There was a lot of talk in the music press in the last year or so--most of it coming directly from the mouth of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry--about how the band's next album was going to be a return to its early, no-frills rock sound. That the group was back with producer Jack Douglas--who helmed such rowdy '70s discs as Rocks and Draw the Line--and that it was going to get back to writing songs on its own, without resorting to bringing in fancy-ass hired guns like Desmond Child and Glen Ballard to lame things up.
What a load of crap!
Today the band released the video for its new single, "Legendary Child", a reworked version of a song originally penned in 1991 during the Get a Grip sessions. And guess what: it was cowritten by Jim Vallance, best known for cowriting pop hits with Bryan Adams. (Read Vallance's take on things here.)
After all this hype about making a band-written album, why resurrect a 20-year-old song that exudes an overproduced, commercial stench? On their own, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry composed such killer tunes as "Toys in the Attic", "Draw the Line", and "Back in the Saddle". Is it too much to hope that they might somehow rekindle a bit of that magical vibe?
Apparently so. Whether it's all Jim Vallance's fault or not, the new (old) song sucks the biggie. It's not the Aerosmith of yore that Perry has been alluding to, and all the rollerskating hotties in the world can't make it seem that way. See for yourself.
But as much as I'm turned off by Aerosmith's latest, I'm not gonna totally give up on them; we go back way too far for that. Maybe the substandard "Legendary Child" isn't indicative of the rest of the band's upcoming album, Music From Another Dimension, which is set for release November 6. Hey, Van Halen's latest album was pretty wicked--apart from that crappy first single, "Tattoo". Don't get me started on their live show, though.
Aerosmith, on the other hand, are still great in concert. At least they were when I saw them back in 2010. Hardcore fans take note of their Tacoma gig next month, with Cheap Trick opening up. I suppose there's a slim chance they won't play "Legendary Child". Keep your fingers crossed.
You can follow Steve Newton for all his wacky rock 'n' roll reminiscing on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.