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Tesla

Although Tesla emerged during the glory days of hair metal, the band's music was equally indebted to contemporary blues and '70s-style hard rock, a fusion that helped differentiate albums like The Great Radio Controversy from its contemporaries. Despite the refreshing lack of posturing, Tesla was hit just as hard as the rest of the pop-metal world when grunge arrived in the early 1990s. They did produce one of the era's more respectable bodies of work, however, including three consecutive platinum-selling albums.

Although Tesla took shape in 1985 in Sacramento, CA, the musicians (vocalist Jeff Keith, the underrated guitar tandem of Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch, bassist Brian Wheat, and drummer Troy Luccketta) had logged several years together under the name City Kidd. At their management's suggestion, the bandmates renamed their group after the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla, who pioneered the radio but was given only belated credit for doing so. After playing several showcases in Los Angeles, Tesla quickly scored a deal with Geffen and released the debut album Mechanical Resonance in 1986. It produced a minor hard rock hit in "Modern Day Cowboy," reached the Top 40 on the album charts, and eventually went platinum. However, it was the 1989 follow-up effort, The Great Radio Controversy, that truly broke the band. The first single, "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)," was another hit with hard rock audiences and set the stage for the second single, a warm, comforting ballad named "Love Song" that substituted a dash of hippie utopianism for the usual power ballad histrionics. "Love Song" hit the pop Top Ten and pushed The Great Radio Controversy into the Top 20. Double-platinum sales figures followed as another single, "The Way It Is," also enjoyed some degree of airplay.

In keeping with their unpretentious, blue-collar roots, Tesla responded to stardom not by aping the glam theatrics of their tourmates, but by stripping things down. The idea behind 1990s Five Man Acoustical Jam was virtually unheard of -- a pop-metal band playing loose, informal acoustic versions of their best-known songs in concert, plus a few favorite covers ('60s classics by the Beatles, Stones, CCR, and others). Fortunately, Tesla's music was sturdy enough to hold up when its roots were exposed, and one of the covers -- "Signs," an idealistic bit of hippie outrage by the Five Man Electrical Band -- became another Top Ten hit, as well as the band's highest-charting single. Not only did Five Man Acoustical Jam reach the Top 20 and go platinum, but it also helped directly inspire MTV's Unplugged series, both with its relaxed vibe and its reminder that acoustic music could sound vital and energetic.

The studio follow-up to The Great Radio Controversy, Psychotic Supper, arrived in 1991 and quickly became another platinum hit. It didn't produce any singles quite as successful as "Love Song" or "Signs," but it did spin off the greatest number of singles of any Tesla album: "Edison's Medicine," "Call It What You Want," "What You Give," and "Song and Emotion." Perhaps that was partly due to Tesla's workmanlike hard rock, which didn't sound ridiculous if it was played on rock radio alongside the new crop of Seattle bands. The winds of change were blowing, however, and by the time Tesla returned with their 1994 follow-up, Bust a Nut, few bands from the pop-metal era had maintained their popularity. Bust a Nut did sell over 800,000 copies -- an extremely respectable showing given the musical climate of 1994, and a testament to the fan base Tesla had managed to cultivate over the years. Yet all was not well within the band, and Tommy Skeoch's addiction to tranquilizers resulted in his dismissal from the band in 1995.

Tesla attempted to forge ahead as a quartet, but the chemistry had been irreparably altered by Skeoch's exit, and they broke up in 1996. Most of the bandmembers began playing with smaller outfits, none of which moved beyond a local level. When Skeoch's health improved, however, the band staged a small-scale reunion in 2000, which quickly became a full-fledged effort. In the fall of 2001, the group released a two-disc live album, Replugged Live, which documented their reunion tour. Into the Now, which was co-produced by Michael Rosen (Testament, AFI), appeared in March 2004. A collection of '70s covers called Real to Reel arrived in 2007, by which time Skeoch had left the band once more and been replaced by Dave Rude. 2008 found the revised band releasing its seventh studio album, Forever More, an all-new collection of songs that saw the musicians reuniting with producer Terry Thomas, who had previously helmed 1994's Bust a Nut. ~ Steve Huey & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I try to tell u baby that im no good for you listen to me were no good together.
Luv Tesla, great tune.....The Love Song has 2 b my fav tho...
Im getting better fucken a!!
Yup were no good tgether....f y c k e n waste of time..good tgung we got tesla to jam out and laugh it all..lol
dpnielsen2
My favorite song by Tesla
Can b good...
F**k where does the years go
Who is the reason for ur smile....u know!
Me and malia...rock i n out ;)
Three simple words awesome !!
Listening to tesla....get t i n ' better!
evans411
Had the pleasure of lifting the amps and rolling cases! You should all know, These guys are nothing but a class act! Listen to a album that's is exactly what they sound like live.
Your stupid deadjailrnr !
Okay this what I'm fucken talkin about I'm gonna leave my 2cents I never,ever heard this jam it's called(just in case)now remember pandora I don't want to see this particular comment on any other tesla jam because I dig thid song y'all dig
Why is the previous comment I left for the tesla's jam(alot to lose)on this jam(heaven's trail/no way out)man this is the type of nonsense that is just retarded(Pan d o r a ) c o m e on please get it right & I know I'm,(Not)the only one with this fucken problem...f* * k are yah SERIOUS!!! Hey april how yah doing today
Yeah this tesla jam hits the bones I've got alot to lose sure do I got alot of love for yah oh...oh...ye a h !
Tesla is my Favorite band, wanna hear a REAL ROCK band..... this is it,
I will live and die Tesla!!! ������������
luckyheartz7 7
I'll love tesla forever. First real concert I ever saw <3<3<3
Some of my favorites times was singing as loud is I could rocking out with TESLA in my car!!!
Great love song
elucketta
Love Tesla .. They still sound just like they did yesterday. Much love for Troy Luccketta :))) I know you didn't think it would be this big ... But it's not what you got it's what you give !!!
Wow;)
My favorite rock band ever! Seen them multiple times since the 80s and recently at the 2014 M3 festival , Jeff, Frank, Brian, Dave and Troy never disappoint!
It's getting better!!!!! ♡♡♡♡♡♡
I love me some tesla!!!
Showing my age I don't give a f**k I absolutely love tesla seen them in 1989 open up ac/dc
Heard Modern Day Cowboy in 1986 and was hooked. One of my favorite rock bands.
One of the best
Guglielmo Marconi was a thief and a dyk hole
modern day cowboy is the best
Love the band from sactown...
Love Tesla!! And this song is great!!
Love Song intro was my wife's wedding march played acoustically by a very talented friend!!! We LOVE the Tesla Boys!!!! Keep on rocking till u can't anymore Jeff, Frank, big bad B, Troy and Dave!!!!!
Amazing and Very Impressive that these guys do soooo many shows and STILL don't miss a beat or those perfect lyrics!!!!
You Guys are the BEST!!!!!!
Thanks so much for your talent!!
Jimmy and Jamie!!!
This song was our wedding song. Every time I hear it I rear up RIP MISS YA WITH ALL HEART♡♡♡♡♡
Tesla f**king rocks
Seen Tesla back in 86,with Great White & Badlands.a few more times after that.My friends in The Leo Project opened for them a couple of yrs ago they still rock
Tesla is one of my faves .times making changes in my life.times rearanging you and me..Rocks!
i saw them and poison and again with firehouse. was so awesome!!!
luckyheartz7 7
Love <3<3<3 92 first time seeing this group and Poison. Forever
Pandora put new tesla on
Song and Emotion, one of my all time favorites.
Whos the one that makes you happy..
Whos the one alwasys on your mind.love this song
One of my faves.tesla os awsome.
love this song!
luckyheartz7 7
92 the first band I saw with Poison. Always <3<3<3
Love TESLA, need to add new album and the solo projects by FH, DR, & The rest. A.S.A.P. ...PLEASE!!!
Love tesla
bambibear64
changes are a COMING!!!!
Still rockin with Tesla! One of my all time Faves! Chicago House of Blues August 2014. Can't wait!!!!!!!! ! !
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