I was thinking about reviewing the new Aerosmith album, Music From Another Dimension!, then thought a bit more and realized, Why bother? Life's too short to spend thinkin' about stuff like that.
Aerosmith used to be one of the truly great American hard-rock bands--the only one that could touch Blue Oyster Cult in the '70s--but now their specialty seems to be lame-ass power ballads. And don't get me started on the first single, "Legendary Child". It's clear to me that, in 2012, Aerosmith has lost the will to rock.
The worst thing is that I was expecting something special this time around. When I interviewed him a couple years ago Joe Perry led me to believe that the band would be getting back to its winning way of making albums '70s-style. That they were reuniting with producer Jack Douglas--who'd worked on such killer discs as Get Yours Wings and Rocks--locking themselves in a room, and composing the music themselves.
But guess what? My old hero Joe gave me a bum steer. The list of hired-gun, hit-seeking songwriters who contributed to Music From Another Dimension! includes Marti Frederiksen, Russ Irwin, Jim Vallance, Marco Moir, Jesse Kramer, Desmond Child, and Diane Warren. No wonder it doesn't sound like the Aerosmith of old.
I'll admit that there are a couple of Perry-penned tracks--"Oh Yeah" and "Freedom Fighter"--that hint at the band's former ragged glory. But then you've got to sit through the supreme nauseation of "What Could Have Been Love" and "Can't Stop Lovin' You" and "We All Fall Down" and "Another Last Goodbye" and it's like: "Holy crap, how hurtin' can this get?!"
But instead of slagging the new disc for another nanosecond I've decided to take a more positive approach and put together my list of the 20 Greatest Aerosmith Songs of All Time. You'll see that the vast majority were written by the band members themselves, usually Perry and frontman Steven Tyler. There was the odd contribution from outside the group, however, and at this time I'd like to thank the aforementioned Vallance for whatever he did to make "Magic Touch" so freakin' awesome.
Maybe not every hired-gun songwriter wrecks the party after all.
"Make It" (Tyler, from Aerosmith, 1973)
"Dream On" (Tyler, Aerosmith)
"Mama Kin" (Tyler, Aerosmith)
"Same Old Song and Dance" (Tyler/Perry, from Get Your Wings, 1974)
"Spaced" (Tyler/Perry, Get Your Wings)
"S.O.S. (Too Bad)" (Tyler, Get Your Wings)
"Seasons of Wither" (Tyler, Get Your Wings)
"Sweet Emotion" (Tyler/Hamilton, from Toys in the Attic, 1975)
"No More No More" (Tyler/Perry, Toys in the Attic
"Back in the Saddle" (Tyler/Perry, from Rocks, 1976)
"Sick as a Dog" (Tyler/Hamillton, Rocks)
"Lick and a Promise" (Perry/Tyler), Rocks
"Draw the Line" (Tyler/Perry, from Draw the Line, 1977)
"The Hand That Feeds (Tyler/Whitford/Hamilton/Kramer/Jack Douglas, Draw the Line
"Sight for Sore Eyes" (Tyler/Perry/Douglas/David Johansen, Draw the Line)
"Lightning Strikes" (Richard Supa, from Rock in a Hard Place, 1982)
"Bitches Brew" (Tyler/Crespo, Rock in a Hard Place)
"Let the Music do the Talking" (Perry, from Done With Mirrors, 1985)
"My Fist Your Face" (Tyler/Perry, from Done With Mirrors)
"Magic Touch" (Tyler/Perry/Jim Vallance, from Permanent Vacation, 1987)
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