Aerosmith - Rock In A Hard Place

Aerosmith – Rock In A Hard Place

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Aerosmith”s resulting 1982 album ‘Rock In A Hard Place’ met with minimal success, as without Joe Perry many thought the band should call it a day. This was far from the truth.

Written by: Dangerzone

ARTIST: Aerosmith
ALBUM: Rock In A Hard Place
SERIAL: PC 38061
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Steven Tyler – lead vocals * Rick Dufay – guitar * Jimmy Crespo – guitar * Tom Hamilton – bass * Joey Kramer – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Jailbait * 02 Lightning Strikes * 03 Bitch’s Brew * 04 Bolivian Ragamuffin * 05 Cry Me A River * 06 Prelude To Joanie * 07 Joanie’s Butterfly * 08 Rock In A Hard Place * 09 Jig Is Up * 10 Push Comes To Shove



Following 1979’s ‘Night In The Ruts’ flop, and with internal dissension at an all time high, drug addled Joe Perry packed up his Les Paul and left for a solo career. He was quickly followed by Brad Whitford, who formed Whitford St Holmes. With the bands popularity on the wane, Steven Tyler kept things going by enlisting Jimmy Crespo (ex Flame) and Rick Dufay to assume guitar duties.

Aerosmith”s resulting 1982 album ‘Rock In A Hard Place’ met with minimal success, as without Joe Perry many thought the band should call it a day. The reality was that Aerosmith recorded their best album since 1976’s ‘Rocks’, a firm album of bruising hard rock they haven’t approached since.

The Songs

The impact of opener ‘Jailbait’ sets an immediate tone, fast, riff heavy, almost approaching metal. It has an urgency Aerosmith had been missing for years. A cavalcade of mysterious synths opens the colossal riffing of ‘Lightning Strikes’ matched by Tyler’s snarling vocals, perhaps Aerosmith’s heaviest moment to date.

The songwriting team of Crespo and Tyler team up for another staunch affair, ‘Bitches Brew’ which leads into another breathless rocker ‘Bolivian Ragamuffin’, with it’s sassy riffs an Aerosmith trait but sounding better than ever. There’s a couple of quiet moments with ‘Cry Me A River’ and ‘Prelude To Joanie’ and it takes a while for ‘Joanie’s Butterfly’ to get going, but when it does it isn’t unlike Van Halen ‘Diver Down’ period.

Things kick back in with the swagger of the title track, sax included before the roof is torn off with the cocky boogie of ‘Jig Is Up’, with a main riff on a level with anything by AC/DC. ‘Push Comes To Shove’ rounds it out with some piano based honky tonk, not quite as addictive as its predecessors.

In Summary

Inevitably there was a muted reception to the album. Some saw it as a shadow of past glories, while some reviewers thought Crespo and Dufay had resuscitated Aerosmith. They had. This remains Aerosmith’s most aggressive album on a consistent basis, and it is frustrating this line-up dissolved so soon after.

Dufay himself has said that he told Tyler to get Perry back. Latterday Aerosmith’s pandering to radio and pop is an insult to what was achieved here. This is the way to remember an overhyped band for what they once were, hard rock legends.

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