"Love Song" - Tesla
from the album The Great Radio Controversy (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16
Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Tesla, who got together in the early 1980's as City Kidd before changing to their longstanding name before the release of their first album. Coming from Sacramento, with lead singer Jeff Keith fronting lead guitarist Frank Hannon, guitarist Tommy Skeoch, bass player Brian Heath, and drummer Troy Luccketta, they renamed themselves Tesla after the disputed inventor of the radio. In 1986, the band recorded their debut record Mechanical Resonance. After their rollicking debut song "Modern Day Cowboy" placed the group on the rock chart at #35, the second single from the set, "Little Suzi", was a cover of an obscure new wave song from a British band that never got anywhere (PH.D). Redone in a style going from acoustic rock to the of "metal"-style hard rock, Tesla's version became their first rock radio hit, going to #22 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, and slipped onto the pop Hot 100 at #91. The album ended up reaching the top-40 and was one of the biggest album sellers of 1987.
In 1989, Tesla's sophomore effort, The Great Radio Controversy, came out, with the lead track "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)" which again fused strummed acoustic guitars with buzzing electric ones, landed them at #13 on the Mainstream Rock list. After a second offering, "Hang Tough", stalled down at #34, the band went the normal hard rock promo route and let loose their "power-ballad" from the set, the generically-titled "Love Song". Written by Keith and Hannon, the song followed the familiar lovers separated path, the path of least resistance for heavily-touring acts...
"Love Song" became Tesla's first top-40 pop hit, climbing into the top ten in January of 1990. The song also peaked at #7 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.
A fourth single from The Great Radio Controversy, "The Way It Is", followed it onto the pop chart, stopping at #55, and making it to #13 on the rock radio list.
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Here's the band back touring behind the album in concert, with a great acoustic guitar intro from Hannon in Philadelphia that would be recorded for their Five Man Acoustical Jam album...
...and again from a show in 2015...
Up tomorrow: A superstar's sister commands her own dance country.