Remote Control (The Tubes album)

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Remote Control
Studio album by The Tubes
Released March 1979[1]
Recorded Music Annex Studios, Menlo Park, California
Genre Rock
Length 41:44
Label A&M
Producer Todd Rundgren
The Tubes chronology
What Do You Want from Live
(1978)What Do You Want from Live1978
Remote Control
T.R.A.S.H. (Tubes Rarities and Smash Hits)
(1981)T.R.A.S.H. (Tubes Rarities and Smash Hits)1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
Smash Hits8/10[3]

Remote Control is the fifth album released by The Tubes. This was their first to be produced by Todd Rundgren (the other being 1985's Love Bomb). It is a concept album about a television-addicted idiot savant based on the book Being There by Jerzy Kosinski.

Although Rolling Stone panned the album upon its release in 1979, calling it "drearily obvious" and "stale", two years later the same magazine loved it, limiting its praise of the subsequent album, The Completion Backward Principle, by saying, good as it was, "topping Remote Control will be difficult." Allmusic gives it four stars. Crawdaddy called it "a pop/rock masterpiece."

The track Prime Time made #34 in the UK singles chart.[4]

The cover of Remote Control depicts a baby watching The Hollywood Squares in a specially made "Vidi-Trainer". The back cover is a close-up photo of the show's game board with eight members of the Tubes each sitting in different squares. The lower right corner square remained unoccupied with the band's name on the front. (Three members of the band - Waybill, Spooner and Steen - appeared as panelists on the actual game show in the late 70s.)

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Turn Me On" – 4:10
  2. "T.V. Is King" – 3:08 (The Tubes, Todd Rundgren)
  3. "Prime Time" – 3:15
  4. "I Want It All Now" – 4:27
  5. "No Way Out" – 3:22
  6. "Getoverture" (instrumental) – 3:23
  7. "No Mercy" – 3:27
  8. "Only the Strong Survive" – 3:54
  9. "Be Mine Tonight" – 3:30
  10. "Love's a Mystery (I Don't Understand)" – 3:27 (The Tubes, Todd Rundgren)
  11. "Telecide" – 5:41

2013 CD reissue on Iconoclassic[edit]

In April 2013 Iconoclassic reissued "Remote Control" in full with bonus tracks, an expanded booklet including comments from Fee Waybill, Michael Cotten and Bill Spooner. The reissue was mastered by Vic Anesini from the original master tapes and featured four tracks from the unreleased "Suffer for Sound" album. These tracks were self produced as the follow up to "Remote Control" and the finished album was rejected by A&M which released a compilation featuring only one track from "Suffer for Sound" instead.

Bonus tracks:

  1. "Dreams Come True"
  2. "Dangerous"
  3. "Don't Ask Me"
  4. "Holy War".


Additional personnel


  1. ^ "The Tubes - Remote Control". Super Seventies. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  2. ^ Guarisco, Donald A.. Remote Control at AllMusic
  3. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (May 17–31, 1979): 25.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 568. ISBN 1-904994-10-5