It’s hard to believe this album is ten years old, for it still sounds as good today as the first time I popped it into my stereo. Though I have outgrown a lot of the “80’s Hair Bands,” I can always count on Tesla to remind me of how good rock ‘n roll can be. The band’s diversity is clear: “Hang Tough,” “Yesterdaze Gone,” and “The Way it is,” all show the talent the band oozed, and songs like “Love Song,” and “Paradise,” showed the band’s softer side. I have seen the band live 4 times, and all of this material lent itself perfectly to the live audience. This type of music is no longer my first choice, but I will always hang onto this album as well as “Mechanical Resonance,” and “Psychotic Supper.”
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Tesla was a bit different than the majority of the late ’80s hard rock bands. When one listens to “The Great Radio Controversy”, one can detect Tesla’s 1970’s influences, whether it is Montrose, The Eagles, Aerosmith, or Peter Frampton. The result is a convincing exercise in hard rock.This album contains “Love Song”, perhaps the best known song off this set. “The Way It Is” has that Eagles influence all over it, while “Heaven’s Trial (No Way Out)” has an Aerosmith-esque quality. That’s not to say the songs are derivative, though; Jeff Keith’s vocals are unique and give Tesla their own identity, with a little help from guitar wizard Frank Hannon and sidekick Tommy Skeoch.Of course, Tesla does whip out the heavy artillery quite often on this album. “Flight To Nowhere”, “Hang Tough”, “Lady Luck”, “Did It For The Money”, “Party’s Over” and “Yesterdaze Gone” are excellent examples of the band going for the throat, while “Be A Man” finds Hannon sliding his way out of control in the intro before the song settles into an almost country groove. “Lazy Days Crazy Nights”, “Makin’ Magic” and “Paradise” are examples of Tesla keen sense of orchestration. Piano timbres grace “Lazy Days” and “Paradise”, while the thick “Makin’ Magic” uses guitar orchestration to build drama. This is the most accessible out of Telsa’s cannon because it’s got something for everyone: crushing hard rock (“Flight To Nowhere”), tender ballads (“Love Song”, “Paradise”) and acoustic blues (“Heaven’s Trail”) to name just three genres. Tesla will be remembered as one of the better bands of the ’80s hard rock explosion.
“The Great Radio Controversy” is one of the best albums produced in the 80. Dynamic and exhilarating. A joy to listen to over and over again.
No doubt about it! This album broke the sophomore jinx and made a big name for these boys from Sacramento with five top forty hits including, “Heaven’s Trail”(No Way Out), “Love Song”, “The Way it is” and “Hang Tough”. If you’re only going to have one album, this is the one you want! One of the band’s best albums, The Great Radio Controversy retains the typical big-sounding production and clever hooks of ’80s pop-metal, but Tesla adds a grittier, bluesier edge to their music than most of their peers. Tesla was no hair band. Their music was blusey and folksey and more. It was basically Pop-metal sort of a cross between Guns and Roses and Tom Petty. Tesla also benefitted from the very unusual sound of vocalist Jeff Keith. His voice was gravely and high pitched and couldn’t have fit the music better. You’ve probably seen bands where the singer didn’t quite fit the music. I always felt that way about Rush. Well, Tesla’s music and Jeff Keith’s voice were a perfect fit. It was sorta like Sammy Hagar. BAND MEMBERS Frank Hannon Jeff Keith Troy Luccketta Tommy Skeoch Brian Wheat Tesla was great, I miss them. If there were still bands like them around, maybe I wouldn’t be looking to Imports for my music as much, because I don’t think much of whats out there today in american music. Tesla was also the Musician’s band. There the ones that the other bands, on top and wannabes listened to. I remember once reading in an interview with Van Halen when asked who they listened to, to a man said Tesla. Now who did I say sounded a little like Jeff Keith? Sammy Hagar that’s who. Conspiracy theory anyone?
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!
I remember at the time of it’s release there seemed to be some thought that this album wasn’t as strong as “Mechanical Resonance”. Looking back at these first two albums now, whilst the songs on the debut were more immeadiate, it’s “The Great Radio Controversy” which has really stood the test of time.
Standout tracks? “Hang Tough” is brooding, moody and powerful (still love the piano breakdown piece as well); “Heaven’s Trail” was a mini anthem for me as a twenty something wannabe rock star; “The Way It Is” is a perfectly weighted upbeat ballad and need anymore be said about “Love Song”; the rest of the heavy rock fraternity should have just given up on power ballads after that.
I’ve often thought that it’s a shame that Tesla get thrown in with the other 80’s hair bands. They were always more than just part of the hair metal scene and with the possible exception of Cinderella, are the only band of that genre whose material has really stood the test of time.
Just do yourself a favour and buy this album!!!