In 1984, a little-known metal band made a documentary about its experiences on tour. Twenty-five years later the band is still discussed, quoted and remembered for its excess and decadence.
“Back from the Dead” is a pseudo re-release of the classic soundtrack “This is Spinal Tap,” to Rob Reiner’s mockumentary. If you stretch the joke out, it’s almost a parody of the “greatest hits” albums of modern bands that only have two albums to their name but repackage it with new and unreleased material. But this band only used one album (it had a second real studio release, but not many people know of it).
And in a day when old bands try to recapture the glory of the spotlight, it’s no surprise that Tap has decided to re-release this album with re-recorded tracks.
The album celebrates the 25th anniversary of the film and coincides with the 25th anniversary DVD release. Although the movie was making fun of bands and rock documentaries of the time, the songs actually are still enjoyable due to their exaggerated content.
Updates to the classics also include a funk version of “Sex Farm” and even a reggae version of “(Listen to the) Flower People.” Some friends of Tap show up as guests on new tracks, including John Mayer, Steve Vai and Phil Collen on “Short and Sweet.” But one of the best parts about the album is that finally we get to hear the free-form jazz exploration in the three-part “Jazz Odyssey.”
In the end, this album really doesn’t offer anything too new – remastered tracks, excess and lecherous lyrics. But what shines is the humor of the original movie and soundtrack. Now if only they will release Nigel Tufnel’s “Lick My Love Pump.”