Album review

Tesla : RePlugged Live

Tesla : RePlugged LiveNever the band to claim superstardom, what Tesla never said to the media, they said to the fans - loud. Overshadowed by Guns, they ploughed along selling stacks of albums to a loyal following, and following the release of the unplugged album, they slowly just . . . disappeared. Hats off then to Sanctuary who again seem to possess the foresight to go walk where others fear to tread. RePlugged is a dazzling display of rock at its finest.

Culled from the entire back catalogue, RePlugged is perhaps not so alluring as Five Man Acoustical Jam, but it's close. Very close. The piece de resistance comes in the form of Love Song - the original video filmed at the Texas Jam is an all time classic - but as it comes on disc two, there is plenty of time to get into the swing before that hits home.
    Album opener Cumin' Atcha Live was probably everybody's introduction to the band along with the tracks that follow in EZ Come EZ Go and Hang Tough. That debut album promised much, and to everybody's surprise, Tesla delivered time and again - but by the mid-nineties nobody was listening much anymore. Come 21C and the band are delivering those same songs with such a freshness and hunger it could be that fresh-faced gang of twenty-somethings going for it again. RePlugged is a fitting tribute to the fact that what makes a band relevant is its songs - not a marketing strategy or a video image (and god knows I was the most guilty of anyone of that crime).
    The band that could have out-Jovi'd Jon are still a force to be reckoned with. I defy anybody not to raise a smile at the cover of the hippy anthem Signs, the rocked-out Heaven's Trail and the just plain brilliant Summer's Day. If you thought the old school was dead and buried, despite multiple resurrections of ______ (enter any band name here), Tesla are here to prove you wrong; and it wouldn't have taken two CDs to prove it either. Still, if you've got it . . . flaunt it.

:: Sion Smith

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