and 'Heavy Metal'.

      Delete

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