Los Angeles, CA – Summer 1982
I may have seen an ad for the new record in a magazine or when I was browsing new rock titles at Tower Records in Hollywood. But I bought the cassette and took it back to my apartment to listen to it. I didn’t know what to expect of the band without Joe and Brad. Both guitarists gone from Aerosmith? How could that work? Would it be any good? Would this record be more Tyler-driven or go in a new direction? I was in great anticipation to get the album home.
At the time I was rocking out in my own right. I had also picked up a tape by a new band on the LA scene called Motley Crue. When I listened to their record it sounded like their demo. But it had a simple ferocious sound. It was as if Crue were the bastard sons of Aerosmith.
Anyway, let’s review.
Aerosmith – Rock In A Hard Place – 1982
Here’s the back cover with the two new guys Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay.
- Jailbait: Fantastic song to kick off the new band. It’s reminiscent of the song Toys in the Attic from their 3rd album. It’s a wicked little number that sounds like the Aerosmith I grew up loving. A nasty song that has Steven and the boys in top form.
- Lightning Strikes: I would say this is the commercial hit from the album. Solid riff and a badass rocker. Full of swagger. So far, so good.
- Bitches Brew: Not bad. Not their best but it’s the third song and we deserve a little break.
- Bolivian Ragamuffin: Another good one. Has Steven been saving up songs on his own?
- Cry Me A River: This is a cover, but I love this song. They take a tender sad song and turn it into a vengeful screamer. Love!
- Prelude to Joannie: Cool little intro.
- Joannie’s Butterfly: Kind of a psychedelic retro tune. It’s nice, and a sweet departure that could have fit nicely on Toys in the Attic. (But isn’t Joanie’s Butterfly a sex toy for women?)
- Rock In A Hard Place: Title track. A kick-ass apocalyptic rocker. Love this song.
- Jig Is Up: I think some of these songs are Steven speaking about the loss and bitterness of losing his buddy Joe Perry. (Lyric: “Let the music do the talking, but all you do is talk about it.”)
- Push Comes To Shove: Another solid closer, that sounds like they recorded it in a bar somewhere.
Overall, I love this record. Despite all of their problems and the loss of key members, Steven navigates his ship like a twin-engine speedboat. It proved to me that even without Brad and Joe, this is still a great album that sounds like a real Aerosmith record. This shows that Steven Tyler IS Aerosmith.
Great record! But sadly by now, I’m already cheating on them with Ratt and Motley Crue.
Wildwood, NJ – 1984
I was back from California. Working at the video store and living my life back in Jersey. I saw that this album advertised and out of pure loyalty bought it on cassette.
Joe Perry – Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker – 1983
This album sucks. Don’t waste your money on it. Sorry, Joe. You look angry and sick on the cover. You’re not Jeff Beck, or Eric Clapton, or Robin Trower, or Stevie Ray… Go to rehab and get yourself together. You’re only cool in Aerosmith next to the other half of “The Toxic Twins” Steven Tyler.
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