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I remember when I used to buy albums with my pocket money, there was a time before CDs when I used to save up my £8.99 for a Cassette Tape of an album, I used to go into "Our Price" another long gone music store and look around the Rock section to see if there was any deals on. Alas there was this day , I was already an Aerosmith fan but only had my brothers CD of "Get a Grip" to listen to , so I seen "Permanent Vacation" and grabbed it. Only £6.99 at that too, so I still had changed. Ah the good old days. I Rushed home to put it on and what I got was a dose of the REAL Aerosmith.
From the begginning you can tell how good this album is going to be. At the third track "Rag Doll" you find the first gem of the album, It's rock , it's funk and it's awesome, with an infectious melody this was classic Aerosmith. Two tracks later came "Dude(Looks Like a Lady)" , this one a little heavier but with the same awesome catchy melody as before. My personal favourite though is the best ballad on the album "Angel" this is just a beautiful voice and Tylers voice is just fantastic over the song.
1. Heart's Done Time
2. Magic Touch
3. Rag Doll
5. Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
6. St John
7. Hangman Jury
8. Girl Keeps Comin' Apart
10. Permanent Vacation
11. I'm Down
Overall This is an essential in you're Aerosmith collection, sure the band have like a million greatest hits albums and they're more recent efforts have been pretty bland and poor but if you look back at albums like this you'll realise why they're so universally loved. This is a great album. Thumbs up.
It could be argued that the very best that Aerosmith ever threw at un unsuspecting audience from a great distance was back in the late Eighties with their explosive albums, Permanent Vacation, (1987) and Pump. (1989) Since the days of the ugliest band in rock, they seemed to have parted company with their dirty trainers and leopard skin effect shirts and decided to tread the unforbidden path of movie soundtracks. Sucked in deeply into a vat of unprofessionalism the same as Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, Aerosmith have seriously, had their day. Im prepared now to take you on a journey back in time, when hairspray and back combing ruled and Westlife would have been shot.
In a sentence, this particular album has some rather momentous memories for me, but thats another review and I doubt dooyoo would allow me to write such detail, however, what I found inside this album when I first brought it back in 1987 in Woollies in my fingerless mitts and starched long hair, was a soundtrack to myself, strangely, it took a violent hold over me. Since I had been brought up on a steady diet of T Rex, finding American hard rock was like finding an old jumper at the back of the wardrobe that fitted perfectly. After my father brought my a CB radio (only because he had one and I was jealous) I triumphantly used the handle of Ragdoll, As if it hadnt been used before..tutt .
Perhaps listening back to it now, whilst I write, this appears a little dated, set in time like a fossil set in stone. I do believe Steven Tyler could actually sing then instead of wail like a murdered banshee as he appears to do today. With a face that allows even Mick Jagger to look devilishly handsome, there was nothing, on the outside, that was attractive about this messy bunch of long haired thugs from New Hampshire, U.S.A. Since the drunken days of 1970 were the world was still in shock for two reasons, 1; the sixties were over and 2; The Beatles had just split up, it was hardly the time (but certainly the place) for a rock band to crawl out from under the floor. Built with rock hard bricks, Tyler and the legendary Joe Perry grabbed a handful of others by the balls and created yet another wholesome band who practically sweated the American dream.
By the time Permanent Vacation created a dent in the record shop shelves, the band had already suffered the statutory member fall out in one aspect or another. This album, being the first U.K release for the band to generate any notable chart success, was surprisingly received poorly. Staggering around, delusional at number 37, the British buying public must have pondered, indecisive for a while as it sat 14 weeks before hitting the floor.
Now before some of you decide to flick over to another review due to lack of knowledge about this band, I will tell you that you do know one of their songs. That catchy number from the scene that had us all in hysterics in Mrs Doubtfire, where the unbelievable Robin Williams is jumping around, dancing in the kitchen, is the very same band. Dude (looks like a lady) was their first UK single release in October 1987. The fact that it failed to even reach the top forty has never put us off cricking our necks to ever since.
I do believe that this album holds one of the best pieces of introduction to any rock album I think I have in my possession. The great crescendo of riffs, thundering drums and Tyler being plugged into a giant electrical socket gives the listener a perfect opportunity to crank up the volume. What appears to be Flipper trying to make contact with David Attenborough on the outset soon becomes clear as Flipper would not be experiencing police sirens chasing after him through the water.
It has to be said that if you have ever wanted to dip your toe in rock music but were afraid that you wouldnt like it or that it would scare you half to death, then this album , I do recommend. It is an easy going album with out complicated lyrics about death (you can find that in the Metallica section) and at least this is rock music with a tune. All the usual tracks you could expect to find are all here like faithful puppies all lined up looking neat and well groomed. The perhaps, one and only price you may have to pay for owning such a gem in you record collection is the track, Angel. A rock album can never be complete without a regular, out of tune, whining love song about slaughtering you girlfriend because you were afraid shes been looking up your best friend (Oh no, wait a minute, thats Motley Crue.) have no fear, we dont live in an age anymore where we have to sit ever so close to the cassette recorder like a professional safe cracker trying to perhaps use some sort of psychosis to decide where the next song starts. Remember what I said in another review about metal albums creating an album based around just one song, well, the next track with make a whole lotta sense and relieve all the stresses and strains like a dose of Lithium.
If rock music could ever successfully get away with adding, ever so subtly, a steel drum bands rendition of the calypso one hit wonder, Yellow Bird, then this is its second home. Written by Tyler and band guitarist Brad Whitford, it is a track that we all dream about when stuck in rush hour traffic, sitting at a meeting, staring out of the window or just generally anywhere we dont want to be. Its wishful, hopeful and if it dont get you racing to the nearest branch of Thomas Cook then there is something seriously wrong. If the tropical birdcalls and the biplane cruising past isnt enough to get you in the mood of jetting off somewhere hot and exotic, try closing your eyes. The whole theme of this track is a holiday in itself. The riffs mixed sweetly in with wailing harmonica and screaming vocals sets the whole tongue in cheek anthem off and proves that rock from this band can be humorous and optimistic. Two words that never rear their heads in rock as a whole.
The next downfall of this practically mint album is the awful attempt at Lennon and McCartneys Im Down. For a start, perhaps The Beatles isnt everyone cup of tea, but even so, the Beatles only ever wrote the best of their music for themselves. Never, under any circumstances could mop top haircuts and smarts suits be entwined with bad breath and lack of beauty cream. Still, every album has its three legged dog that it drags behind. It is a wonder that such a extraordinary piece as The Movie, could sit so nestled next to a shabby version of a Beatle hit. This mean, hard, machine like instrumental track is one of those pieces of music youd love to be playing when confronting your worst enemy. Its cold, aggressive and beautifully exciting. Written by the whole band, it is a track that could have sat quite proudly at the beginning of this album instead of bringing up the rear end. Thanks to the soft Gaelic words of Christine Arnott throughout this track that give it a true Movie soundtrack theme.
It is certainly full of its foot tapping middle of the road rock themes that you will probably wonder what the fuss was all about. Judging at the singles performances, I would say that at the time, the public took what this album had to say. It is not surprising that the band havent appeared over here too much in the past. Chart wise, the five singles that were released from Permanent Vacation failed to reach anything higher than number 20, however, this album has gone down in the bands history as being a benchmark for the rest of their careers. It has to be said that Pump, didnt hang any higher prize on the wall either. Love In An Elevator reaching only number 13 from that album.
There are, a couple of hastily thrown together tracks on Permanent Vacation. Simoriah, being one them. Its too thrashy and uncomfortable on the ears. It appears to make no sense and perhaps may be only listed as a squashed Satsuma would be as a stocking filler as so does Girl Keeps Coming Apart. St.John adds to the bluesy rocker feel and it a genre that, surprisingly, Aerosmith appear to pull off rather well. Its probably due to the vocal range of Tyler. Just his tone makes any blues track sound more than significantly interesting. Hangman Jury, on the other hand should, by all accounts be a little more inspiring than it sounds. A camp fire track that would fit at home either around a roasting fire out in the dessert of with guitar across lap and a harmonica in hand rocking gently on a veranda. With lyrics such as I swear I didnt know that 45 was loaded, in fact my memory aint to clear.. is all very humorous and adds to the story of the track where upon, imaging Tyler standing, with hands tied behind his back, pleading for his life, makes the song al the more inviting.
On the whole, this band are truly stuck in a time warp in this album and if it had been released to today, I doubt it would have done much better in the charts. Still, it is, for those of us who can look back on our teen years with knowing smiles, it is an album to do treasured.
It will pull out all the stops on forcing me to recall all sorts of things (the back cover shows the band behind bars, and a perfect idea of the album and its content, I, personally was never behind bars..) so in that respect I believe it to be a classic album, but in the consumer view?
Pump, was better.
Hearts Done Time (weve all had days like that..)
Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
Girl Keeps Coming Apart
Steven Tyler - vocals/piano/harmonica
Joe Perry - guitar and backing vocals with Brad Whitford
Tom Hamilton - bass
Joey Kramer - Drums
Brought in Woolworths in 1987, dont ask me how much!
While it doesn't quite hang together as well as does the follow-up Pump, Permanent Vacation marked Aerosmith's rebirth as a viable rock band. On the strength of singles "Rag Doll," "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)," and "Angel" (a worthy entry from the band that basically invented the power ballad), Aerosmith came roaring back into the charts with a vengeance, proving that rock & rollers really can claw their way to the top more than once. Their roots show in a couple of bluesy tracks ("St. John" and "Hangman Jury"), while other songs (notably "Magic Touch" and "Simoriah") are quintessential 1980s rockers. Overall the singles on Permanent Vacation are stronger than the album as a whole, but it was this album that announced that Aerosmith were back
AEROSMITH This in my opinion is one of the best albums Aerosmith have released. Open all the windows, grab the vacuum cleaner (to do some cleaning) and turn the volume up as loud as it goes and go with the flow. Rag Doll and Dude are my favourite tracks on this album and when I’m in the house alone I love listening to it full blast. I think I borrowed this CD and found that I liked it so much I had to buy a copy. What a great band.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Heart's Done Time
2 Magic Touch
3 Rag Doll
5 Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
6 St John
7 Hangman Jury
8 Girl Keeps Comin' Apart
10 Permanent Vacation
11 I'm Down