The Tubes (Remastered) The Tubes
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- 1Up From The Deep04:30
- 3Space Baby04:26
- 4Malagueña Salerosa03:51
- 5Mondo Bondage (Album Version)04:34
- 6What Do You Want From Life04:02
- 7Boy Crazy04:12
- 8White Punks On Dope06:47
Info zu The Tubes (Remastered)
The best band to emerge in 1975 was a seven-piece rock band formerly known as The Radar Men From Uranus. The Tubes sounded like a heavenly mix of Frank Zappa, Todd Rundgren, ELO and Chicago. On stage, well, it was like a Rocky Horror Picture Show after-party. Produced by Al Kooper, the band’s first album is perfectly contained chaos: heroic, decadent, orchestral, orgasmic. The opening “Up From The Deep” serves as an introduction to the unique world of The Tubes: ideas are introduced, explored, expunged in a swirling mass of creation that somehow never hits a sour note. Thirty seconds into “Haloes,” you’re convinced that The Tubes have discovered the Utopia that Rundgren was after.
But if art rock was all the band was after, The Tubes might have become boring. Instead, they undergo a series of clever costume changes, from mondo mariachi band (“Malaguena Salerosa”) to perverts (“Mondo Bondage”) to proto-punks (“Boy Crazy,” “White Punks On Dope”). By album’s end, you’re convinced there isn’t anything that The Tubes can’t do and do well. Although the album didn’t chart well, the world wasn’t ready for The Tubes. I was surprised when Mobile Fidelity released the original master of this album; it has to be one of the lowest-charting albums to appear as an MFSL remaster. It’s also one of the most expertly produced albums you’ll ever hear; Kooper himself ranks it as his best, and I can’t argue with the man. The Tubes is not just the band’s magnum opus, it’s one of the greatest theatrical rock albums ever made.
"Produced by Al Kooper, this debut by the notorious San Francisco group is best known for the blazing anthem "White Punks on Dope." Although the Tubes' raison d'être was their shock-rock stage dynamic, Bill Spooner, Fee Waybill, and company could, on occasion, deliver some offbeat pop splendor. A good example is the song "Haloes," co-written with Kooper, a tough power pop jewel that sounds like Todd Rundgren colliding with Roxy Music. Also of note is "Boy Crazy," which shows off Spooner's guitar skills. But for every "Haloes" and "Boy Crazy," there's a novelty number consciously created for the stage and that ultimately embarrasses, such as "Mondo Bondage" and "Space Baby." Kooper's production is faultless, however, as are the horn and string arrangements by Dominic Frontiere (Frontiere did the original score for the '60s cult sci-fi show The Outer Limits)." (Peter Kurtz, AMG)
Fee Waybill, vocals
Bill "The Swami" Spooner, guitar, vocals
Roger Steen, guitar, vocals
Michael Cotten, synthesizer
Rick Anderson, bass
Prairie Prince, drums
Dominic Frontiere, string and horn arrangements
were arch satirists of popular culture whose outrageous performance art concepts -- which swung wildly from softcore pornography to suit-and-tie conservatism -- frequently eclipsed their elusive musical identity. The beginnings of the group originated in Phoenix, Arizona in the late '60s, where guitarist Bill Spooner, keyboardist Vince Welnick, and bassist Rick Anderson formed as the Beans (alternately billing themselves as the Radar Men from Uranus). After moving to San Francisco in 1972, the Beans recruited guitarist Roger Steen and drummer Prairie Prince (from Red, White & Blues), and later became the Tubes with the addition of Michael Cotten on keyboards and former roadie Fee Waybill on lead vocals.
Over the course of the next few years, the Tubes earned a devoted cult following on the strength of Spooner's parodic songs and the group's surreal live shows, which featured Waybill adopting a variety of personae including the "crippled Nazi" Dr. Strangekiss, country singer Hugh Heifer, and Quay Lewd, a drug-addled British pop star. After signing to A&M in 1975, they released their self-titled debut, followed a year later by Young and Rich; while both failed to transfer the manic energy and theatrical complexity of their live set onto record, the single "White Punks on Dope" became a minor hit and a radio staple.
NowAfter 1977's failed concept record The Tubes Now, the group toured England, where a series of banned performances made them a media sensation. However, during the recording of the concert LP What Do You Want from Live?, Waybill broke his leg on-stage while acting out his punk character Johnny Bugger; the remainder of the tour was canceled, and with it died the band's chart momentum. After returning to the U.S., they recruited producer Todd Rundgren and recorded 1979's Remote Control, a concept album exploring the influence of television; when it met a similar commercial fate as its predecessors, the Tubes were dropped by A&M.
The Completion Backward PrincipleAfter signing to Capitol, they recorded 1981's Completion Backwards Principle, an album based on an actual sales training instruction manual; both "Talk to You Later" and "Don't Want to Wait Anymore" earned significant radio play, and the LP became the Tubes' first Top 40 hit. Thanks to its provocative video, the single "She's a Beauty" reached the Top Ten, and pushed the 1983 LP Outside/Inside into the Top 20 Albums chart; after 1985's Love Bomb stiffed, however, the Tubes disbanded, and Welnick later joined the Grateful Dead (long suffering from depression, he committed suicide in June 2006).
Genius of AmericaIn 1993, the Tubes reunited; consisting of Waybill, Steen, Anderson, Prince, and new keyboardist Gary Cambra, they toured the U.S. and Europe before releasing a new LP, Genius of America, in 1996. Spooner also issued his own solo record, Mall to Mars. In 2000, the Tubes embarked on another extensive tour, issuing the live greatest-hits album Tubes World Tour to commemorate the event. The band appeared at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire in December 2004, and the show was documented on the CD Wild in London, released the following year.
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