Spinal Tap Songs Ranked

Spinal Tap(stylized as Spın̈al Tap, with a dotless letter i and a metal umlaut over the n) was a fictional English heavy metal band created by American comedians and musicians Michael McKean (as the lead singer and co-lead guitarist David St. Hubbins), Christopher Guest (as lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel) and Harry Shearer (as bassist Derek Smalls). They are characterized as “one of England’s loudest bands”. McKean, Guest, and Shearer wrote and performed original songs for the band. The trio also portrays the fictional American folk music revival band The Folksmen; some Spinal Tap concert appearances have featured Guest, McKean, and Shearer opening for “Tap” as the Folksmen. Here are all of Spinal Tap songs ranked.

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10. Cups and Cakes (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

” The spectacularly bad “Cups and Cakes” is a perfect pastiche of late ’60s overly-British music hall pop with string arrangements so gaudy I laugh every time.”

9. Big Bottom (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“Comedy gold. I love the film, and the music is hideous of course, like all the worst metal you ever heard shaped into one black throbbing mess. The lyrics are so funny that my sides ache every time I hear them, especially “Big Bottom”

8. Heavy Duty (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“”Heavy Duty” is slow-paced and, appropriately, heavy. It’s subject is rock-and-roll music (please see Rock-and-Roll Rule #1 above). It captures well the anti-intellectualism that one saw at work in much of the rock music of the day (favorite line: “Why waste good music on a brain?”), and features a characteristically disorganized guitar solo by Nigel. Yet the real treat comes near the end of the song, when, in a backhanded compliment to all those rock bands that have incorporated classical-music structures in a bid for respectability, the band works in the well-known minuet melody from Luigi Boccherini’s String Quintet in E Major, Op. 11, No. 5 (G275). I’m still waiting to see the “Spinal Tap” outtake where Nigel asserts that Boccherini travelled forward in time, attended a Spinal Tap concert, stole the melody, and returned to the 18th century.”

7. The Majesty of Rock (Break Like the Wind, 1992)

“Spinal Tap are THANKFULLY “One of a Kind”. Their unique hilarious stage personae and music are timeless and forever a part of Rock Lore. A must have for all fans of rock, “Tap” and comedy.”

See more: Spinal Tap Albums Ranked

6. (Funky) Sex Farm (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“Sex Farm” offers more in the way of sexist double entendres. (This is the song that the band is playing during a gig at a U.S. Air Force base in the Pacific Northwest, when a radio-amplified guitar starts picking up and broadcasting control-tower transmissions to and from nearby aircraft.) My favorite feature of this song is probably the way the band goes for a big finish after the song has clearly run out of energy. I saw that done in real life plenty of times at concert venues like the Hampton Coliseum in Tidewater Virginia, or the old Capital Centre just outside Washington, D.C. At least when Spinal Tap does it, it’s funny.”

5. Hell Hole (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“The opening track, “Hell Hole,” seems to have been the band’s choice of hit single, judging from the music video that accompanies the DVD release (it’s available on YouTube as well). The video’s painfully literal visual interpretations of each line from the song, its gratuitous shots of young women in bikinis, and its equally pointless skull imagery all join with the song’s guitar-and-organ power chords to put one back in those hair-band days of the 1980’s, when MTV regularly played videos much like this one from bands that took themselves seriously. Nigel sings the verses, while David sings on the chorus. I can’t decide what my favorite line is from this tale of an impoverished rocker who makes it big but then decides he doesn’t like stardom after all. “

4. Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight,” gets kudos for a title that seems to come straight from rock music’s Department of Redundancy Department. This song, which plays during the film’s opening credits, and toward the end when a band member who has left Spinal Tap rejoins the group, reminds us of a longstanding if unspoken Rule #1 for rock and roll: if you can’t think of something else to write a rock-and-roll song about, write a song about rock and roll! It is fast-paced and power-chord-based, with some keyboard-synthesized vocals that made me think of when acts like Peter Frampton and the Cars were using that guitar talkbox; and in the guitar solo, Nigel seems to be doing his best to replicate Eddie Van Halen’s plectrum-tapping technique.”

See more: Steve Vai Albums Ranked

3. Stonehenge (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“Stonehenge” is one of my favorites. Jethro Tull, anyone? This song is a fun homage to Tull and all those other U.K. bands that have mined the riches of British antiquity in search of new material. I like the way the vocals switch back and forth between David and Nigel; and the mandolin in the middle reminded me of how Led Zeppelin fans would look forward to the acoustic set with John Paul Jones on mandolin. And, as always, this band takes itself *much* too seriously. “In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived a strange race of people: the Druids. No one knows who they were, or [long pause] what they were doing. But their legacy remains, hewn into the living rock — of Stonehenge!””

2. Bitch School (Break Like the Wind, 1992)

“The double-entendre “Bitch School” rules! I am going back to school… Bitch School that is, where the hot leather clad S&M girls obey your every command! The down-on-her-hands-and-knees Mariah O’Brien, who graces the cover sleeve for the “Bitch School” CD single, takes it to eleven. Am I the only person that thinks the sultry model looks like to Christina “Kelly Bundy” Applegate?”

1. Christmas with the Devil (This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

“Appearing as a bonus track, in both regular and scratch-mix versions, is Spinal Tap’s ode to the holidays, “Christmas With the Devil.” The devout are not likely to be amused; others will be delighted. Here, the band has great fun lampooning the Satanist posturings of acts like Black Sabbath. Lines like “So come all ye unfaithful/Don’t get left out in the cold/You don’t need no invitation, no/Your ticket is your soul” precede a typically chaotic Nigel Tufnel guitar solo. And the band members offer a spoken holiday wish at the end!”