Number 96 – All the Way From Taj Mahal… Baby It’s No Surprise

Up 3 spots from last year, so that says something… right?

Most of this was written last year, but edited for any new feelings, or take on it.

Like Aerosmith has been for me since day one, often times when a new song or new album comes out, it takes me a bit to warm up to it…. Wait…that’s not entirely true, because the very first time I heard “Movin’ Out”, “One Way Street”, “Somebody”, and “Make It” I was fucking hooked!! And then there were, S.O.S., and Round and Round, and… Wait… what’s my point? Continue reading Number 96 – All the Way From Taj Mahal… Baby It’s No Surprise

Number 92 – No Apprehension, to Give my Attention to a Song Ready to Receive a Pension

Some songs make onto lists like these, even though, in my opinion, they probably shouldn’t make it.. At least not anymore anyway. Some songs should probably just fade away into retirement, ride off into the sunset… You know, like that old Cowboy from days of old…. Maybe just bring it out once in a great while for a special live event. Or maybe hand it off to a newer group trying to find their way. I mean after all, that’s how this 1 got here in the first place. Continue reading Number 92 – No Apprehension, to Give my Attention to a Song Ready to Receive a Pension

Number 89 – What a mess! What a “Hot Fucking Mess”!

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Like Liquid Sugar… Pour It On!

And this is an awesome spot for it!

I’m not gonna put much down on this, just because of the time of day, but damn if this don’t deserve a spot. Maybe for nothin’ more than “another” defining Aerosmith song! This song is all about “sliding’, and ‘slipping”, and “moaning” ‘licks”… on guitars…

Where was your head goin’? Ah ha!!!! And of course, that signature IN YOUR FACE sexual innuendo to the “Umpth” degree!

Can’t believe anyone could ever leave this one out of a list like this. Maybe it was an Honorable Mention once, but with my personality… This one should be obvious…

Let’s go back to before the split…

Let’s go back to 1979. Let’s go back to High School… You knew her! I knew her… And I did everything I could to know her better, ‘deeper”. A few come to mind with this song, but I’ll just remember back to Kelly Fleer (the name is changed to protect the guilty)… Man O’ Man what a blast that girl was!!! And so very dangerous too….  Even at the very young age of what, 15? My kinda girl! At least for few months…

I met Kelly my senior year in high school, Santa Rosa, CA 1979, I think… Not even sure how, or when I met her, but it’s certain I’ll never forget her. Maybe it was one of the many parties I had at my apartment, which I shared with Mitch and Kenny and Kenny’s bullshit-bitch girlfriend, back then. Yeah, I was in High school and lived on my own. Not sure that was ever the right way to grow up, but there were plenty of things that were right about it. And Kelly was one of them. Continue reading Number 89 – What a mess! What a “Hot Fucking Mess”!

Number 86 – Are You Payin’, or Are You Chargin’? Or Are You Just Rakin’ in The Profits?

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Depends on your P.O.V. I guess, but If you know what the song’s about you might just change your opinion…

Here we have another “last choice” of songs to make it onto vinyl.

This one’s from their first 2nd chance.

You spend enough time in “Hell’s Kitchen”, or San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, you’re bound to take in some of the sights. Steven has never hidden his affection for the seedy side of life. Seedy in some people’s eyes, savory in others. Like I said, it depends on your POV. Steven has always been kindred to the hookers who give a lot, but don’t ask for much. Maybe because of the real time he’s spent with those trying to survive, he gets their plight without judgment. I’m not sure my opinions differ much either. I mean for a large part of my life, it seemed like just as honorable a profession as so many others who might wear a suit and tie, or even a uniform and a badge. Continue reading Number 86 – Are You Payin’, or Are You Chargin’? Or Are You Just Rakin’ in The Profits?

Number 85 – Fun While It Lasted, But I’m Kinda’ Hopin’, Were Past It…

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Son, you’re at ‘No’ right now, it can’t get any worse, but just imagine where it could go from there…”

There’s only a couple reasons why I have this one higher than “Thighs”, and none of them are because I think it’s a better song. Some of the reasons may have to do with what this song did for the band, or any of the other reasons might be because there’s no way it can be misinterpreted. Maybe because of the raunchy sophomoric style in which it’s written but, make no mistake about it, this is the real deal.

Any guy out there that has a past, worth writing about, even if it should never be published, or even if it won’t be read by anyone, knows this story… Maybe not the same exact details, but it might not necessarily be the elevator… It could have been the restaurant, the theater, the city park… Now of course, there’s has to be a girl, a woman, or ‘women’ that were ready, willing, and able to play the part. I mean it really does help. And “thank god for her!” the trick is finding that girl, and then knowing she’s all for it, and then some… Timing is everything… Continue reading Number 85 – Fun While It Lasted, But I’m Kinda’ Hopin’, Were Past It…

NUMBER 84 – How Much Are You Willing to Give?

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Went lookin’ the hive
And all I found was something a bit contrived,
But in my opinion, worth the drive

Stay with me here…

I had a hard time with 84… I looked deep, for something that fits. There aren’t many velvet gloves at this end of the hit list. I thought about “Wham Bam”, but speaking of contrived… Then I thought more… and in order to be me, as contrary as my personality is at times, I thought it’s best to be real, more than obscure… Not that obscurity isn’t known to me, or these guys. We both know the term, and do our best to stay away from it. So rather than pull an “out-take” like “Ain’t Enough”, I thought this might be a good spot for a change of pace like “Painted On My Heart”. Besides, I really do like the song more than most of what’s below it…

We all, remember our 1st kiss, at 9 years old… or 16, or 32 whatever works for you. But my point is, even if the 1st kiss you got was with your 12th boyfriend or 1st girlfriend, it’s a kiss that leaves a mark. Sometimes it’s a good mark, sometimes it’s a bad mark, but the good or bad isn’t the point. The point is that, there are people throughout our lives that make an impression. An impression that we look back on, and wonder what course might have been taken, if we had never met her, or him. Or, what course would life have taken if they were the last one, and even better yet, when they are the last one… I think Kary can relate to that last thought.

This one is difficult to write, because undoubtedly, it will create a sense of wonder for many. It’s not meant, for me at least, to be as melancholy as the song actually is. I decided to look at it from a different view. To hear it in the sense that nothing invested is ever wasted. At this stage of my life, I try to look at life’s loves as part of the ‘Handbook”. To look at them, as the very make up of who we are. Some people get hurt by past relationships, I try my best, as my daughter Cristina and I have talked often, to have a different thought… That is to be proud of how far you were willing to go, how much you were willing to give, and what someone was willing to give you. And with that, to welcome where you currently are. To hold onto that, if nothing else…

We all look back, we all wonder… And we all smile. The comfort is in knowing, and giving your love to the one you’ve chosen. And if you’ve chosen not to love again, then do it with the pride that it was your decision to make, but in no way regret where you were capable of going. Without that courage, what would you know?

Aerosmith recorded a version of the song for the movie Gone In 60 Seconds. There haven’t been many full out-take sessions that have been either released or discovered, or bootlegged from these guys. There’s been a ton of fakes, but only a few of the real thing. This one was released from the 2002 Maui sessions for the movie, along with “Oxygen”, which isn’t bad either, but maybe just a bit too much “Girls Of Summer:” I guess the producer wasn’t sold on the band’s effort. Not saying it was a mistake, just sayin’…. Whatever, they didn’t write it anyway. This was another Diane Warren, tear puller. So, with all of that said, I can’t get totally behind a song that the band never got totally behind. Besides doesn’t Miss Warren already get enough attention?

Fuck it, after all that, let’s go get another #84!!! I just can’t do “Painted on my Heart” here…

I can’t find much on this one, so I’m just gonna’ “Let The Music Do The Talkin’”
I love the feel…

I’d like to say; the 1st time I heard this was “Day on The Green” in Oakland, CA in 1978, but I couldn’t even remember my name that day… so let’s just go with Pandora’s Box, and to be honest, it wasn’t my “thang” when I did hear it. At least not for awhile, but being the “seasoned” fan that I am, and a life long Blue Army Soldier, Sometimes you have to let it bleed in. I get it. This is just who they are in their blood. It’s where they came from.

First recorded by Otis Rush in ’58 as one of those early Chicago Blues records, it lives on with true Blues musicians like John Mayhall & The Bluesbreakers, which of course Joe, Brad, and Steven give their hearts, and yes… their souls too.

The original, Otis Rush version actually has, of all people, Ike Turner as the 2nd guitarist… hmph, imagine that! And then, one of their idols, especially Joe… Peter Green says a lot of his influences came from this song, and used the same groove to write the classic “Black Magic Woman

Gary Moore, and Stevie Ray Vaughn are two of the better performers I’ve heard do this one, and this may not be the best version of the song I’ve ever heard, but I like it right here at 84. I like that Aerosmith knows who they are, and where they came from… this is the “tete” they were weened on?

Anyway back to this one… I hope you like it. I believe that the loves of our lives, are the bricks that built the houses that hold our hearts now.

Went lookin’ the hive
And all I found was something a bit contrived,
But in my opinion, worth the drive

Hope you like it
This is “All Your Lovin’

 

 

Number 83 – Maybe He Already Came Back and No One Noticed

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Trippy song here… Great lick by Brad! “bout time it’s get some play, right? Brad told Rolling Stone that he’d been playing with it for a bout 15 years or so. He says he picked it up playing with the guys from the Jimmy Hendrix Experience, and tried to emulate the great Albert King’s style of blues play… I think he did a great job! Love the licks in this song. You can also hear kind of a “borrow” from Toys within. The band even recorded the lick as a demo, and jammed with it quite a few times over those years, but it just never found a home… At least until the session for MFAD were underway… Continue reading Number 83 – Maybe He Already Came Back and No One Noticed

Number 82 – Do You Wanna’ Just Breathe, or do You Wanna’ Live?

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The song is old now…

It’s been put away on the shelf collecting dust. Once an avenue in so many ways, for so many, including the band. The video at this point in time is a little hokie, and we have moved so far away from the over indulgences of 80’s, the “Whatever you do, do a lot” years. The meanings have faded quite a bit, but as old as I am, I will give this one a spot in the “80’s”, if for no other reason, than what it once meant to so many…

Some will say; this is a typical Aerosmith ballad. Me, I’m gonna give it a different label… A bit loftier than the word “typical”, for many different reasons among the listeners, then again, I’m sure, many the same.

I say it’s a classic, for a few different reasons. The first one is obvious; “Hey Generation number 2!!! Let me introduce you to America’s favorite rock band!!!”

This song was a big part of the beginning of a 2nd life for this band. A whole new generation discovered them. Hell, even that generation has kids now being introduced to them because their mom and/or dad rediscovered the guys via this song. This could very well be a lot of that 2nd generation’s “Dream On”, per se’…

Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I’m sure you get my point….

The band was on there last breath when this song came out. With Hangman (in ’87) being the only song off the album to reach into the Billboard Hot 100. They had great success with “Dude” and “Rag Doll” on the Rock Charts, but still weren’t quite cracking the glass ceiling. Then with the release of this song, as a single in ’88 they got a whiff, and a taste of the pie, reaching farther up the charts than any other song they’d previously recorded. Even farther than “Dream On”, although similar in such a way, that neither song is hardly representative of exactly who these guys are at their core.

None-the less, this band knows how to do a Rock Ballad, enough so that millions of fans would come to recognize them for these types of songs. The songs with just enough guitar to call them Rock n Roll, just enough expanded vocals to keep them on hard rock stations, but enough… well, for lack of a better word, just enough “wetness” to categorize them in the “Yacht Rock” genre! These are the songs, that get the attention, not just from such a narrow audience as The famous “Blue Army”, They needed more than that. They needed to reach further. These are the songs that get the housewives, the young girls that shy away from that true hard driving, head banging, back beat rhythm, the songs that enter the Fraternity and Sorority halls across the country, the songs that sell! Yep, this song skyrocketed Aerosmith to success previously never achieved, all the way to  #3 on Billboards Hot 100…

Maybe way more important than any of that though, the reason why it’s such a classic to me, is that you can still feel and hear all the way through it, that true Aerosmith chemistry, Steven trying to slow Joe down a bit, along with the rest of the band. You can hear all the way through it, Joe wanting more from the song, wanting the band to go deeper, harder, faster… It’s almost as if you’re in the room, and you can hear, and feel Joe’s distaste for “another fucking ballad”, saying; “okay, we’ll do this, but we’re gonna’ go deep on this damn it!” then just listen to the “Holding Back”, the edge of almost…

Such a very, VERY classic Aerosmith song… Joe’s lead pushing Steven’s vocals, Steven’s vocals meeting Joe and Brad’s pitch, and tension note for note! It’s got Steven’s piano as a background, foreground softness, to Joey’s hard hitting rhythm. It’s more than a ballad, it’s a fucking hit record!

Written with Desmond Child, it’s a song that captures all the femininity of a magical romance, and all the serenity of masculine protection. It captures the fragility of the human spirit both with, and without a connection, a simple bond to another. It speaks to couples, it even speaks to family, it speaks to friendship, if that’s what fits… It bleeds Aerosmith emotion… I’m not much of a ballad guy, and as “Songfacts” says; “There certainly is a “wuss factor to it”.

Maybe it holds a place for me, for other reasons, as you will soon read. It’s said that “Steven knew he was compromising, with this one”, as Kolodnar says in “Walk This Way”, but when it becomes the biggest most successful song of an almost 20 year career (at the time), you’ll take it, compromise or not.

But the reality of the song comes from a darker place, in my opinion, and I don’t think I’m going very far out on a limb here. To me personally, it speaks of the need for a helping hand out of the binds of addictions, a lifeline, so to speak. The one who can show you a different picture, than the one you’re used to seeing, a different “reflection”. It’s true you can’t accomplish, or even quit anything in life, if the inner desire isn’t there, but damn… Those are the times we all need most to lean on someone that won’t let us fall, someone who will catch us. Even if, as in their cases, and more specifically Steven’s, not to mention my own, we continue to fall at times, so much so that people would think we practice it, angels are still needed.

When it’s just you and a couple of “close” friends and a mirror full of white, it’s all real cool until it’s gone… Then those “friends” are gone, and not just gone for the night, but fucking “GONE”! It’s at that moment, you realize you’re whole connection to each other, to the people you call friends, is nothing more than the small mound of white powder on the mirror, from last night, last weekend, last month, last year, and on… next weekend, next month… You realize the powder, the mirror controls all that is expected, and even the unexpected… these “friends” start to dissolve, whether that be from their own doing, or because of, not necessarily the withdrawal, but the “withdrawn”… You mourn the loss of those who didn’t just quit the drug, but quit the whole fucking game…. But you go back next weekend anyway…

The song to me, is representation, it’s admission… FINALLY admission!!!, to asking for help. It’s not about being lonely, it’s about being alone, and needing that someone who can help you “see the light”, to not have to go it alone…

That Angel, and I have a few in my life… We all do, it’s just sometimes we don’t know when to reach out. And sometimes we reach out, and don’t even know what we’re reaching for, just reaching… It’s at that moment, you realize who you’re angel is.

Mine happened at the birth of my daughter Samantha Jo Michaela. She was my angel, She became the reason I live… The reason to live instead of simply breathe.

All of my girls are angels to me, both before Sammy Jo, and after, but that moment is when I saw the light.

It may not be one of the best songs Aerosmith has ever done but it’s definitely Classic Aerosmith…

Love you Mary, Cristina, Sammy Jo, and Natalie

This is “Angel”

 

Number 79 “Let’s Jump To Our Feet, and Hoof It to The Show…”

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“Let’s Jump To Our Feet, and Hoof
It To The Show…”

Goin’ back to the “Years of Discovery”…

No not 1974, not for me anyway, this was 1976… What was I soon to discover? The meaning between the lines….

Now, the reality is, I was just a boy a little ahead of my adolescent time. I already had an affection, an affliction for a taste of the other side. I’d heard the Stones, I’d heard the Doors, I’d heard the Who, Led Zeppelin, and their attempts at sexual innuendo, but the reality is, what they were writing and singing about would soon be looked at as tame. Sure there were others who threw the sexuality in your face straight with shot of Jack as a chaser, but this… this was different.

The song for me was a mood, it was the chase, it was the “flirt” if you will, from both sides. It was the art of pursuit, the allure of the enticement. It captured the adrenaline of the first look, the moment of notice. It captures the female awareness of their own sexuality ….

As just a very young 14 year old boy, yet not necessarily a stranger to the opposite sex, I was definitely one without the experience to illicit any kind of appeal in return, other than my God given looks, but we all know what that will buy you. In other words, like so many other teenage boys of the late 70s, I wasn’t as cool as I wanted people to think I was, and I certainly wasn’t as tough as I thought I was, or even as talented, or as smart as a lot of my friends were. And definitely not musically inclined… So what does a “po’ boy” do with that? He listens, he listens to what the melody, the beat is telling him… He listens to the lyrics… He listens to the story… he watches, in his own mind, the conveyance of confidence the song is giving… “You’re at ‘no’ right now, you can only go up better from there”. Continue reading Number 79 “Let’s Jump To Our Feet, and Hoof It to The Show…”

Number 78 – If You’ve Heard It Before, Take Another Listen For The 1st Time…”

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Come on Joe, It’s Pretty damn Good!

Sometimes I wonder if Mary and I are the only ones that liked this album. I mean I know it sold 240,000 copies the 1st week, with a little help from this song, and another off the record, which no doubt helped it debut at #2, but the reality is, it’s actually hard to find a favorable review of the record. We can’t be the only ones! Can we? Shit! It’s sold 1.3 million copies as of 2007, I would imagine it has to be close to 2 million by now!

So, why was this album so disliked by so many? Maybe because it lacks the depth? Matter of opinion, if you ask me… Maybe because of the commercialism of the record, with Dodge being the driving sponsor of the tour? I’ve seen worse sell-outs, and even then, I’m not sure they sold out, as much as cashed in. The album, like many others through the band’s career, didn’t receive too many favorable reviews. I sometimes wonder if the critics let the music even sink in, before inking their pen.

Even if those reasons, and more are the case, this is not new for Aerosmith. These guys to me, are like an old worn in pair of your favorite blue jeans, or boots. When you first try them on, sometimes they’re a bit harsh in a lot of places. Sometimes it just takes a bit to let them form to you. And when that happens? They’re all you want to wear. Continue reading Number 78 – If You’ve Heard It Before, Take Another Listen For The 1st Time…”