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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Tubes, The - 1983 Outside Inside
Tubes, The - 1983 Outside Inside

ARTIST: Tubes, The
ALBUM: Outside Inside
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12260
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2012, Iconoclassic, 1027


LINEUP: Fee Waybill - lead vocals * Bill Spooner - guitars * Roger Steen - guitars * Rick Anderson - bass * Mike Cotten - synths * Vince Welnick - keyboards * Prairie Prince - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 She's A Beauty * 02 No Not Again * 03 Out Of The Business * 04 The Monkey Time * 05 Glass House * 06 Wild Women Of Wongo * 07 Tip Of My Tongue * 08 Fantastic Delusion * 09 Drums * 10 Theme Park * 11 Outside Lookin' Inside


San Francisco sure gave us some of the more spectacular AOR and melodic rock acts - Journey, Jefferson Starship, Y&T and ... The Tubes. Having gone AOR with 1979's 'Remote Control' and tasted success with 1981's 'The Completion Backward Principle', they clearly wanted some more because what we have here is AOR central! Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, David Paich and Steve Porcaro dropped by to contribute to the sessions and David Foster is again in the 'chair'. The Tubes are often overlooked when we all do our roll call of favourite AOR acts, but they shouldn't be. Here's why..

The Songs
'She's A Beauty' was not only a midtempo AOR feast full of hooks and melodies, the public finally responded big time and vaulted the single to #10 on Billboard! Possibly even better is the harder rocking No Not Again, more unmissable hooks and a chorus that takes the prize for melodic manipulation - this is AOR arrangement at it's finest, think 'Winds Of Change' era Jefferson Starship. Then the instrumental passage is pure Toto, sealing the deal on a classic. A slight dip would be understandable at this point, but instead 'Out Of The Business' rocks even harder (read 707 meets early Survivor) and delivers one of the AOR anthem choruses to base our creed on: 'I'm out of the business, and into rock and roll'. 'The Monkey Time' deviates from the script a little, being a duet with Martha Stewart that develops into a passable brass laden pop tune but no more. 'Glass House' swings right back onto AOR Boulevard though, power and melody not unlike 'Playing To Win' era Little River Band. 'Wild Women Of Wongo' is pure novely and tribal silliness, while 'Tip Of My Tongue' is somewhat better, providing funk AOR for Sunday afternoons. 'Fantastic Delusion' is, well, fantastic ... taking Peterik's staccato keys, part of Neal Schon's solo from Who's Crying Now (I kid you not!), and vocal arrangements from the Toto songbook: all building into a melodic crescendo that can only be the Tubes. At this point the album falls away a little, but it hardly matters such is the quality so far. 'Drums' and 'Outside Lookin Inside' are both avoidable novelty bits, while 'Theme Park' is very passable west coastish AOR. Come to think of it, great for Sunday afternoons and strong coffee, not unlike the more laid back side of Ambrosia (for those in doubt, Ambrosia can certainly rock - check out 'OneEighty' and 'Road Island' for evidence).

In Summary
'Outside Inside' was the most successful Tubes album and they certainly deserved the success. The trio of silly novelty tracks make it hard to call this an absolute classic of AOR (such as Survivor's 'Vital Signs'), but I'd say it's essential anyway because the highlights are nothing short of spectacular. It may still be available on CD so if you can find it, grab it.

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#1 | jeffduran on January 26 2008 20:20:16
Note that Even though 1985's 'Love Bomb' may not be as consistent as this or the 1981 release, it includes the Tubes best AOR song 'Piece By Piece' IMO! music
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 09:35:14
Whilst not as quite as good as 'The Completion Backward Principle', this is still another well worthy addition to the collection, primarily for the magnificent 'She's A Beauty' & 'Fantastic Delusion'. There are a few throw away tracks namely 'Wild Women Of Wongo', 'Drums' & 'Theme Park' that let the side down a little for being overtly 'Wacky', otherwise class all the way.
#3 | Danielovich on December 19 2009 11:30:46
'No not again' is one the best melodic rock songs ever... the chorus is a killer!
#4 | super80boy on November 07 2015 16:48:51
The Tubes seems to have been at their height here with commercial AOR firmly in their sights. A strong start and then the aforementioned misstep duet song 'The Monkey Time' hits, however it does get quite funky in the latter part of the tune and surprisingly it was an album single (3rd). 'Wild Women Of Wongo' harkens back to their theatrical roots. The funk aspect comes back into play with 'Tip Of My Tongue', which was a marketed single with it being plastered on hype stickers. 'Fantastic Delusion' is a standout and probably would have worked better for the 3rd single.
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