The Tubes – The Best of the Tubes (1992)

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Music

The Tubes started as a collection of high school friends from Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Two Phoenix bands, The Beans and The Red, White and Blues Band, both relocated to San Francisco in 1969 and eventually merged. The new band’s core membership remained largely intact for more than a decade: Fee Waybill (real name John Waldo Waybill) (vocals), Bill “Sputnik” Spooner (guitar, vocals), Roger Steen (guitar), Prairie Prince (real name Charles L. Prince) (drums), Michael Cotten (synthesizer), Vince Welnick (piano), and Rick Anderson (bass). Singer Re Styles (born Shirley Marie MacLeod) (vocals) and ex-Santana percussionist Mingo Lewis were also fixtures for much of the band’s early history.

Show business excess was a common theme of the band’s early work, with Waybill sometimes assuming the onstage persona of “Quay Lewd” (a pun on Quaalude), a drunk, drugged out, barely coherent lead singer, wearing flashing glasses and stilt-like tall platform shoes.

The Tubes were true American rock & roll originals who appeared to be headed for permanent cult-band status and a footnote for the minor hit “White Punks on Dope.” However, having signed with Capitol at the beginning of the ’80s, the group enjoyed a couple of successful albums, several radio hits, and a solid profile on the fledgling MTV. The Best of the Tubes culls material from the band’s most commercially viable Capitol releases when the band worked with producers David Foster and Todd Rundgren. It contains such radio hits as the energetic Top Ten “She’s a Beauty,” the horn-laden “Tip of My Tongue,” and the pop-crunch of “Piece By Piece.” The set is fleshed out with some of the band’s better album tracks like “Sushi Girl” and “Talk to Ya Later.” The licensing and inclusion of some earlier tracks would have been nice, but for the casual fan, The Best of the Tubes is an excellent collection of their best-known and most accessible music.

01. She’s A Beauty
02. Tip Of My Tongue
03. Talk To Ya Later
04. Sushi Girl
05. Don’t Want To Wait Anymore
06. Bora Bora 2000/Love Bomb
07. No Not Again
08. The Monkey Time
09. Sports Fan
10. Come As You Are
11. Piece By Piece
12. Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman
13. When You’re Ready To Come
14. Keyboard Kids

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