The Tubes - Now (1977)
Smoke (La Vie En Fumer)
Strung Out On Strings
My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains
I'm Just A Mess
Pound Of Flesh
You're No Fun
This is a surprisingly strong album thats worn well over time. Smoke has a great Bowie-ish feel, very showy, dramatic and arranged. Listen for the coughs when the drum kicks come in. Hit Parade is a pretty spot-on parody of how pop records used to sound back then, and Fee Waybill does a convincing Neil Diamond impersonation.
From there on it just gets crazier. Strung Out On Strings is the tale of a boy who loves his guitar maybe a bit too much. Golden Boy is the tale of a middle-class blues boy, and features great mouth organ that may or may not have been played by the composer of the following song. My Head Is My Only House... is a great, sensitive reading of Captain Beefhearts love ballad from Clear Spot, and apparently Van Vliet himself turned up at the studio and drew sketches of all the band.
Percussionist Mingo Lewis' showcase, God-Bird-Change is a harmless bit of showy fusion, I'm Just A Mess piles on the tortured-artist cliches, This Town is a smart, sassy reading of Lee Hazlewood's standard, and Youre No Fun starts out as a torchy bit of self pity that somehow or another manages to evolve into a Ramonesy rocker, getting faster and faster and punctuated with counts of one-two-three-four in the manner of the late Dee Dee Ramone himself.