Another bit of clever packaging outside (the record label featured an iris that appeared through a cutout on the sleeve) and inside, where producer David Foster and even more members of Toto
help the Tubes
punch up their new radio-ready sound with added energy. If their last record showed a newfound dancefloor sensibility, Outside Inside
is absolutely funky. There are plenty of over-the-top arena pop numbers on here, including the hit "She's a Beauty," "No Not Again," and "Tip of My Tongue." Yet with so many cooks in the kitchen, the record is peppered with some strange entries, like "Wild Women of Wongo," "Drums," and "Outside Looking Inside." Maybe the Tubes
were trying to exorcise their own artistic demons, the better to play a song like "Fantastic Delusion" or "The Monkey Time" with a clear conscience. Outside Inside
is definitely a party record, which is fine, except that the Tubes
were never a party band (after all, their most radio-friendly album to date, The Completion Backward Principle
, was still pretty dark). The change in direction will probably alienate old fans, just as it clearly attracted new ones (the record reached the U.S. Top 20). If you enjoyed their hits from the '80s (e.g., "Talk to You Later," "She's a Beauty"), this is the album to own.