Aerosmith (Columbia) 1973
Aerosmith's first record is not as aggressive, heavy, or as well produced as the rest of their albums, but it is still a classic rock album, not unlike the first Led Zeppelin album, that is also very different from the rest of their catalogue. The music is very bluesy; Aerosmith attempting to sound like their English rock and roll heroes. This is Aerosmith at their most raw, weaing their influences on their sleeve and incorporating bits of the Yardbirds, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and even some funk, al la James Brown.
I searched for years to find the original vinyl release with the misspelling ("Walking the Dig") and the orange skyline cover. One day I walked into a used record store in Rochester, NY and found a copy for .50¢. The album was beat to crap but I was really more interested in the cover art. Every other copy had "A-E-R-O-S-M-I-T-H featuring Dream On" printed on the cover and no longer had the orange sunset at the top. Wouldn't you know that just a few short years later Sony re-issues this CD with the original artwork, making the vinyl worth less money. Good thing I sold my copy to a store in NM for $20 before that happened. Ha, suckers! The re-mastered disc was $8.99 NEW.
Ratt did a great cover of "Walkin' the Dog," Aerosmith style on their first ep, but actually "Walkin' the Dog" was originally written by Rufus Thomas. Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen do a fabulous rendition of "Dream On" on the "Not the Same Old Song & Dance" Aerosmith tribute. Fireball Ministry did a cover of "Movin' Out" on their FMEP CD. Guns 'n Roses covered "Mama Kin" on their "Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide" album. It also appears on "GN'R Lies".
After the commercial failure of Aerosmith's self-titled album, they were almost dropped from their record label. Good thing that did not happen. Constant touring and practicing made Aerosmith's songwriting and chops so tight that their next album "Get Your Wings" was like night and day compared with their first album. Steven Tyler's howl had been almost perfected and the songwriting became so much more aggressive. The addition of Jack Douglas as producer was also a big turnaround for Boston's bad boys. (Jack Douglas had become the unofficial sixth member of Aerosmith.) A year after it's release, "Get Your Wings" went gold, which was a great accomplishment in 1974. Either way, this release was way ahead of it's time.
"Train Kept A Rollin," a song originally written and record by Tiny Brashaw in the 40's, and a song that the Yardbirds had been covering for years, became an Aerosmith concert favorite that is still played three decades later. Despite the fact that The Yardbirds had a hit with this song, and England's Motorhead also began coving it in the late 70's, neither band did it quite like Aerosmith. Aerosith made the song their own. "Train Kept A Rollin" was released as the second single from the album. The lead guitar work, however, is not by Aerosmith guitarists Joe Perry or Brad Whitford. Instead, producer Jack Douglas brought in Dick Wagner to record the guitar leads. Wagner had recorded with such well known artists as Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. This was not an uncommon occurrence in the recording industry.
Two of the albums best songs, "Woman of the World" and "Seasons of Wither" are also some of the more melancholy tracks. "Same Old Song & Dance," a cool blues based heavy metal song, also became a minor hit for the band. This is another of those songs that continued to be played by the band live into the next decades, as is "Lord of the Thighs." "S.O.S (Too Bad)", which stands for "Same Old Shit", is pure American rock and roll. This is an essential album in the history of Aerosmith. Many Aerosmith fans would even argue that this is the band's best release. It was actually the next album, "Toys in the Attic," that made me a fan in 1975 (I was 7), but it wasn't long afterwards that I discovered this gem of a record.
The CD insert of the re-mastered version has all sorts of photos and information that was not in the original CD release. The sound quality is much improved over the original CD issue as well. The mix was left alone, while the overall levels were brought up substantially.
ESP recorded a smokin' cover of "S.O.S. (Too Bad)". Tesla recorded a cover of "Seasons of Wither" on their "Real to Reel" CD. Razamanaz does a cool cover of "Seasons of Wither" as well. "Same Old Song And Dance" was covered by Black 'n Blue and released as a bonus track on their "Without Love" CD.
Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic (Columbia) 1975
1."Toys in the Attic"
The make it or break it album for Aerosmith. As I'm sure anyone knows, they made it. "Toys in the Attic" is pure rock and roll brilliance, once again thanks in part to the producing skills of Jack Douglas, who certainly was the invisible, sixth member of Aerosmith. "Toys in the Attic" is one of the greatest rock and roll records of all time and contains some of the most-played songs in the history of rock radio. "Toys in the Attic," "Walk This Way," "Big Ten Inch," and "Sweet Emotion" are radio staples and concert favorites even to this day. "Toys" is one of the first ever speed metal tunes. "Uncle Salty" is an uncharacteristically serious blues based tune. Brad Whitford's "Round & Round" rivals Black
Sabbath and Judas Priest in the heaviness department, and is most certainly one of the band's darker songs. The entire record is just phenomenal. This was one of the first records that I had ever bought and is one of the reasons I became obsessed with heavy rock & roll. Actually my parents bought it for me, so I guess in a way it's their fault.
Metal Church recently covered "Toys in the Attic." Run DMC did a rap version of "Walk this Way" with Steven Tyler & Joe Perry. R.E.M. recorded a cover of 'Toys in the Attic' on their 'Dead Letter Office' CD.
Aerosmith RULES! This album is AWESOME! "Rocks" is stinking heavy, bombastic, and way ahead of it's time. We get everything from heavy funk metal in "Get the Lead Out" and "Last Child," to speed metal in "Rats in the Cellar," to heavy blues based metal in "Sick as a Dog." Of course there is also the screaming, ear shattering vocals of Steven Tyler in "Back in the Saddle." "Lick and a Promise" is a heavy guitar romp that allows Joe Perry to smoke! Joe Perry and Brad Whitford just whip Jimmy Page at his own game with this, one of the greatest rock n roll/heavy metal albums ever made and ranks as my favorite Aerosmith dissc ever. The remastered version contains deluxe Aero-packaging complete with all original liner notes and some photos of Aero-collectables. What more can you ask for. Did I mention Aerosmith RULES!
Testament has covered "Nobody's Fault." Jackyl covered "Nobody's Fault" on their Stayin' Alive EP. "Rats in the Cellar" was covered by Babylon AD on their "Live in Your Face" CD. Sebastian Bach covers "Back in the Saddle" on his Angel Down CD.
I remember I was in grade school bragging that I had the new Aerosmith-Draw the Line record. I begged my mom for it and she finally picked it up at K-Mart. (It's funny, the weird little things you remember from your childhood.) My school friends didn't care, after all, it wasn't someone cool like the BeeGees, Shawn Cassidy, Jackson 5 or the Bay City Rollers. Ahh, what did I know?
Testament has covered "Draw the Line."
The nice thing about this CD is that it is REALLY live. In a time when most band's "live" albums were either "studio" records with crowd noises or so completely reworked in the studio, the live feel was lost, Aerosmith released "Live! Bootleg" which featured material from the band's entire career up to this point. It even included some early club material from an era before the record contracts. The covers of the Yardbirds "I Ain't Got You" and James Brown's "Mother Popcorn" are both from this era of the band. Of course, because it was really live, some of the material suffers sonically, but hey that's rock n roll. "Live! Bootleg" is live, raw, and in your face! Oh and one other thing, although it's not listed in the track listing, "Draw the Line" is also on this album at the end of track #15. The original gatefold record came with a poster. The remastered CD restores all the oringal sleeve art and photos, has superior sound quality and manages to fit the two record set on one CD.
Recorded: 3/20/73 - Boston (Tracks 14,15-MP), Recorded: 7/03/77 - Louisville (9), Recorded: 7/04/77 - Indianapolis (1,8,12,13), Recorded: 2/24/78 - Columbus (11), Recorded: 3/23/78 - Chicago (2,3,4,) Recorded: 3/26/78 - Philadelphia (15-DTL), Recorded: 4/02/78 - Detroit (7,16), Recorded: 4/08/78 - Santa Monica (10), Recorded: 8/09/78 - Boston (5), Recorded: 8/21/78 - Waltham, Ma (6)
In retrospect, the only reason to really own this, other than you are an Aerosmith freak like me, is "Come Together," which was formerly only available on the terrible "Sgt. Peppers Soundtrack." The version of "Sweet Emotion" on this album is a shortened radio edit that is missing the cool introduction. Also, I can't believe "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" was the labels choice from "Night in the Ruts". "No Surprise", "Chaquita" or "Three Mile Smile/Reefer Headed Woman" would have all been better choices. Probably the biggest omission is "Train Kept A Rollin?", one of the band's biggest and most loved fan favorites.
I was in college when this disc came out, living in a dorm without any transportation. Aerosmith were my favorite band and had just come off their very successful reunion tour. I couldn't wait for a new studio album, so the day "Done With Mirrors" was released I hitch hiked to the mall to buy my copy. I had already heard bits of the album on a radio special, so I knew what to expect. 100% rock 'n' roll! I bought the cassette version of the album. The cover art was cool;all the type was backwards, including the track listing on the back. (Done with Mirrors, get it?) The newer pressings of the album no longer have the backwards print as I guess it was to confusing to people who didn't get the joke. In any case, I loved this tape and played it until I wore it out. It took me forever to finally find a CD copy with the original backwards print on the cover and on the disc. (see picture above.)
Nice live set, albeit a bit too short. Joe and Steven are pictured on the back of this disc but in reality most of these live performances feature Jimmy Crespo on guitar. I also read somewhere that he was hired to do some overdubs in the studio while Aerosmith were out touring on their "Back in the Saddle Tour." I was fortunate enough to see Aerosmith with Jimmy and while he could never replace Joe Perry, he was an excellent performer and guitar player. It was very cool that Sony decided to picture Jimmy Crespo and Rick Duffy on the inside of the jacket as they played a major roll in Aerosmith in the late 70's and early 80's. As a selling point to long time fans, "Major Barbra" an unreleased studio track from the "Get Your Wings," session was added. ("Major Barbara" was originally recorded during the "Get Your Wings" sessions, but it was laterconsidered for inclusion on the "Rocks" album..) I would have bought this disc without the track but a new studio track makes the deal even sweeter. OK, this disc was obviously just a money maker for Sony, but heck, I ain't complainin'. It's AEROSMITH LIVE and in my opinion, Aerosmith are at their best in a live setting. The two Classics discs have a better sound quality than "Live! Bootleg."
Aerosmith - Classics Live 2 (Columbia) 1987
in the Saddle" (4:38)
Classics II is mostly a live recording from a New Year's Eve gig in Boston 1984. "Let the Music Do the Talking" is from a show in 1986 and "Draw the Line" is from the California Jam II 1978. (Wish Columbia would re-release California Jam II on CD!) Having been privileged to see both the Back in the Saddle Tour and the Done With Mirrors tour, this short disc is a nice souvenir of those shows. I could never find fault in Aerosmith live, as they are just a great live band. Even when they were wasted and totally sloppy, it still worked in a live setting. This performance, however, is tight and shows that the band had a newly rekindled fire. My only complaint about this cash cow is once again, it's much too short. Why didn't Sony included the entire New Years eve show? Why not include more songs from the California Jam II? How about including "Red House," a Jimi Hendrix song that Aerosmith played at every show on these tours? Guess I am just never satisfied.
In 1998, Columbia released Classics Live! Complete that contains both albums on one CD. Unfortunately, this release was only released in Europe.
This is the album that put Aerosmith back on the map. MTV was loving the videos for "Angel" and "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)," both chart busting songs. I was still in college when this one came out. I bought the first pressing cassette release of. It was pretty unique in that it had the wings logo and album title foil embossed right on the plastic jewel case. Anyhow, I drove my roommates nuts with it. I bought all the 12" singles, which unfortunately, I don't have any more. Of course, I had to see them on this tour and was fortunate enough to see them in both Rochester, NY (War Memorial) and Philadelphia, PA (Spectrum). If I could have I would also have went to see them at the Meadowlands in New Jersey as well..
The music on this album was much less gritty than all their past albums, relying more on horns and keyboards. (It was the 80's) The production was sqeeky clean which actually stripped Aerosmith of much of their raw sound. Still, when Joe & Brad's guitars did kick in, it made it all that much better. Steven Tyler's unique vocals made the songs come to life and let you know that this was Aerosmith!. (Can you tell I'm a fan?) This album featured the first ever Aerosmith instrumental-"The Movie" and their second Beatles cover "I'm Down." "Permanent Vacation" went 5x Platinum by February 10, 1995.
effort to cash in on the newly reformed and revitalized Aerosmith. What makes
this a worthwhile investment, besides the fact that every song is essential
Aerosmith, is the inclusion of the studio version of "Chip Away at the
Stone." Previously it was only released as a live song on "California
Jam 2" and "Live Bootleg." The cover art and title are a play
on the monumental album "Rocks." Have a small gripe about this one,
why wasn't "Lightning Strikes" included?
OK, so" Permanent Vacation" seemed a little overwhelmed in pop sheen, and did not concentrate as much on the hard rock that Aerosmith were known for. Pump reveled in the same pop sounds yet without ever losing sight of Aerosmith's dirty metallic sound. In other words, I don't see this album as a sellout, although it did sell millions of copies and had a few top ten singles in "Jamie's Got a Gun" and "Love in an Elevator.' "What It Takes" may be a power ballad but it has more emotion and grit than any of their other recent ballads; "The Other Side" and "Love in an Elevator" rocked hard, no matter how many horns and synths fight with the guitars. Pump is an eclectic album but I think it ranks up there with Rocks and Toys in the Attic. This was the first album I bought new on CD format. Pump sold over 7 million copies. Yikes! (RIAA Certified: 7x Platinum - 02/10/1995)
Click here to see the Limited Edition, leather digi-pack version of "Pump."
Aerosmith - Get A Grip (Geffen) 1993
"Get a Grip" is one of the most successful Aerosmith albums, selling somewhere in the neighborhood of 7x platinum. Not too shabby for a band that was said to be washed up old geezers. Having been a fan since 1976, it's difficult for me to say any of the new discs are quite as good as the 70's albums that I grew up listening to. That said, however, "Get A Grip" is far from a slacker. As a matter of fact, I've come to list it as one of Aerosmith's best as it rocks harder and has far more grit than albums like "Permanent Vacation" and "Pump." Songs like "Shut Up & Dance", "Flesh" and "Eat the Rich" are pure Aero-rock. Since the band is no longer writing all their own material, this disc has its share of radio ready hits. "Amazing" and "Crazy" are just crying out for airplay, and they received plenty of it. Over the years I've heard people say songs like this were Aerosmith's attempt to sell out. The problem with this is that Aerosmith have always done their share of blues-based ballads. "Amazing", another big radio hit, was co-written with Richie Supa who has worked with Aerosmith since the 70's and has written such great songs as "Chip Away At the Stone" and "Lightning Strikes." "Living on the Edge" is a heavy rocker that did well on MTV and is one of my favorite songs on the disc. "Walk on the Down" featured Joe Perry on vocals and would replace "Red House" in the band's live set. "Get A Grip" is a great disc by a band that is no where near sounding old and outdated. The album also featured guest performances by Desmond Child (vocals, keyboards); Don Henley, Lenny Kravitz (vocals); Thom Gimbel (saxophone, keyboards, background vocals); John Webster (keyboards, programming); Richie Supa (keyboards) and a host of lesser known musicians.
The cover art is very cool as well. I always found it humorous. I had read that it fueled some fires when animal rights activists thought the picture of the cow with a pierced utter was real. (It was obviously just a Photoshop trick. Geez, get a life ,will ya!) Some activists also argued that the photo of a branded cow with a pierced utter promotes animal cruelty. Click here to see the limited edition, cowhide digi-pack version of "Get A Grip".
Livin' On The Edge" won the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and was nominated for Best Rock Song; "Cryin'" was also nominated for Best Rock Song in 1994."Crazy" won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. RIAA Certified: 7x Platinum (11/07/1995)
I worked on 4 albums with Aerosmith, plus "Deuces Are Wild", which Steven and I wrote for the Beavis and Butthead soundtrack. (I never did see the movie!) I think they were in a hurry to provide something for the film, and they basically used the basement demo of Deuces. I didn't get credit for it, but I am playing all the instruments except the guitar solo in the middle. -Jim VallanceThe packaging for "Big Ones" is OK but lacks in photos, or a REAL discography as only the Geffen releases were included. Would have been cool to have some sort of song by song commentary by the band as well. (Like in the book inside "Pandora's Box") The European and Japanese versions of "Big Ones" contains a additional track, a live recording of Dude (Looks Like A Lady)".
Click here to see the European, bonus-track version of "Nine Lives "
"Little South of Sanity" is much cleaner than "Live! Bootleg", better assembled than the "Classics" disc and shows Aerosmith doing what they do best! Aerosmith have always been an excellent live band, especially in the more recent years after they cleaned up their act. With a band whose career has spanned three decades, there isn't enough room for all the songs I would have liked to have seen on this disc. It might have been nice to include some of the more underground favorites like "Rats in the Cellar" but as it stands "L.S.O.S." is a great career retrospective, which I hope still has a long life ahead of it. Aerosmith RULE!
Click here to see the limited edition patch cover tri-fold digi-pack of "Little South of Sanity"
First of all, I have to thank Rock this Way.com for alerting me to the fact that Best Buy stores have a special edition copy of this disc with the added bonus track "Faces." I normally do not buy music there, but this time I was there at opening on March 5 to grab my copy of the new Aero-platter. Before I even opened the shrink wrap, I already liked the cover to the disc. The cover has a very 80's feel, however the music contained within is not. "Just Push Play" is a actually a balance of vintage hard rocking Aerosmith and some more contemporary stylings. There are a few surprises as well, like the two songs ("Just Push Play" & "Outta Your Head") with hip-hop beats and scratching ala the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Outta Your Head" even has Steven Tyler rapping. YIKES! Well, those two songs aside, there is plenty of infectious rock and roll on this disc like the first single "Jaded," and the hard rocking "Trip Hoppin'." Perhaps my favorite track, and also one of the heaviest, is album opener "Beyond Beautiful." This particular song is drenched in old school hard rock hooks yet the song retains a very modern vibe. Joe Perry once again does some lead vocals on this album on "Drop Dead Georgeous." "Sunshine" has a very psychedelic feel. All of this is wrapped up beautifully with album closer "Face" which is a bluesy, acoustic number. There is also a hidden track at end of track thirteen after about a minute of silence. Overall, another stellar effort from the Bad Boys from Boston.
Click here to see the Japanese 2-CD version of "Just Push Play"
Aerosmith - Young Lust: the Aerosmith Anthology (Geffen) 2001
Yet another Aerosmith collection.
This one is actually an anthology of the Geffen years in which Aerosmith went
from a burned out band of the 70's to a supergroup of the 80's and 90's. The
tracks contained make "Big Ones" utterly worthless as all the rarity tracks
from that CD are now included here, with a host of other lesser known Aerosmith
nuggets. So, "Young Lust" looks beyond the hits, although plenty of those are
included as well, and offers a few B-sides, and cuts only available on compilations.
The inclusion of the Doors' "Love Me
Two Times" was a surprising entry, albeit a welcome one. It's about time Geffen
included the classic "Let the Music Do the Talking" on an Aerosmith collection.
I still think this is one of the bands'finest songs. So the rarities mixed with
the strength of the hits makes this a superb collection and anthology of Aerosmith's
'comeback' years. I sort of wish Geffen would have released a box set with even
more rarities since there were so many from this time period. I really thing
they could have filled up a good three or four discs. There is enough excellent
live material from this era of the band that could of filled up one disc alone.
As it stands, the live tracks included here are all from "Little South of Sanity."
Man this disc is overkill! How many Aerosmith 'best of' compilations does a fan need? This is the sixth domestic Aerosmith collection to be released over the years, and the third or fourth just within the last few years. The difference, I suppose, is that 'Oh Yeah!" features feature selections from both their Columbia and Geffen years for the first time ever. However, if you already have the "Big Ones" and "Greatest Hits" you, like me, already have 95% of the material on this disc. The only reason an Aerosmith fan would want this disc is for the two new tracks "Girls of Summer" and "Lay It Down." Both sound like outtakes from the Just Push Play sessions, and very well might have been. Of course new songs make the disc essential for me, although this is the first Aero-release in years that I didn't run out and buy the day it was released. All the BIG HITS are here, but this disc is FAR from an exhaustive career overview. While the radio hits are all present, fan favorites like "Last Child," "Lord of the Thighs," "Lick and a Promise," "Chip Away the Stone", "Train Kept A Rollin'" "Rats in the Cellar," "Kings & Queens," "Nobody's Fault," "No Surprise" and "Let the Music Do the Talking" are all absent, as well as the cover of the Beatles "Come Together". I also was surprised that "Angel's Eye" from the Charlie's Angel soundtrack wasn't included. Perhaps that wasn't a big a hit worldwide as it was where I am from. The disc itself comes packaged in four different covers. Hardcore collector's will probably now need to buy four copies of this expensive double disc CD. There is also a European version with three additional bonus tracks, which I also have.
A new Aerosmith disc? You know I was there on the day it was released getting my copy. Couldn't wait to pop it into the CD player. Aerosmith and the blues, could there be a better combination? The addition of producer Jack Douglas, who was a vital part of the band's 70's sound added to the albums appeal and hype. Since their inception in the early 70's the blues had been the basis for their music. The first time I popped the CD into my deck in my car I thought to myself, "wow, this is a good album." With the second spin I was bopping around and tapping my foot. "Honkin' on Bobo" is without a doubt an infectious record that heralds back to the band's first, self-titled album. It just seems to have that same fun, live-in-the-studio vibe. There is plenty of variety on this CD. "Roadrunner" and "Please Don't Go" are heavy rockers that would have sounded at home on "Toys in the Attic". "Please Don't Go" is the first single from the record as well. My local radio station had been giving it plenty of spin time long before the release date. This heavy rocker had me primed and ready for a rockin' new Aero-disc and certainly that is what they delivered. Personally, despite liking this single a lot, it will forever be overshadowed by Ted Nugent's definitive version on "Double Live Gonzo." "Never Loved a Girl" has a more tradional blues sound. Again, the style just fits like a glove. The even do two gospel blues songs, "Jesus on the Main Line" complete with slide guitar and a gospel choir, and a rockin' version of "You Gotta Move". "Stop Messin' Around", a Fleetwood Mac tune, is actually a song that Aerosmith has peformed in the past. I have several bootleg versions of this song. Joe Perry handles the vocal duties here and sounds confident, as if he has been singing this song for years unlike "Back Back Train", in which Perry's vocals are a bit more subdued. The addition of the female vocals, however, really spices up the song. Of the eleven songs that Aerosmith cover on this disc, all of them sound like Aerosmith wrote them. Tyler just stamps his identity all over this CD. His soulful harmonic jams and odd vocal enunciation are at home on this record. The one original rack "The Grind" fits in well and has a Chicago blues sound, but as with the other tracks is still a rocker. Aerosmith can call this a blues album, and certainly the blues are the basis for each and every track, but this if a flat-out rock album. The bastard children of the Stones and Zeppelin wouldn't have it any other way. What else can I say, I am an Aero-fanatic! I love it!
Aerosmith - You Gotta Move (Columbia) 2004
"You Gotta Move"
is the first official live DVD release from Aerosmith and captures the band
on tour in support of their 2004 blues romp "Honkin' on Bobo". (Now
they need to officially release the Texxas Jam video on DVD!) Originally broadcast
on A&E, this concert special has been expanded to include bonus footage
and performances not featured in the original
Aerosmith - Rockin' the Joint (Columbia) 2005
1. "Good Evening Las
Wow, another live album so close to the release of the live DVD, "You Gotta Move". Well, I have to be honest, as a bonified Aero-nut, I am overjoyed! To be honest, while I though "You Gotta Move" was a great DVD, I don't spend much time watching DVDs. I much prefer listening to music, so this new live CD will get much more spins than the DVD did. But what of the material here? Well, most of the material here is stuff you don't hear very often from Aerosmith. There is a ton of old classics here like "No More No More", "Season of Wither", an extended version of "Draw the Line", "Big Ten Inch Record" and the Fleetwood Mac classic "Rattlesnake Shake". This song is probably the highlight of this CD as it is one of those longtime Aerosmith fan favorites, yet it was never officially released by the band and only existed in bootleg format in years past. There are also two songs from the underrated "Just Push Play". I was somewhat disappointed that "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" was chosen over the quientessential ballad "Dream On". I suppose the band wanted to include a song that hasn't been on just about every other live CD they have released. Some copies of this album also include two live bonus tracks, "Livin' on the Edge" and "What it Takes". In the U.S., Target stores claimed to have this "exclusive" bonus material. Whether they are the only ones, I don't know for sure, but I did pick my copy up from Target. The sound quality here is spotless, yet retains that raw live energy that Aerosmith are known for as well.
Aerosmith - Rockin' the Joint (Columbia) 2005
When this CD was announced I found out immediately that it would be one of those confusing albums with multiple versions. There is the standard, 12-track CD version, the Dualdisc version which contains four songs on the DVD side not available on the CD version, an import version that contains a track not on the American release ("Toys In The Attic"), and the Target versions, where both the CD and Dualdisc sold at Target stores contain two bonus tracks supposedly only available from Target. The bonus tracks are "Living On The Edge" and "What It Takes". I immediately rushed out and purchased the CD version from Target. It didn't hurt that the Target disc with the bonus tracks was on sale for $9.99 either, as opposed to the $14.99 it was selling for elsewhere. However, being the Aero-nut I am, I knew I would eventually pick up some of the other versions as well. The DualDisc version contains live video takes of the album's "No More No More" and "Draw the Line," as well as bonus performances of early band staples "Dream On" and "Sweet Emotion." This additional video footage is excellent. It's sort of a shame they just didn't release the entire show on DVD and CD. Personally, I prefer the CD format as I tend to listen to music more so than I watch it.
Aerosmith - Devil's Got a New Disguise (Columbia) 2006
1. "Dream On"
I am the biggest Aerosmith nut there is. I buy everything and anything they put out, usually the day it's released. I was disappointed to find out that Columbia was putting out yet another compilation, "best of" CD. I mean in the last few years we've had two live albums with these cuts on them, as well as several different compilation CDs. (I count 12 of them!) Why another one? "Devil's Got a New Disguise - The Very Best of Aerosmith" is nothing more than a filler album intended to fulfill Aerosmith's contract with Sony Music/Columbia Records and to tide fans over until the band releases their 15th studio album, scheduled for completion in Spring 2007. However, I did have hope in what was suppose to be two new songs. Ahhhh, but alas, these are not new songs, they are both tracks that have been floating around various bootlegs for some time. Well, I suppose we can at least be glad that they are finally officially released. As far as the compilation itself, the track listing is very predictable. If anyone has "Greatest Hits" and "Big Ones" you really only need this one for the new songs. A single disc collection with some of the band's biggest radio singles, although most of these are not the fan favorites. I was surprised to see the band's original version of "Walk this Way" left off in favor of the Run DMC rap version. Unfortunately this release gives very little props to the 70's material, including only five songs. The remainder of the 18 songs are Geffen recordings, beginning with the Run-D.M.C. version of "Walk This Way" and then moving on to two tracks from "Permanent Vacation". Unfortunately the record company bypassed anything from the underrated "Done with Mirrors", as well as "Nine Lives" and the excellent "Honkin' on Bobo". In other words, this is far from a comprehensive career retrospective and hardly a necessary release. They might have been better off releasing a compilation of rare Aerosmith material, of which there is plenty. Of the new material, "Sedona Sunrise" is a nice country tinged song with a big Stones influence and "Devil's Got a New Disguise" is a good hard rocker that I am sure will see some radio play. In the end, this is a fine compilation for the casual fan who hasn't already purchased one of many Aerosmith compilations, however, there isn't really anything here of substance for us fans. It's just another cash cow for the record company and nothing more.
A new Aerosmith album has been a long time coming, and as usual for this band, it came through a storm of crazy drama. But all the drama aside, what really matter is the music. It's been said that bands like Aerosmith can never match the music they released in the prime. Well, bands like ZZ Top, Kiss and Ted Nugent have released albums in recent years that are as good, if not better than their classic catalogs. So what about Aerosmith?