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 and
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The Great Radio ControversyThe Great Radio Controversy
Geffen 1989
$7.99
$2.00 (used)
ShockShock
UMe 2019
$10.00
$6.83 (used)
Gold [2 CD]Gold [2 CD]
Remastered
Universal 2008
$12.75
$9.99 (used)
Time's Makin' Changes - The Best of TeslaTime's Makin' Changes - The Best of Tesla
Geffen 1995
$9.99
$3.78 (used)
Five Man Acoustical JamFive Man Acoustical Jam
Geffen 1990
$13.71
$2.00 (used)
Psychotic Supper [2 LP]Psychotic Supper [2 LP]
Geffen 2016
$17.19
$25.14 (used)
Bust A NutBust A Nut
Geffen Goldline 1997
$7.97
$1.49 (used)
Mechanical ResonanceMechanical Resonance
Geffen 1986
$8.61
$5.83 (used)
Into the NowInto the Now
Sanctuary Records 2004
$13.92 (used)
ForevermoreForevermore
TESLA ELECTRIC CO 2015
$14.97
$3.25 (used)
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TESLA Discography

TESLA albums / top albums

TESLA Mechanical Resonance album cover 4.27 | 26 ratings
Mechanical Resonance
Hard Rock 1986
TESLA The Great Radio Controversy album cover 3.86 | 14 ratings
The Great Radio Controversy
Hard Rock 1989
TESLA Psychotic Supper album cover 4.06 | 12 ratings
Psychotic Supper
Hard Rock 1991
TESLA Bust A Nut album cover 3.81 | 14 ratings
Bust A Nut
Hard Rock 1994
TESLA Into The Now album cover 3.60 | 5 ratings
Into The Now
Hard Rock 2004
TESLA Real To Reel album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Real To Reel
Hard Rock 2007
TESLA Real To Reel 2 album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Real To Reel 2
Hard Rock 2007
TESLA Forever More album cover 3.25 | 7 ratings
Forever More
Hard Rock 2008
TESLA Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions
Hard Rock 2011
TESLA Simplicity album cover 3.68 | 7 ratings
Simplicity
Hard Rock 2014
TESLA Shock album cover 1.50 | 1 ratings
Shock
Hard Rock 2019

TESLA EPs & splits

TESLA A Peace Of Time album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
A Peace Of Time
Hard Rock 2007

TESLA live albums

TESLA Five Man Acoustical Jam album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
Five Man Acoustical Jam
Hard Rock 1990
TESLA Replugged Live album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Replugged Live
Hard Rock 2001
TESLA Standing Room Only album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Standing Room Only
Hard Rock 2002
TESLA Alive In Europe album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Alive In Europe
Hard Rock 2010

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

TESLA re-issues & compilations

TESLA Time's Makin' Changes: The Best Of Tesla album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Time's Makin' Changes: The Best Of Tesla
Hard Rock 1995
TESLA The Best Of Tesla album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Tesla
Hard Rock 2001
TESLA Gold album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Gold
Hard Rock 2008

TESLA singles (6)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Little Suzi
Hard Rock 1986
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 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 The Great Radio Controversy

Album · 1989 · Hard Rock
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siLLy puPPy
Sacramento, CA based TESLA caught the attention of the hard rock and metal world in 1986 when they successfully upgraded the 70s heavy rock sound with elements of 80s metal and found great success with the debut “Mechanical Resonance.” In the midst of the glam metal saturation that constituted the latter half of the 80s and early 90s, TESLA stuck to their guns and continued to develop their sound into more creative territory as well as sticking to their no nonsense image more akin to 70s rockers rather than the hairspray overkill of their contemporaries. Nevertheless, despite it all, TESLA still got lumped into the overall glam metal scene since musically speaking, the band delivered strong catchy compositions based on blues based melodies laced with an upgraded 80s energetic delivery complete with guitar solo wankery. This naturally found them on tour with artists such as David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard and Poison which found even greater exposure.

By the time the band released their sophomore album THE GREAT RADIO CONTROVERSY, the band whose name and album title paid homage to one of history’s greatest scientific minds also improved much of what was started on the debut. With a much larger fanbase by the time this album was released in 1989, the band found even greater success as it not only raced to Billboard’s top 20 but also surprisingly spawned a top ten hit with “Love Song” which ironically hit the the top ten simultaneously with The Cure’s top ten hit of the same title. Despite the band not exactly fitting into the status quo imagery or lyrical content, they found their greatest moments at this time when all their stars aligned and they delivered the most consistent album of their career. THE GREAT RADIO CONTROVERSY delivered the goods and was what classic rock dreams were made of, namely strong tightly woven songs that delivered instantly catchy hooks, heavy rock grit and excellent performances from the band’s competent musicians.

“Hang Tough” instantly displays how TESLA improved their unique style as it begins with Brian Wheat’s beefy bass line before the twin guitar attack from Tommy Sketch and Frank Hannon ushers in Jeff Keith’s unique vocal style. Once this intro track hooks you, the tracks just keep getting better with clever sound effects that usher in many of the tracks but never deviating from the hooky heft of the guitar riffs and the vocal counterpoints. Tracks like “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)” with its innovative use of slide guitar within a metal song context as well as a more developed lyrical concept of a more existentialist nature allowed TESLA to display how they were on a higher musical plane than the silly shallowness of many of the glam acts that were popular during the day. Likewise, Hannon delivers some of the most exciting guitar solos on this track but is quite innovative on the album’s entire run. “Be A Man” also relies heavily on guitar slides as it pontificates the essence of true masculinity.

While tracks like “Lazy Days, Crazy Nights” and “Did It For The Money” may sound more like B-side KISS titles, the tracks in fact exude some of TESLA’s creative mojo with innovative riffing styles, instrumental interplay and a strong sense of melodic and harmonic deliveries. While the two singles “Love Song” and “The Way It Is” are sing along ballads, they are exquisitely designed with more complexities than say a Bon Jovi or Poison ballad of the era and are an exception rather than the rule for a predominately heavy rock album that delivers the hard rock goods. “The Way It Is” co-written by drummer Troy Lucckketta eschews the cheesiness of 80s metal ballads and exudes a genuineness unmatched in the era. While all the tracks have instant hook values, perhaps the strongest of the lot are not only the aforementioned “Heaven’s Trail” but “Makin’ Magic,” “Paradise,” “Lady Luck” and “Flight To Nowhere.” While the heavy rockers are all stellar examples of 80s heaviness, the ballads are equally compelling.

TESLA were the real deal. The music was from the heart and not slick and gimmicky like many trying to cash in on the trends. This still gives it a relevancy three decades after this album’s release in 1989. While a song or two about the great Nikola Tesla would have been appreciated, the band nevertheless were enslaved by the record companies of the day and skirted a fine line between complete innovation and commercial delivery but it’s this perfectly walked tightrope act that allows this one to work so incredibly well. THE GREAT RADIO CONTROVERSY may be less heavy than its predecessor or the following studio album “Psychotic Supper” but exhibits some of the 80s most innovative tracks in all of the heavy metal / hard rock world. While this album would prove to be the pinnacle of TESLA’s career before the grunge takeover a few years later, the album has aged surprisingly well. This is one of my favorite examples of melodic hard rock / heavy metal of the entire 80s with 13 really strong tracks that flow together perfectly. This album finds that band at their creative peak as well as in top form in the performances. In other words, this album is outstanding!

TESLA Bust A Nut

Album · 1994 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
Have you ever experienced music that is the epitome of harmless art? I have. Many times these albums are neither good nor bad, rather they walk the fine line that separates truly spectacular music and campy drivel. If you ever ask me for an example I could pull up numerous ones, first of which would likely be Bust a Nut by Tesla.

Decorated with a comically unsubtle double entendre as it's title, this album by Sacremento mid-weights Tesla is quite the piece of history. I mean this not necessarily in the sense that it shows the middle school student-like nature of humor of many bands in the 80s and 90s even though the music they presented was intended to be serious -- relatively I mean this more in the way that Bust a Nut is a perfect example of something many 80s rock bands had to go through as grunge began rapidly becoming the subject of interest. Tesla, while not being exactly extremely early to the 80s hard rock / metal scene, still had their debut Mechanical Resonance released in 1986, a year where alternative music hadn't quite yet burst forth as bombastically as it did a year or so later, but it wasn't far off. The band was already in a way established as a radio-friendly crowd-pleaser, so their uniqueness saving them from being drowned by supposedly more creative music seemed practically out of the question. However Tesla was able to persevere, funnily enough scoring their biggest hits in the 1990s. This was owed in part to their staying power -- not only did they feed off the still-existing glam arena rock sound, they managed to be inoffensive enough to be perfect for casual listening.

This is where we come to Bust a Nut, no pun intended. Released in 1994 subsequent to 1991's Psychotic Supper, a blues-infused Aerosmith-esque release, Bust a Nut returns to the more cleanly produced sound of the band's highly acclaimed The Great Radio Controversy from 1989. Some consider it not to be, but I believe Psychotic Supper was a bit of a misstep between The Great Radio Controversy and this album, as it lacked quite the punch of the semi-serious songwriting, no-holds-barred spectacles, and unique spices to break the monotony of the arena rock scene. That would make this album an undoubted improvement. While the AC/DC - Aerosmith fusion can get stale pretty quickly, that's not to say the album does not have many very well-done moments. Two great examples are the two first tracks, which act as perfect hooks with their crunching bluesy rumble and raw intensity. The album hits a few dated snags here and there like 'Try So Hard' with it's crying acoustic and vocal melodies. There are some clear Aerosmith coattail-riders like 'Mama's Fool', only differentiating themselves not with Jeff Keith's voice but with slightly heavier guitars than their predecessors. The guitar from Tommy Skeoch and Frank Hannon are what make the album pop like it does, and I believe without these Bust a Nut would be reduced to a simple by-the-numbers album. But with them, Tesla makes it clear they are still the tough guys even if they are playing on an album named after male ejaculation.

The enjoyment of a release such as this comes from really whether or not you like slightly-heavy-handed simplicity, because that's exactly what it is. Perhaps it's not the greatest product of the 1990s or hell, maybe even 1994, but Bust A Nut's saccharine and innocuous nature can be enjoyable if you're willing to embrace it.

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
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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.

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