Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) (LP)


Derek Smalls

Vinyl
Currently Unavailable
$27.98
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Also available in: CD

Amoeba Review

04/12/2018

As we approach the twenty-fifth year of the comedic film masterpiece, This Is Spinal Tap, you might wonder why haven't any of the members come out with a solo album yet? Bass player Derek Smalls has done just that, attempting to break the record of poorly reviewed Spinal Tap albums by recruiting talented musicians like David Crosby, Peter Frampton, Donald Fagen, and Steve Vai to round out a band of heavy hitters. Well, not Derek Smalls exactly, but actor/comedian/musician Harry Shearer. Even after a career with iconic roles, a stint on SNL, and a plethora of Simpsons characters, Harry Shearer still has a special fondness for his former alter ego, Derek Smalls. Somewhere between lovingly sincere and sincerely overblown, Smalls Change is an album that continues what made Spinal Tap songs like "Big Bottom" and "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" so good. Just as those songs were a send-up of the new wave of English metal like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, combined with the misguided pompousness of the German band Scorpion, Derek Smalls' solo album is a parody of the late-career solo albums that every rock star releases to prove that they still got it. But unlike those cringe-worthy albums of middle-aged men trying to act and sing like teens, Shearer is completely self-aware, and knows how ego-driven and crazy an album like this from Derek Smalls would be. The title song is a power ballad filled with loud rock instrumentation, dramatic piano, orchestral accompaniment, and an opera singer howling over the chorus, backing up Shearer's lyrical analogy (and puns) about his character's change. But even if the lyrics are silly, the song jams and shows off Shearer's vocal range while displaying how serious he is about being funny. If you were listening to this without paying attention to what was being said, you would be convinced this was real for a second. Are we ever going to get a Spinal Tap reunion? Who knows, but at least Derek Smalls is still pumping out classics like this with some real heavy duty musicians, making sure this never feels like a novelty album. Crank it to 11!



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Openture
Derek Smalls 00:39
2.
Rock And Roll Transplant
Derek Smalls , Steve Lukather , Jim Keltner , Chad Smith 04:16
3.
Butt Call
Derek Smalls , Taylor Hawkins 03:37
4.
Smalls Change
Derek Smalls , Judith Owen , Danny Kortchmar , Russ Kunkel 04:49
5.
Memo To Willie
Derek Smalls , Donald Fagen , Jeff "Skunk" Baxter , Larry Carlton , Snarky Puppy 03:51
6.
It Don't Get Old
Derek Smalls , Waddy Wachtel 04:27


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Complete Faith
Derek Smalls 00:31
2.
Faith No More
Derek Smalls 05:26
3.
Gimme Some (More) Money
Derek Smalls , Paul Shaffer , Waddy Wachtel , David Crosby 03:33
4.
MRI
Derek Smalls , Dweezil Zappa 04:10
5.
Hell Toupee
Derek Smalls 05:21


Side C Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Gummin' The Gash
Derek Smalls , Steve Vai , Gregg Bissonette , Jane Lynch 03:23
2.
She Puts The Bitch In Obituary
Derek Smalls , Richard Thompson , John Lynch 05:23
3.
When Men Did Rock
Derek Smalls , Michael League , Joe Satriani , Rick Wakeman 09:25

Vinyl
Currently Unavailable
$27.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD
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