Thursday, June 14, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Tubes

Artist:The Tubes
Song:She's A Beauty
Album:The Best Of The Tubes

The Tubes started out in the 70s as a parody band. They were a popular live band but that didn't translate into record sales. When they were dropped and signed with a new record company, they became a more conventional rock band and had their only top ten hit with She's A Beauty in 1983. They were probably ahead of their time in the 70s. The Tubes started out in Phoenix in the late 60s as Beans with guitarist and songwriter Bill Spooner, keyboard player Vince Welnick and bassist Rick Anderson. They moved to San Francisco in 1972 and brought with them drummer Prairie Prince from the Phoenix band Red, White & Blues and added guitarist Roger Steen, keyboard player Michael Cotten and former roadie Fee Waybill on lead vocals. The group name was changed to The Tubes. Spooner wrote satirical songs and Waybill played several characters in their live shows. This got The Tubes a significant fanbase and a contract with A & M Records in 1975. White Punks On Dope became a cult hit but the content didn't generate radio play or record sales. After A & M rejected their fifth album, The Tubes were dumped. They signed with Capitol and with the 1981 David Foster produced album The Completion Backward Principle, The Tubes went in a more conventional direction. The album sold better and the singles Don't Want To Wait Anymore and Talk To Ya Later charted. Foster also produced their 1983 album Inside Outside. She's A Beauty reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 200. The risque video was put into heavy rotation on MTV and shows that if MTV had existed in the 70s, The Tubes might have been more successful then. BTW, the 12 year old boy in the video went on to have a sex change to become actress Alexis Arquette. Waybill wrote She's A Beauty with Foster and Steve Lukather of Toto. Waybill got the idea for the song when he passed by a San Francisco peep show. The Tubes recorded one more album for Capitol and were dropped after some record company management changes. Waybill left for a solo career but had success mostly as a songwriter. There is no comp with recordings from A & M and Capitol. This budget comp has the best of their Capitol recordings. Vince Welnick left to tour with Todd Rundgren in 1989 and then joined The Grateful Dead in 1990. Welnick committed suicide in 2006. Waybill returned to The Tubes in 1993 and they have recorded occasionally and still tour. Here's the video for She's A Beauty by The Tubes.

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