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Rock - Released March 8, 2019 | Universal Music Enterprises


Pop - Released January 1, 1989 | Geffen

One of the band's best albums, The Great Radio Controversy retains the typical big-sounding production and anthemic hooks of '80s pop-metal, but Tesla adds a grittier, bluesier edge to their music than most of their peers. As on most of their records, Tesla's songwriting is consistently good but never quite great; however, "Love Song," "The Way It Is," and "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)" are among their best, with melodies and riffs that aren't predictable, cookie-cutter product. The Great Radio Controversy broadens the sound of Mechanical Resonance somewhat with increased use of acoustic instruments, which provides more textural and dynamic contrasts, and the weaker moments are still enlivened by the twin-guitar attack of Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch. All in all, a fine effort. ~ Steve Huey

Pop - Released January 1, 1986 | Geffen

Sacramento's oddly named Tesla (a moniker inspired by renegade inventor and pioneering electrical engineer Nikola Tesla) took the side door to '80s hard rock success, sneaking up on the charts and into the bedrooms of none-the-wiser glam metal consumers with their rock-solid debut, Mechanical Resonance -- itself titled after one of Nikola's better-known experiments, and a fascinating case study in musical compromise if ever there were one. Essentially, the album was partitioned into two quite different halves, with side one predominantly tailored to seduce the aforementioned music fans via radio-friendly templates and therefore packed with mostly throwaway, cliché-ridden arena anthems like "EZ Come, EZ Go," "Cumin' Atcha Live," and the gloriously dumb "Rock Me to the Top," boasting few surprises but plenty of testosterone. Yes, a few hints of Tesla's substantial songwriting intelligence can be glimpsed within the gritty strut of "Gettin' Better" and the bluesy balladry of "We're No Good Together," but most of the band's more mature and accomplished songs are saved for Mechanical Resonance's revelatory side two. Here, lead guitarist Frank Hannon really takes charge and establishes himself as the band's de facto difference maker, beginning with an epic of Led Zeppelin-like class and complexity in "Modern Day Cowboy," which was built upon a lopsided riff so irresistible that not even its finger-twisting complexity could keep it from becoming one of their most popular standards. This was followed by another pair of eventual fan favorites doubling as good examples of Tesla's creative range, since the wintry drama of the piano-laced "Changes" stood in stark contrast to the upbeat summer vibe of "Little Suzi." And finally, as though the aforementioned detours didn't proffer enough food for thought, Tesla even flirted with art rock on the odd rhythms and clever economy of "Cover Queen," before concluding with the desolate sobriety of closer "Before My Eyes." Given all these qualities and contrasts, it's no wonder that Mechanical Resonance stood out as one of the 1980s' most eclectic hard rock albums, and provided a formidable introduction to one of the era's most underrated American bands. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

Rock - Released September 1, 2016 | Castle Communications

Like so many of the pop-metal outfits that were huge in the 1980s, Tesla found itself enjoying a lot less MTV exposure when -- thanks to Nirvana and Pearl Jam -- alternative rock became rock's primary direction in 1992-1993. Nonetheless, Tesla still had a loyal fan base, and its followers were disappointed when the band officially broke up in 1996. But in 2001, the Sacramento, CA, headbangers pleasantly surprised fans with a reunion tour, which is the focus of Replugged Live. Recorded on the road in 2001, this two-CD set doesn't offer a lot of surprises -- the Tesla of 2001 doesn't sound any different from the Tesla of the 1980s. But then, no one expected the band to start emulating Sevendust or Limp Bizkit in an effort to sound more contemporary. On Replugged Live, Tesla excels by sticking with what it does best: bluesy, melodic pop-metal -- and the Californians are focused and inspired on tight performances of old favorites like "The Way It Is," "Modern Day Cowboy," "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)," and the power ballad "Love Song." The thing that ties all of the performances together is a love of the blues. For all its pop-metal gloss, Tesla never forgets about rock's blues heritage -- which is one thing the band has in common with Aerosmith (one of its major influences). Two CDs worth of live material is more than a casual listener would need; casual listeners, in fact, would be better off starting out with Geffen's 1995 release Time's Makin Changes: The Best of Tesla. But for seasoned Tesla enthusiasts, Replugged Live is a bluesy pop-metal feast. ~ Alex Henderson

Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Geffen

Tesla fans looking for something a little more fulfilling than 1995's Time's Makin Changes: The Best of Tesla or 2001's 12-track 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Tesla will find Geffen's two-disc 2008 Gold compilation to be an aptly titled career summary, especially considering the fact that it's the first anthology to include songs from 2004's Into the Now and 2005's all-covers release, Real to Reel. At 32 cuts, Gold is clearly aimed at listeners who have more than just a passing interest in the underrated California pop-metal outfit. Fans who have followed the group since its late-'80s heydays will find all of their favorites ("Modern Day Cowboy," "Little Suzi," [RoviLink="MC"]"Heaven's Trail [No Way Out],"[/RoviLink] "Love Song," and "Signs"), along with a bevy of live tracks, covers, and deep album cuts that follow the group well into the 21st century. ~ James Christopher Monger

Pop - Released January 1, 1995 | Geffen

Tesla's greatest hits and most popular album rock cuts are collected on Time's Makin' Changes: The Best of Tesla. In addition to hits like "Signs," "The Way It Is," and "Love Song," the compilation includes a new song, "Steppin' Over," which isn't particularly distinctive. Nevertheless, the record remains the one to get for casual fans -- it has all the hits, in one place, after all. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rock - Released January 1, 1991 | Geffen

Psychotic Supper benefits from a more stripped-down production than The Great Radio Controversy, using fewer overdubs and thereby enhancing Tesla's bluesy, acoustic-tinged rock & roll. Going over the top was never what Tesla did best, and Psychotic Supper shows enough variation and occasional understatement to retain the listener's interest. Many of the band's best songs are here, including "What You Give," "Call It What You Want," "Song and Emotion," and "Edison's Medicine"; the latter is perhaps the most typical of the pop-metal anthem sound, but its subject matter -- the attention paid to Thomas Edison over lesser-known genius Nikola Tesla, to whom the band is obviously devoted -- certainly qualifies it as distinctive. The guitar workout on "Don't De-Rock Me" is another highlight. ~ Steve Huey

Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | Geffen

Tesla was a great hard rock band living in a time of pop-metal giants. Though they had some big hits, highlighted by an unplugged cover of "Signs" and the terrific epic "Love Song," they never were as flashy as, say, Poison, so they didn't reach the charts as often. Also, they weren't as recognizably "serious" as Metallica or Queensryche, so they didn't get written about in magazines outside of guitar publications, who were always thirsty for hard rock guitarists of any fashion. But they were an excellent hard rock band, with real passion and power, and a great set of tunes. Their volume of 20th Century Masters may not hit all of their peaks, but it hits enough of them to make it worthwhile for most casual fans. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rock - Released June 3, 2014 | Sanctuary Records

Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 2000 |

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Techno - Released January 7, 2015 | Triforce

Techno - Released May 12, 2015 | Human Garden Music

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House - Released February 27, 2014 | Nuuktal Mexico

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Techno - Released April 28, 2016 | Bosphorus Underground Recordings


House - Released April 9, 2015 | Bosphorus Underground Recordings


Techno - Released March 13, 2017 | Sounds of Earth