Title - 'Five Man London Jam' [2LP Vinyl]
Artist - Tesla
For those not in the know, Tesla is an American rock band formed in Sacramento, California in late 1981 by bassist Brian Wheat and guitarist Frank Hannon.
Lead vocalist Jeff Keith, drummer Troy Luccketta, and guitarist Tommy Skeoch joined them by 1984. By 1986, the band had changed from its glam-derived sound to a 'rootsier' direction under a new name: Tesla.
In 1996, the band disbanded, with members devoting themselves to solo projects. In 2000, they reformed, but Tommy Skeoch departed the band in 2006 and was replaced by Dave Rude.
They have sold 14 million albums in the United States to date and now the legendary American rock band will release their new live album, Five Man London Jam worldwide on March 27th, 2020 (via UMe).
The album is a live performance of some their most iconic songs from their catalog. Recorded when Tesla (Brian Wheat – Bass / Piano / Backing Vocals;
Frank Hannon – Guitars / Backing Vocals; Jeff Keith – Lead Vocals; Troy Luccketta – Drums / Percussion; and Dave Rude – Guitar / Backing Vocals) visited the famed iconic recording studio Abbey Road Studios for a one-night musical event, Five Man London Jam captures the band performing many fan favorite songs from their legendary arsenal.
1. 'Comin' Atcha Live' / 'Truckin'
2. 'Tied To The Tracks'
3. 'We Can Work It Out'
5. 'What You Give'
6. 'California Summer Song'
7. 'Forever Loving You'
8. 'Miles Away'
10. 'Call It What You Want'
11. 'Stir It Up'
12. 'Into The Now'
13. 'Love Song'
The album, which documents their June 2019 performance at the aforementioned London's Abbey Road Studios, will be available on CD, as two vinyl LPs (which is what we are reviewing here for you today - and which there will also be a limited edition Red & Blue vinyl released!) and digital formats.
Oh, and the show itself, named in reference to their 1990 Five Man Acoustical Jam show from 1990 (which was recorded live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Trocadero Theatre during a short run of acoustic shows organized to fill downtime while supporting Mötley Crüe on a leg of their Dr. Feelgood tour), was also filmed in 4K high-definition for a companion Blu-Ray release.
Using acoustic guitars instead of the electric for which hard rock/heavy metal bands such as Tesla are traditionally known, what we get are laid back and totally excellent renditions of some of their fan favs, along with, of course, their biggest hit, the catchy brilliance of 'Signs.'
A cover version originally from the band Five Man Electrical Band, who also had a hit with the song, some of the other tracks they chose to perform that day include 'Love Song' and 'The Way It Is' (hits from their album prior to this recording, The Great Radio Controversy), and even a cheeky cover of the Grateful Dead ditty 'Truckin'.'
Sadly, unlike the original, there are no redo's of covers such as both the Rolling Stones' 'Mother's Little Helper' or Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Lodi', but we do get, especially given where they were recording, is a rather delightful cover of the The Beatles' 'We Can Work It Out'.
Also inclusive here, and also what makes this album (which HAS to be listened to, and fully experienced on vinyl, my friends, trust me!) very special is it features the live debut of their 2019 cut 'California Summer Song', from their latest album Shock (of which both 'Tied To The Tracks' and 'Forever Loving You' also appear).
So, yeah, that's right, you read it correctly, the hard rocking, creatively sonic, face crushing Tesla you once knew and loved has left the building here and has been lovingly replaced by a more mellow, cultured version of the band.
Sure Jeff Keith's vocals are a wee bit gravelly, seemingly torn and raw at times stretching for notes you don't think he'll ever reach, and yet he manages to, each and every time.
But this is the modern day Tesla and one that still takes their music seriously, wanting to give fans something different after all these years.
Their last album Shock was also somewhat over polished, not really featuring any hard and fast songs, but when you sing and perform as much as Tesla do, well, everything has to be finely retuned along the way; or the wheels will come right off!
Funnily enough, and given that Def Leppard's Phil Cohen had produced that last album for them, you can definitely hear acoustic Leppard here in this recording.
Most likely down to Keith's vocal approach being very similar to Joe Elliott's, Tesla still play and record classic rock - and God Bless them for that!
Official 2LP Vinyl Purchase Link
Official 2LP RED & BLUE Vinyl Purchase Link
Official Blu-ray Purchase Link
Click Here To Watch The Video For 'We Can Work It Out'
Tesla @ Facebook
Tesla @ Twitter
Produced by Tesla, Five Man London Jam is being released in conjunction with the group’s upcoming North American tour dates that will run throughout 2020:
Tesla 2020 North American tour
Apr 10: Toppenish Legends Casino Hotel, WA
Apr 11: Wendover Peppermill Concert Hall, NV
Apr 14: El Cajon The Magnolia, CA
Apr 15: Phoenix Celebrity Theatre, AZ
Apr 17: Las Vegas House of Blues, NV
Apr 18: Tucson Pima County Fair, AZ
Apr 21: Wichita The Cotillion, KS
Apr 22: Peoria Civic Center, IL
Apr 24: Harris Island Resort Casino, MI
Apr 25: Harris Island Resort Casino, MI
Apr 28: Grand Rapids 20 Monroe Live, MI
Apr 29: Indianaplois Murat Theatre, IN
May 01: Niagara Falls The Rapids Theatre, NY
May 02: Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion, MD
May 30: Paso Robles Vina Robles Amphitheatre, CA
May 31: Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl, CA
Jun 03: Denver The Mission Ballroom, CO
Jun 05: Thackerville Winstar World Casino, OK
Jun 06: Topeka Stormont Vail Events Center, KS
Jun 07: St Louis Hollywood Casino, MO
Jun 09: Nashville Ascend Amphitheatre, TN
Jun 10: Huber Heights Rose Music Center, OH
Jun 12: Welch Treasure Island Resort & Casino, MN
Jun 13: Chicago Rosemont Horizon, IL
Jun 14: Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center, OH
Jun 16: Boston Rockland Trust Bank Pav, MA
Jun 17: Wilkes Barre Mohegan Sun Arena, PA
Jun 19: Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ
Jun 20: Gilford Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook, NH
Jun 23: Long Island Jones Beach, NY
Jun 25: Philadelphia Mann Center for Performing Arts, PA
Jun 26: Pittsburgh S&T Bank Music Park, PA
Jun 27: Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI
Oct 27: Playa Mujeres The Sands Festival at Dreams Golf Resort & Spa, Mexico