The '80s theater rock band The Tubes first formed in San Francisco in the previous decade. The band's live performances are infamous for their inclusion of pornographic material, as well as their satirical commentary on politics, media, and consumerism. The Tubes' origins date back to Phoenix, Arizona, when two young bands from that area - The Beans and The Red, White, and Blues Band - moved to San Francisco in the late '60s. The band slowly but steadily earned a cult following, thanks largely to the strength of its live shows, which featured Bill Spooner's outrageous songs and Fee Waybill's eccentric cast of characters, including drugged-out frontman Quay Lewd and country singer Hugh Heifer.

After signing to A&M Records in 1975, The Tubes released their eponymous debut, which featured the track "White Punks on Dope" - a nod to the band's rich, white teen fan base in the San Francisco area. Although the band toured England and released several records (1977's The Tubes Now and 1979's Remote Control) over the next several years, it failed to achieve any sustainable momentum. All that changed in the early '80s, however, when the band signed with Capitol and released Completion Backwards Principle (1981). Featuring "Talk to You Later" and "Don't Want to Wait Anymore," the record became the first Tubes effort to break the Top 40. "She's a Beauty," the provocative single off 1983's Outside/Inside, reached the Top 10 and pushed the album onto the Top 20 Albums chart.

After a period of membership change in the late '80s and the early '90s, in which Waybill briefly departing to join the Grateful Dead and The Tubes effectively disbanded, the group reunited and released Genius of America in 1996. Although its membership has continued to shift, the band has persisted in sporadically touring and releasing albums over the course of the last 20 years, including Wild in London (2005) and Mondo Birthmark (2009). A collection of the band's earliest demo tapes, this latest album reveals the foundations of one of the most provocative bands of the last 40 years.

The Tubes »

  • 494
  • thetubes652