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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Simplicity

1. MP3

2. Ricochet

3. Rise & Fall

4. So Divine...

5. Cross My Heart

6. Honestly

7. Flip Side!

8. Other Than Me

9. Break Of Dawn

10. Burnout To Fade

11. Life Is A River

12. Sympathy

13. Time Bomb

14. Til That Day

x

Track List: Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions

1. Into The Now

2. Hang Tough

3. 2nd Street

4. Edisons Medicine

5. What You Give

6. Better Off Without You

7. Shine Away

8. I Love You

9. Changes

10. A Lot To Lose

11. Caught In A Dream

12. Song And Emotion

x

Track List: Forever More

1. Forevermore

2. I Wanna Live

3. One Day At A Time

4. So What

5. Just In Case

6. Fallin' Apart

7. Breakin' Free

8. All Of Me

9. The First Time

10. Pvt. Ledbetter

11. In A Hole Again

12. The Game

x

Track List: Real 2 Reel 2

1. All The Young Dudes

2. Make It Last

3. Shooting Star

4. Not Fragile

5. Street Fighting Man

6. It Is My Body

7. I Want To Take You Higher

8. Do You Feel Like We Do

9. Beer Drinkers And Hellraisers

10. Seasons Of Wither

11. Saturday Night Special

12. War Pigs

x

Track List: Real To Reel

1. Space Truckin'

2. Walk Away

3. Hand Me Down World

4. Bad Reputation

5. Thank You

6. I've Got A Feeling

7. Day Of The Eagle

8. Ball Of Confusion

9. Rock Bottom

10. Stealin'

11. Bell Bottom Blues

12. Honky Tonk Women

13. Dear Mr. Fantasy

x

Track List: 2004: Into The Now

1. Into The Now

2. Look @ Me

3. What A Shame

4. Heaven Nine Eleven

5. Words Can't Explain

6. Caught In A Dream

7. Miles Away

8. Mighty Mouse

9. Got No Glory

10. Come To Me

11. Recognize

12. Only You

x

Track List: The Best Of Tesla

1. Modern Day Cowboy

2. Hang Tough

3. Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)

4. Love Song

5. The Way It Is

6. Signs

7. Edison's Medicine

8. What You Give

9. Call It What You Want

10. Song & Emotion

11. Try So Hard

12. Mama's Fool

x

Track List: Time's Makin' Changes The Best Of Telsa

1. Modern Day Cowboy

2. Gettin' Better

3. Little Suzi

4. Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)

5. The Way It Is

6. Love Song

7. Signs (Live)

8. Paradise

9. Edison's Medicine

10. Song & Emotion

11. What You Give

12. Mama's Fool

13. Alot To Lose

14. Steppin' Over

15. Changes

x

Track List: Psychotic Supper

1. Change In The Weather

2. Edison's Medicine

3. Don't De-Rock Me

4. Call It What You Want

5. Song & Emotion

6. Time

7. Government Personnel

8. Freedom Slaves

9. Had Enough

10. What You Give

11. Stir It Up

12. Can't Stop

13. Toke About It

x

Track List: Five Man Acoustical Jam (Live)

1. Comin' Atcha Live / Truckin' (Live)

2. Heaven's Trail (No Way Out) (Live)

3. The Way It Is (Live)

4. We Can Work It Out (Live)

5. Signs (Live)

6. Gettin' Better (Live)

7. Before My Eyes (Live)

8. Paradise (Live)

9. Lodi (Live)

10. Mother's Little Helper (Live)

11. Modern Day Cowboy (Live)

12. Love Song (Live)

13. Tommy's Down Home (Live)

14. Down Fo' Boogie (Live)

x

Track List: The Great Radio Controversy

1. Hang Tough

2. Lady Luck

3. Heaven's Trail

4. Be A Man

5. Lazy Days, Crazy Nights

6. Did It For The Money

7. Yesterdaze Gone

8. Makin' Magic

9. The Way It Is

10. Flight To Nowhere

11. Love Song

12. Paradise

13. Party's Over

x

Track List: Mechanical Resonance

1. EZ Come EZ Go

2. Cumin' Atcha Live

3. Getting' Better

4. 2 Late 4 Love

5. Rock Me To The Top

6. We'er No Good Together

7. Modern Day Cowboy

8. Changes

9. Little Suzi

10. Love Me

11. Cover Queen

12. Before My Eyes

x

Track List: 10 Live!

1. Modern Day Cowboy (Live)

2. Love Song (Live)

3. Signs (Live)

4. Little Suzi (Live)

5. Heaven's Trail (No Way Out) (Live)

6. The Way It Is (Live)

7. What You Give (Live)

8. Hang Tough (Live)

9. Call It What You Want (Live)

10. Gettin' Better (Live)

x

Track List: Inferno

1. Inferno

x

Track List: Mechanical Resonance Live

2. EZ Come EZ Go (Live)

3. Gettin' Better (Live)

4. Comin' Atcha Live

5. Changes (Live)

6. Before My Eyes (Live)

8. We're No Good Together (Live)

11. Little Suzi (Live)

12. Modern Day Cowboy (Live)

Comments

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This is for you Robby......
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One of California's finest bands
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if your thinking of giving me love then come up and get it and I will give it too you make me happy forever and more my baby Mike your mimi
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Tesla deserves far more credit than most hair bands. Their lyrics and musicianship set them apart from their contemparari e s . Psychotic Supper should be heralded as one of the greatest rock albums ever.
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I will find you my love you find me too Mike your mimi
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I HAVE 4 TESLA CD'S. I PLAY THEM CONSTANTLY.T E S L A IS 1 OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BANDS!
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bricelands1
sweet little Suzi!!
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Anytime you call.....nig h t or day.....I'll be right there for You......whe n You Need A Friend!!?!?? ? X X X X X X O O O O O O O . LOVE WILL FIND A WAY.....way. b a c k too Me.......XXX X X O O O O O O O
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Kickass Jam by Tesla, gettin better. This totally rocks! I seen Tesla one time with firehouse and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Awesome shows, Thay all totally rocked! Tesla rocks a** people! And so does getting better, this song. Rock on!
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❤❤❤❤❤
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I've always loved this band and esp cuz I can share it with my daughter that's 1/2 my age ������
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ccstreasure
I had no idea Jeff and another member had a side project called BAR 7 the cd is really Fn good and sounds just like Tesla...obvi o u s l y with Jeff singing :)
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Really dig Tesla especially their Love Song amongst So Many others Love their energy high
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I have never been to a rock and roll concert but this year in July 2016 I went to see Tesla REO Speedwagon and Def Leppard. Tesla was the best ever! I love his voice, it amazes me, and I can't believe that his voice still sounds the same! When you go watch them in concert they sound amazing!!! Just like hearing them on my cassette tape when I was a kid!!!! That is so awesome!!! Such awesome music!!! So cool for being my first rock concert!!! They have so much talent!!!! I was 11 years old the
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Love this song ❤❤❤❤����
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Cried every time I've seen them.... so f**kin good
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Lonely, yup, like you give a damn sugar
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Love Tesla !!!!
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jamieb12871
Gotta LOVe TESLA
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jamieb12871
I think they were THE best new band of '87...& for that matter the rest of the decade...
Honestly
They were 1
of a few bands
That didn't cave 2 grunge
Or hair metal
1st band
B4 PANTERA
2 go
No frills
No makeup/hairs p r a y
@ least not much...
i.e.POISON ...

F*FACT(Ala April)
I SAW BOTH THESE GUYS
...
LIVE...
1ST TIME
TOGETHER
W/8
OTHERS
T E X X A S. J A M M. X(10)TEN '87
Tesla was 2nd 2 go on...
Played roughly...25 - 3 0 min.
Then the "GIRLZ"came on ...
Played about 40-50 min.
I just remember
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.......I Was.. On The Front Row......... . t h a t ' s the way it Is....an d...THATS THE WAY......IT GOES....XXXO O O O O O X X O O O
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Rock me rock me rock me to the top baby.
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remember seeing these guys in sacramento at oasis ballroom ,and even earlier when they were earthshaker playing c street north..Frank hannon still kicks a**!!!!!!!
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I do remember what she gave later
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Yeah I remember hearing this song live in Costa Mesa with a girl I can't remember .
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Gettin' better. That's my jam! The video gives a vivid look into the realm of construction . My realm. You got to balance crazy with sensible and smart! Rock on my friends!
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Kickass Jam by Tesla, Party's over. Tesla rocks people! Rock on!
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Seeing them tomorrow with Def Leppared!! Will be my 8th show
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Have been listening to music by Tesla for over 20 years now - too bad they never have a gig around to see them live :(
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Love this song
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TESLA ROCKS HARD!. LOVE THEM IN CONCERT!
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Tesla rocks! They are so great live, and their lyrics actually mean something (not just bragging about how hard they party, etc.) A truly great band whose songs still hold up today.
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That's the way it goes easy come easy go .love tesla!!
METAL UP!
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Tesla just rocks a**! Yesterday's Gone, what a kick a** Rock tune. 0ne of my favorites on that album. Why did you go and leave me lost in yesterday! Why baby, why? Rock on!
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It's the life you live!
Why we teach our kids about life, our kids teach us what life is all about!!!
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great band!!!
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sandymcleod1 7 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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Everybody needs a special kind of love!!....yu p ! !
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BUCK ROGERS RIP OFF!
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Paradise is my favorite song of all time
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Jeff Keith dedicated love story to my husband and I at Konocti Harbor it was one of the best nights of my life and my husband's!!
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❤❤❤❤❤
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tesla rocked Las Vegas!
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Awesome band live... Can't wait to see them at the X!!!!!
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I have seen tesla 7 Times and I am going to see them in June and then I ran into Jeff at Wal-Mart in Roseville ca
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speechdr1
I'm enjoying taking guitar lessons from Tommy Skeoch. He has released two solo albums. He continues to amaze me with his riffs. Learning them has been a trip and has added to my bag of tricks like you wouldn't believe!
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I SEEN TESLA 3 times....... L U V LUV LUV......... . . T H E M . . . . . . I ' L L BE RICHER BY FAR WHEN.......M Y DREAMS COME TRUE........ X X X X X X X O O O O O O
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F**KING UP The SCENERY WITH ALL THESE SIGNS!!!!
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I WAS....ON.TH E FRONT ROW....LISTE N I N G . . T O T H I S SONG...FROMT E S L Z .
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Going to see them live with Def Leppard.
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