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The RockIt Scientist
on 1485 Radio Today

1485 Radio Today
Also on DStv
Audio Channel 70

The RockIt Scientist is a very diverse music programme that features Progressive/ Hard/ Classic Rock, Blues, Brass Rock, Latin/ African Rock, Jazz and Metal music.

As "non-commercial/ non-Top 40" music ranging from the mid sixties to the present day is featured, the intention is to cater for the more discerning music listener, with no age limits or restrictions imposed or implied. An open mind and a love of music is mandatory!

The programme, which is broadcast on 1485am Radio Today, every Friday evening between 10pm and 1am, is presented by Leon Economides, who has worked with radio greats such as Tony Sanderson (Chuckle and Chat Show on Radio 5), Chris Prior (The Priority Feature on Radio 5), Phil Wright (The Dinosaur Days on 5fm), and Rafe Lavine (Rock Classics and The Great Unknowns on Radio 5, and the original RockIt Scientists on SAfm).

Radio Today is also available nationwide on the DStv Audio Channel 70.

The Tubes - The Completion Backward Principle (1981, Capitol Records)

The Tubes

Bill Spooner (guitar), Fee Waybill (lead vocals), Rick Anderson (bass), Mike Cotten (synth), Roger Steen (guitar), Vince Welnick (keys) and Prairie Prince (drums)

Produced by: David Foster

After a hat trick of nondescript albums which were really a soundtrack / backdrop to the outrageous Tubes stage shows, 1979's Remote Control showed a definite move into melodic AOR territory. Commercially it didn't have the required effect which is a pity, but to the band's credit they vowed to continue in the AOR direction and sought a new deal after parting ways with A & M, landing with Capitol. All of this resulted in the David Foster produced Completion Backward Principle. While 'Remote Control' had been a concept album of sorts, CBP looked like one but wasn't - the band represented themselves as a corporation, mugging in suits for their photo shots and coming up with corporate titles for themselves such as Bill Spooner : Analysis and Guitar !! They even had a corporate mission statement in the liner notes ending in the biting rejoinder "We're here because you're there" !!! The songs didn't follow any kind of concept, except that of glittering AOR ...

Talk To Ya Later begins with a hilarious corporate speech requesting that both sides of the album be played at one meeting, before launching into the song proper, and what a classic - a hook sharper than a great Twin Peaks episode plays host to some of the most delicious swirling vocal melodies this side of Toto. Not surprising then that Steve Lukather co-wrote the song and plays a solo on it. Let's Make Some Noise is not as uptempo but still rewarding enough, until Matter Of Pride wipes the floor with it - pretty much the ideal midtempo AOR dream, keys and guitars combine with silky ease and the vocals, like the opener, are out of this world (something like Journey meets MacDonald era Doobies). Mr Hate revisits The Tubes often ironic / cynical subject matter, though this time in the form of a decent melodic song, unlike previous meandering wastelands. Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman sees them at their zaniest, possibly the musical nadir of the record, yet still listenable.

Think About Me gets things back on track though: a speedy, hi-tech AOR excursion with occasional Cars-like overtones, it's another one in the plus column. Sushi Girl is predictably quirky in terms of lyrics, yet there are real melodies and a rewarding chorus that must've, like much of this album, been quite bewildering to fans of their first three albums. Don't Want To Wait Anymore was nothing less than the blueprint for David Foster's imminent power ballad assault on the charts through Chicago. All the hallmarks are there already, and it also provided the first Tubes entry into the top 40 singles chart, peaking at # 33. Power Tools revisits the midtempo AOR realm with a wistful melody and the kind of chorus that's so simple it shouldn't work but does anyway - big time. Amnesia closes the album on a power ballad note, and I do mean power. IMHO this is even better than the chart hit, the verse riff coming off like early 80's Saga and the chorus nothing less than Shooting Star or Survivor's best.

Bigger success was to come with 1983's Outside Inside vinyl, but this one definitely paved the way and set the template, while achieving a measure of success of it's own. If you take AOR seriously, the four albums starting with Remote Control are essential.

Lee Bradfield www.glory-daze.com

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