Spinal Tap Bassist Derek Smalls Announces Solo Album
By Andrew Magnotta
January 17, 2018
Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls (played by Harry Shearer) has set a release date for his long-awaited solo album, Smalls Changes (Meditations on Ageing).
The bassist for the initially fictitious band from the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap will release the LP on April 13.
Smalls Changes includes a number of high-profile special guests, including Peter Frampton, David Crosby, Steve Vai, Steve Lukather, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Dweezil Zappa and others.
He has also announced plans to tour behind the release.
In a press release, Shearer described the album as "a poignant and oftentimes furious contemplation on aging that explores the passing of time and all things loud."
He promises the album runs the gamut of musical genres, all with the same "edgy rawness and Rock God sensibility" of Spinal Tap.
Shearer initially revealed his plans for the EP during a summer profile in GQ. He says the record deals with partying hard into your 70s and all the complications that come with it.
Check out the track listing and liner notes below, as well as the music video for the title track:
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
Photo: Getty Images