TESLA
Hard Rock • United States

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Tesla is an American hard rock, heavy metal band formed in Sacramento, California in late 1982. They have sold 14 million albums in the United States.

History

In late 1982, bassist Brian Wheat (age 20) and guitarist Frank Hannon (age 15) formed City Kidd, a band that then spent time gigging at Sacramento's defunct Oasis Ballroom. They also began working with American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose towards writing hard rock hit singles, reasoning "We wanted to get signed, and we thought the way to do that was to write a hit single." New producers and managers turned the group towards radio pop rock and, to come up with the appropriate material, band manager Steve Clausman hired Grammy award winner Duane Hitchings, who provided the music to Rod Stewart songs such as Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? and Infatuation. A representative from Geffen Records then saw where the City Kidd band was headed
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SimplicitySimplicity
TESLA ELECTRIC CO 2014
Audio CD$5.49
$4.99 (used)
Time's Makin' Changes - The Best of TeslaTime's Makin' Changes - The Best of Tesla
Geffen Records 1995
Audio CD$1.82
$0.25 (used)
Psychotic SupperPsychotic Supper
Geffen Records 1991
Audio CD$1.50
$0.01 (used)
Mechanical ResonanceMechanical Resonance
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$0.33 (used)
Great Radio ControversyGreat Radio Controversy
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$1.76
$0.01 (used)
Five Man Acoustical JamFive Man Acoustical Jam
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$5.25
$0.01 (used)
Bust a NutBust a Nut
Geffen Gold Line Sp. 1997
Audio CD$2.90
$0.63 (used)
20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
Geffen Records 2001
Audio CD$1.77
$0.50 (used)
Twisted WiresTwisted Wires
TESLA ELECTRIC CO 2011
Audio CD$9.37
$5.98 (used)
Real to ReelReal to Reel
Double CD
Tesla Electric Co 2007
Audio CD$9.20
$9.19 (used)
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TESLA Discography

TESLA albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 19 ratings
Mechanical Resonance
Hard Rock 1986
.. Album Cover 3.71 | 7 ratings
The Great Radio Controversy
Hard Rock 1989
.. Album Cover 3.53 | 6 ratings
Psychotic Supper
Hard Rock 1991
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 8 ratings
Bust A Nut
Hard Rock 1994
.. Album Cover 2.60 | 2 ratings
Into The Now
Hard Rock 2004
.. Album Cover 2.10 | 2 ratings
Real To Reel
Hard Rock 2007
.. Album Cover 2.10 | 2 ratings
Real To Reel 2
Hard Rock 2007
.. Album Cover 2.79 | 4 ratings
Forever More
Hard Rock 2008
.. Album Cover 2.57 | 2 ratings
Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions
Hard Rock 2011
.. Album Cover 3.05 | 2 ratings
Simplicity
Hard Rock 2014

TESLA EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
A Peace Of Time
Hard Rock 2007

TESLA live albums

.. Album Cover 3.77 | 3 ratings
Five Man Acoustical Jam
Hard Rock 1990
.. Album Cover 2.60 | 2 ratings
Replugged Live
Hard Rock 2001
.. Album Cover 2.14 | 2 ratings
Standing Room Only
Hard Rock 2002
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Alive In Europe
Hard Rock 2010

TESLA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TESLA boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Time's Makin' Changes: The Best Of Tesla
Hard Rock 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Tesla
Hard Rock 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gold
Hard Rock 2008

TESLA singles (6)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Little Suzi
Hard Rock 1986
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Modern Day Cowboy
Hard Rock 1987
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Love Song
Hard Rock 1989
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Signs
Hard Rock 1990
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Edison's Medicine
Hard Rock 1991
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Call It What You Want
Hard Rock 1991

TESLA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Time's Makin' Changes: The Videos & More
Hard Rock 1995
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Five Man Video Band
Hard Rock 2002
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Comin' Atcha Live! 2008
Hard Rock 2008

TESLA Reviews

TESLA Mechanical Resonance

Album · 1986 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
TESLA's debut album came out right at the time when glam metal was king and gave us their own unique take on metalizing 70s hard bluesy rock however due to the fact that they toured with glam bands like David Lee Roth, Def Leppard or Poison they got labelled as glam despite always maintaining that good ole' boy look and feel by performing casual in simple T-shirts and jeans. Likewise they avoided the sleazy lyrics common of the day and instead sang about slightly more intellectual themes but still had the occasional mindless rocker or two. In fact the band took their name from none other than Nikola Tesla, mastermind of many technologies that make the world what it is today.

What I love about this debut album is that it is just really good songs with energetic musicians giving it their all. Frank Hannon is a phenomenal guitarist who gives surprising tasty solos and the signature sound of the band is surely vocalist Jeff Keith with his raspy voice. The songs are all catchy being mostly hard rock with some softer tracks that incorporate acoustic guitar sections or even piano. The most popular single “Little Suzi” is actually a cover of the song “Little Suzi's On The Up” by UK band Ph.D. A strong no nonsense debut by this band from Sacramento, CA.

TESLA Bust A Nut

Album · 1994 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stephen
"Bust A Nut" was released in a weird year of hard rock. Many glam bands have decided to split up or went into a completely different direction as grunge had taken over the world in 1993 while Tesla is one of the few that stayed true to their roots. Their faith, however, wasn't fully supported by their label as "Bust A Nut" was their last album with Geffen before the band splitting up and go on their own ways (later Tesla reunited again in 2000).

In this album, Tesla played their classic style, but I can see how the band smartly played with some thrashy element and also some dark alternative moment. Among the fourteen tracks, I vote these tracks as their best. "The Gate/Invited", a complex rocking tune with catchy acoustical part and nicely done chorus; "Solution", a headbangable chorus with thrashy riffs; "Need Your Lovin", a commercial power ballad which became their second single; "A Lot To Lose", another great ballad and also their third single; and "Rubberband", a slow/fast typical Tesla track as in their classic tracks such as "Gettin Better" or "Heaven's Trail".

Some fillers such as "She Want She Want", "Earthmover", or "Mama's Fool" (ironically, their first single!) should have been removed, but this doesn't stop me from rating this album a solid 4/5 score. The production is also great. Tesla never disappoints me and this fourth album is another proof that Tesla still kickin' high with lots and lots of high quality songs. An underrated album that should have found a home in any hard rock fans' CD rack!

TESLA Forever More

Album · 2008 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stephen
"Forever More" is Tesla's first original studio album in 5 years after "Into The Now" and also the first album to feature, Dave Rude, the replacement for long-time guitarist, Tommy Skeoch. The album's musical style picked up from the last album which is a modernized hard rock, shown in a lot of downtuned tone and less high-pitch and screaming vocal. Jeff Keith's vocal is still strong and powerful, though I spotted a downward on the range due to age. Hannon and Rude are complementing each other very well, perhaps because Rude has been playing with them since 2006 and he found a good chemistry within the band and built up the confidence of filling Skeoch's shoe.

The title track, which they considered a strong tune and regularly played in their latest gig, is somehow a filler to my ear. It's too modern, flat, and a bit boring, could be a dangerous starter for long-time fans unless you can adapt to new-school hard rock style. "I Wanna Live", however, is much better, still packed with modern chops but the chorus is anthemic and accessible. Tesla was using a lot of chugging riffs pattern on this album, just like "One Day At A Time", "So What!", or "All of Me". The latter has a powerful and mesmerizing chorus, a great uptempo hard rock which is my favorite, together with an alternative-style midtempo rocker, "Just In Case", the passionate power ballad, "Fallin' Apart" and "Pvt. Ledbetter", and the best song of the album, "The First Time". Funny thing is, "The First Time" started slow and burst out to a mix of hard rock and alternative style in the veins of Goo Goo Dolls, but still has the classic Tesla grips. The single "Breakin' Free" isn't very good and the last two songs are completely passable.

This album is totally different from the "Mechanical" or "Radio" days, but if you like "Into The Now", this one is easy to eat up, but for classic hard rock fans, this might be a patchy album and sounded too modern. I dig this one though still two steps away from their essential records. If you want to know how Tesla is doin' these days, "Forever More" is worth a catch. And by the way, European release is more interesting to buy as they provided you with couple of bonus tracks.

TESLA Mechanical Resonance

Album · 1986 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stephen
Unlike many glam metal bands in the mid 80s that's fueled with hairspray, spandex, and booze, Tesla emerged as a different earthy band playing a non-machinery real deal of rock and roll with blue jeans and plain shirt as their uniforms. The fact is that they're far from pop metal and more of a traditional heavy/blues metal band, but since they toured extensively with many glam bands, the media labeled the band as one of them. Never crossed anyone's mind that a bunch of tomato farmers and cement truck driver like them could possess an indisputably miraculous talents, and "Mechanical Resonance" is a proof of how smart they blend the retro ingredients of classic 70s rock and blues with the 80s hard rock vibe.

"EZ Come EZ Go" relentlessly moving fast between the relaxing verse and heavier chorus, "Getting Better" crawls with an emotional vocal before bursting into a powerful rocker, "Rock Me To The Top" is an astonishing great upbeat tune, and "Modern Day Cowboy" is everyone's favorite. Tesla cracked a one minute acoustical jam on the cover of Ph.D, "Little Suzi" which later inspired them on their timeless classic, "Love Song" and this proves to be their most successful single even though it's not my big fave. Still many great songs to like here such as the sleazy-titled "Cumin' Atcha Live", the lazy bluesy "We're No Good Together", or the classic Bad Company feel song, "Love Me".

Tesla is one of the few bands that's hard to hate since they always concentrated in making great music with splendid lyrics, party less, and never betrayed their roots, and this album is one of their remarkable piece and the landmark record that started the whole journey. If you're new to the band, "Mechanical Resonance" is a perfect starter.

TESLA The Great Radio Controversy

Album · 1989 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Negoba
Very Solid 80's Metal

Tesla was a working man's metal band, less dependent on image than music. During the late 80's they stole quite a few shows from bigger name acts by simply sticking to good rocking songwriting and performance. Their second album, The Great Radio Controversy, was their breakthrough of sorts, owing to the ballad "Love Song." This track, though still syrupy enough, was musically much more developed than most of its formula brethren. But the entire album is strong, and there are some great tracks.

My favorite is the obligatory rockin' early release single "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)" with it's early detuned riff and great chorus. The album pushes past the glam formula lyrically with such songs as "Be a Man" and "The Way It Is." Guitarists Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch offer a great combo of solid riffs and some interesting leads, though not as impressive as the debut album.

One of the most important aspects of this album is how well it's held up over the years. Many glam albums from the era sound really dated and often very cheesy. GRC still sounds just as solid as ever.

Bottom Line: Good Songs, Working Man's Band

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