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Time's Makin' Changes - The Best of Tesla

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★★★★½
(30 Reviews)

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  • I’m ticked off that I didn’t realize how great this band was in its heyday. I was far too into the more cartoonish bands like Winger and Skid Row to pay much more than passing lip service to Tesla, whom I always liked but never felt compelled to buy any of their albums. I always figured that if they ever did a best-of I’d run out and get it, and that I did when their “Time’s Makin’ Changes” compilation came out. As is usually the case with compilations, they left out a couple key hits (“Call It What You Want” and “Hang Tough”), but overall this is a great introduction to a great band. Tesla’s music sounds a lot less dated today than many of those spandex-n-Aqua-Net bands, and that’s because their no-frills image also translated to their music. Instead of the heavily overprocessed thick drum sounds, guitar synths, and keyboards that bands like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue used so extensively throughout the 80’s, Tesla’s production was much more stripped-down and organic, more in line with the sound of classic rock albums of the 70’s. I think it’s because of this that songs like “Love Song”, “The Way It Is”, “What You Give”, and “Call It What You Want” got played a lot more on classic rock stations during the 80’s/early 90’s than tunes by the more popular flavor-of-the-month hair bands. Tesla’s songs slid in between moldy oldies by Jimi Hendrix and Lynyrd Skynyrd a lot more congruously than your average Warrant or Slaughter song ever would. If you’re a hard rock fan whose tastes tend to lean more towards the Black Crowes than Poison, then you should check out Tesla. They were one of the decade’s best kept secrets.

    Posted on February 25, 2010