SP-4534 The Tubes
Produced by Alan Peter Kooper
Released on 1975
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SP-4534 cover  

T he Tubes threw a musical monkey wrench into the mid-‘70s with this remarkably ambitious debut. Produced by Al Kooper, the record represents an intersection of theatrical rock and what would become punk. In fact, “White Punks on Dope” became an early punk anthem of sorts; Nina Hagen covered it on her debut release a few years later. But pigeonholing the band as punk pioneers would be wrong, since that’s just one facet of the band. The first half of the record favors ambitious pop, at times sounding like Todd Rundgren’s Utopia or Chicago. The slick “Haloes,” the straight-faced silliness of “Malaguena Salerosa,” and the oddball arrangements of “Up From The Deep” aren’t punk at all. It’s the second side where the darker material surfaces, with searing guitar chords and biting commentary. The lyrics are often tongue in cheek, but when The Tubes get serious (e.g., “Boy Crazy”), they can be nearly as nasty as The Stooges. Even when the band dips into The Bonzo Dog Band’s bag of tricks on tracks like “What Do You Want From Life,” their dementia has a caustic side. Unfortunately, The Tubes proved to be too far ahead of their time, and were regarded by many as a novelty. Yet this album has everything you’d want to see in a debut: ambition, vision, talent, and execution. That the band never managed to cash in on a career that started with so much potential remains one of rock’s more distressing disappointments.

SP-4534 back cover SP-4534 promotional sleeve
SP-4534 back cover SP-4534 promotional sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. UP FROM THE DEEP    (The Tubes/Ray Trainer)    4:30
  2. HALOES    (Bill Spooner/Roger Steen/Al Kooper)    4:55
  3. SPACE BABY    (Bill Spooner/Vince Welnick)    4:26
  4. MALAGUENA SALEROSA    (Pedro Galindo/Elpidio Ramirez)    4:51
  5. MONDO BONDAGE    (The Tubes)    4:34
  6. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM LIFE    (Bill Spooner/Evans)    4:02
  7. BOY CRAZY    (Bill Spooner)    4:12
  8. WHITE PUNKS ON DOPE    (Evans/Bill Spooner/Roger Steen)    6:45

    Arranged by The Tubes. Re-arranged by Al Kooper.

CREDITS

RICK MARC ANDERSON -- bass
MICHAEL DAVID COTTEN -- synthesizer, design
PRAIRIE L'EMPRERE PRINCE -- drums, design
WILLIAM EDMOND SPOONER -- guitars, vocals
ROGER ALLAN STEEN -- guitars, vocals
FEE -- lead vocal
VINCENT LEO WELNICK -- keyboards
Dominic Frontiere -- string and horn arrangements
White Punks Chorus -- special thanks
Jose (Juan Valdez) Duval -- poignant translation (4)
Lee Rhett Kiefer -- engineer, mixing
Al Kooper -- mixing
Roland Young -- art direction
Ian Patrick -- back cover photo
Harry Mittman -- front cover & poster photos
Re Styles -- hands and body

return to THE TUBES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN 1975 A&M LP SP-4534 lyric sleeve, poster
UK/NET 1975 A&M LP AMLH 64534 lyric insert
AUS'L/NZ 1975 A&M LP L35682  
UK   EMI/Fame LP FA 3066  
US 1988 A&M LP/CD/CS CD 3161  
GER   A&M LP 393 161  
US 1990 Mobile Fidelity CD MFCD-822 original master recording

 

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