Aerosmith: Their Top 10 Deep Cuts
You can say what you will about Aerosmith in their present time and place. Make all the comments you want about Joe Perry‘s cooking show appearances or whatever Steven Tyler did on American Idol. All that crap doesn’t hinder them in my eyes and ears one bit.
For me, Aerosmith will always be encapsulated in a moment of time where the boys had dirt ‘staches, the girls wore hip huggers and everyone met up to drink stolen beer out in the woods. They are the ultimate soundtrack to teenage dirt bag actions and nothing will tarnish that warm and fuzzy image in my mind.
As I’m sure many of you know already, they are releasing their 15th studio album in a few weeks entitled Music from Another Dimension! To celebrate the release, we serve up ten Aerosmith songs you won’t hear twenty times a day on your local classic rock station or emanating from your co-workers’ computer. This list is strictly for the heads. So throw on your three quarter baseball shirt, feather your hair and meet me out in the woods. And you better steal a case of low alcohol swill from your parents’ basement, because I’m supplying the tunes.
“One Way Street” from Aerosmith (1973)
There have been many nights when I wanted to fling this record out the window when “Dream On” came on, but I knew if I did that, I’d miss the track that immediately follows it, “One Way Street”. This seven minute track is a hypnotic groove of the highest order. No kegger is complete without it.
“Lord of the Thighs” from Get Your Wings (1974)
Stories tell that this tune was filler; a last minute track thrown on to fulfill contract obligations. All we know is this is one of the band’s darkest tracks; chock-full of menacing vibes and evil licks.
“No More No More” from Toys in the Attic (1975)
A driving, soul-drenched track in which Steven Tyler bleats out the blues of being a rock star. Seriously man, we’re really weeping for ya.
“Lick and a Promise” from Rocks (1976)
Personally speaking, this is my all-time favorite Aerosmith track. It struts, it swaggers, it rocks and it rolls while being as raw and obnoxious as anything the punkers were doing around this time.
“The Hand That Feeds” from Draw the Line (1977)
Truly one of the bands’ most unhinged tracks. Steven yowls like a banshee while the rest of the band kicks up a glorious ruckus. I’d say ‘Gimme whatever they’re having!’ but I’m afraid to know what it was.
“Three Mile Smile” from Night in the Ruts (1979)
This is the moment where the band started to spin out of control in a druggy whirl and Joe Perry left the band. Luckily, they laid down this track before that happened; a roller coaster ride of a track that shows what a monster of a band they were, even when they were nose deep in trouble.
“Bolivian Ragamuffin” from Rock In a Hard Place (1982)
I know….I know, an Aerosmith without Joe Perry is no Aerosmith at all. But give an ear to this track from the one and only album the band did without him. Guitarist Jimmy Crespo does a more than decent job emulating Perry’s blistering leads and when Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer lock in to drive the tune home, it sounds just as good as anything from the prior years.
“Shame on You” from Done With Mirrors (1985)
With Joe back in the band by this time, the band was primed to head off into their drug free second wind of the late 80’s complete with videos, power ballads and mega tours. But right before all that, they produced this slinky and thunderous track. Perfect background music for a drunken walk back home to your folks’ house.
Tony Rettman is a freelance music journalist whose work has appeared in The Village Voice, Vice, Philadelphia Weekly, Arthur, Swindle, Signal to Noise and Mean. His 2010 book, Why Be Something That You’re Not: Detroit Hardcore 1979-1985, is a must-read for any fan of heavy music and can be purchased on Amazon.