I wrote this one last year…
Not gonna’ change a thing…
Except the position it slipped 26…
We’re getting pretty close here, and a lot of the rest of the countdown is from Generation1, and Gen 2, save a few from 3. If you’re a fan of this band in the least, AND you’ve been paying attention, you might be able to guess some of what hasn’t appeared yet, and you might be right on some, but there’s still a few surprises left up my sleeve, like this one. I am a rocker at heart, but there are some melodies that just stay with you, some lyrics that just flow, some songs that make you appreciate where you are.
Gonna go back to ’88, 89, 93, 94 for this one. Nope not on Vacation. Nope not on Pump, not even South of Sanity. This song is so frickin’ good, and so AEROSMITH with Tyler’s lyrics, and music by Jim Valance. A power ballad that deserves a spot in the Top 50. And let’s face it, If Jim Valance brings you a song to put lyrics to, you should probably give a damn good effort. I strongly recommend anyone who is interested, to just Google this guy’s Discography. Simply amazing! He has written, or co-written songs for… well, everyone! Everyone from Juice Newton to Jett, to Ozzy, to Brian Addams, to Lil’ Wayne, to Paul Anka, to L.A. Guns, and The Scorpions.
Coming off the immense success of his collaborations with Aerosmith, and John Kalodner on ‘Vacation’, he was working on a few more for Aerosmith’s next album. It’s kind of funny, how time flies. Jim talks about recording the demos to this song at home, taping it on a “cassette” and “mailing” it to Steven. The funny thing is, this was way before MP3s and email wasn’t used much, and even if it was, it couldn’t handle the size of a file that music would have been saved on. This is gonna be completely lost on Generation 4….
Jim talks about Steven’s ease of putting lyrics to his music;
“Steven slid my tape into his Sony Walkman… Stop right there, and read that again; “His sony walkman”…
Anyway Jim continues;
“he put his headphones on, and went for a long walk on the treadmill in his basement, singing along with the tape the whole time. By the end of his “walk” he’d sketched out a melody for “The Other Side”… and the next day he worked on THIS song.”
When everyone involved got together to meet for song selections for ‘Pump’, the song was a MAJOR pick. Nobody “didn’t” like the song… except Mr. Kalodner!
With the success, and Midas Touch that John has in the business, he’s a difficult man to go head to head with on matters when creating an album that sells. And let’s face it, with that success and experience, and being the head of the label, it’s tough to win that argument, even if you are Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Jim Valance. John Kalodner is widely compared to Clive Davis, and some say even more knowledgeable and powerful. Being in part responsible for careers such as Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, AC/DC, Survivor, Genesis, Asia, Bon Jovi, Billy Idol, John Lennon, Cher, and of course, AEROSMITH!
The funny thing though, is that John actually really liked the song a lot, and wanted to put it on Pump. What he didn’t like, was the Title… He felt it was just more typical Tyler sexual innuendo. Whatever dude… But like Valance, Tyler didn’t budge. . But some arguments are just not winnable. John Kalodner stood his ground also … and pulled the song off the album!
Then in ‘93 Aerosmith was asked to do song for “Beavis and Butthead Experience” album. Jim says;
“For reasons I’ve never fully understood (perhaps they were in the middle of a tour?) Aerosmith decided not to record a new track. Instead, they simply added Steven’s vocal and Joe’s guitar to the demo I’d recorded in my home studio five years earlier (and some drum overdubs from Joey?), and they submitted it.”
The song was extremely successful as a single in ’94, going to the Top of the charts on Billboard for 4 straight weeks, and, reaching #25 in Canada. So, even the Mighty John Kalodner is wrong sometimes I guess. Then again, it might be the timing of the immensely popular Beavis & Butthead. But another funny thing is, it kind of gets lost on one of the most obscure records Aerosmith ever put out, “Big Ones”, which by the way is kind of an acronym for the title of the song… At least that’s what John Kalodner thought.
Big Ones being pretty much a compilation of Pop Hits, didn’t sell to Die Hard Aero fans, but the recent flood of female fans seemed to love it. However, they were also offended by the Title of the record. Strange how these things take place. These females love the dirty side of rock n roll from Aerosmith, and frankly get off on the lyrics and sexual gravity of their songs, but then get offended when it’s in print. These women fantasize about “The Bad Boys from Boston”, but then only want to hear the sugary sweet stuff, and get offended by some of their hardcore lyrics. A bit hypocritical and shallow if you ask me, but whatever… Either way, the album at least gave a theater for 2 previously unreleased songs, and this one which, only appeared on the B&B experience album.
So many interpretations of this song…
First there’s the thought that Steven’s lyrics are about being interested in, loving an under-age girl long before she was legal. Or perhaps it’s a memory of Diana Hall, because she actually was “Jailbait” (ref. No More, No More). As I’ve said before; I think songs and songwriters, for the most part leave it up to the listener, to interpret the song, the way they like. My interpretation is not some kind of obsession with young girls, but more like, the girl he’s singing to in the song is the girl he’s always wanted.
I have the opinion that Steven has had this idea of the woman he wants since he was young, therefore since she was young… I think a lot of guys out there will understand exactly what I’m talking about here. Hard to explain, but we’ve always had “her’ picture in our minds, since we were very, very young. Then, like the game of poker, the title of the song, and lyric, means that anything goes with this chick, and that you never know what’s coming, but that’s the coolest part. There’s always something new to look forward to, he still gets turned on by the adventure, and is just as comfortable in the kitchen. She satisfies his thirst, his hunger for a deeper level of salacious indulgences, by always keeping things fresh and new. She meets and exceeds his desire for excess. Isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that what we all wish for?
“Been lovin’ you since you was a child girl
‘Cause you an’ me is two of a kind…”
“Ahhh, like deja vu I feel like I been here
Or somewhere else but you been always near…”
The song is way too much of a love song to demoralize it with perversion. Aerosmith has always done the “Power Ballad”, probably better than most. This one is up there with the best of them. Maybe, because it reminds me of the most important woman in my life, with her “Big Brown Eyes”, because she and I “Are two of a kind”. Love is a deep thing, it transcends time, I think that’s what Steven is saying.
“My lover with no jet lag
We’re staying up all night in my sleeping bag
You got a heart beatin’ rhythm from the subterranean
I really love you little girl
I don’t need to explain…”
“And the moral of the story I can testify
I get stoned on you girl
That’s the best reason why…”