Thursday, December 27, 2012

7-inch Picture Sleeve of the Week: Spinal Tap: "Christmas With The Devil"

Although it’s a few days after Christmas, I still wanted to highlight the heavy metal satire of Spinal Tap in their 1984 seasonal offering “Christmas With the Devil,” which appeared with the sleeve above the same year their classic film “This is Spinal Tap” was released. 

The track doesn’t appear in the movie, but the band – including Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean - performed it as the musical guest on the May 5th, 1984 episode of Saturday Night Live.

Unlike last week’s entry, The Velvet Underground’s “Head Held High,” Spinal Tap’s “Christmas With the Devil” is a 7-inch that I have in my collection. The B-side features a “scratch mix” of the song which, in perfect Tap fashion, is way scratchier than it needs to be.

The sleeve itself isn't that attractive - it looks like heavy metal clip art, but, again, that's fitting. The back cover features a photo of the Guest, Shearer, and McKean as their Tap characters (Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnel, and David St. Hubbins), and the lyrics of the song with the same bright green background as the front cover.

Spinal Tap has rev-visited the song throughout their career, including a spirited rendition on The Arsenio Hall Show in ’92 during one of their many reunion tours (supporting their album that year – “Break Like the Wind”).

You can watch them perform it on the ’92 tour – from “The Return of Spinal Tap,” recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, London below:

So as the band says in unison as the song fades on the single: “This is Spinal Tap, wishing you and yours the most joyous of holiday seasons. 

Ditto, from me here at Pop Goes The Culture.

More later…

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