Here’s something you won’t read all that often – but it’s (still) the truth: Aerosmith is really a pretty awful band.
Oh, I had Rocks on cassette tape when I was a kid and just learning up on all this stuff. And Pump (the real comeback record for them; they crossed over to the younger generation there, my generation. Pump went nicely in-between listens of Appetite For Destruction and The Real Thing). And I’ve got Toys In The Attic on vinyl too because it’s got two of the band’s best songs; their two best drum-grooves.
But really – when I think about it Aerosmith has always been awful.
Of course you can think a band is awful and still like them a lot. Ask nine out of ten KISS fans – admittedly nine of them will make some kind of bark or moo sound when they attempt to speak English but the one remaining capable-of-English Kiss fan will say that yes, actually, the band is awful. And that’s why he likes them. (Doesn’t work with Rush – Rush fans are convinced their band is actually great. Imagine being that delued).
Well I get the feeling Aerosmith fans think that Aerosmith is good. You know, kinda not awful.
Kiss is a bit like pro-wrestling really. Kiss fans are – for the most part – in on the joke. There’s only a select few that feel it’s entirely “still real” to them.
I think some Aerosmith fans think they’re watching Muhammad Ali at his peak or even Leon Spinks.
Steven Tyler’s horrific autobiography certainly helped in putting me off the band for good. As did last year’s the most recent album; the band’s first in a decade.
Ever since their mid-80s comeback and then the more solid late-80s comeback it’s been power-ballads for movies and desperate attempts to rewrite Dream On and it’s hard to look at Steven Tyler and…(actually that’s a full sentence right there…) but…it’s hard to look at Steven Tyler and not think that the Spitting Image puppet of Mick Jagger was finally granted Pinocchio’s dream and found some bar-band that thought Led Zeppelin’s oiliest riffs needed greasing up (and dumbing down) a little further.
That’s really it with Aerosmith init? I mean that’s really all they have to offer? They’re a Stones parody parading sub-par Zep riffs to stadiums filled with casual music fans. People who think the lyrics to Love In An Elevator actually have something to say.
I’ll grant you Sweet Emotion – that’s a good groove and a pretty sweet song in a right-time/right-place kinda way (see: Dazed and Confused) and Walk This Way maybe. Dream On for sheer histrionics. And once every half-decade or so I can see the appeal of revisiting the Rocks album; that has some good strut to it…but it’s nothing I can’t get elsewhere.
What’s baffled me is that Aerosmith really doesn’t have enough tunes to fill a decent single-disc best-of and yet we’re supposed to see them as some towering rock giant, one of America’s great original bands. Nah, not on my watch. Never saw the appeal. Never heard it either. Still can’t.
And I’m curious to know what you think? Am I the only one who doesn’t get Aerosmith at all? What’s the great album I’m missing out on by this band? Or were you once a fan and now you’ve seen the error of your ways?
What do you think of Aerosmith? A great American band, legends? Or a grotesque parody band that fluked an audience in spite of/because of the sheer stupidity of its music?