Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tesla - Little Suzi

Some videos just cry out for inclusion on ERV; Tesla's cover of "Little Suzi" being one great case in point.  The single was from Tesla's debut LP, 1986's Mechanical Resonance.  Although the song picked up a bit of airplay on rock radio, it barely dented the charts at #91, though the album went platinum and peaked at #32.

Telsa is an interesting band -- they were positioned as a hair metal group, but never quite fit the bill, and were in fact more of a straight up hard rock act.  They originally formed in Sacramento in 1982 and performed under the name City Kidd for several years, before changing their name (due to their manager's suggestion and during the recording of their first LP).  The band's jeans and T-shirt image, along with more complex songs (often with somewhat unconventional lyrics) differentiated them from the run-of-the-mill pop metal act.

The group released four consecutive albums that broke the top 40, and even scored two top 40 singles ("Love Song" and "Signs") between 1986 and 1994.  In 1994, guitarist Tommy Skeoch left Tesla due to drug problems, and the group broke up shortly afterward, before re-forming in 2000.  They continue to perform as of this writing, though Skeoch left the band again in 2006.

The video for "Little Suzi" is a pretty standard staged performance clip, but it does fit the band and the song reasonably well.

"Little Suzi" is also noteworthy to us as is it a cover of a song by the British act Ph.D.  The original version of the song was called "Little Suzi's on the Up" and was from that band's self-titled 1981 debut.  By the by, Ph.D. got its name from the last names of the three members -- Simon Phillips, Tony Hymas, and Jim Diamond.

Neither the single nor the LP charted in the U.S., but the somewhat eccentric video for "Little Suzi's on the Up" was the fifth vid ever played on MTV.  (Other first day videos featured on ERV can be located by using the MTV First Day label on the right.)


  1. Tesla, They were OK.
    I have a couple of the early CDs.
    They were marketed as an American Def Leppard.
    Had the same management, I believe.
    (You can see how well that did not work)
    Never put the connection to the song with Ph.D

    1. Interesting, I did not know that but it makes sense. Always liked Tesla -- nothing fancy, just straight up rock. Thanks for the comments, appreciate the support.