This is the first in a new monthly series I am going to do called “My First Time”. It is not as dirty as you think. It is not about my first time doing certain things. The series will be about the FIRST album I bought from an artist that really got me into the band. See, not dirty like you thought.
I was out at the record store a few weeks back and came across the vinyl for Aerosmith’s 1985 album ‘Done With Mirrors’ and remembered that this was the FIRST album I bought for the band, so of course I snatched the vinyl up and it only cost me $6. I had the cassette years ago, but all my cassettes are now long gone.
I obviously knew of Aerosmith because my brothers listened to them when they were growing up and I remember seeing their vinyl albums lying around. I remember hearing “Sweet Emotion”, “Dream On” and even listened to the album “Toys In the Attic”, but I wasn’t a true fan. That didn’t come until the mid-80’s after I bought this album.
I was watching MTV one evening and they played the video for “Let the Music Do The Talking” and I actually fell in love with that song instantly. The next chance I had to make it to the record store, I picked a copy of the album on cassette. Little did I know at the time that the song was actually a remake of the same song Joe Perry did with his solo band The Joe Perry Project.
I still actually enjoy most of the songs on the album. “My Fist Your Face” has them rocking out with an aggressive sound and lyrics. The whole album has a gritty almost raw quality to it which for me is part of the charm of the album. For a headbanger want-to-be growing up (I was rather clean-cut), this aggressiveness is what got me excited about the album because there were a few kids I would have loved to put my fist to their face.
“Shame On You” is another one I liked for the bluesy tone to it and Joe’s guitar playing. Steve’s voice works so well with that bluesy rock & roll and it was no wonder I had to get a hold of everything they had done prior to this point.
The other two songs that I rank highly from this album are “Gypsy Boots” and “The Hop”. “Gypsy Boots” was a fast paced rocker and it had a unfinished quality to it as the production and sound didn’t seem perfect. However, I felt it worked and is one of my favorites.
The album (vinyl edition) ends with “The Hop” and the song starts off with Joey Kramer hitting the cymbals in quick succession and then kicks in full force. Joe & Brad’s guitars are awesome and Steve’s raspy voice make this song a highlight and made me want to flip over and start again.
The overall album is great in my opinion due to the fact it is really the album that got me into Aerosmith. The band and the producer, Ted Templeman, really disliked the album. The fans at the time would agree as the album did not give the band the commercial success they were hoping for and the band was relatively done. Little did they know that would change a year later in 1986 due to their collaboration with Run DMC on the remake of “Walk This Way”.
What was also special about this album is it was the first album with both Joe Perry and Brad Whitford rejoining the band after their departures several years earlier. They thought it would be their comeback album (which it wasn’t). That would come in 1987 with Permanent Vacation.
- “Let the Music Do The Talking”
- “My Fist Your Face”
- “Shame On You”
- “The Reason a Dog”
- “Gypsy Boots”
- “She’s On Fire”
- “The Hop”
- “Darkness” (this is not on the vinyl edition)
One of the cool aspects of the album itself, were the album graphics. The whole album graphics were made in reverse so you would have to use a mirror to see what is actually shown. The album sleeve is also done in reverse. I also that it was probably a poke at their heavy drug days…who knows, it might have been.
Any real fan of Aerosmith really should have this in their collection as it is the last album to really have the old Aerosmith sound as the next album would take them into a different 80’s radio friendly direction.