The Tubes

Love Bomb

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They got the bomb part right, but the band's heart wasn't in it anymore (even the cover art, once a source of pride, was lame). Dressed up like new romantics on the back cover, coerced into collaborating with producer Todd Rundgren (his second stint with the band), where were The Tubes headed? Were they the party band of Outside Inside, delivering funky confections like "Love Bomb," "Night People," and "Say Hey"? Utopia clones, kneeling at the producer's shrine for "Come As You Are" and "For a Song"? Faceless studio rockers cranking out radio-ready product like "One Good Reason" and "Stella"? There's a lesson here about getting in bed with commercial music: You have to perform even when you're not in the mood. Love Bomb still manages to deliver a couple of decent songs: the by-now obligatory opening single, "Piece By Piece," and the awfully catchy "Eyes." For anyone keeping track, that's two more good songs than you'll find on Fee Waybill's solo album from the previous year, but less than you'll find on any other Tubes record. And so a band that, in 1975, seemed poised to help change the shape of popular music had finally rendered itself irrelevant.

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