The Great Radio Controversy

Tesla

I remember buying The Great Radio Controversy in Florida and flipping the tape immediately to side two. The Great Radio Controversy somehow has most of the hits on side 2. Not sure who approved that for Tesla.

The Great Radio Controversy is metal Paradise until the Party's Over

Don’t forget side 1 though (or tracks 1-7 on your digital music player).

I always appreciated Tesla for eschewing the scantilly clad lady for the album cover and showing a kid listening to tunes, it really resonated*.

* Not a Mechanical Resonance pun, I swear.

Rating

I give The Great Radio Controversy a 8.510

If the non radio hits were more memorable, I’d gladly grade Tesla’s sophomore follow-up a bit higher. Nevertheless, a strong hour of music (59:18).

Track listing

  1. Hang Tough
  2. Lady Luck
  3. Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)
  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

The Great Radio Controversy notes

Hang Tough

Medicore, schoolyard lyrics on a decent riff. Machinegun-notes, but straightforward solo.

Lady Luck

This song sounds primed for a basement rock club, the kind you’d find in Lower Allston.

Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)

Big, nasty open tuning blues riff. Did he really just say, “Until some loco two-bit floosie?”

What exactly is heaven’s trail?

This song intrigues me. It’s part 70s, part 80s, part 90s and in no way/shape/form 00s, cause that era sucked. I feel dirty just mentioning the early 00s.

Be a Man

Someone is leaning on the open tuning here. Requisite Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I see your 3 Yeahs and raise you an Uh-huh.

What separates this song from The Black Crowes? Maybe Jeff Keith’s piercing vocals? The solo definitely creates separation, like a Wide Receiver pushing off on a Cornerback.

Lazy Days, Crazy Nights

Got a Pyromania feel to the opening riff. LOVE the musical buildup into the stop. Got a prog rock, Coheed and Cambria feel. All in all a good tune. Some nice delay pedal reverse mode in the solo.

Did It for the Money

Got all the makings of bitchin’ tune in the first 30 seconds, let’s see how this goes …

Skeoch & Hannon are on the up! Great riff. Good pre-chorus. Strong chorus. Even the verse lyrics are rockin’. Yup, bitchin’ tune!

Did It for the Money is a suprisingly great track slotted here at 6th on The Great Radio Controversy.

Euphemism or does he actually want the money? Perhaps both?

Yesterdaze Gone

YESSSS! GIVE ME MORE OF THIS! Yesterdaze Gone is how you start a song. More Hannon and Skeoch for the win. Try Try Try employs some Def Leppard chorus’ing.

The mid song guitar/bass work is a treat. Actually, Troy Luccketta keeps it tight on the drums. Another bitchin’ tune.

Makin’ Magic

Power chord, harmonized chugging. Trademark screechy Jeff Keith vocals. He’s also right, it ain’t no mystery as to what Makin’ Magic is all about. Hey, at least Tesla’s honest on Makin’ Magic.

Whoa, a music shift in the chorus with the ostinato(?) part underlying it. Interesting and intriguing bridge. Another shift in the music. These guys are certainly more talented than Slaughter.

The Way It Is

The 70s classic rock hit of 80s hair metal. Every decade needs a throwback song done in the style of it’s era, and that is Tesla’s The Way It Is.

Still listenable today. The song could have easily appeared on 1990’s Shake Your Money Maker and you’d never have been the wiser.

Way to close out the song, boys.

Flight to Nowhere

Tesla does a good job of diversifying some of it’s tunes, unlike TONS of 80s Hair Metal Bands. I definitely underappreciated Flight to Nowhere as a kid. Brian Wheat’s basslines are simple, but they come through in the mix.

Some EVH brown sounds there in the pre-solo breakdown. Bitchin’ guitar riffage lying under the solo, that’s some The Idle Kind stuff right there.

Love Song

As far as Power Ballads go, Tesla’s Love Song is near the top. Fantastic guitar work all the way through. The intro, cut for the MTV video, is to die for. Doubleneck guitars are always a great choice.

Tesla manages to make some of the cheesiest lyrics (almost) critically passable in “Love will find a way”. Listen to the chorus and tell me you aren’t ok with it.

The guitar outro wraps everything up neatly. Just a great tune, easily Top 50, arguably Top 25 of all hair metal tunes, even if it is a huge power ballad.

Paradise

The piano is a great touch. Skeoch and Hannon shred the acoustic six strings on Paradise. Here, check the video.

Jeff Keith borrows some Steven Tyler mojo on this tune. We need a term for the Anti-hero Power Ballad … that’s what Paradise is.

Love the tempo pickup. Awesome outro solo. Tesla could make music.

Party’s Over

Heavy in your face intro. Tesla is WAY more badass than your memory of how badass they were. Party’s Over is some foot stomping, fist pumping, beer slugging stuff.

2:10 to 2:52 is some righteous dual guitar work.

Jeff Keith just throws down his best show/album ending, let’s go talk to some chicks, “Ovvvvaahhhhhhhh” to close out The Great Radio Controversy.