Archive for Draw the Line

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1988: Aerosmith- Gems

Posted in 1978, 1979, 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2022 by 80smetalman

Special thanks goes out to 2loud for this album. If he hadn’t written a post on “Gems,” I most likely still wouldn’t have heard of it. I blame it on the fact that by November, 1988, I was settling into family life in the UK, with my first born very much on the way. Therefore, I couldn’t give music my full or even half full attention. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. Of course, the other reason why it passed me by was that “Gems” is a compilation album put forward by Aerosmith’s old label, Columbia Records who still could make a few bucks out of the band and my trips to record stores by then were almost non existent, so unless it was a big album, it most certainly passed me by.

The saying ‘better late than never’ applies to this as I am glad that, inspired by 2loud’s post, I sat down and listened to it and boy was I impressed! As you know, I always site hidden gems on any album I write about and here we have an entire album full of them. What is more, I can’t help thinking that the tracks were cleaned up a bit before being put on the album. Take “No Surprise” for instance. It comes from the “Night in the Ruts” album which I have always considered to be a total dirge. However, on “Gems,” it sounds really clear and now I fully appreciate the track much more than on the original album. Even the two tracks from my all time favourite ‘Smith album, “Toys in the Attic,” seem to sound better and that’s a feat in itself. Here’s another paradox which is me, “Round and Round” is the penultimate track on my favourite album but I don’t mind the fact that it’s not picked for the job on “Gems.”

I think what “Gems” achieves is showcase how great Aerosmith’s songs can be once you get past the hits. None of the songs from the 1980 “Greatest Hits” album are on this album and that’s a good thing. In addition, you get a lot of the songs from the earlier albums, when the band was still hungry and they hadn’t made the transition from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music. “Mama Kin” is the best example of this. I forgot how great those opening riffs are. However, even the songs from the albums after the transition sound really great. “No Surprise” has already been mentioned but there seems to be a different swagger to “Jailbait” off “Rock in a Hard Place.”

One song, “Chip Away the Stone” from the “Live Bootleg” album is included in the tracks, so Columbia Records didn’t leave any stone unturned when looking for the gems. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, they chose all the right tracks for “Gems.” While this album was most likely meant for the hardcore Aerosmith fans, I think casual fans would appreciate it too.

Track Listing:

  1. Rats in the Cellar
  2. Lick and a Promise
  3. Chip Away the Stone
  4. No Surprise
  5. Mama Kin
  6. Adam’s Apple
  7. Nobody’s Fault
  8. Round and Round
  9. Critical Mass
  10. Lord of the Thighs
  11. Jailbait
  12. Train Kept a Rollin’

Steve Tyler- vocals, harmonica, piano

Joe Perry- lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Brad Whitford- rhythm and lead guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums, percussion

Additional Musicians:

Jimmy Crespo- lead guitar on “Jailbait”

Rick Dufay- rhythm guitar on “Jailbait”

David Woodford- saxophone

Richard Supa- piano

Mark Radice- piano on “Chip Away the Stone”

My thanks once again goes out to 2loud for turning me on to a great album. “Gems” is definitely that, full of great but not overplayed Aerosmith classics. I can’t recall them playing any of these at Download 2017 but no matter, I got this great album.

Next post: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- Up Your Alley

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at:

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a much deserved knighthood, click the link:

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Aerosmith- Greatest Hits

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2013 by 80smetalman


Some newer Aerosmith fans may be wondering why Aerosmith needed to put out a Greatest Hits album way back in 1980 seeing that they have been going now for four decades. So, let’s travel back in history to that year. In 1980, Aerosmith were a completely different story. My joke about them going from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music no longer applied because they weren’t even dabbling in music! Drugs, in fighting and departures were plaguing this band something chronic. As a result, this album was put out as some last hurrah for them because many people were writing them off as finished.

Finished or not, this album brought back the songs and memories that made them the great icons they were throughout the 1970s. I won’t list any songs individually here as it wouldn’t be fair to the ones I didn’t but this is one greatest hits album I am absolutely proud to own. Some of their best songs from their classic albums are all included here and I’m sure there is plenty of room for debate for other great Aerosmith songs to have been included as well. Me personally, I would have included the title cut from “Toys in the Attic” and for my own amusement “Big Ten Inch (Record)” as well. So here’s a look back to some of the great Aerosmith albums that made this compilation possible.







Track Listing:

1. Dream On

2. Same Old Song And Dance

3. Sweet Emotion

4. Walk This Way

5. Last Child

6. Back In the Saddle

7. Draw the Line

8. Kings and Queens

9. Come Together

10. Remember, Walking in the Sand



Steve Tyler- vocals, harmonica

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- rhythm guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums

I bet those who wrote Aerosmith off thirty three years ago are feeling foolish now because after a few more years of turmoil, they would be back and back to stay. Still for those who are new to the earlier material and are looking for a listen, then this album would be a great place to start.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- A Decade in Rock and Roll

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London


Great Rock Albums of 1979: Aerosmith- Night in the Ruts

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2012 by 80smetalman

One way you can tell how brilliant a band is is when they put out a decent album when they are at one of the lowest points in their career. When they put out “Night in the Ruts” in 1979, they had fully made the transition from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music. Joe Perry said in an interview about ten years ago that by this time, they were making records to pay their dealers. In spite of all that, “Night in the Ruts” is still a pretty good album. I know it’s not as good as some of their earlier ones like “Draw the Line” and it doesn’t come close to “Toys in the Attic,” (my all time fave). Still when Aerosmith can put out a decent album when they were at such a low, it only cements how great their earlier albums are.

I have to confess, that there are some parts of this album where it sounds like a bit of a dirge but it’s a good dirge. There is  that familiar 70’s rock sound that Aerosmith were famous for then and Joe Perry comes out of his drug induced state to put down some good guitar solos. Steve Tyler also has some good vocal moments and Aerosmith’s three unsung heroes, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer do what they do best. Tracks like “No Surprise,” “Bone to Bone (Coney Island Whitefish Boy” and “Reefer Head Woman” lead the way to what is a decent album.

When I first heard the single from the album, “Remember, Walking in the Sand” I thought this was a definite attempt to get into the singles charts, capitalizing on the success from their cover of The Beatles classic, “Come Together.” I still believe this is the case. This was a song that was first made in the 1960’s and I wondered what were they trying to do. Saying that, like with “Come Together,” they put their own unique spin onto it which makes the song somewhat enjoyable.

Track Listing:

1. No Surprise

2. Chiquita

3. Remember, Walking in the Sand

4. Cheese Cake

5. Three Mile Smile

6. Reefer Head Woman

7. Bone to Bone (Coney Island Whitefish Boy)

8. Think About It

9. Mia


Steve Tyler- vocals

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- rhythm guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums

Before I close, I just wanted to say that I just realized some information I thought reliable all these years has been proven to be slightly inaccurate. I was told that the infamous bottle incident in Philadelphia happened on this tour. It actually occurred in 1978 on the “Live Bootleg” tour. For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, what happened was during a show at the Philadelphia Spectrum, someone threw a bottle that shattered in Steve Tyler’s face. The band immediately walked off stage and the culprit was found, dragged onto the stage and beaten up in front of the audience. (It’s bad enough to get your ass kicked but having it kicked in front of 20,000 people must be humiliating.) Anyway, nothing happened for an hour and a half, then Aerosmith returned and Steve Tyler announced, “Fuck you Philly, we ain’t ever coming back!” I wasn’t at this concert but I know someone who was in this was her account. However, I saw them in 1986, they did come back eventually and while they were good that night, they weren’t excellent. In fact Ted Nugent kind of blew them away. I cite the reason as being that Aerosmith still hadn’t fully forgiven Philadelphia for the bottle incident. He made reference to it during the show when he said, “Don’t throw anything up here, remember what happened last time.” I do make mention of this in “Rock And Roll Children.”

That incident was probably an indicator of things to come for the band. Joe Perry, after violent arguments with the band,  left halfway through the recording of the album and would eventually be replaced by Jimmy Crespo. A greatest hits album would be put out the following year leaving many to think that this was the end of the line. It would be seven years before the next good album would be released. I’m glad that the end of the line theory was wrong. Despite all that, “Night in the Ruts” is still a good album.

Next post: Frank Zappa- Joe’s Garage Act 1

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Aerosmith- Draw the Line

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2011 by 80smetalman

As the blog heads towards 1978, the year the rivers of rock began to overflow their banks and form what was to become heavy metal, it is only fitting that I visit one of the albums that sped those waters along the way. “Draw the Line” by Aerosmith was one of the truly last great rock albums before the river overflowed. The only reason it wasn’t the last album for me was that pending its release in December 1977, every record store in America seemed to be advertising it for the Christmas sales. Every store I went into that year had a large display depicting the album cover in order to entice parents to buy the album for their rock loving children. If I had a time machine, I would go back and tell mine to buy it for me, although I don’t regret in the least getting the “Desire” album by Bob Dylan nor the “Spitfire” album from Jefferson Starship that Christmas.

While “Rocks” is said to be Aerosmith’s last album before the descent into their drugs hell, “Draw the Line” was the first album during that descent. Joe Perry practically admitted in an interview years later that the album was done so the band could pay their drug dealers. Nevertheless, it does not stop this album from being a great one and to me, only shows how talented these guys really are.

Track Listing:

1. Draw the Line

2. I Want to Know Why

3, Critical Mass

4. Get It Up

5. Bright Light Fright

6. Kings and Queens

7. Hand That Feeds

8. Sight For Sore Eyes

9. Milk Cow Blues

Steven Tyler- vocals

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums, percussion

It matters not if Aerosmith were under the influence of drugs when the album was made, it is still a fantastic album. Kerrang listed it number 37 in the top 100 metal albums of all times and I can certainly understand why. I just wonder, if this album was made while the band was high on drugs and it is still this good, how good it would have been if they hadn’t been on drugs.

Next post: Foghat Live

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & noble and Froogle