Spinal Tap Bassist Derek Smalls Announces ‘Smalls Change’ Solo LP
Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls is returning to action with his first solo album, Smalls Change (Meditations on Ageing). You can see a video for the title track below.
The member of the fictional band originally conceived for a 1984 movie will also tour behind the album, which features an array of big-name guests, including Peter Frampton, Donald Fagan and Richard Thompson. It's set for release on April 13.
Smalls, the This Is Spinal Tap character played by comedian and actor Harry Shearer, has released details on the LP, which fans have been awaiting since news of it broke last June. In a press release, he says, "Smalls Change is a poignant and oftentimes furious contemplation on aging that explores the passing of time and all things loud. With styles that cross the gamut of musical genres, the album possesses the edgy rawness and Rock God sensibility that was always shared by Derek and his fellow former band members, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins."
He describes Smalls Change as "halfway between ‘rage against the dying of the light’ and trying to find the light," and calls his ability to garner an impressive roster of guests a "pity f---.”
Produced by Shearer and CJ Vanston, the project was made possible, says Smalls, by a grant from the recently launched British Fund for Ageing Rockers. Smalls Change (Meditations on Ageing) can be pre-ordered at PledgeMusic. You can see the track listing and liner notes below.
The U.S. Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Loud Music tour will launch on April 14 with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at New Orleans' Saenger Theater. More dates will be announced soon
Shearer has recently been wrapped up in a lawsuit with his fellow This Is Spinal Tap stars over royalties due to them from the movie studio.
Derek Smalls, 'Smalls Change' Track Listing and Liner Notes
1. "Openture" - Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
The philosophy of this record, expressed in fewer words than I’ve taken to almost describe it.
2. "Rock 'n' Roll Transplant" - Derek with Steve Lukather (guitar, Toto), drum legends Jim Keltner (George Harrison) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Whatever might be ailing you, rock ’n’ roll is the cure. Ask Dr. Derek!
3. "Butt Call"- Derek with Phil X (guitar, Bon Jovi) and Taylor Hawkins (drums, Foo Fighters)
In one lifetime, the telephone has gone from a miracle to a pain in the arse.
4. "Smalls Change" - Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Judith Owen (vocals) Danny Kortchmar (guitar, Don Henley) and Russ Kunkel (drums, James Taylor)
Why Lukewarm Water is no longer bracketed by Fire and Ice. A nod to what’s past, and a wink to what’s next.
5. "Memo To Willie" - Derek with Donald Fagen (vocals), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Larry Carlton (guitars, Steely Dan) and The Snarky Puppy Horns
An urgent missive to the Honorable Member: continued tumescence, if you please.
6. "It Don't Get Old" - Derek with Peter Frampton (guitar, vocals) and Waddy Wachtel (guitar Keith Richards).
Life on the road, an endless series of pointless encounters. What could be better?
7. "Complete Faith" - Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
A musical interruption.
8. "Faith No More" - Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra and Todd Sucherman (drums, Styx)
As I get older, I look back more fondly on all the people I’ve known. Except for Ian.
9. "Gimme Some (More) Money" - Derek with Paul Shaffer (piano and organ), Waddy Wachtel (guitar) and David Crosby (vocals)
Time and technology change everything, except the need for change.
10. "MRI" - Derek with Dweezil Zappa (guitars)
Everybody’s going to have one, eventually. It’s just another ride. To hell, but still…
11. "Hell Toupee" - Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
Think Satan doesn’t have dark thoughts about his appearance as he ages? Think again.
12. "Gummin the Gash" - Derek with Steve Vai (guitar), Gregg Bisonnette (drums, Ringo Starr) and Jane Lynch (vocals)
Losing your teeth closes one door, and opens another. A celebration of the meeting of two toothless cavities.
13. "She Puts the Bitch in Obituary" - Derek with Richard Thompson (guitar) and Jane Lynch (vocals)
A hymn to womanhood in all her splendor.
14. "When Men Did Rock" - Derek with Michael League (bass), Joe Satriani (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and The Hungarian Studio Orchestra