Back in 1984, it might have seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that Anvil would achieve the same level of fame and fortune as their headbanging peers.
Touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions behind albums crafted by Chris Tsangarides, the Grammy-nominated producer best known for his work with Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy, Toronto’s premier purveyors of thrash metal were on the rise, or so they thought. But while Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and the like parlayed boyish good looks and bubblegum hooks into arena-sized success on MTV, Anvil found themselves left out in the Canadian cold.
It’s easy to laugh at the members of Spinal Tap, whose bumbling misadventures, pompous observations and hackneyed sexual metaphors are so deliberately exaggerated, because they’re fictional. They were invented to lampoon the all-but-identical architects of an ’80s hair-metal subculture that had already ventured far into the realm of self-parody by the time the Christopher Guest-led trio arrived in 1984.