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T.R.A.S.H.: Tubes Rarities and Smash Hits

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Album Review

The Tubes' reputation (or lack thereof) is built on their uninhibited '70s performances, and, to a much lesser extent, on the non-hits collected on T.R.A.S.H. Before ultra-clean David Foster production pushed the Tubes into the Top 40 in the '80s, this circus of the insane recorded with an eclectic array of talent, delivering bouncy, wavy Americana spit-wads like the immortal "White Punks on Dope" and the materialistic "What Do You Want from Life?" Some funny stuff here ("Slipped my Disco"), but what works onstage, surrounded by naked women, doesn't always require repeat listening. The Tubes were definitely ahead (or outside) of their time, and "Don't Touch Me There" is the kind of looniness Jim Steinman would take to the top and beyond. The Tubes constructed many brilliant singles with wit and depth, but you-had-to-be-there for much of T.R.A.S.H. Still, this collection of their A&M work is easy access to the Tube's overlooked '70s stuff, and worth a few spins.

Customer Reviews

Brilliance Worth Paying For

The Tubes, by any measure, were brilliant. Musically. Thematically. Technically. Theatrically. Yes, they may one of those "you had to be there" bands, but anyone who has enjoyed Zappa-esque musicality and humor, combined what the overall weirdness of the 70-80's musical transformations of the time will appreciate the cunning humor, if not cunning musical talent of The Tubes. Having been produced by luminaries such as Todd Rundgren (who also put his indelible stamp on acts like Hall & Oates), at one time, is testament that this collection of humanoids were worth paying close attention to, musically. Lyrics and themes have an underlying sense of truth, and caustic irony - although absolutely designed not to be taken seriously. Musically, however, it's another story - they are absolutely to be taken seriously. This particular record has some jewels you won't find in the "Hits" releases (Mondo Bondage Live, Turn Me On, Don't Touch Me There), which is why I decided to write a review of this one, particularly. This record, plus their original "The Tubes" and "Completion Backward Principle" (if you can find it), are a great addition to anyone's collection if they want a punch of humor, musical brilliance and intelligence immediately injected. By the way, if you never got to see The Tubes live, what a shame. Find the videos.

A good overview

Certainly there are some great numbers on this album no doubt, but I wonder what has happened to the their second album "Young and Rich" the definitive Tubes masterpiece. Such lunacy as "Madam That's Adam" a send up of the Genesis tale, "Proud to Be an American" with the great boogie Woogie intro, to the title Track "Young and Rich" a drifting bookend piece to compliment the bombast of White Punks, whose title character sings of lightbulb with shades in every room. "Slipped my Disco" is the only track represented on this album and "Trash" certainly has all the solid standards associated with the Tubes, but if you reallly want to get the full course "Young and Rich" is the beast. I-Tunes be advised, if music is your bag, better post "Young and Rich" to this site. To quote the recurring TV character caught on television throughout the movie Robocop, " I'de buy that for a dollar, Har! Har!"

The Tubes - Small Venue Concerts

I first experienced The Tubes live in San Francisco in the late 70's, when in High School. Have been a huge fan ever since. Seen them live several times. Both with huge sets and naked girls, and on small stages in clubs. I like em both, but really enjoyed the small venue (500 people or less). I love hearing stories about The Tubes, please share. BTW, Space Baby has to be a favorite, along with Mondo Bondage.


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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T.R.A.S.H.: Tubes Rarities and Smash Hits, The Tubes
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