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Chet Atkins/Les Paul – Chester and Lester

(Warning: another phoned in post that shouldn’t reflect on the amazingness of the record being discussed.)

So, I’m not sure where this is going to go today. I’ve drunk half of my coffee, and yet the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet. So I’m just sort of sitting here staring at the screen wondering what I’m going to say about this record. That record being Chet Atkins and Les Paul’s 1976 collaboration ‘Chester and Lester’. I fantastic record featuring two world class guitarists. You don’t get much better than these two guys.

As I mentioned yesterday, I wasn’t much of a Chet Atkins fan most of my life. I was aware that he was an amazing guitarist in his field. But as you know, I’ve identified as a metal head and classic rock fan most my life. I recognize great players when I heard them, but I just didn’t spend much time with bluegrass and country most my life. Therefore, Chet Atkins has remained in my periphery most my life. Les Paul has a similar story for me. I first heard of him in 1988 or 1989 when HBO did a special on him. It showcased Paul jamming with many contemporary guitarists and was mind blowing to a 14 year Dave. But aside from that I never pursued his music. But I alway held both guitarists in high regard, even if I didn’t listen to their music.

I first became aware of this record existence in 2010 or 2011 when I first started subscribing to Netflix. There was this excellent documentary on Les Paul and they mentioned this record. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.

According to Chet Atkins, he had convinced Les Paul to come out of retirement to do this one record with him. So Les traveled to wherever the studio was and the two of them with the band set up and did a full day of rehearsals, which were recorded. At the end of the day, Les announced he was going home and whatever they had recorded that day was the record.

The result being a loose laid back record with a bit of banter between Atkins and Paul. It sounds more like a jam session than a recording session, what it essentially is. You can tell the two of them were having fun playing together. Throughout the songs the two guitarist are cracking jokes, teasing each other while trading guitar licks. In between songs you can hear the musicians laughing. I imagine this was a fun day in the studio for everyone one involved.

So that is it for this record. As I’ve said, I’m not feeling this whole writing thing this morning. I’m test driving Google docs this month to see whether I want to renew my subscription to Microsoft Office or not. If I can get everything I need out of Google docs, I might just stick with that. Anyway, I mention it because there is a plugin in Docs that analyzes your document and helps you fix your grammar and sentence structures. It also rates how readable and at what grade level your writing is. According to GradeProofs metrics, this document is at a 64% readability percentage and is written at 8th grade level. So it’s not my best effort.

I’ll leave you with that.

Chet Atkins – Pick on Jerry Reed

That moment when you realize that the last record you played was at 45 RPM and the one you just threw on is 33 RPM, Oops! That happens to me quite a bit, there is one artist who I listen to fairly often, whose record bounces between 33 and 45 and I always forget to switch it back after changing records. So, when I threw on today’s record, ‘Chet Atkins Pick on Jerry Reed’ it sounded all crazy, but still kind of cool.

 

You know what it sounded like? Have you ever listened to early Les Paul records when he first developed his sound on sound technology? If you haven’t you should check it out (I’ll try and see if I can some videos to link to). Anyway, Les Paul was possibly the first musician to develop sound on sound recording, and the first to really experiment with it, layering tons and tons of guitars on top of each other.  Some of the early experiments he’d toy with a pitch, recording parts at different speeds, faster and slower, and when he played back at normal speed, some of the guitar parts sounded really fast and hi pitched. Anyway, that is what today’s record sounded like when I first started playing it before I figured out I was playing at the wrong speed.

 

So, as you may have guessed, I’m sort of just bullshitting my way throw today’s review because I really don’t have much to say about this record. That’s not to say I don’t like it, barely know it, or that it’s not any good. I really like, listen to somewhat frequently, and I think it’s really good. I just don’t have a big discovery story with it, and it wasn’t a major soundtrack of my life. It’s just a record I own and throw on time to time when I’m looking for something different to listen to.

 

In fact, I’m not sure when or where I bought this copy I’m listening to right now. Well I can ballpark when, somewhere in early 2013, but I have no idea where I picked it up. If memory serves me correctly I bought this record early in my vinyl collecting days, which started around spring of 2013 (I think). But I can’t nail it down beyond that. I’m not sure if I bought from this guy Phil’s who ran a store in his garage, off of my friend Rick, or at one of the shops in Antique World, which is usually where most of those early purchases were made. All I can tell you is I have it now.

 

In fact, I’m not even sure why I decided to buy it. Though I like finger picking guitar style, it’s never been very high on my list of favorite genres. Same with Chet Atkins, I have always been aware that he was a guitar god from the 70’s in the country/bluegrass world. But I never went out of my way to really dig into his music. In fact, this is the first of two records I own by him, and the only two I have ever listened to.  So, I’m not sure what prompted me to buy it.

 

If I were to guess on why I bought this record, I would base in this weird desire I had for a long time where I thought I wanted to own as much music in as many different genres’s as possible, so as to have the perfect music on hand for whatever situation I ever happen to be in. Though I have always been a fan of many different types of music, and feel I’m open minded about music in general, I believe this desire to have a wide variety of music stems from my days of being a sound guy at the Z Lounge back in the mid 2000’s. I sort of prided myself on being able to pull up any record on my iPod that would fit what style music was playing that night.

 

After I left that job I still wanted to have a wide variety of music on my iPod, one to make shuffles interesting, and two, to be able to play something for every situation. I had it in my head that somehow, I was going to be hosting parties or get together, and I would want to be able to provide fitting music that would please as wide of range of people’s tastes as possible. And when I started collecting records, I carried on that practice.

 

But here’s the thing, I never host any parties what’s so ever. Out of the small group of friends I was hanging out and collecting records with in New York, I was the only one that didn’t have nights where we gathered at my place and played my records. I was living with my parents at the time, I lived about 30 miles away from everyone, and it just never was a convenient place to gather. So, it never happened.

 

And as far as shuffling playlist goes, I never do that anymore. For the most part when I’m walking or driving around with my iPod, I’m listening to podcasts most the time. The only time I play music on my iPod is when I’m reading or when I’m writing a review and I’m not playing the vinyl. So, the idea that I want a wide range of music on my iPod for interesting shuffles and entertaining others doesn’t apply to me anymore.

 

All that said though, even though I’m not sure why I bought this record, I’m glad I did, because I do really like it. I may not play it all the time, but occasionally I get in a mood and throw it on. And I’m always glad when I do. Take that for whatever it is.

 
 
So I have already covered this record in a previous series, and going back and reading it says pretty much everything I wanted to say, so once again I’m just going to reprint as is, and add a little more commentary afterward.
(Original Post)
“Next up we have 1991’s ‘Attack of the Killer ‘B’s’. Though it was sold and marketed as an EP, it’s pretty much a full-length collection of B-sides, singles, covers, live takes and random unreleased stuff that supposedly was never intended for release. It’s somewhat of an oddball release by the band, and though one of my favorite records from them, it’s not really considered a classic release by most fans.
 
I seem to remember a lot of people dismissing this album because it was just another record of their “rap shit”. At least that is how almost everyone I knew at the time put it, and a lot of people since then have said the same thing to me. I suppose it’s somewhat understandable because the first and only single off it was their cover of Public Enemy’s ‘Bring the Noise’. But when you take a closer look at this EP you’ll see there are only two rap songs on it, ‘Bring the Noise’ and a redo of their own ‘I’m The Man’, and that’s it, aside from that it’s mostly bad ass covers of cool tunes, incredible live version of songs from ‘Persistence of Time’ and a goofy ballad. Truth be told most of the material on this record, is way heavier than some of their most recent records.
 
I must admit I sort of fell into that same camp for a while there. After falling in love with the band upon hearing ‘Among the Living’ I sort lost interest in the band after ‘State of Euphoria’ came out, and lost, even more, respect for them when ‘Persistence of Time came out. Both of those records I felt were weak and simply didn’t care for what they were doing anymore. I mean I still liked the old stuff, but sort of felt that they “jumped the shark” at this point. And I’ll admit, I wasn’t impressed with the Public Enemy cover (even though I never bothered to listen to it). But for whatever reason, I decided to pick this tape up and give it a chance. I think it was because the song ‘Starting Up a Pose’ was causing so much controversy and there were pressing where it was excluded, so when I saw it with that song, I picked it up, because I thought it was going to be a collector’s item someday.
 
I’m so glad I made that decision because it ended being my favorite Anthrax release for a long time. I was immediately won over with the opening track ‘Milk’, an S.O.D., cover that’s a thousand time heavier than anything they’d ever done before. After hearing ‘Bring the Noise’ I loved that too. In fact, I loved every song on this EP, every cover, every live original, the rap songs, and even the goofy ballad at the end, the whole tape was great beginning to end. For many years, it was my favorite album by them after ‘Among the Living’ and ‘Spreading the Disease’. Though I don’t hold it as quite high anymore, I still like it a lot more than ‘State of Euphoria’ and ‘Persistence of Time’.
 
Again picking highlights is difficult, but I’ll go with the above mentioned ‘Milk’, the live version of ‘Keep it In the Family’ and the Venture cover ‘Pipeline’. But to be honest the whole thing is great. The only song I say that doesn’t hold up for me anymore is the ‘I’m The Man’ remake, but I’ll say that song is worth a listen just for Charlie Benante’s drums. And since it happens to be playing at the moment, I have to throw ‘Starting Up a Pose’ in there, but I must warn you, if you’re easily offended, then you definitely need to hear it and get off your liberal PC high horse and learn to take a joke and pay attention to the message, because actually, that song does carry an important message, they just do it in a fairly offensive manner, which makes it awesome.”
 
So yeah, that’s ‘Attack of the Killer B’s’. As I stated before, I pretty much said everything I wanted to say about in the original post, but there were a couple of things I wanted to add. Mainly that this was the last new record I bought by Anthrax for nearly a decade or more. This release would be the final album to contain the classic line-up and sound. With the next record ‘The Sound of White Noise’ found the band completely reinventing their sound and switching vocalist. Even though in theory I should have embraced this new sound, saying it was a lot closer to the styles of music I was discovering and enjoying than their previous work. I just wasn’t interested in what they were doing, and wouldn’t be for another ten years when. It took working one of their shows in 2003 to rekindle my love of the band. The first CD I bought after that show was ‘Attack of The Killer B’s’. Within a few years, I would pretty much own almost everything the band ever put out, including live records and “best of” compilations. If I found it used and cheap, I bought it. Over the years, I would trim that back a bit, but not by much. As I stated in the ‘Fistful of Metal’ post I still own 17 CD’s and record by the band. So even though I forgot about this band for a decade, once I rediscovered them, they ended up very high in my all-time favorite bands list and will probably remain there for many years to come.
 
P.S.
So, I have one last little anecdote to share before signing off. I couldn’t find a way to insert this in the rest of the post, so I threw it at the end. Anyway, though it would be months after its release before I heard this record, I first became aware of it being out when my friend Rick mentioned that it came out while we were heading to Darien Lake to the Clash of the Titans show. The legendary thrash tour of the early 90’s featuring Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer, with then completely unknown band Alice in Chains opening. It was that show that would redeem Anthrax in my mind as being a great live band. Though Slayer’s set was epic beyond description, Anthrax was by far the tightest band that night. I was completely blown away with how awesome they really were.
The story I want to tell happened during Anthrax’s set. For whatever reason, the venue was selling all beverages in large souvenir plastic cups with plastic caps and bendy straws. Though at a normal show that probably wouldn’t have been a concern. But for a crowd of thousands of metal heads with three of the heaviest bands in metal on stage, it might not have been the best decision. All throughout Anthrax’s set people were throwing those cups all over the place, and at one point Joey Belladonna asked the crowd to stop throwing them toward the stage because with the lights on their face they couldn’t see them coming. Two songs later, during the intro to ‘I am The Law’, I saw someone holding one of those cups by the straw and start swinging around. Next thing I know I see them let it fly right toward the stage. I watch as this cup flew across the stage, bounce off one of Charlie Benante’s cymbals and hit him in the head, just as the Joey belladonna was about to sing the first line. Benante immediately stopped playing and walked off the stage. With that, the whole band just stopped and Joey went off on the crowd for a few minutes motherfucking everyone. A minute later Charlie came back out, agreed to continue, Joey counted off and the band picked up on the exact note they stopped on. It was one of those funny, not funny moments.
 
Since then I have worked with the band a few times and have been tempted to ask Charlie whether he remembers that moment. But I usually chicken out; one because stage crew bothering band members is unprofessional and frowned upon, two being what would he say really? “Yeah that sucked, I was pissed”, it’s not much else to say beyond that.

Anthrax – Among the Living

(So, I covered this record last year, and due to my laziness, I’m just going to repost that review with a few edits. Funny thing is, even though the original post was written over a year ago, the first paragraph applies today. I am currently doing laundry and plan on going out later, so it’s almost as if I wrote it today.)

It is a dreary day out there, but I’ve got some laundry rocking and plans later today that resemble having a social life and Anthrax’s ‘Among the Living’ to crank out, so I’m good with today so far.

‘Among the Living’ and by extension Anthrax for all intents and purposes was my introduction to thrash metal. I was 13 yrs old and in 7th grade when my neighbor got a hold of this tape. I had heard of the band before, and I think I even had heard the song ‘Madhouse’ from ‘Spreading the Disease’ earlier that summer, but it was this tape that truly exposed me to the band and a new form of heavy metal. At the time, I had never heard the phrase thrash metal, and was vaguely familiar with the term speed metal, and was already listening to Helloween at this point, but for the most part, it was all new to me. I can’t say that I really notice a huge difference in Anthrax’s style of metal compared to the heavy metal I was already familiar with. Sure, it was heavier than AC/DC or W.A.S.P., but to my 13-yr. self, it was just new music for me to get into and absorb and enjoy, and I really liked it from the first listen.

I seriously remember the day I first heard this record as if it was yesterday. It was Friday night and as was my habit at the time, I headed over to my neighbor Chuck house down to hang out and do whatever a couple of country bumpkins might do on a Friday night. We were still just young enough, or I was at least, where we weren’t into all the bad things teenagers do just yet, (those days were numbered though  ). Anyway, we’re hanging out in Chuck’s room and he pulls out this tape he borrowed from a friend at school and asked me if I wanted to listen to it. Of course, I said yes and he played it for me. I remember thinking “wow, this is cool”. It was really heavy, but the singer could sing, and they had really good and catchy vocal melodies and I totally ate it up. Plus, the music was so freakin’ cool. I remember reading along with the lyrics and really being caught in Joey Belladonna’s vocal melodies for the pre-choruses on ‘I Am the Law’ and ‘NFL’. Plus, it didn’t hurt they dropped the ‘F’ bomb left and right. That really wasn’t as common for me at the time, so it was crazy to hear it on a record.

Like I said I didn’t really process that this was a different sub-genre of heavy metal initially, I noticed it was different and heavier than what I was used to, I had just gotten out of my KISS obsession for christ sake, so yeah it was heavier than most of the music I was listening to at the time. But it took Chuck to say “I guess you call these guys speed metal” where it sort of clicked for me, this is something new, this is something different. Now, of course, this is 42 yr old me evaluating 13 yr me, and I assure you I did not have anywhere near as deep thoughts about the band at the time. But by being exposed to this record that night, a seed was planted in me that would dictate my taste in music in the months and years ahead. I never really thought about it until right now while I’m writing this, but you could argue that ‘Among the Living’ was possibly the most influential record for me when it comes to my musical taste of the last 27 years. Because after hearing that album, I started to dig into other speed and thrash metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond and so on and so forth. My love of thrash metal really did start that night with this record. We can’t know for sure, but if it wasn’t for this record being my first exposure to thrash metal, I may not have been as receptive to those other bands I discovered later that school year.

For the most part, pretty much every metal head knows Anthrax and this record. For many of the diehards, it’s considered to be the bands best record and is a favorite for many fans. I fall into that camp for all the reasons I just wrote about, but even if I had heard ‘Spreading the Disease’ or ‘State of Euphoria’ first, I’d probably still site this record as my favorite Anthrax record because there is so much good music on here. Four of the five songs on side one they still play at every show. The opening song on side two ‘Indians’ also still gets played at every show, and they have been known to throw any of the remaining songs into their sets throughout the years. If I were to go see them tomorrow, there is not a single song on this record that I would mad at if they played it. It’s such a strong record.

So yeah if you have not heard this record before, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a great beginning to end. And in the end if you decide you don’t like it, Anthrax is not for you, which is ok, I guess. I mean you’re wrong, but whatever.

Even better go see them live, even if you don’t like metal, you can’t help but be impressed with the energy of this band. They’re one of the most entertaining bands I have ever seen live. They are the real deal.

Anthrax – Armed and Dangerous

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to run to work a few hours earlier than expected this morning. Therefore, I didn’t get a chance to bang out a quick review before leaving the apartment like I wanted to. Now that I’m home and showered, I really don’t have the energy to or the mental capacity to try and write one now, so I’m just going to steal from the post I wrote last year. I admit the original post wasn’t my best effort and probably should be rewritten. But I just spent an afternoon gutting a piano and have no energy for anything. Plus, I have about 700 – 800 more records and CD’s to review in this series, so we got to keep this train rolling, for better or worse.

 

‘Armed and Dangerous’ came out in 1985 to introduce fans to vocalist Joey Belladonna, who just replaced original vocalist Neil Turbin. It’s a short five song EP that features new material, a cover song, and some live stuff. I first came across this record back in high school when it was reissued on CD with two bonus demo tracks. I believe I was in 10th grade at the time, which would mean I was 16 yrs old. I had been listening to Anthrax for years and was already familiar with what they had to offer. Now to be honest I’m not sure exactly where I put them on my top 20 list at the time. I really liked them obviously, but I think for the most part I sort of moved on from Anthrax, but still liked them enough to pick up random stuff when I came across it. Therefore, I picked this record up and from what I can remember, I liked this CD when I got it. I always liked the song ‘Armed and Dangerous’ and I seem to remember liking their cover of the Sex Pistols ‘God Save the Queen’, aside from that I don’t remember anything else from this EP or that time. I mean I know I liked it, but the rest of the CD didn’t leave much of an impression on me. But I do seem to remember not liking the two bonus tracks, which I believe are demo versions of songs with Neil Turbin singing. It’s those two songs which prevented me from checking out ‘Fistful of Metal’ until I was in my 30’s, but we’ll save that story for when we get to that record. (Actually, I explained that yesterday in the ‘Fistful of Metal’ review.)

 

I will say this, though; I really like every song on this collection now a lot. It seems to be the older I get the more I like early thrash metal, even more than when I was 15 yrs old. With it only being 5 songs long, it seems sort of pointless to pick two or three songs as highlights. But for the sake of consistency I’ll go with the title track, ‘God Save The Queen’ and ‘Metal Thrashing Mad’. But for real if you’re going to bother sampling this record, just listen to the whole thing, it’s not very long.

Annihilator – Alice in Hell

Today I’m revisiting Annihilators debut classic, ‘Alice in Hell’. I say revisit because I have already written two different reviews for this record, once in the original series in 2013, and another one about 15 months ago, in one of the several failed attempts at a reboot. Rather than trying to come up with even more bullshit to say about this record, I’m just going to repost the second review, which was really a re-write of the first. So, enjoy…again…

I first heard of Annihilator back in 1989 when I was in 8th grade when I saw an advertisement for this record on a back of a metal magazine claiming them to be “Canada’s answer to Metallica” or something to that effect. Though I was a huge Metallica geek at the time, that byline did nothing to make me want to check this band out. I found it a bit insulting to make such a comparison. Even the 14 yr old clueless stoner that I was felt there was something contrive by such a statement, though there would have been no why I could have articulated that to you at the time. Anyway some time further down the road, maybe a month or so later I saw the video for ‘Alison Hell’ and though I wasn’t completely won over at the time, a few of my friends were, and they picked up the CD and or cassette, and I heard the record quite a bit through them, and I really liked it, though I can’t say it was a favorite album of mine, it was still something cool that only my friends and me were into, which elevated it somewhat in my head. But to be honest I think I like this record more now than I did back then.

The thing I think that stood out to me the most about Annihilator back then and even now is that musicianship of the band is amazing, even more so when you realized that this album is all just one guy playing all the guitar and bass parts, Jeff Waters, one of the most underrated and unknown guitarists to come out of the 80’s. The precision that this man plays his rhythms and solos with is incredible. All for a guy that is self-taught, and can’t read a bit of music, and doesn’t know music theory at all. You’d never know it listening to this record. Plus, the production of this record is fantastic. Its sound stands up even by today’s standards, not something that can be said about many other thrash titles of the day, even by the more “popular” bands.

The unfortunate thing about Annihilator was that they came out just a little too late. They sort of caught the tail end of the whole thrash metal golden era, and like almost all metal bands at the time were rendered completely irrelevant when the whole grunge/alternative thing swept through the country. (In my opinion, the worst thing that ever happened to music, but that’s a different post). I think if these guys could have gotten a record out a little bit earlier, and had a little better luck, they would have fared better throughout the 90’s. As it turned out though they pretty much disappeared into obscurity, at least in the US, and never really made their mark in metal history. This is a shame because they were a good enough band that they deserved to better known. But to their and particularly to Jeff Waters credit, they never broke up and have continued to put out music steadily over the last 25 years, and have something like 15 albums out. Not bad for a band that you never heard of.

I’ll wrap this up with a little biographical note; the first club show I ever went to was at the Skyroom in the fall of 1989. The show was Testament ‘Practice What You Preach’ tour, with Wrathchild America (another great band you never heard of) and Annihilator (Alice in Hell Tour). It was awesome! Looking back on that show 25 years later, I think Annihilator put on the best set that night. They sounded the closest to the CD than the other two bands. But to be fair, both Testament and Wrathchild America were quite awesome that night too. But I was 15 yrs old and had only been to a few concerts and it was my first club show, and it was 25 yrs ago and all three bands could have sucked and I wouldn’t have known the difference. But I don’t think that was the case.

So to wrap this up I’ll just say if you love thrash metal, but aren’t familiar with this band, you should do yourself a favor and check out this record, you won’t be disappointed.

Aerosmith – Draw the Line

Today we wrap up the Aerosmith section of my collection with their 1977 effort ‘Draw the Line’. Again, I have the exact same thing so say about ‘Draw the Line’ as I did about ‘Rocks’ and ‘Toys in The Attic’. They’re great records with a few songs that have been a little overplayed, but the non-radio songs are stronger than most of the hits. Highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t heard it. (I am well that with most records I cover, if you had an interest in the band, then you are probably already familiar with all the music on it, I just needed a concluding sentence for that paragraph, and that’s the best I could come up with.)

 

Last night I was working on photographing and editing various covers for this project, I try to do at least 10 or 15 a day. While I was doing that, I played all four of my Aerosmith records back to back for the hell of it. I concluded that ‘Rocks’ and ‘Draw the Line’ are my favorites of the four. I think I like the both equally, with ‘Toys in The Attic’ just behind them. ‘Get Your Wings’ is good too, but they weren’t quite there yet. (Though one of my favorite Aerosmith songs, ‘Spaced’ comes from GYW.)

 

It seems it took them about three albums to truly get their groove, and from there they maintained it for at least a three-record stretch. My buddy Nick has a theory that any band that can put out three killer records in a row, usually established themselves of a classic band or something to that effect. I must say Aerosmith achieved that with ‘Toys in the Attic’, ‘Rocks’, and ‘Draw the Line’. (I really can’t comment on any of the records that came afterward, because I don’t own them and aren’t familiar with them.) If the band were to have broken up after these three records they would probably still be considered one of the greatest hard rock bands from the 1970’s.

 

The fact that they managed to survive the 1970’s and carry on until the 21st century is an amazingly impressive feat. And when I say survive, I don’t only mean their career. It’s well established that at one point they nearly drank themselves to death. So, the fact they could sober up, revive their career in the late 80’s, and keep it going for another 20 years is unheard of. I may not like anything they did in the last 27 years…Holy fuck I just realized ‘Permanent Vacation’ will be 30 years old this year!!! FUCK I’m old…Anyway, where was I? Oh Yeah, I may not like anything they’ve done in the last 27 years, But I can’t deny that they were very successful and managed to grow their audience to span several generations of music lovers. And it’s not how bands like them, Journey and even Metallica are now. Where people come to their shows because they’re a classic band and it’s just a thing to do and nobody cares about their current records. No from 1987 to at least 1997 Aerosmith were putting out new records that were selling insanely well and had a shit ton of hits on each one. They were just as relevant in the 1990’s as they were in the 1970’s. I can’t think of another band that can claim that.

 

Another thing I noticed during last night’s spins was that Aerosmith’s fondness for overproduced and overblown ballads did not start in the late 80’s as I always thought it did. It seemed to me through the 90’s Aerosmith keep rewriting and releasing the song ‘Angel’ from ‘Permanent Vacation’ repeatedly. What I realized was it wasn’t ‘Angel’ they were rewriting, no it was actually ‘Seasons of the Whither’ from 1975’s ‘Get Your Wings’. It seems it was with ‘Seasons’ that they stumbled across that formula of ballad writing and they somehow managed to milk that formula for the next 40 odd years with at one imitation of it after another on every album ever since. Hey if ain’t broke, don’t fix it…I guess.

 

And finally, after hearing all these early Aerosmith records over the last week,  I realized that the 80’s hard rock and hair metal scene got its start with this band. Particularly Guns N Roses. Though GNR were their own band with their own sound, they were working off the template that Aerosmith created a decade earlier. When you consider this, it only makes sense that it would have been in the late 80’s that Aerosmith could make such a killer comeback and remain on the scene when all the other 80’s hair metal bands disappeared.

 

So, to sum this all up, Aerosmith was and is a great band, whose legendary status was earned back in the 1970’s. Whether you like them or not, you can’t deny their success and claim they didn’t work for it. They deserve their place as a pillar in the Pantheon of Rock N Roll. That said, radio has totally killed them for me and I probably won’t listen to these records anytime soon.