Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Spinal Tap [Polydor, 1984]
Sonically, these long-suffering limeys don't pack the priapic overkill that might make their compilation as convincing as the "rockumentary" which finally won them critical acclaim. The problem is physical--neither vocalist David St. Hubbins nor guitarist Nigel Tufnel possesses equipment of HM's gargantuan proportions, although they might have faked it if producers Guest-McKean-Shearer knew recording studios like they do movie sets. Nevertheless, Tap were ahead of their time in 1965 ("Cups and Cakes" is very late '66) and 1973 (that synth on the classic "Big Bottom"), and they're pathfinders today as well--funnier than the Dictators ever were. B+