Aerosmith have shown over time to be one of the most popular Rock bands of the 20th century. They had a number of hits during their time and proved themselves to be an interesting band for Hard Rock in particular, even showing up in the second Wayne’s World film, although they rejected to be in the first of that film series. Still, the music is important and we have 30 songs on this album, so hopefully it should be a decent listen, so let’s hear it.
We kick off with Mama Kin which begins with a catchy, Hard Rock riff that is awesome. Some awesome saxophone quickly joins in to make things interesting. The immediacy of the music here is just wonderful, and it sounds brilliant. A great piece of music, and nicely played and structured here. Some intense screaming from frontman Steve Tyler is very much along the lines of Classic Rock and it does sound like a good song, very catchy and interesting listening. This is quite different, although some could easily say that this is similar to a lot of the older Rock music out there. The combination of guitars, vocals and saxophone are quite good here. Good song to begin this compilation with, it is a cool and awesome piece of music. It has a weird outro.
Next here is Dream On which was notably exploited by Eminem on his own work. By itself, it is a very symphonic sounding tune to begin with, with multitracked guitar parts and a keyboard string section. Steve Tyler puts in a good vocal performance, although admittedly he sounds pretty nervous delivering here. Still, this is a very good ballad style song that is very interesting listening, and has a great deal of suspense in it. Brilliant sounding all the same, and the chorus is fantastic. Aerosmith obviously had quite a few good songs and this is one of those. Great piece of music for the moment, very clever and an ode to music itself. It sounds really excellent and towards the end is some raspy falsetto as well. Nice music to remember here, and a good piece of listening.
Same Old Song and Dance is a groovy, catchy Hard Rock piece that sounds very lively and unique. Think along the lines of a harder and nastier sounding version of The Rolling Stones, and you are there. A catchy, awesome and groovy listen with some different lyrics here that are wonderful. Drug references and other lyrical talk about dirty deeds are here, and this piece sounds punchy and lively. A great guitar solo is here, and this piece sounds alive and driven. Awesome song, even for new listeners, as well as older ones, too. These guys sound a lot like a raunchier AC/DC with a Hard Rock feel, and this is quite a good song. Energetic, brilliant and cool, with more saxophone, this is a good tune. Nice to hear.
Seasons Of Wither begins with some sampling of crowd cheering and other strange noises via keyboard that just sound weird, eventually going into wind rushing sounds. Some acoustic guitar enters this piece, and this gets going. A very cool and listenable piece of Classic Rock, this is a very good listening experience. Aerosmith are often overlooked in music history, and this compilation proves that they should not be. A good and decent ballad with some passionate singing in it, it bursts into some lively and incredible piece of intense singing and performance by Aerosmith. Great to hear, even today, this is another decent song on this compilation. Great to hear, Aerosmith sound impressive here. A good slice of old school Rock music, with some great guitar parts here.
The original Walk This Way (no, not the Run D.M.C. version) begins with an extraordinary beat here, some cool guitar riffs and some rhythmic singing here. It’s a song about sexual lust and desire, and sounds really cool. A good song that is better than you’d think, it is supercharged and lively, with a loud but short guitar solo near the middle that sounds different. A real life Pink Floyd Young Lust sort of song, but without the dark cynicism, this is a really cool song. It harks back to a simpler and more male promiscuous sort of time in western society, and is quite interesting to hear. The guitar solo towards the end is really awesome, too. A very good song.
Next along is Big Ten Inch Record is a weird one, being super short and looking back to 1950s styled music. It’s about the older times with music on LPs. Quite a good listen, it sounds very cool, fresh and retro in a very good way. Nice song, and sounds pretty timeless here, although this was obviously not a major song for Aerosmith. There is a harmonica solo here which is awesome, too. Very intense listen in terms of differing musicality, and very, very good.
Sweet Emotion begins with some nimble bass playing, some random electronic sounds and what sounds like vocoder samples. A little bit weird to begin with. It quickly launches into a glorious sung and delivered piece of Hard Rock music that is powerful, lively and intense which has some really awesome guitar riffs throughout. This is a genuinely good listen and one of the best Aerosmith songs out there, so it is a must listen, even for casual fans of the band. The harmonies here are really cool, and given that music is an emotional audio artform, Aerosmith ticks all the right boxes here. A nicely structured and well thought out piece of real Classic Rock, this song is nothing short of awesome. The multiple sections of guitar riffs and solos make this piece a standout tune, and a lively listen. Great music, and a really awesome song here.
Last Child begins with some hi-hats and weird guitar riffs, and some equally weird singing to match. It quickly launches into a dirty sounding Hard Rock groove that is quirky, yet awesome. It’s along the lines of AC/DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap styled themes, but sounds definitely like Aerosmith. Interesting tune, even if this not their biggest song of their career. Awesome song, and powerful guitar solos here will surprise you. This does sound super 1970s, but is energetic and different. Cool, three minute piece of Rock music.
Next along is Back In The Saddle which has another weird, semi-horror movie styled intro. It is followed with a Classic Rock piece that is a loud and energetic piece of music. It’s about more sexually motivated matters, with some intense screaming by Steve Tyler. Very good song and powerful and catchy listening, Aerosmith put in a great effort here. The multitracked guitars here are really interesting, and this is a wonderful listen and a good reminder of the days when Rock music was a big thing. The musicianship here is crazily good, and this piece gets top marks for what it is. Definitely a great listen, this is something to be appreciated. Good song, no doubt about that. The guitar playing sounds very much like Jimi Hendrix at the end here.
Following is Draw The Line – Remix which is honestly not the best here, even though it has been remixed. Still, it is not outright bad, just probably not the greatest piece on this compilation. Only really recommended listening for true Aerosmith fans, this easily could have been junked for something better. Some of the guitar work is good, but this is pretty meh otherwise. Worth skipping or gritting your teeth through, either way, not good. It goes quite quiet in the second half, with some awful guitar parts and unnecessary screaming here. Anyway, it’s your choice to hear this or not, but it is an unpleasant listen this one.
Dude (Looks Like A Lady) is a very famous piece by Aerosmith that was made popular in the film Mrs. Doubtfire, effectively so. It begins with some weird stereo panned sounds, before going into a very catchy retro song that is, quite honestly, amazing. This is a song about the Motley Crue lead singer as well, and it is a song that sounds rather bisexual lyrically. Musically it is a great song, and a real Rock music classic. The performance here is really spot on, and is excellently done, no matter what you think of this song. Fantastic guitar solos are here, too and this piece is very lively. Great listening all the same, and one of the best songs on this album. Hard not to laugh at the lyrical matter all the same though. Very great listening.
Angel begins with some reversed drums, some rather dated guitar sounds and a killer vocal by Steve Tyler. It is a very good 1980s sort of ballad here that sounds intense and powerful, and is a great love song. One can imagine people back in the day blasting Aerosmith songs in their cars such as this one, which no doubt would have made these songs very popular. An intense vocal delivery and a really awesome listen song that sounds terrific about missing a lover. It has an interesting guitar solo here with some clever use of notes and melody to take you to the next level. Really awesome stuff, it just sounds really amazing. Very good and underrated song here, this will take you there, when the moment should demand it. Great song.
Next along is Rag Doll which begins with a reverberated drum beat, some odd guitar parts that sound raunchy and a powerful rhythm section. This is one of the lesser tracks on this compilation, but is actually quite listenable in its own way. A good Pop/Rock piece all the same, even though it is not as inspired as other pieces on this compilation. With some songs about dancing and grooving away, this is a very good listen all the same. There is a strange slide guitar solo here, which adds a bit of quirkiness to this song. Blurring the lines between weird and wonderful, Aerosmith have a strange piece of music here. Just different, but very, very good. The outro is an ode to old Jazz, listen out for it.
Following is the infamous Janie’s Got a Gun which begins with some retro 1980s sounds and a groovy, catchy bunch of melodies here. A good song that makes a lot of sense to you if you live in the USA, where guns are everywhere, it is a weird piece of decent Rock music. It has some interesting production touches, with fragments of combined melodies and strings, this is a story of revenge after betrayal by a lover. “Run away…run away from the pain!” is chanted here, and is definitely an odd song. Some really great guitar soloing is here, and although this song obviously cannot be taken too seriously, it is quite good and interesting listen. Strange and warped, this is an antidote to Gangsta Rap music with its talk about guns, bling and sexual orientated actions towards women. Good song all the same, and nicely melodic to hear. Interesting listen.
Love In An Elevator begins with some interesting musicality and harmonies, before launching into quite a good song that rocks hard. An underrated song that is quite humourous and very essential listening, this is a different and decent song that sounds lively and amazing. Some backwards sounds are here, before launching into a heroic set of guitar solos that sound incredible. This is followed by some interesting keyboard and more guitar solos that are incredible, and sound intelligent and articulate. Really awesome tune here, with different sections that are truly awesome here. Cool, awesome and a strange piece of lyrical matter, this is definitely a great listen. Interesting and different, this is very raunchy Hard Rock music. An underrated masterpiece from start to finish, complete with Penny Lane styled trumpets, before finished with looped harmonies that sound awesome.
What It Takes is the last song on the first half of this double album. It begins with some upfront drums, piano and gorgeous melodies. It’s about love matters at hand when one attempts to patch things up. Perhaps a lyrically autobiographical piece, it is a great piece of music all the same. Aerosmith easily prove themselves to be great and interesting makers of music here, no matter what stage of their career that they were at. A very decent and lively song here, there is a watery sounding guitar solo here which is different. A really great listen, although it comes across as a plea to one’s love. Great song, once again, and this is a fine listening experience. The vocal performance by Steve Tyler, in particular, is really fantastic here, and puts in more effort than most singers in history ever have. Excellent sounding song.
The first song on side two is The Other Side which begins with hummed harmonies, horns and a pounding rhythm section. This is a good song, once again and has a decent Rock sound with a funky feel to it. More relationship based lyrics are here. This is yet another excellently delivered and fresh sounding piece of music that is ridiculously catchy and worth hearing. Some different guitar playing is here in the guitar solo, blurring the lines between rhythm and lead playing here which is not only interesting, but super cool. An upbeat, energetic and very good listening experience, particularly for Classic Rock fans, this is not to be ignored. Classy and excellent piece of songcraft. Very interesting, all the way through to the fade out.
Next here is Livin’ on the Edge which is a piece that is over six minutes long, surprisingly long for an Aerosmith piece. It begins with some U2 styled guitars. It goes into a song that sounds like a weird take on traditional musical genres, and to be fair, isn’t a standout here. This is easily forgivable in retrospect, but all the same is Aerosmith attempting to make a profound statement, which doesn’t fit their music here. Some interesting guitar playing is here, which keeps this piece going on. It’s definitely a step back on this compilation, and in retrospect, could have been dropped. Obviously a musical exercise more than a real song, Aerosmith were best with their unique mixture of Hard Rock instead. It stops briefly in the middle, before going on again. In any case, it’s okay, but definitely not brilliant. It wears out its welcome fairly quickly, and towards the end, you feel that this song is somewhat a waste of time. Being moralized by immoral Rock stars doesn’t work well here, so avoid this if you can. The outro is rather unnecessarily long, too.
Cryin’ is next, and is a more upfront Pop/Rock piece that is a bit more realistic a song than the one before it. It’s a good song about more relationship issues. It is somewhat weak musically, but at least it isn’t moral lecturing here. A fairly average song, despite the fact that Aerosmith perform well here. A good song for when the mood strikes, but even then, this is fairly throwaway and forgettable as music. The singing here saves this piece, but otherwise not hugely memorable. An improvement, but not in a huge way. The guitar solo here is pretty cool, mind you and proves that these guys had some chops. Cool vocals all the same, but an overly exaggerated and routine song, by the sounds of it. The mesh of instrumentation here is interesting, though. Good, just falling short of great.
Amazing is next, and is a piano ballad from the start. It is somewhat moving as a piece of music, and is about dealing with personal issues at hand. It’s a good song about bad times and is somewhat sounding like the Eagles here. Pointing to faith based concepts, the guitar sound here does not match the ballad piece here, but even so, this song is a good but not excellent listen. One can appreciate the effort here, but it doesn’t sound quite like the best Aerosmith could do here. This is a song for those who have religious beliefs, but for those who don’t, it will lack appeal. Sounding a little like latter era Beatles, this is a good song, but falls short of being great, once again. The guitar solo in the second half is really great though, and breathes life into this track. Good symphonic Pop music, it finishes with a weird outro sampling an old film.
Up next is Deuces Are Wild which is a shorter piece that has some great singing to begin with, with some Alanis Morrisette styled guitar sounds here. A more focused piece of music that is actually surprisingly good, this is a breath of fresh air compared to the previous several tracks. Steve Tyler sings intensely here, and a not-so-subtle reference to getting stoned, this is a nice yet unknown track by Aerosmith. It has a dramatic harmonica solo piece here before continuing on. Good song all the same.
Following is Crazy which is a mock Country song at the start, complete with some love talk and harmonica. It’s different, all right. A different sort of listen about more relationship issues and really good here musically. Although this is Aerosmith, Steve Tyler really is the star here, putting in an awesome and passionate delivery that makes these songs come alive. A wonderful and emotional listen, this is one of the better songs on this compilation. Few talents can pull off a vocal delivery such as this one, and should go down into Rock music history for that. Mind you, the guitar solo here is really great, too and sounds very articulate. A passionate and very good listen, one for weddings and similar moments of appreciation. Excellent song from start to finish here.
Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees) is next, with a traditional counted intro, before going into a punchy piece with horns. It’s another good but lacking song here, and is probably worth skipping here. A shorter piece that sounds like it could have been bettered, it makes one ask why there are some really great moments on this compilation, and some major disappointments. This is one of the latter, sadly and it doesn’t really warrant listening here. Even the guitar solo doesn’t sound really exciting here. In any case, it’s passable, but not fantastic. Any sensible listener will wish to avoid this song, however. It ends quickly though.
Pink – The South Beach Mix is next, and begins with harmonica and a Country feel to this piece. Another relatively short song about the colour pink, it is a weird addition to this compilation. The overt raunchiness of this song is fairly dated, despite this piece being okay in terms of listenability. Some oddities are on this compilation for sure, and this is one of them. Perhaps whoever is in charge of releasing compilation albums (be it Aerosmith themselves or not) should pick a better selection of tracks. Still, it’s okay to hear, despite being directly about sexual lust. Interesting listen though.
The amazing I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing comes next, and is likely Aerosmith’s greatest song of all. It was recorded for the Armageddon movie starring Steve Tyler’s daughter, Liv Tyler. It begins with symphonic strings, beautiful piano and marching drums. It is a song about being madly in love with a lady, and is very touching. A truly great song and although it sounds like a Pop/Rock masterpiece, it conveys an undercurrent of sadness about it. Virtually everything about it is perfectly executed and is a truly great listen. If you are a romantic sort, this is going to be one of your favourites. Steve Tyler sings passionately here, and puts in an amazing performance, considering he wasn’t exactly young at the time of recording. Fantastic song, and worth many repeat listens. Brilliant song, and very near perfect. A must hear. Captivating.
After that is Jaded which begins with some thunderous drum beats, before going into a fairly average song. Nothing special about this song, and really only recommended for big fans of the band. It sounds quite honestly whinier than anything Nirvana ever did, which is an obvious way of putting it. At this point, one could probably press stop on this album and go and do something else, unless you are extremely determined to see it through. A bad mixture of musicality and sounds, this could have been trashed. Forgettable song.
Just Push Play – Radio Remix is weird, from the start. It is another bad song, and this is really bad for Aerosmith. Goodness knows what these guys were thinking recording this one, it sounds really awful and sounds like a poor marketing exercise for the group. Likely the worst track on this entire compilation, which says a lot. In any case, you don’t have to listen to it, and must be avoided totally to save your musical ear. Terrible, forget this song if you hear it at any point.
Walk This Way (feat. Aerosmith) is the collaboration effort between Aerosmith and Run D.M.C. It begins with a big drum beat, some DJ scratching and some excellent re-recorded riffs. It would make more sense to listen to this on a Run D.M.C. album where you can find it, but is interesting and different all the same. Probably better than the original, which is an interesting side note, it also is Hard Rock and Hip Hop meeting for one of the first occasions, and working well together. Sadly, collaborations these days are not as good, but this is a good one. Enjoyable and entertaining listening from both artists, clever and funky. The guitar solos are amazing and sound really top. Very good listen here, even if you consider it a butchered classic song. Great.
Next here is Girls Of Summer which begins with some electronic drum beats, chiming guitars and is a fairly average effort. Still, it is an okay listen, but lacks magic and is not really needed on this compilation. Still, it is a good piece but seems like Aerosmith were on lethargy making this one, or drugs for the matter. In any case, it’s okay but nothing special. A lot of sex talk is here, which could be off putting for some. Average stuff here.
The very last song on this compilation is Lay It Down which begins with eerie, movie styled sounds. A metal sounding drumbeat then enters, and Steve Tyler sings passionately, along with some good piano. This is actually fairly decent here, and ends this compilation fairly well. In any case, a nice ending to a mish-mash career retrospective that highlights the good (and bad) of Aerosmith. This is a good love song, although not as big as some of their other songs here. Good to finish this compilation off with. Intense song to listen to, and a nice finish to this compilation.
This compilation is a mixture of great songs, good songs and some plain awful songs. It is obviously designed for those who skip tracks easily, and was probably a case of put-this-out-or-else by record label management. Still, if you can sift through the chaff to find the golden grains of wheat here, so to speak, you will be pleasantly rewarded. As a double album overall, it could have been cut down to one disc and been a much better listen. Still, it is okay for what it is.
If you liked the article and would like to support the author in his musical review quest, please donate to show your support. Thank you for your consideration. Chris Airey