Greatly Appreciated


Aerosmith  is an American rock band whose style is rooted in blues-based hard rock.  The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970 and released a string of gold and platinum albums, breaking into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic.  The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, and their collaboration with rap group Run–D.M.C. in 1986 regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970’s.  The band scored several hits and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989), Get a Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997), and embarked on their most extensive concert tours to date.  Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock ’n’ roll history.  Since 2001, the band has toured every year except 2008.  Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records in the United States alone.  (More from Wikipedia)
Other widely bootlegged rock artists have similarly acknowledged the bootlegging world; Aerosmith even called their first official live album (in 1978Live! Bootleg.  The cheap-looking printing on the cover perfectly mimicked bootleg albums, and the back cover featured a couple of faux coffee stains.  There were even deliberate errors in the song listing.  The cover of the Who’s first live album, Live at Leeds (1970) also looks like a bootleg album; ironically, the recording quality on Live at Leeds is the best of any live album that I had previously heard. 
(August 2012)
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Trillion had the good fortune to land some co-billings with major bands of the day, such as Styx, Heart and Aerosmith; and they had a striking cover as well, with what appears to be a three-headed snow leopard coming out of the top of a mountain.  However, their 1978 debut album, Trillion sold only modestly.
(October 2012)
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If anything, the practice of virtually any celebrity deciding to lay down some musical tracks has been accelerating in recent years; sometimes the results aren’t bad at all actually.  On their 2009 Varshons album – made up entirely of covers of mostly unfamiliar songs – the Lemonheads are accompanied by model Kate Moss on one track, Arling & Cameron’s “Dirty Robot”; while actress and model Liv Tyler (daughter of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and model/singer Bebe Buell) contributed vocals to their version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”. 


(March 2013)

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The song that I love best on Pebbles, Volume 10 is “Train Kept A-Rollin’” by the Bold (also known as Steve Walker and the Bold) – actually there is a song by this band on both Pebbles, Volume 9 and Pebbles, Volume 10.  This was the first time that I had heard this song; I have since collected several more that include versions of “Train Kept A-Rollin’ by luminaries like the Yardbirds and Aerosmith, and it has become one of my very favorite songs regardless of who is doing it.  It is hard to top this blistering performance, however. 


(July 2013)


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The Cactus brand of American-style blues rock has been cited as an influence on many bands that followed; Wikipedia lists AerosmithVan Halen.38 SpecialAnvilthe Black CrowesMontroseLynyrd Skynyrd, and the Black Keys.  Cactus has been through a succession of line-ups over the years and is still active as of 2012


(April 2014)


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Probably the best known version of the song is by Aerosmith; “Train Kept A-Rollin’” is included on their second album, Get Your Wings (1974), but the band’s connection with the song dates back much further than that.  As quoted in WikipediaJoe Perry recalls of this song:  “‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’ was the only song we had in common when we first got together.  Steven [Tyler]’s band had played ‘Train, and Tom [Hamilton] and I played it in our band. . . .  It’s a blues song, if you follow its roots all the way back. . . .  I always thought if I could just play one song, it would be that one because of what it does to me.” 
Train Kept A-Rollin’ was featured in early concerts by Aerosmith, and they often closed their shows with the song, including at their first gig in 1970.  A live version of the song is included on three different concert albums by the band, and they have also performed the song with several other musicians over the years.  In 2012, they played “Train Kept A-Rollin’ live in Hollywood with Johnny Depp; this performance is included on a bonus disc in the Deluxe Edition of Aerosmith’s most recent studio album, Music from Another Dimension!
(June 2015)
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An early example is one of the first big hits by Aerosmith, “Walk This Way”, where most of the vocals are sung much faster than the beat of the music; it is taken from their third album, Toys in the Attic (1975).  A decade later, Run-D.M.C. included a remake of “Walk This Way” on their album Raising Hell (1986), with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith sitting in on vocals and guitar, respectively.  The two groups also collaborated on a video that was in heavy rotation on MTV.  This was one of the first times that rock music and rap music were melded together.
My recollection is that the new version of Walk This Way revitalized Aerosmith’s career to a greater extent than it boosted that of Run-D.M.C..  Perhaps leaving a bad taste in the mouth of hip hop artists who were still searching for greater respect in the music world, I remember few rock/rap collaborations after that until the 1990’s.
(September 2016)
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For some reason, over the years the 1970’s have gotten a reputation as a poor decade for music. (So do the 1950’s, for that matter, even though that is where rock and roll came from). It certainly cannot be because everything sounded the same. Most of the British Invasion bands were still active. The top American acts were still going strong as well – Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Simon and Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, the Beach Boysthe Band, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatraetc. – and major stars who arrived in the 1970’s include Elton John, Michael Jackson, Queen, ABBA, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, PrinceJames Taylor, and Tom Petty. Anyone who says they are a music fan has to be able to find someone, and probably several someones on that list that they like a lot.
(December 2016)
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Since I am down to a quarterly schedule rather than a monthly schedule, my annual list is a lot shorter, so I will try listing all of the people that I have discussed in some depth rather than just the Under Appreciated Rock Band and the Story of the Month. They are all punk rock bands of one kind or another this year (2015-2016), and the most recent post includes my overview of the early rap/hip hop scene that an old friend, George Konstantinow challenged me to write – probably so long ago that he might have forgotten.
(Year 7 Review)
Last edited: March 22, 2021