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“Gold” (remaster) by Tesla

Artist: Tesla
Title: “Gold” (remaster)
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 8/26/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

Back when this band was considered a struggling up and comer I had to say that for whatever reason I just refused to pay attention to them despite a couple of my friends lauding their musical excellence when the group was doing tours with Def Leppard. Don’t look at me like that because there are a lot of you that also ignored the band and didn’t start paying attention until they made an appearance on MTV’s “Unplugged” and played the old time hit “Signs”. Let’s be honest here and say that while it was a cover, this was the song that woke the wider audience up for the band Tesla and thank you guys for being so forgiving of us. Truth be told this band is a no holds barred fantastic Rock and Roll outfit that had a lot of good material to be enjoyed and since they were more of a conventional band when compared to their peers of the day, their sound was somewhat lost on the audiences that were flocking to 80’s Melodic Metal rockers and Glam Bands. I guess the timing was a little wrong for them but then again there were fans and the band became one of those underground success stories. Those who followed them did so in earnest and taught a hard lesson to those who were just coming into the game for the 3rd quarter. I was glad that there was a “Gold” remastered collection to enjoy because it’s the perfect place to begin your journey if you were one of those latecomers and an excellent place to rest upon your laurels if you have been following the band for many, many years.
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“Real To Reel 2” by Tesla

Artist: Tesla
Title: “Real To Reel 2”
Label: Tesla Electric Company Recordings
Release Date: 9/25/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Tesla recently toured in support of their covers album “Real To Reel” for what was billed as The Electric Summer Jam tour and while the package for the release had room for two CD’s, the second disk was only available for those fans who attended a show and paid for a full price ticket. Since there was no way possible for everyone who wanted to attend to do so the band decided to make CD 2 available to them as well and based on the tracks presented I am sure glad that they did. The second part of “Real To Reel” continues along the same lines as the first CD and offers up the bands very faithful takes on Rock classics from the seventies. Having enjoyed part one quite a bit I expected to be impressed all the more by the tunes the band would focus on for this one. The musical push back in time begins with a smooth version of Mott The Hoople’s “All The Young Dudes” and this is one of those tracks that I felt Tesla handled as if it were there own and they did a lot of the same for Bad Company’s “Shooting Star”. These two tracks have remained high on my own Classic Rock favorites list and thanks to Tesla shall be once again dug out of the CD collection and uploaded to the music player. “I Want To Take You Higher” is the perfect companion tune to disk one’s “Ball Of Confusion” as it brings the Soul side to the front once again. The Rolling Stones track was fun but those songs generally are. I would have loved to hear a more obscure Jagger/Richards composition get delivered but that’s not what they ended up doing and instead gave us “Street Fighting Man”, at least the band didn’t take the easy route of “Brown Sugar” or “Satisfaction”. I found it very interesting to hear the guys do an Alice Cooper tune for the typical Blues Rock of Tesla never really called to mind the Master of Shock Rock, but they did him justice on it with “Is It My Body”.
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Tesla @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (9/13/2007)

Tesla have long been one of the best Rock and Roll bands going and they are a dose of the pure stuff when it comes to music. They were celebrating the release of their covers album at the Nokia Theater and we made sure to be inside as well to tell you about it. Scroll past the logo below to see our thoughts and images from the gig.

Logo - Tesla

Artist: Tesla
Venue: Nokia Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Poets and Pornstars
Date: 9/13/2007
Label: Tesla Electric Company Records

While the historians know that the man Nikola Tesla was a genius who brought worlds of ideas to the realm of physics and electrical engineering as well as introducing a whole score of other inventions, the rock fans know that the band bearing the same name has continually brought the world some incredibly rocking tunes. For years they have delivered the goods when it came to solid songwriting and clever guitar riffs and while they have sometimes been thought of as a Heavy Metal band based on their launching during the big hair eighties, the end result of Tesla music is much more along the lines of Blues-based Hard Rock. Their first album “Mechanical Resonance” was met with fantastic response and found them opening up for bands like Poison, David Lee Roth and Def Leppard. The momentum for the group was on a steady rise but it was not until they delivered their “Five Man Acoustical Jam” album that they became a household name. The album was unique for it’s time as it found the band not only in a live performance but they were doing their own material and covers acoustically. Such a practice was not yet as common as we find today, and this concert CD and VHS tape gave the band a blockbuster hit with their rendition of the Five Man Electrical Band’s classic “Signs”. After a couple of other albums the band took a hiatus only to return in 2002 with another live album called “Replugged” and a promising new studio effort called “Into The Now”. The band toured as expected for the release and then returned to the studio to record their covers album. This practice has really started to become both an interesting as well as an annoying trend as some bands hit the mark dead on while others miss horribly. Fortunately for the worlds Tesla fans their own attempt at this premise was a really good go at some unexpected classics. The tour soon followed and the band made their way to NYC for a show at the incredible Nokia Theatre.
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“Real To Reel” by Tesla

Artist: Tesla
Title: “Real To Reel”
Label: Tesla Electric Company Recordings
Release Date: 6/5/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Tesla proved to the world that they were not your run of the mill Rock and Roll group years ago when they released the blockbuster “Five Man Acoustical Jam”. Combining reworked versions of their own material and some covers it was an album that showed that these cowboys of the modern day were truly some of the most versatile players that the Hard Rock circuit had to offer. This was during a time when more attention was being paid to those who simply added an extra can of hair spray to the mix instead of refining the Rock we were all craving. Cheap gimmicks and fanfare never applied to Tesla who always stuck to their roots and gave us classics such as “Love Song”, “Coming Atcha Live” and “Paradise”. “Real To Reel” finds the bands return to delivering quality music and this time around they bring out the songs that they felt were important to their own development as a group. The release is quite similar to that which was recently issued by Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw whose own album “Influence” offered fans an idea of how they began in an acoustic manner. With “Real To Reel” Tesla is going to show the world a little of the same thing but it is full amplified and electrical this time. There are some great versions presented and while many are dead on renditions of the classics one cannot deny that the bluesy rasp of singer Jeff Keith is able to make these tracks his own just a little. The great aspect of the release is the fact that it includes covers that many of the bands fans might not have ever expected of them such as the Temptations “Ball Of Confusion” and the Guess Who’s “Hand Me Down World”. Great tunes yes indeed but I am sure that the younger fan base only had a limited if any exposure to these songs as they grew up with the band.
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