In the annals of rock and roll lore, few bands stand as tall as Spinal Tap — thanks in part to the efforts of former bassist Derek Smalls.
Smalls, portrayed to perfection by Harry Shearer, has announced the forthcoming release of a studio album titled Smalls Change. Here’s its title track.
The first album release by Spinal Tap’s former four-stringer, Smalls Change was recorded with the aid of several big-name special guests. Just check out this track listing, with notes from Smalls himself:
- “Openture” – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra (The philosophy of this record, expressed in fewer words than I’ve taken to almost describe it.)
- “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!
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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?
- “Complete Faith” – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra A musical interruption.
- “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.
- “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.
- “MRI” – Derek with Dweezil Zappa (guitars) Everybody’s going to have one, eventually. It’s just another ride. To hell, but still…
- “Hell Toupee” – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra Think Satan doesn’t have dark thoughts about his appearance as he ages? Think again.
- “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.
- “She Puts the Bitch in Obituary” – Derek with Richard Thompson (guitar) and Jane Lynch (vocals) A hymn to womanhood in all her splendor.
- “When Men Did Rock” – Derek with Michael League (bass), Joe Satriani (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
Smalls will celebrate the album with a tour called Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Live Music, on April 14 in concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at the Saenger Theater, New Orleans. Subsequent dates include June 29 in Atlanta at the Atlanta Symphony Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a special appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (additional details to be announced soon).