This cd is awesome. Tesla recorded this live acoustic before the beginning of the show “MTV unplugged” but it’s in the same spirit. “five man acoustic jam” is for me the best of Tesla. the versions of “the way it is”, “before my eyes”, “paradise”, “love song” and “modern day cowboy” are among the best acoustic-rock songs ever. Frank Hanon plays the kind of guitar-solos you want to listen 5 times in a row (at least!!!)… conclusion, if you like rock and acoustic guitar, you can’t go wrong with that album…
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Recorded at Trocadero Club in Philladelphia on July 2 1990, Five Man Acoustical Jam is – from my personal point of view- a precursor and probably the musical idea that generated the “unplugged” concept which would be developed by you know who shortly afterwards.Tesla delivers an acoustical set, if not brilliant, adequate and well performed. The best tracks are the obvious hits “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Love Song”. Due to the lack of musical background – at that time- of the band, Tesla intelligently supports the show with pleasant acoustic versions of rock classics such as the Rolling Stones’ “Mother Little Helper”, CCR’s “Lodi” and prominently “Signs” originally recorded by the obscure act Five Man Electrical Band which became the album’s major hit.Five Man Acoustical Jam in short, is an enjoyable record without big pretension. The ideal CD to listen to on any given hot summer afternoon with a cold six pack next to your favorite couch.
One of the more annoying trends of the early ’90’s (along with the dominance of grunge) was to have artists “unplug” their music and show a more “sensitive” side to things. It was so contrived and unspontaneous that it became downright tedious. However, before any of that happened, one of the greatest, most underrated hard rock bands in history decided to unplug–and did so with great success. This album is anything but contrived, and despite it’s unplugged nature is still quite rocking. I was instantly blown away when I heard the opening track “Comin’ Attcha Live” break into “Truckin’” (and I’m not even a Grateful Dead fan). Same thing when “We Can Work It Out”–a great Beatles’ cover–turns into the classic “Signs”, which Tesla has made a legendary hit of their own. It is remarkable to hear the way such songs as “Before My Eyes” and “Paradise” came across accoustically as compared to their electronic counterparts. Just an incredibly spirited performance from a band that has always done it right. Now, 11 years after this release, I look forward to an electric double-CD set from this band that will be out soon. Tesla is indeed back together! For me, they never truly went away, with masterpieces such as this.
Tesla’s Five Man Acoustical Jam, may not have been the first band to try the unplugged thing, but Tesla were the one’s that made the unplugged performance the popular trend that it was in the early ninties. After Five Man Acoustical Jam, a lot of artists starting releasing cds from MTV Unplugged appearances. Springsteen and Nirvana, to just name a few.
Tesla’s Five Man Acoustical Jam is not your typical live album. With this cd you can tell everybody’s having a goodtime. The band and the fans are really enjoying themselves, not taking things to seriously. The intimatcy of the performance is great. Many highlights from Tesla’s first two albums and great oldies covers make this a great cd.
Tesla turns Five Man Electrical Band’s “Signs” into their own song. What a great rendetion. Other covers Tesla performs include Truckin’ and Lodi. The Five Man Acoustical Jam really shows off the talents of Tesla and is an excellent and rewarding album.
I am not a big Tesla fan but this is a great album. I think what hurt them is that they were categorized with the all the goofy hair metal bands but they were more in the vein of your classic 70’s style rock and roll band. This live album, along with the accoustic format, helped to distinguish Tesla from the hair metal bands of the era.
Tesla did not do much after this cd so this acts as an excellent greatest hits compilation as well.
Besides their own work, the covers are good and interesting selections. They do not just play “Truckin”, rather they segue into it. “Lodi” is done very well and then the song that essentially launched the cd, as well as the band, is “Signs”. They take this marginal 60’s era protest song and put their stamp of it. It still maintains a protest aura to it but the accoustic treatment makes it grittier and it rocks out harder. Tesla made the song their own!
As far as the accoustic format, the song “Love Song” showcases the musicianship of the band. I like how they could not resist plugging in for the guitar solo.
Overall, you do not have to be a fan of this band to enjoy this cd. If you like any classic rock Led Zep, CCR, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Aerosmith etc. then you will like this.
Like I said, I am not a big fan but b/c of this cd, I would see them live any day!