Going by Aerosmith’s history books it would be easy to deduce that the 1978-1980 timeframe was the most traumatic period of the bands career.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Night In The Ruts
SERIAL: FC 36050
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Steven Tyler – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, percussion * Joe Perry – electric guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals * Brad Whitford – guitars * Tom Hamilton – bass * Joey Kramer – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Additional Musicians: Mary Weiss – backing vocals (#3) * Richie Supa – additional guitars (#1, 9) * Jimmy Crespo – lead guitar (#5) * George Young – alto saxophone (#2) * Louis del Gatto – baritone saxophone (#2) * Lou Marini – tenor saxophone (#2) * Barry Rogers – trombone (#2) * Neil Thompson – guitar (#2)
TRACK LISTING: 01 No Surprize * 02 Chiquita * 03 Remember (Walking In The Sand) * 04 Cheese Cake * 05 Three Mile Smile * 06 Reefer Head Woman * 07 Bone To Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy) * 08 Think About It * 09 Mia
Going by the history books it would be easy to deduce that the 1978-1980 timeframe was the most traumatic period of Aerosmith’s career and they were only seven years into it. By this stage, substance abuse had taken a hold of the band and things were looking dire. During 1979 I never did get around to buying the LP, neither did I acquire Cheap Trick‘s ‘Dream Police’, those two were the most notable exceptions of my 1979 buying spree.
Reviewing this album years later my discernment radar was spot on it would seem. Of course the big drama concerned the departure of Joe Perry midway through recording and midway during their 1979 summer tour when he walked out on the band in late July. The remaining members got back on track, the album eventually released in November of that year.
Half of the songs music was already completed before Perry left, it’s just that the lyrics weren’t, which was one of Joe’s sticking points. Studio hounds Richie Supa, Jimmy Crespo and Neil Thompson came in to finish the album. ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand)’ was the single selected from the album, not an inspired choice for mine, it was an old Shangri-La’s cover from the 60’s. It made it to #67 on the Billboard singles chart.
Two of the better songs were’ No Suprize’ and the brass flavoured ‘Chiquita’. Both had videos made for them at the time, you can watch them below. By this stage Jimmy Crespo had officially joined the band as can be seen by his appearance on the videos. ‘Cheese Cake’ is a slow burn rocker, the lyrics for this are as crass as anything. Innuendo has nothing on this! ‘Three Mile Smile’ reverts to straight ahead rock which is followed by the simmering blues of ‘Reefer Headed Woman’.
The band let it all hang out for ‘Bone To Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy)’ a cranky rocker with a good amount of energy, ‘Think About It’ is a rowdy cover of The Yardbirds while the closing ‘Mia’ was dedicated to his then one year old daughter born the year before.
Despite the dubious quality of the material, the album made it to #14 on the Billboard album charts. It finally made it to platinum status fifteen years later in 1994. Despite the passage of time, there’s a certain irony in that both Tyler and Perry labelled this as their favourite Aerosmith album. The critics unfortunately disagreed. Turmoil would still persist with the band right through the early 80’s, with guitarists Perry and Whitford leaving to work their own bands: the Joe Perry Project and Whitford St Holmes.
Aerosmith on Video