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Music DVD Review: Tesla – Times Makin’ Changes

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I had the opportunity to see these guys perform a live acoustic set recently. It was a great show and it prompted me to finally pick up this disk. I’ve been meaning to for a long time. Every once in awhile I would actually pick it up, walk around, but then ultimately put it back on the shelf where I’d found it. Well, I got it, popped it in and watched 90 minutes of Tesla goodness.

The disk has all of their videos from “Modern Day Cowboy” through “Try So Hard,” we get to watch as they developed and changed through the years. It was interesting to watch them go from the typical teased up hair band, to a grungier (NOT grunge) look. Their videos were a refreshing change from the usual dancing girls and high concept style videos. All of the videos center on the bands performance, usually the only change is location. And the performance is what counts. These guys stood apart from the other acts of the day as actually having musical ability behind them, putting it to good use in crafting some fine songs.

The videos are fun, but they have also not aged very well. They come across as very dated, but at the same time they do evoke a sense of nostalgia for when videos actually featured performing bands, and remind one of a time when music television actually aired music videos.

The videos which I liked the most were “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out),” “Edison’s Medicine,” “Need You’re Lovin’,” and the two cuts from the Acoustical Jam album, “Signs,” and “Paradise.” The first two are fun performance videos with the first taking place on what looks like a construction site and the second in a warehouse with a variety of effects. “Need You’re Lovin'” is fun due to it’s lampooning of 80’s rock video cliche’s, it showcases the humor of the band. Finally the acoustic videos are straight from the performance, and just looks like fun. It’s a simple video, but shows a lot more. There is also a solo Frank Hannon guitar piece intro to “Love Song” which just sounds great, and appears to have been recorded live.

In addition to the videos there are interviews with Frank Hannon, Jeff Keith, Brian Wheat, and Troy Luccketta. Noticeably absent from the interviews is Tommy Skeoch, he appears in some of the studio and behind the scenes footage. Apparently the interviews were done during the time when the band was not together, as none of them are interviewed at the same time, I could be wrong. The interviews give a little insight into the album creation and band development. None of them are terribly lengthy, but it is nice to have them in addition to the videos.

Video. Presented in it’s original 1.33:1 ratio, it looks decent. There is nothing spectacular about the transfer, but it looks good. These videos probably haven’t looked like this since they were made.

Audio. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, the sound reproduction is good as well. No complaints to be made here.

Extras. We get a discography.

Bottomline. If you are a fan of Tesla, you should definitely pick up this disk, it is a great companion to the CD. It will stir up the nostalgia, and remind you just how good they were.

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