14 February 2008

Let's Talk Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation

On the way home Tuesday night I caught the immortal Carol Miller doing a two-fer-Tuesday rock block extravaganza on Q104. Included in said rock block were two songs off this album.

Don't talk to me about Aerosmith circa now because they're fucking terrible. Though they've never been bigger, they've been writing that same goddamned tween-ballad for 10+ years now.

It began with "F.I.N.E." on Pump, and then came "Livin' on the Edge", followed by rapid fire "Cryin'", "Crazy", and "Amazing" all from Get A Grip. They seem to have climaxed with the ├╝ber -cheez "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - from that bloody Armageddon soundtrack.

Aerosmith is the bestselling American hard rock band of all time, having sold 150 million albums worldwide, including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine #1 Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy awards, and ten Video Music Awards.

But the above album and to a lesser extent "Pump", were the last records of Aerosmith's cold turkey Camelot before they entered the Alicia Silverstone MTV blow pop world. "Permanent Vacation" was their ninth studio album and would mark a turning point in their storied career.

Not only was it their first album to employ professional songwriters, instead of featuring material solely composed by members of the band, it was also the first Aerosmith album to be promoted by heavy music video airplay on MTV.

Though the previous record, the artfully titled "Done With Mirrors", was intended to mark Aerosmith's subtle comeback, and though the following studio record, 1989's "Pump" sold more, 1987's "Permanent Vacation" is considered to be Aerosmith's true comeback album, as it was the band's first truly popular album since their post-coke reunion.

"Rag Doll," "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and "Angel" all became major hits (all three songs charted in the Top 20) and helped "Permanent Vacation" become the band's most successful album in a hazy decade.

Once and a while on a rainy day I'll still dust off my VHS copy of "The Making of Pump" just because I'm a sucker for anything behind-the-scenes like that. But "Permanent Vacation" was a great record. Go dig it up and give it a spin.


Anonymous said...

My friend (whose parents wouldn't allow him to listen to satanic music like Motley Crue and Gn'R) was always going on and on about Aerosmith and this record. I didn't have cable and was completely unaware of this band except for Walk This Way; which lead me to believe that they were heavy and kickass. I bought the record and...they were neither heavy nor kickass to my 11 year old ears.

Gotham City Insider said...

And so what now? Have you changed your ways? I wouldn't put Aerosmith on my top 5, top 10 or even top 20 or 30 favourite bands but I heard a few songs from this record the other day and it reminded me that they are/were a solid band.