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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Spinal Tap

This Is Spinal Tap DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve always wanted to review this, and am now finally getting the chance to do so. I mean, we always ask people we interview about their favorite Spinal Tap question. How can we not have a review of this movie at our site? Well, we no longer need to ask that question.

This is such an unusual movie in so many ways. In the first place, the question that comes to mind first is, “does Spinal Tap qualify as a real band.” I’d say that the answer is clearly “yes.” Sure, they are characters, but they did their own music. Not only that, they’ve toured as Spinal Tap. When you add in the fact that their songs are better than the music a lot of bands make, yes, they are a band.

Next up, this is unique because it is sort of a dual parody. It’s a parody of rock music documentaries. It features a parody band. I’ve heard of people who found this so believable that they didn’t get the jokes. I saw this movie in the theater, and you could tell the people who were in the know. We were all laughing. All the while, roughly half the audience sat there not getting the joke. Well,, either that or they didn’t think it was funny.

Here’s the thing: if you know a lot about the music business, you’ll find the humor really hits the right notes, if you’ll pardon the pun. Even if you aren’t extremely knowledgeable, though, if you’ve seen a lot of old rock documentaries, you’ll have to be able to grasp the spoof. Once you get past the jokes, though, the music is pretty good. No, the lyrics aren’t meant to be taken seriously, but these guys rock. I’m sure these days there are a lot of people who haven’t seen this movie. It’s always on TV. Give it a try, and remember to allow yourself to be in on the joke. You’ll thank me, I think.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at
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