Aerosmith – ‘Permanent Vacation’ (1987) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

The band was in trouble after ‘Done With Mirrors’. What was supposed to be their comeback album, flopped big time. The drugs were still a big problem. So the band had to make a huge change…and they did. They got sober! ‘Permanent Vacation’ is the first album the band has ever made that they were sober…no drugs, no drinking…clean and sober. And people reacted to that in a big way. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer had a lot to prove and they couldn’t do it alone.

The studio that the first batch of help should come from a great producer. At the helm this time around was Bruce Fairbairn and his amazing engineering staff of Mike Fraser and Bob Rock which is one of the most impressive crew behind the boards every in music history. Heck, Bruce even played trumpet, cello and sang background vocals while Mike Fraser played something called a plunger mute. Huh??? Well, that is a trumpet with an attachment on the front that mutes the sound a little. I don’t see where Bob is credited with anything other than masterful engineering. The recorded at the very famous Little Mountain Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia. If you saw my interview with Paul Laine we talked about that studio a lot.

The second row of help came from some song doctors, however, this was one big area of contention with the band. They were forced to work with outside writers much in the way Cheap Trick had to with ‘Lap of Luxury’ that we discussed earlier this week. The biggest contribution came from Desmond Child who co-wrote 3 of the tracks, 2 of which were massive singles for the band. They also had help from Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams writing partner) and Holly Knight (Kiss and Cheap Trick).

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Bon Jovi – “Born to Be My Baby” – 45 Single

On my Summer vacation back in June, I found over 20 singles with the picture sleeve. I’ve been through a bunch of them so far and now we are tackling the Bon Jovi singles that I found. There were 5 Singles found and we kicked it off with the following:

Now it is time for another ‘New Jersey’ single with “Born to be My Baby”. This was the second single off the album and did pretty dang great going all the way to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 and it was one of 5 Top 10 Singles off this album…crazy!!! It was another track written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and of course, Desmond Child. There is no denying his impact with the band.

As you can see from above that the B-Side is “Love For Sale” also from the same album. However, that is WRONG!!! Ok, not really, that is truly the B-Side, but my copy is not normal. It is actually a promo that was sent out using the regular single cover. So, my copy has “Born to Be My Baby” on both sides. It even says on the single label, “Promotional Copy – Not For Sale” which I think is cool. Like some older promos that I have which has one side Stereo and one side Mono, this one is all Stereo and the same song on each side, no differences.

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My Sunday Song – “Elegantly Wasted” by INXS

For My Sunday Song #244, we are going to discuss the song “Elegantly Wasted” by the band INXS. The song is the title track to the 1997 album of the same same. The album and song were produced by the great Bruce Fairbairn and was written by Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss. The song was the first single off the album but the song did not chart on the Billboard Top 40.

It is believe the song was inspired by a night out that Michael had with Bono from the band U2. And from the lyrics it sounds like they had a good time. It sounds like Bono lives the good life and they saw a lot of things that weren’t actually morally decent. Michael realizes that it really isn’t the good life. I don’t know if it is really about Bono or just Michael blasting the media for the trashy coverage he received from the tabloids. Either way, it is a fun song to play when on the dance floor.

An interesting story I have read about the song, apparently Michael went back in to the studio after the song was finished and added another line to the chorus after an altercation he had with the Gallagher brothers from Oasis at the 1996 Brit Awards. When accepting an award presented to him by Michael, Noel made the following statement…”Has-beens should not be presenting awards to gonna-be’s.” This pissed off Michael and he went and added the line “I’m Better than Oasis” to the song. Now, I don’t know if I believe it or not as it is really hard to tell.

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Kiss – “Psycho Circus” (1998) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the very successful Reunion Tour from 1996-1997, it was time for the original band members to put other their first album in 20 years with the Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter. The last one they did together was 1979’s ‘Dynasty’. Let me tell you, I was super excited to get a new album with only the original 4 guys. I couldn’t wait. I would get to hear Ace rip solos and cool riffs on every song and Peter would bang those drums until the cows came home. Man, I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it. Now imagine my surprise when it wasn’t even close to the build up.

Yes, it was a new album that did feature all four original members. Their pictures are on the front, they each sing song, but it was far from only being the original four guys. Ace appears on only 2 of the 10 songs and Peter sings on 2 and only plays drums on 1. Nothing seems to have changed as ‘Dynasty’ was also an album Ace and Peter slightly appeared on as well. Gene and Paul still rule the roost and do things the way they want to do them. Ace does appear on the Japanese only track so on that release he is on 3 of the 11 tracks. The only song that features all four members is the Ace sung song “Into the Void” which we will discuss later. To be fair, the reason behind Ace and Peter not getting to play much as they were trying to renegotiate their contracts with Kiss and I don’t think that sit real well with Gene and Paul.

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Paul Laine – ‘Stick It In Your Ear’ (1990) -Album Review

Imagine this, you are extremely young and you get a record deal. You are set to make your first album and the label picks the great Bruce Fairbairn to produce your album. How stoked you must be. You are about to make it big time and be famous worldwide and be the big rock star you were meant to be. All your dreams were about to come true. I am sure that was what Paul Laine was thinking…I know I would have been.

But for some strange reason, that didn’t happen with this album. However, Paul would go on to make it in the industry and he is still very active today and I bet makes a pretty good living with his music. I don’t know why this album didn’t take off, but for some reason it didn’t. It was 1990 and we were at the tail end of the 80’s Rock scene and Grunge was coming on fast so I am writing it off to that as the issue because it sure as hell wasn’t the music’s fault.

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Bruce Fairbairn – Producer Extraordinaire #3

In my producer extraordinaire series, this is the 3rd producer who helped create some of my favorite albums.  The first post in the series was for Robert John “Mutt” Lange and then second post was for Brendan O’Brien.  Both legendary producers.

Bruce Fairbairn didn’t have as long as career as the first two guys due to his untimely death back in 1999.  However, during his brief time, he crafted some of the most memorable albums of the 80’s & 90’s and the albums sold well over 65 million copies if you just count the platinum and gold albums.

It all started in back in Canada in the late 70’s when he started out producing for a band called Prism.  Prism had moderate success in Canada, but not much internationally.  In 1980, Bruce started production on the debut album for another Canadian band called Loverboy.  Loverboy opened the doors for Bruce with the bands international appeal. He produced 4 albums with Loverboy in the 80’s.  They were as follows:

  • Loverboy – (2x Platinum)
  • Get Lucky – (4x Platinum)
  • Keep It Up – (2x Platinum)
  • Wildside – (Gold)

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