Aerosmith – ‘Get A Grip’ (1993) – Album Review (The Aerosmith Collection Series)

After the massive success of their previous album, ‘Pump’, the band took a little break in 1992. They started recording the next album in January & February, but stopped for some rest and didn’t return until September of that year to finish up the album. The music environment had significantly changed since 1989’s ‘Pump’ so I believe everyone was curious as to what they would do. And it turns out, they would keep doing what they do best and didn’t change a thing. When most bands faded away around this time, Aerosmith ended up flourishing even more. How did they do it?

First thing was they brought back Bruce Fairbairn as their producer as he has been creating gold with everything they had done…or should I say Platinum since the last album went 7 x’s Platinum. Second, they brought in some friends to help out such as Don Henley and Lenny Kravitz. Third, the record company wanted them to continue using outside writers to help so back was Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw, Richard Supa, Mark Hudson and Taylor Rhodes. Damn, that is a lot of help!!

The line-up was still unchanged with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. The Boston Boys we ready to take on the world again. The album was released on April 23, 1993 and became the band’s first album to debut at #1 on the Charts. They released 7 singles on the album and selling over 7 million copies again in the U.S. It was the band’s third straight album of over 5 million in sales. If that wasn’t enough, the album won two Grammy’s for Best Rock Vocal Performance for a Duo or Group in both 1993 and 1994. The band was on fire still and the fans were eating it up.

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Aerosmith – “Rag Doll” (1988) – 7″ Single (The Aerosmith Collection Series – Bonus Edition)

We are to the final single that I have for the ‘Permanent Vacation’ album and I am sure you will be happy to get back to the normal reviews as it has been 4 weeks of this album. The final single if for the song “Rag Doll”. The song was written by Joe Perry, Steven Tyler and Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams) as well as Holly Knight (Kiss). Tyler was furious that Holly got a writing credit because he says all she contributed to the song was changing the name from “Rag Time” to “Rag Doll”. One word got her a writing credit and it didn’t sit well.

“Rag Doll” went to #17 on the Top 40 Chart which continued to push the album to multi-platinum status…5 X’s platinum. The single was released on May 3, 1988 and my version is the standard U.S. version. The B-Side is “St. John” and both songs are the basic, standard LP version. No new mixes here.

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Aerosmith – “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” (1987) – 7″ Single & 12″ Maxi-Single (The Aerosmith Collection Series – Bonus Edition)

We have a little break here from the album reviews in the Aerosmith Collection Series. As it turns out, I have 4 singles from ‘Permanent Vacation’ and we are going to go through those over the next few weeks. First up is the second single from the album “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” and this one is a two for the price of one treat as I have both a 7″ Single and a 12″ Maxi-Single of the song. Since I don’t want to completely bore you to tears with two separate posts on the same song, I decided to them both together in one giant treat.

7″ Promo Single:

First up we will tackle the 7″ Single. My version is the the Promo Copy of the song so the A-Side and B-Side are the same song. Since this is 1987, both versions are the stereo version and not one of them being a Mono like in the earlier years. The song was released as a single on September 22, 1987 and did really well for the band. It brought them back to the mainstream after years of filling up the discount rack. The song went to #12 on the Billboard Top 40 and was a regular on MTV.

The song started out as a song called “Cruisin’ for a Lady”, but thanks to help from co-write Desmond Child, we got “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”. The song is about a man that goes in to a strip club and falls for one of the dancers. They go back stage and she whips out her gun and is actually a man. The song inspiration actually came from the band seeing this blonde beauty at the far end of a bar and it turning out to be Vince Neil from Motley Crue.

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Aldo Nova – “Blood On The Bricks” – 12″ Promotional Single

Another 12″ Single I picked up from Noble Records on that big Metal Collection he was selling was from Aldo Nova. You remember Aldo from his early 80’s song “Fantasy”. This was a Promotional 12″ Single for his fourth album ‘Blood on the Bricks’ that came out in 1991. It was for the first single, the title track “Blood on the Bricks”.

This particular single was the “Metal Radio Exclusive” red vinyl 12″ (in gatefold clear PVC sleeve with color insert) with three songs from the “Blood On The Bricks” album. It was promotional only and not for sale at the time..but now it is fair game because Noble had it for sale almost 30 years later. This was the album and Tour that I saw and got to meet Mr. Aldo Nova and his band and get autographs. They were all super nice.

The cool thing about this album for Aldo Nova is that it was produced and all of the songs were co-written with some guy named Jon Bon Jovi. You see, Jon and Aldo go way back as Aldo worked with Jon on his debut album that became the debut Bon Jovi album before Richie and the gang were a full band. Jon was returning the favor in what they hoped would be Aldo’s big comeback album…which didn’t really work out. Jon had signed Aldo to his Jambco record label.

The A-Side of this LP was “Blood on the Bricks” which was a straight-up rocker. It was uptempo with a hard driving, very catchy chorus. Even though Jon put his stamp on these songs, the guitar still sounds like Aldo’s tone and feel so he didn’t completely strip away that thank goodness. The song was all street tough and had that Jon Bon Jovi storytelling vibe. Like most of the album, it is a little overproduced, but hey, it still isn’t half bad.

The B-Side of this disc had 2 songs. First up was “Young Love” which was written by Aldo and Jon but also had the help of Bryan Adams writing partner Jim Vallance. This song was a little cheesy that was leaning between power ballad and pop song and seemed to be a leftover track that wasn’t good enough for a Bon Jovi album.

The last track is called “Modern World” which was soley written by Aldo and Jon. This is a tough, street fighting type song. It has a lot of edge and balls and has a really cool riff and groove to it with a whole tribal flair. You even get a shout out to Donald Trump, but this was way before his time as president. This was around the time he cheated on his then wife with Marla Maples. There are a lot of cultural references from the time which actually dates the song a little…okay a lot. But Aldo’s playing is sensational and he lays down a great solo in only the way Aldo can.

And there you have it. The 12″ Promotional Single for “Blood on the Bricks” by Aldo Nova. It is a nice piece to add to my ever growing Aldo Nova collection. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by.

Heart – “What About Love” – The 45 Single

I haven’t done one of these in awhile where I highlight a 45 Single in my collection so I went through and pulled out “What About Love” from the band Heart.  The song is from what is considered their comeback album ‘Heart’ that was released in 1985 and the single was the first off the album and released on June 1, 1985.

The song is a cover song actually and was originally performed by the band Toronto.  It was written by Brian Allen. Sheron Alton and Jim Vallance.  You know Jim as he is the writing partner for some guy named Bryan Adams.  Brian & Sheron were in Toronto, however, Jim wasn’t although he did play drums on the song.  Enough about them, let’s get to Heart.

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Bryan Adams – ‘Shine A Light’ – Album Review

Bryan Adams is coming in concert to Charlotte, NC on May 4th, 2019.  I thought this would be a great date night for my wife and I so bought 2 tickets.  With each pair of tickets you buy, you get a copy of the new Bryan Adams album ‘Shine A Light’.  I hadn’t bought any new Adams stuff in quite some time so I was glad to get this and I thought, why not review it.  So, here is that review.

The first thing I noticed is that Bryan is more Easy Listening than he is rock now and I guess that comes with age.  And getting through those first two tracks was not easy to listen to at all.  The first song is the title track, “Shine A Light”, and was written by both Bryan and Ed Sheeran.  Yes, the Ed Sheeran.  It is a catchy enough song, but it is pure pop dribble.  And the second track is no better as it is a duet with Jennifer Lopez called “That’s How Strong Our Love Is”. Yes, the J-Lo herself.  Now if you can make it through those tracks, it will get better, I promise.

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“Part Friday Night, Part Sunday Morning” is probably my favorite song on the album.  It is a fun, good old-fashion rock song that Bryan is really good at it.  Great tempo and great rhythm and all around good time.  Not to be out done is “Driving Under the Influence of Love” written with his long time writing partner, Jim Vallance.  Another rocker that takes me back to Bryan in the 80’s.  These are the two songs that should have kicked off this album rather than that crap before it.  It is uptempo and has a guitar solo.  What more could you want.

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Bryan Adams – Diana 12″ EP

Back in 1984, Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams wrote a fun song about a young lady that was about to marry her Prince…literally.  The song was about Princess Diana or so it is assumed.  The song is taken from the viewpoint of a gentleman who had seen Diana in a magazine and then on TV and fell in love with her.  “Diana” was his profession of that love for her and he begged her to leave the life she was about to enter and be with him.

We know that she didn’t do that, sadly, as she might still be with us today.  “Diana” was supposed to be on Bryan’s album ‘Reckless’; however, he left it off as he didn’t want to upset the Royal Family.  He also probably didn’t want to make them mad and screw up his dual Canadian & British citizenship.  The song has actually never been released on any Bryan Adams album or compilation.  It is probably his most popular non-album song.

“Diana” was released as a B-Side to the song “Heaven” and it was released as this very special 12″ 3 Song E.P. which I came across in a collection of vinyl I picked up.  Bryan used to play the song in concert on a regular basis, but upon Princess Diana’s death he has since put the song to pasture and no longer plays it live.  I did find a rumor that stated that Bryan actually did date Diana after her split from Prince Charles.  Now of course, it is solely a rumor and has never been stated as fact by Bryan or anyone from Diana’s camp.  It was a rumor started by one of Bryan’s ex-girlfriends.

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Bryan Adams – “Straight From the Heart” & “Cuts Like A Knife” – The 45 Single (1985)

For the next single that was in my box of vinyl, you get two for the price of one.  It is actually a re-issued single of two of Bryan Adams most popular songs from his ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ album.  A&M Records had a 45 single series called A&M Memories where they re-released singles of artists and both sides were previously released singles from the artist and from the same album.

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The original singles “Straight From the Heart” and “Cuts Like a Knife” were actually released in 1983 as separate singles.  The B-Side for “Straight From the Heart” was “One Good Reason” and the B-Side for “Cuts Like a Knife” was “Lonely Nights”.  This release of those singles was done only a couple years later in 1985. The concept of this A&M series was pretty smart as it gave the customer two hit songs for the price of one.

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