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Friday, May 13, 2005

RIGHT IN THE NUTS

I was reading a review of the new Joe Perry solo record in Rolling Stone, and the reviewer called it a better Aerosmith related record than anything that came out between 'Rocks' and 'Pump'. What? There is just so much wrong in that statement. First off, 'Draw The Line' (78), which followed 'Rocks' (77) is easily better than anything anybody from Aerosmith has done since. Period. 'Draw The Line' gets a bad rap. I think it started when recently sober Steve and Joe appeared in 'The Decline Of Western Civilization: II - The Metal Years' (1988), and po-pooed the record, saying that was the point where things started to fall apart. Well yes, and no. 'DTL' is one of my favorite Aerosmith records, and I will defend it accordingly. I actually like it better than 'Rocks'. 'Rocks' has great songs, but most of them are better on the 'Live Bootleg' record (Back In The Saddle, Last Child, Sick As a Dog). 'DTL" has 'Kings and Queens', 'Critical Mass', the title track ("check mate, throw the ace ????????), 'Bright Light Fright' (Joe's first lead vocal), 'Milk Cow Blues', 'Sight For Sore Eyes (okay that's better on the live record too), and my fave - 'I Wanna Know Why'. The album rips. Done. It's a fact. Irrefutable, undeniable, and deliriously sleazy. In fact that is what's wrong with post sobriety, reunitited Aerosmith, it lacks the necessary sleeze. The Aerosmith recorded output is an easy graph to chart. Starting with the first record (Aerosmith), which is a truly impressive debut, the LP's get better with each release - 'Get Your Wings', followed by the apex - king god of Aerosmith records - 'Toys In The Attic' 'Toys' is by far the best thing they ever did, except maybe the live record. 'Uncle Salty', 'Adam's Apple', 'No More, No More', 'You See Me Crying' - it just never got better, and I haven't even mentioned the hits: 'Walk This Way' & 'Sweet Emotion'. Next came 'Rocks', which is just almost as good, then 'DTL', and now the downward spiral begins, but not without a last gasp of excellence. 'A Night In The Ruts' was a critical and financial disappoinment for the band, and Joe's exit line, but before he left, he gave us 'Cheesecake' and 'Reefer Head Woman', two classic examples of Aerosmith's awesome abilities. Next came the quasi-Aerosmith line-up (no Joe or Brad) record, 'Rock In a Hard Place'. Yes it's a poor effort, lacking in every way, except that it still has that old Aerosmith charm. That feeling that the chemicals have taken over, and 'this is the sound of Steve's brain on drugs' - it was a great sound, and they lost it. I'm not saying that sobriety is bad for music, just Aerosmith. I simply can't buy into the new Aerosmith, it's too slick, too pop, and clearly, most of the tunes are ghost-written. Their lust for drugs seems to have been replaced with a lust for cash, and I don't like the results. I'm glad they are well, I'm happy they made some money, but they can keep 'Pump', 'Permanent Vacation', 'Get a Grip', and 'Just Push Play', I still have 'Toys' and 'DTL'.

"Rats in the cellar, skin a turnin' yeller....."

Comments:
Most excellent post Jackson! My preference of pre-clean Aerosmith records are as follows: First one, Get Your Wings, Rocks, Toys, DTL, Night in the Ruts, and Live Bootleg. Get Your Wings and Rocks can be flip flopped depending on which one I've got in the car at the time.

There are couple of other great tunes on NITR's Chaquita, Coney Island Whitefish Boys, and Three Mile Smile come to mind, and Remeber Walking In The Sand was an Aerosmith song for many years until I discovered it was an oldie by someone else. Clearly the RS critic is completly out of hie ever lovin' mind making that statement.

Aerosmith never got the recognition from the mainstream even before the drug induced break-up even as they were selling out stadiums regularly, and the fact that they've gone pop I think furthers that hope for total legitimacy, but holy moley they were fucking good.

I do beleive that they've made a few good tracks since sobriety struck, but you are on the nail when you say that it all lacks the sleaze element.

Would one of their new tunes have ever been used in "Dogtown & Z-Boyz" flick? I don't think so...
 
Great blog dude,

Post clean Aerosmith.... zzzzzzzz - however when they did unplugged I have to say their version of Dream On was great (but that was from the good years).

Some of the solo efforts put out by the members were some of my favorites:
Joe Perry Project - I really liked.

But Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes did a record together that is still one of my favorites..
Not sure but I think the project was called Whitford St. Holmes... (the same person that came up with the ad campaing "soup is good food" must of came up with that awesome band name). Anyway great post as usual..

keep up the great work

hue
 
Tony Alva's proclivity towards the first record, specially 'One Way Street' is legendary, and well documented by yours truly. It's a great song, and the record is good, but not great. 'Mama Kin' matured over the years to become a truly great song. One need not discuss 'Dream On', but the main point is that 'Toys' is better. They had grown from being another blues based rock act, to become something more - something we call Aerosmith.
Hue - so you're the other guy that bought the 'Whitford St. Holmes' record. I always liked solo Joe, specially the second one, 'I've Got The Rock and Rolls Again'.
 
Ah, you have successfully pulled me into a debate here...

You have to understand the context in which the first Aerosmith album was released, 1973-74 I believe. Not to many chances for an American band playing blues oriented rock to cut through the British heavy weights dominating the airwaves (Zep, Bad Co., Humble Pie, etc... Yes, they played this stuff on AM radio in those days, which is where I first heard "Dream On".

You fail to mention some of the other phenomenal tracks on this record which make it worthy of greatness in it's own right. Make It, Somebody, Write Me, and certainly Movin' Out are pure genius. No, it's not a well recorded record, but like Live Bootleg, it's basement tape quality just makes it that much more amazing to me. I think the only effect on the whole record is a touch of reverb on Dream On.

I won't deny the greatness of the other records you've listed, I’d be stupid to do that considering that they are always in heavy rotation in my home/car, but the first Aerosmith record was the baseline for all the others you mention and they rocked many a hockey arena playing behind those eight songs. Give it another listen soon, or better yet, why don't we check it out together and throw it on the Event monitors at S&M over some Israeli pickles and Hoffbrau’s and see if I can’t convince you ( we’ll grab a couple of Bud’s for Chris).
 
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