The Tubes

Extended Versions: The Encore Collection

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The only thing extended here is the already thin credibility of BMG, who simply shuffled around the tracks from the previous year's TWT 2001 and repackaged it as a deceptively different product. There should be a special room in hell for people who do this to consumers, and it should be labeled "Exit" just to lure them in. Because Extended Versions is cheaper than TWT 2001, it carries certain punitive damages, lest the folks who bought the full-price disc feel cheated: no liner notes and the deletion of the one-minute introduction as well as "TV Is King." After consumers have discovered what it is they've actually bought with Extended Versions, they can sit down and enjoy these snapshots of the Tubes' live performance plus a pair of excellent new songs. The choices are good, choosing to stick to the originals without trying to reconcile the difference in styles. The result doesn't always gel, as when the art/funk narrative "Wild Women of Wongo" is followed by the '50s parody "Don't Touch Me There." But taken individually, the live versions of "She's a Beauty," "Talk to Ya Later," "Mondo Bondage," and "White Punks on Dope" don't disappoint. The new tracks, "Digi Doll" and "Loveline," are masterfully produced mixtures of synth/effects (the link to their '80s incarnation) and the modern rock found on Genius of America. There are a few little solos (guitar, drums) thrown in, but nothing that changes the overall character of the songs. Surprisingly, the closing "Tubes World Tour" (which opened TWT 2001, oh naughty-sneaky) did not appear on the Tubes' previous live records (What Do You Want From Live, Informercial: How to Become). Thus, TWT 2001 (or Extended Versions) has a genuine place in the Tubes' discography, both for the new tracks as well as unique concert items.

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