Real to Reel

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Wait. Hang on a second. Do your eyes deceive you? You mean this is yet another mainstream rock/metal band from the '80s doing an album of all covers? What an original idea! The list continues to grow -- Def Leppard, Shaw Blades, Poison, and now, Tesla. 2007's Real to Reel focuses solely on covers of classics from the '60s and '70s, most of which have been classic rock radio standards for decades by this point. Which brings up an obvious question -- is it really necessary to cover tunes that you can still hear with a mere twist of a knob on your car radio? Well, obviously the Tesla lads thought it was a swell idea. The group rarely strays far from the original tracks' song structure and sound -- which adds more fuel to the "was this all really necessary?" fire. That said, singer Jeff Keith and guitarist Frank Hannon certainly shine on the material -- all those years playing these tracks at high school Battle of the Bands and basement parties paid off well for them -- and whenever a Thin Lizzy track other than "The Boys Are Back in Town" gets an airing ("Bad Reputation"), and any UFO track gets attention ("Rock Bottom"), you have to tip your cap. But come on -- covers of the three most constantly radio played groups (the Beatles, the Stones, and Led Zeppelin)? Hardcore Tesla fans may get a hoot out of hearing their heroes cover the classics, but the rest of you who already have the originals on your iPod can move merrily along. Note that a second disc of 12 additional covers will be made available with the purchase of a concert ticket to Tesla's 2007 tour. [The original disc was also released as an fye exclusive.]

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