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In the mid and late '80s, when seemingly every band on MTV played the same shiny pop metal and looked like toy poodles, Tesla stood apart from the pack. Certainly included in the hair metal dynasty of the era but not quite fitting the bill, the Northern Californian band played a tougher, bluesier music than their peers. Tesla's inspirations were tied to the hard rock of the '70s rather than to the weird Frankenstein monster created by the New York Dolls and Hanoi Rocks that informed the rest of the country's loud bands at the time. They scored hits with a pair of ballads, "Love Song" and "The Way It Is," before going major league when they took over both MTV and the radio with an acoustic cover of Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs," which is probably one of the worst songs of all time.

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