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What Do You Want From Live

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Album Review

Although their studio albums were often hit-and-miss affairs, the Tubes could always be counted on for a good live show during their mid-'70s heyday. In fact, they became a legend in the rock & roll world for their glitzy shows, which included half-nude women performing elaborate dance routines and a variety of characters invented by frontman Fee Waybill, like punk rocker "Johnny Bugger" and blissed-out glam rock icon "Quay Lewd." What Do You Want from Live can't reproduce all this visual stimuli but it does show what many critics forgot to notice about the Tubes, i.e., the fact that they were a really sharp and exciting live band. Stripped of their outre visual surroundings, songs like "Mondo Bondage" and "I Was a Punk Before You Were a Punk" still pack a visceral punch thanks to their effective combination of gonzo humor and catchy melodies. Elsewhere, the Tubes get to show off their surprisingly impressive chops on "Overture," a fast-paced medley that transforms the instrumental highlights of six different songs into one head-spinning pomp-rock blitz, and "Crime Medley," a witty tapestry of crime jazz woven from television theme songs like "Theme from Peter Gunn" and "Theme from Dragnet." The downside of What Do You Want from Live is that some of the numbers are less potent without the choreographed routines surrounding them: "Smoke (La Vie en Fumer)" and "What Do You Want from Life" both feature Fee Waybill talking about the visual chaos surrounding him and this leaves the listener feeling like they're only witnessing part of the joke (if only someone would put out a video of one of the Tubes' shows from this era). Despite this caveat, What Do You Want from Live remains a witty and entertaining live album. It may not win any new converts to the Tubes' camp, but fans of the group will definitely want to check out this entertaining souvenir from the group's wildest era. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Touch me there

A great live album, showing the best of the Tubes, I love the Tubes. What do You want from life? just this album, sitting by a pool in the sun, is that asking too much?
Buy this album for the sheer fun had by all, fans and band both. you would have to be deaf not to hear it.

What do you want from live

Ahh memories..the best in my humble opinion..from the thought provoking What do you want from life,to the downright punker than punk I saw her standing there this album is a true gem...BUY IT!!


This is not just a great live album, it's a great album. Considering the fact that The Tubes were best-known for their stunning live act, the music is incredibly refined and wide-ranging, the vocal harmonies and musical arrangements are the best they possibly could be. When I listen to the excellent 'What Do You Want From Life?' with it's spoof game show complete with selected audience member, I marvel at just how hard it must have been for the band to do that - live. Yet this song is just one of 17 superb tracks, there are no weak songs, there is humour, there's superb musicianship. Outstanding.


Formed: 1972 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Tubes were arch satirists of popular culture whose outrageous performance art concepts -- which swung wildly from softcore pornography to suit-and-tie conservatism -- frequently eclipsed their elusive musical identity. The beginnings of the group originated in Phoenix, Arizona in the late '60s, where guitarist Bill Spooner, keyboardist Vince Welnick, and bassist Rick Anderson formed as the Beans (alternately billing themselves as the Radar Men from Uranus). After moving to San Francisco in 1972,...
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What Do You Want From Live, The Tubes
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Customer Ratings


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