The year was 1982 and Joe Perry has left the band to pursue a solo career and Brad Whitford left in 1981. Essentially, it was basically Steven Tyler and their rhythm section Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton with Jimmy Crespo filling in on the guitar work. This album was widely considered to be a flop for the band, especially when the band spent over one million dollars recording this album. “Rock In A Hard Place” would eventually go gold in 1989, which signifies album sales of 500,000 copies in the United States, however it would only peak at No. 37 on the Billboard 200.
This album would begin for Aerosmith to attempt a new direction in the music since the departure of the twin guitar attack of Brad Whitford and Joe Perry. For the first time, Aerosmith would experiment with the sounds of new wave that was becoming the trend during this time, but they would still deliver on their hard-hitting gritty classic rock sounds. It was a good time for them to experiment especially with Jimmy Crespo and Rick DuFay in tow.
Old-school Aerosmith enthusiasts appreciate this album as the last hard hitting album by Aerosmith where the focus was making a great rock album, this was the album along with their 1985 release “Done With Mirrors”, the riffs are plentiful in tracks such as “Lightning Strikes”, “Rock In A Hard Place(Cheshire Cat)”, and “Joanie’s Butterfly”. Critics have often said that while Crespo and DuFay were temporary replacements, they should’ve landed full-time gigs elsewhere, and Steven Tyler sounds surprisingly strong here considering he was buzzed out on his addiction to heroin.
Overall, this was a surprisingly great effort, especially when this wasn’t considered to be a commercial success for Aerosmith. We dig the cover of “Cry Me A River” by Julie London, which breathed new life into that famous oldies song. Madness To Creation rates this an 8 out of 10 stars. Here is the track listing below.
- Lightning Strikes
- Bitch’s Brew
- Bolivian Ragamuffin
- Cry Me A River (Julie London cover)
- Prelude To Joanie
- Joanie’s Butterfly
- Rock In A Hard Place(Cheshire Cat)
- Jig Is Up
- Push Comes To Shove