At what point can we admit Spinal Tap are not a fictional band? Sure, they were the focus of a mockumentary detailing the fictional exploits of a fictional band, played by actors, but… once you’re releasing successful albums and playing bonafide concerts to huge crowds, what more is required to signify this is a real band?

When Spinal Tap first saw mainstream attention, via 1984’s “This is Spinal Tap” we’d never really have to think about the blurring of the lines between fake and real bands. Now we have the likes of Gorillaz, Dethklok, and Belzebubs as examples we can readily point to, but back then this was something different. Something special.

So what made Spinal Tap special? Why were they able to translate from elaborate joke to stadium rockers with an audience ready to buy into the concept? Well, for starters – the music is fucking good. It’s humorous in content, but the delivery is no joke. Genuine, heavy metal proper, to bang your head and raise your fist to.

But also, for this to work, you have to be able to believe these people are real. And such is the performances of Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer, as David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls respectively, that you suspend your disbelief. You’re all in because you want to believe in these three larger than life heavy metal legends. Sure, they’ve got some odd ways about them, but Spinal Tap are such an awesome band, who cares?

Spinal Tap are one of the realest fake bands in rock and metal, with songs so brilliant you’ve gotta turn it up to 11.