Archive for Toys in the Attic

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1982: Aerosmith- Rock in a Hard Place

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2015 by 80smetalman


Two reasons exist for why I have never listened to Aerosmith’s 1982 album “Rock in a Hard Place” until this week. Yes, I hang my head in shame and will whip myself mercilessly for this transgression. If I may address the court, my first defense is of course, being in the military and spending eight months out of the twelve in this year overseas. A lot of music passed by without my notice. The second reason was that between the years of 1980-85, I considered Aerosmith to be lost in the rock wilderness. In my mind and many others too, they had truly gone from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music. I don’t know if was during the tour for this album but I heard a story that when they played live, a roadie would have a collapsible table near the stage and every time there was a guitar solo, Steve Tyler would go to that table and snort the eight lines of coke that the roadie had laid out for him. However, like so much of the stories like that, it was probably more hype than truth.

So what did I think of my introduction to “Rock in a Hard Place?” For one, it wasn’t the diamond in the rough that lain hidden for over 30 years. I wouldn’t hold in the same regard as I do classics like “Toys in the Attic” or “Get Your Wings.” However, I do think it was better than the 1979 “Night in the Ruts.” While the first few songs of “Rock in a Hard Place” is a bit of the dirge that its predecessor was, the second half of the album for me is quite good. While, I like the intro of “Jailbait” and it is better than the next two songs, which ironically are the two singles released from the album, it doesn’t really grab me until track four, “Bolivian Ragamuffin.” One surprise is that I have to say that “Cry Me A River” is their best ever attempt at a power ballad and that includes some of their better known ones in the 90s. “Joanie’s Butterfly is a decent tune but my favourite on the album is definitely the title track. It seems that on “Rock in a Hard Place,” the band came down long enough to just relax and enjoy making music. If I listened to the album when I should have, I would have said to the band, “Remember when you you to sound like this?” at the title track. Saying that, the best song is followed on by the last two which take the album out nicely. “Push Comes to Shove” is a very tidy closer.

I would be negligent in my duties if I didn’t point out that this was the album without guitarist Joe Perry and rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford would leave during the recording. In fact, he only plays on “Lightning Strikes.” I must say that from the solos, I thought that Jimmy Crespo is a good guitarist in his own right. At least enough where I never found myself saying “Come back Joe, all is forgiven.”

Track Listing:

1. Jailbait

2. Lightning Strikes

3. Bitches Brew

4. Bolivian Ragamuffin

5. Cry Me a River

6. Prelude to Joanie

7. Joanie’s Butterfly

8. Rock in a Hard Place

9. Jig is Up

10. Push Comes to Shove

Aerosmith line up for Rock in a Hard Place

Aerosmith line up for Rock in a Hard Place

Steve Tyler- vocals

Jimmy Crespo- guitar, backing vocals

Rick Dufay- guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Krammer- drums

For a band in the wilderness, it could be said that Aerosmith were calling out to be found. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear them at the time. If I had heard this album back then, I would have most certainly listened to it. But as they say, better late than never.

Next post: Black Sabbath- Live Evil

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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

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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

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Aerosmith- Toys In The Attic

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by 80smetalman

Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” was probably the very first true rock album I heard. Before that, it was old 45 records and compilation albums that went on sale at your local Jamesway. (Sad, I know). Before this album, I was very musically naive, but hearing it was a total eye opener. From the first track, I was hooked and wanted to listen to the whole album and like every other teenager back then, I had a big snigger at the track, “Big Ten Inch Record.”

Track Listing

1. Toys in the Attic

2. Uncle Salty

3. Adam’s Apple

4. Walk This Way

5. Big Ten Inch Record

6. Sweet Emotion

7. No More, No More

8. Round and Round

9. You See Me Crying

Of all the tracks, it was “Walk This Way” that stands out. That is because once I heard the album, I seemed to hear that particular song played everywhere. Therefore, the song holds a special place in my metal heart.

Now that I am much older and wiser (pause for laughter), I can fully appreciate the great musicianship by Aerosmith on this album. The clear vocals by Steven Tyler and the guitar solos by Joe Perry backed up by the others make this album a magnificent listen. Aerosmith hadn’t begun to destroy themselves with the excesses of success, which is another reason this album is so crisp.

Steve Tyler- vocals

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- rhythm guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums

Thirty six years after its first release, “Toys In The Attic” continues to stand the test of time. It is a standard bearer for many of the albums which have followed it and will always be ranked among my favourites.

Next post: Black Sabbath: Paranoid

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