Music : Rock : MP3/Variable
Back from the Dead is the third studio album by Spinal Tap. Released on June 16, 2009, it is the first release under the Spinal Tap name since 1992's Break Like the Wind.
Concept and music
The concept of Back from the Dead is that Spinal Tap has reunited in honor of the 25th anniversary of This Is Spinal Tap, and have launched an "unwigged and unplugged" tour.
Back from the Dead features re-recorded versions of songs featured in This Is Spinal Tap and its soundtrack album, and five new songs: "Warmer Than Hell", "Short and Sweet", "Celtic Blues", "Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare", "Back From The Dead". "Jazz Oddyssey", which appeared briefly during the film, appears in three parts within Back from the Dead. "Sex Farm" appears in a funk-oriented version, while "(Listen to the) Flower People" appears in a reggae-oriented version.
Back from the Dead features guest appearances by Phil Collen, Keith Emerson, John Mayer and Steve Vai.
Release and reception
Back from the Dead was released on June 16, 2009. The album is packaged with a DVD featuring commentary on each of the album's tracks. Preceding the album's release, it was streamed for free by Entertainment Weekly and Spinner. An exclusive version of Back from the Dead was made available through Amazon MP3, featuring a newly-recorded version of "(Listen to the) Flower People" in its original style. An additional track, "Saucy Jack", was released through the official Spinal Tap website. A selection of Spinal Tap songs, including three songs from Back from the Dead, was released as a download for the video game Rock Band.
While Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt that the straightforward approach of the re-recorded songs hurt the remakes, which "pale next to the originals", he wrote that the new songs are "top-notch, eclipsing the often forced Break Like the Wind, and striking the right balance between parody and real rock & roll. They're the reason to hear Back from the Dead, which otherwise is just a tad too satisfied with its own humor for its own good."