Category Archives: Aerosmith

Aerosmith – Music from Another Dimension! [Review]

Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension!
(2012, Columbia Records)

1. “LUV XXX”
2. “Oh Yeah”
3. “Beautiful”
4. “Tell Me”
5. “Out Go the Lights”
6. “Legendary Child”
7. “What Could Have Been Love”
8. “Street Jesus”
9. “Can’t Stop Loving You”
10. “Lover Alot”
11. “We All Fall Down”
12. “Freedom Fighter”
13. “Closer”
14. “Something”
15. “Another Last Goodbye”
Bonus Tracks:
16. “Up On the Mountain”
17. “Oasis in the Night”
18. “Sunny Side of Love”

Band:
Steven Tyler – Lead vocals, Harmonica, Piano, Drums, Mandolin
Joe Perry – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals
Brad Whitford – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tom Hamilton – Bass, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals
Joey Kramer – Drums, Backing Vocals

Producer: Jack Douglas, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Marti Frederiksen

Music From Another Dimension! is a good “comeback” album but a bit misleading if you were paying attention to the press leading up to its release. The band said they were going back to their ’70s blues-hard rock roots with this release and that’s true. On some of the songs. There’s still a lot here that can be compared to their last two original studio releases: 1997’s Nine Lives and 2001’s Just Push Play. Regardless, the album sounds like Aerosmith. It’s just a matter of which era.

And yes, I do liken Music From Another Dimension! to a comeback album (even if it seems like the band never went away… at least in terms of news). It’s been 11 years since their last original studio album and the band has broken up/nearly broken up/threatened replacing Tyler/battled so many addictions in that amount of time this really was a case of “Do they still have the magic after all of that?”

A few songs are actually an amalgamation of… well, everything. “Out Got The Lights” sounds like a culmination of the band’s various eras. It’s no surprise. Aerosmith really does seem to be embracing their entire history on this release despite the lip service to longtime fans. Jack Douglas is back producing (well, co-producing), which is good but other frequent Aerosmith collaborators are here as well. Diane Warren (offering up a ballad, of course), Desmond Child, Jim Vallance and Marti Frederiksen all contribute to varying degrees. This is slightly disappointing because I’m pretty sure at one point either Steven or Joe said the album was going to be a stripped down affair ala KISS and there would be no outside collaborations. To be fair, 7 of the 15 tracks were written exclusively by members of the band (and they tend to be the better songs!).

Let’s go over a few tracks. “Legendary Child” was the album’s lead single and I loved this one as soon as I heard it. It has that old school Aerosmith swagger but doesn’t sound retro at all even though the lyrics are a nod to their past. “Street Jesus” is completely old-school Aerosmith. Written by Steven, Joe and Brad. This is great hard rockin’ Aerosmith. One of the best pure hard rock tunes they’ve written in a looooong time, sure to please old Aerosmith fans. “Lover Alot” is another fun rocker that I would already put up there as a classic Aerosmith song. “What Could Have Been Love” is a decent but typical Aerosmith ballad. It sound likes what you’d expect from them. I like it but it doesn’t compare to previous ballads the band has done. I’m actually surprised they released that as a single and didn’t run with Diane Warren’s “We All Fall Down” or the Carrie Underwood duet “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”. “Beautiful” is the most modern sounding rock song on the album. Could’ve been on Just Push Play. I like it but it’ll probably not become a favorite with the Aerosmith faithful. I would’ve run with this as a single or tried to get it onto a soundtrack.

Joe Perry of course gets a few tracks to shine on vocals. “Freedom Fighter” sounds like Neil Young and features Johnny Depp on backing vocals. “Something” is a slow-moving bluesy number that would’ve fit right at home on Honkin’ On Bobo. Perry also shared vocals with Tyler on “Oh Yeah” and takes lead on the bonus track “Oasis in the Night”.

I have a few minor complaints. The opener “LUV XXX” gives you the idea that this is going to be another Just Push Play or Nine Lives. It isn’t terrible but I certainly wouldn’t have started the album off with it. Luckily, the next track “Oh Yeah” offers up a much more typical Aerosmith style song. My other complaint: there’s too many ballads! “Tell Me”, “What Could’ve Been Love”, “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”, “We All Fall Down”, “Closer”, “Another Last Goodbye”… Geez! There’s nothing wrong with these songs. There’s just too many of them! This is a rock band, right? Some of these songs should’ve been saved as bonus tracks for the various special editions. This is just too much to process. None of these ballads really get a chance to shine because two tracks later, here comes another one.

There are a total of 5 bonus tracks. Have fun buying all the editions to collect them all. At least you can buy the deluxe edition and get “Up on the Mountain”, “Oasis in the Night” and “Sunny Side of Love” on Disc 2. The remaining two bonus tracks are cover songs (The Temptations’ “Shakey Ground” and Mose Allison’s “I’m Not Talkin'”) and you’ll have to track down a Japanese edition to own both of those. Or settle for a Walmart edition where you can get “Shakey Ground” (which features ex-Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay). Luckily, all three bonus tracks from the deluxe edition are good.

I definitely think Aerosmith has succeeded and validated themselves. I think I would take Music From Another Dimension! over Nine Lives and Just Push Play any day. The band has done a great job bringing together the last 40 years of their music onto one album. It’s not what I was expecting. I was expecting a very old-school ’70s sounding album but let’s face it, Aerosmith is a mainstream brand and that’s not going to change now. Regardless, this is very good album and I’m happy to see despite all the band’s troubles that they could still come together and put out great music like this.

Highlights: “Beautiful”, “Out Go The Lights”, “Legendary Child”, “What Could Have Been Love”, “Street Jesus”, “Lover Alot”, “We All Fall Down”, “Freedom Fighter”, “Another Last Goodbye”, “Up On the Mountain”, “Oasis in the Night”, “Sunny Side of Love”

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Buy the album at Amazon.com

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AEROSMITH – Big Ones

Aerosmith – Big Ones (1994, Geffen Records)

1. “Walk On Water” … 4:54
2. “Love In An Elevator” … 5:22
3. “Rag Doll” … 4:34
4. “What It Takes” … 5:10
5. “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” … 4:23
6. “Janie’s Got A Gun” … 5:29
7. “Cryin'” … 5:07
8. “Amazing” … 5:55
9. “Blind Man” … 3:57
10. “Deuces Are Wild” … 3:33
11. “Other Side” … 4:03
12. “Crazy” … 5:14
13. “Eat The Rich” … 4:09
14. “Angel” … 5:04
15. “Livin’ On The Edge” … 6:20

Band:
Steven Tyler – Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonica, Mandolin
Joe Perry – Guitar, Dulcimer, Backing Vocals
Brad Whitford – Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass, Backing Vocals
Joey Kramer – Drums, Perscussion

For its time, this compilation of Aerosmith’s commercially successful years at Geffen was as pretty good place to start for anyone concerned with the band’s post-1970s hits. I snatched this one up during my greatest hits phase. If there was a band I wanted to check out and they had a greatest hits album then I bought it to get the most bang for my buck. I was very much a “just play me the hits” kind of guy when just getting introduced to a band. Of course, I was well aware of Aerosmith long before this release and it was hard to avoid their music once they collaborated with Run DMC and exploded all over MTV.

Older Aerosmith fans will probably be disappointed with this release because it focuses solely on the music the band made while signed with Geffen Records and even ignores the first Geffen release Done With Mirrors. During these Geffen years, the band went from a hard rock band with a classic sound to a pop-metal band.

Like I said, the album was good for what it is, I played this one a lot when I was a teenager but it is completely obsolete these days. The band recorded two new songs for this release: “Walk On Water” (which sounds like something that could’ve been on Nine Lives) and “Blind Man”. Neither song particularly stands out but both were included on the Young Lust compilation from 2001, which again is a compilation that focuses only on the Geffen years, but that time around they included songs from Done With Mirrors.

I suppose this album can probably be found for pretty cheap these days, but if you absolutely feel you need an Aerosmith compilation, I’d go with one of the more recent releases or just go all the way back to the Columbia Records Greatest Hits release from 1980 for their best stuff.

www.aerosmith.com
www.myspace.com/aerosmith

AEROSMITH – Classics Live!

Aerosmith – Classics Live! (1986, Columbia Records)

1. “Train Kept a Rollin'” … 3:20
2. “Kings & Queens” … 4:46
3. “Sweet Emotion” … 5:14
4. “Dream On” … 4:50
5. “Mama Kin” … 3:41
6. “Three Mile Smile/Reefer Head Woman” … 4:54
7. “Lord of the Thighs” … 7:05
8. “Major Barbra” … 4:03

Band:
Steven Tyler – Vocals
Joe Perry – Guitar
Jimmy Crespo – Guitar
Brad Whitford – Guitar
Rick Dufay – Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass
Joey Kramer – Drums

Produced by: Paul O’Neill, Tony Bongiovi

I didn’t buy this album myself. I was borrowing it from my girlfriend back in 2000 along with Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and Alice In Chains’ Nothing Safe: Best of the Box, but we broke up and they never made their way back to her. Oh well, I don’t mind… Thanks, Candice!

A bit on the short side for a live album isn’t it? Eight songs and “Major Barbra” isn’t even live! It’s a studio track leftover from the Get Your Wings sessions. Not really anything special, in my opinion. As for the rest, as short as it is, it’s a good showing. These songs were record between 1977-1983 and “Kings & Queens” and “Dream On” are the most spirited and energetic songs of the bunch. Perhaps if the album was longer, it’d be a strong recommend, but it’s not an album I would go out my way for when there are a number of other live Aerosmith albums available.

I never had the jewel case or booklet, just the CD, and I couldn’t find any concrete info online as to who exactly played on this album, but judging by what I have read, it’s a safe bet Rick Dufay (Brad Whitford’s replacement) played and it’s a lock that Jimmy Crespo (steeping in for Joe Perry) did as well.

And yup, that’s Jon Bon Jovi’s cousin, Tony, who produced parts of this album.

Highlights: “Kings & Queens”, “Dream On”, “Three Mile Smile/Reefer Head Woman”, “Lord of the Thighs”

www.aerosmith.com
www.myspace.com/aerosmith

Buy Classics Live! at Amazon.com

AEROSMITH – Nine Lives

Aerosmith – Nine Lives (1997, Columbia Records)

1. “Nine Lives” … 4:01
2. “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)” … 3:25
3. “Hole in My Soul” … 6:10
4. “Taste of India” … 5:53
5. “Full Circle” … 5:00
6. “Something’s Gotta Give” … 3:36
7. “Ain’t That a Bitch” … 5:25
8. “The Farm” … 4:27
9. “Crash” … 4:25
10. “Kiss Your Past Good-Bye” … 4:31
11. “Pink” … 3:55
12. “Attitude Adjustment” … 3:44
13. “Fallen Angels” … 8:16

Band:
Steven Tyler – Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboard, Percussion, Hammered Dulcimer
Joe Perry – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Dulcimer, Slide Guitar
Brad Whitford – Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass, Chapman stick
Joey Kramer – Drums

Produced by: Aerosmith and Kevin Shirley

This was my first Aerosmith album and it was just a weird time for me in general what with being in high school and all. I used to come home and listen to this album everyday so it takes me back to those early high school years whenever I hear this.

Definitely not one of Aerosmith’s best. Half the tunes are good, the rest is trash and I’m not a fan of the “taste of India” (if you’ll pardon the pun) that the band gave this album. “Hole in My Soul” and “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)” are really good Pump/Get a Grip-era Aerosmith tunes though.

Aerosmith has done some great commercial hard rock, but they’re always better when they just stick with the bluesy hard rock and this album was far from that sound and should probably only be picked up by completists. But hey, this album went double platinum in the middle of the alternative rock scene, so what do I know?

Highlights: “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)”, “Hole in My Soul”, “Full Circle”, “Ain’t That a Bitch”, “Crash”, “Kiss Your Past Good-Bye”, “Fallen Angels”

www.aerosmith.com
www.myspace.com/aerosmith

AEROSMITH – Just Push Play

Aerosmith – Just Push Play (2001, Columbia Records)

Track List:
1. “Beyond Beautiful” …  4:45
2.”Just Push Play” … 3:51
3. “Jaded” … 3:34
4. “Fly Away from Here” … 5:01
5.”Trip Hoppin'” … 4:27
6. “Sunshine” … 3:37
7. “Under My Skin” … 3:45
8. “Luv Lies” … 4:26
9. “Outta Your Head” … 3:22
10. “Drop Dead Gorgeous” … 3:42
11. “Light Inside” … 3:34
12. “Avant Garden” … 4:52

Band:
Steven Tyler – Vocals, Harmonica, Piano, Guitar, Drums
Joe Perry – Guitar, Vocals
Brad Whitford – Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass
Joey Kramer – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Tony Perry – Guitar, Pedal Steel, Backing Vocals, Hurdygurdy, Slide Guitar
Jim Cox – Piano
Dan Higgins – Clarinet, Saxophone
Paul Santo – Hammond Organ, Kurzweil Synthesizer
Tower of Power – Horns
Liv Tyler – Whispering
Chelsea Tyler – Backing vocals

Produced by: Marti Frederiksen, Mark Hudson, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler

Coming four years after Nine Lives, Aerosmith continues the slick pop-polished commercial hard rock they started with 1987’s Permanent Vacation. Not that commercial Aerosmith isn’t good, they’ve knocked out some great songs since the late 80s, but I’ve always wanted them to get their 1970s hard rock edge back and songs like “Trip Hoppin'” and “Sunshine” definitely don’t have that edge.

Given years of perspective, Just Push Play is actually a decent album, but nothing great. I remember being really disappointed with it when it first came out though. It’s a better effort than Nine Lives, but the band tries to sound way too modern, in terms of production on songs like “Beyond Beautiful”, “Just Push Play” and the megahit “Jaded” and it definitely takes the bite out of the album, even if the songs are catchy. “Under My Skin” shows a bit of old school Aerosmith, but also uses the commercial sound of the band as well. Then there’s “Outta Your Head”, which kinda sounds like rap-metal in parts. Huh.

Hey, I’m not really knocking these songs. Like I said, they’re enjoyable, but way too slick. It’s time for Aerosmith to get back to their dirty rock ‘n’ roll roots.

Oh, and there’s a “hidden” reprise for “Avant Garden” at about the 5:30 mark.

Highlights: “Beyond Beautiful”, “Just Push Play”, “Jaded”, “Fly Away from Here”, “Luv Lies”, “Outta Your Head”, “Drop Dead Gorgeous”

www.aerosmith.com
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AEROSMITH – Toys in the Attic

Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic (1975, Columbia Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Toys in the Attic” … 3:06
2. “Uncle Salty” … 4:10
3. “Adam’s Apple” … 4:34
4. “Walk this Way” … 3:40
5. “Big Ten Inch Record” …2:14
6. “Sweet Emotion” …4:34
7. “No More, No More” … 4:34
8. “Round and Round” … 5:05
9. “You See Me Crying” … 5:12

Band:
Steven Tyler – Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Percussion, Keyboard
Joe Perry – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Bass, Percussion
Brad Whitford – Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass
Joey Kramer – Drums, Backing Vocals

Produced by: Jack Douglas

One of my favorite albums, and I’m ashamed it look me so long to buy it (probably around ’99 or ’00). Every song is a classic. “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” are legendary, but there’s so much meat on this album. “Big Ten Inch Record” is a fun play on words and “You See Me Crying” is a great (hair?) ballad and “Round and Round” (not the Ratt song!) is one of the band’s heavier songs. A blue print album for the next decade’s hair metal scene.

Highlights: All of it.

www.aerosmith.com
www.myspace.com/aerosmith

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