Wednesday, February 15, 2023

"Love Song" by Tesla

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  4052
Date:  09/30/1989
Debut:  90
Peak:  10
Weeks:  27
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  Tesla's debut album, '86's Mechanical Resonance, would turn into a #32 gold record thanks to touring, MTV exposure, and the single "Little Suzi" getting a bit of airplay (#22 Rock, #91 Pop). The stage was set for a bigger breakthrough and by the beginning of '89 they had prepped their second effort The Great Radio Controversy. Its first single, "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)," would do well at Rock getting to #13. A second single, "Hang Tough," would make it to #34 Rock. Despite neither song reaching the Pop chart, the album initially peaked at #18 in March of '89 and would go gold. It was a good result, but things were about to really pick up for the band with this third single. The power ballad would take a leisurely climb up the Pop chart eventually dipping into the Top 10 while also getting to #7 at Rock. The hit significantly boosted sales of the album and while it didn't eclipse its initial #18 peak, the LP did rebound and by the end of '89 it would go platinum. Eventually it would sell over 2 million copies. A fourth single, "The Way It Is," would do fairly well getting to #13 Rock/#55 Pop.

ReduxReview:  I really liked how this song built from the acoustic opening through to the guitar, then the final big chorus followed by the quiet coda. It was a well constructed tune that had shades of what would soon be known as grunge. It wasn't the typical hair metal power ballad. The result was an unexpected gold single that significantly expanded the band's audience.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Tesla's next album would be a bit of a change. Encouraged by a live acoustical rendition of "Love Song" for an awards event, the band's manager pushed them to perform a full set of songs on acoustic instruments. Initially they balked as they were a hard rock band, but were eventually won over. Two acoustic performances were booked at a club and after the response they got, four more shows were booked during breaks from their tour with Mötley Crüe. One of the shows was taped and some of those performances would make up the concert LP Five Man Acoustical Jam. A track from the album, a remake of the Five Man Electrical Band's 1971 #3 hit "Signs," was released as a single. It would be their biggest charting hit reach #2 Rock and #8 Pop. The album would get to #12 and go platinum. Tesla would return in '91 with their third studio album Psychotic Supper. It would get to #13 and go platinum thanks to the #7 Rock/#86 Pop single "What You Give." Their fourth album, '94's Bust a Nut, would be the swan song to their heydays. It would get to #20 and go gold. The band would then split and go on an extended hiatus. Eventually, they would reunite in 2000 and have since toured and released a few albums.


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