(NOTE: Music That Sucks is the correct opinion of the author. If you don't like it I hope you're buried under the pitcher's mound at Fenway Park.)
**This is (finally) part two of a two-induction Boston, MA MTS special**
Some sucky rock bands implode right in your face and eventually fade away while others seem to survive everything that's thrown at them (and they throw at us) and look as though they'll outlive the mighty cockroach. In part one of the MTS Boston special I showcased a classic example of the former, so it's only fitting that in part two I give you an example of the latter.
While on a goodwill tour in Yonkers, NY, in 1947 Francis the Talking Mule (who was actually a female mule named Molly) had a one-night stand with one of her many human admirers. As legend has it, the condom that Francis' lover was using (more commonly known as a "scumbag" back in those days) broke and nine months later Steven Victor Tallarico was born. If only Molly had known what musical hell her offspring would unleash upon an unsuspecting (and tone deaf) public, perhaps she would have flown to Mexico for a quicky abortion.
By the late 1960's Steven had aspirations of becoming a rock singer, so he set out to find the one place where any aspiring would to make it big: Boston Massachusetts. While working at an ice cream parlor in a small New Hampshire town that he thought was Boston, Tallarico met guitarist Joe Perry. Shortly afterwards they were joined by bassist Tom Hamilton, guitarist Brad Whitford, and drummer Joey Kramer. Tallarico changed his name to Steven Tyler, and the band was known as The Francis Experience. Wanting to proove that he can make it without glomming off his mother's name, Tyler came up with the name Aerosmith shortly afterward. Near the end of 1970 someone had clued Tyler in to the fact that he was not actually in Boston, so he used the power of his mighty lips that he inherited from his famous mother to suck off enough Johns to buy Greyhound tickets to Beantown for the entire band.
For two years Aerosmith, led by Tyler's banshee whail, played clubs in and around Boston and New York until they were signed by Columbia Records in 1972. The following year they released an eponymous debut album which flopped (#166 on the charts). The single "Dream On" was for the most part ignored, going only as high as #59 on the Billboard singles chart. Undeterred and just as stubborn as his mother was, Tyler kept plugging on as Aerosmith toured with various shitty 70's music acts such as Sha-Na-Na and Mott the Hoople before the release of their second album, 1974's Get Your Wings. The album spent an ungodly 86 weeks on the charts, led by the single "Sweet Emotion", but did not chart very high.
With their lite take on Heavy Metal and Tyler's screaming into the microphone, their third album Toys In The Attic (1975) became their true breakthrough commercial hit, reaching #11 on the album charts. The band then re-released "Dream On", and this time it cracked the Top Ten, reaching as high as #6. The band rode the success of the album as long they could, and the final single to be released from Toys, "Walk This Way" became their second Top Ten hit (#10). Around the same time they also released another album, Rocks, which despite not having a strong single reached #3 on the album charts.
In 1977 the band scored another album hit with Draw The Line, and shortly following that did the inexcusable as they appeared as the bad guys in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Movie (MTS #19). While this abominable desecration of one the greatest rock albums of all time effectively killed Peter Frampton's career, unfortunately Aerosmith got out unscathed and even scored a hit with an absolutely shitty cover of the Beatles song "Come Together" (#23). They scored two more hit albums to close out the 1970's with Live! Bootleg (1978) and Night in the Ruts (1979), before both Perry Whitford left the band to persue other projects, jealous at the copious amounts of drugs and alcohol Tyler was able to consume being half mule and all.
The 1980's started out with a whimper for Aerosmith, as the band's subsequent albums failed to meet expectations. Perry and Whitford returned to Aerosmith in 1984 and during the reunion Tyler collapsed on stage (after all he's half mule, not half elephant; the drugs had to take their toll sometime). The new album by the original lineup, Done With Mirrors (their first with Geffen Records) failed miserably and seemed as though the coffin lid was nailed shut on Aerosmith. Unfortunately, this was far from the case.
In 1986 Tyler and Perry went to drug rehabilitation, and teamed up with rap pioneers Run D.M.C. for a cover version of "Walk This Way", also appearing in the MTV video. The horrid rap/rock hybrid was played non-stop on the infant music channel, and the cover outperformed the original, reaching #4 on the charts. Aerosmith was saved by the proverbial Jaws Of Life, and their next album, 1987's Permanent Vacation became a quick hit in the sucky 80's, selling over 3 million copies with hit singles that make you want to poke at your eardrums with a fork like "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" (#14, and originally titled Dude Looks Like A Lady Jackass, an autobiographical piece), "Rag Doll" (#12 on the Rock charts) and "Angel" (#2).
Aerosmith closed out the Decade of Suckitude with Pump (1989) which reached #5 on the album charts, their highest spot since Rocks 13 years earlier. This album, considered by the ambi-sexual fans of Aerosmith to probably be with their best along with Toys In The Attic spawned three Top Ten Hits, all equally annoying and shitty: "Janie's Got A Gun" (#4), "Love In An Elevator (#5), and "What It Takes" (#9). In the early 1990's the band resigned with Columbia, but due to their low IQ's and short memories forgot they owed Geffen two more albums. In 1993 they released their worst (and of course most successful) album to date, Get A Grip (#1). The first two singles "Amazing" (#9) and "Crying" (#11) sound exactly alike, and along with "Livin On The Edge" (#19) the music videos feature future Bat-Girl Alicia Silverstone. The following year they released their third of an eventual five greatest hits albums, fulfilling their Geffen contract.
Allow me to digress here for a moment. I absolutely hate it when these old bands/artists (or their estates) feel that they constantly release greatest hits albums in an attempt to squeeze every last sheckle they can out of their fans. It's not just the sucky ones that do it either, John Lennon has a total of 4 greatest hits packages as well, 3 of which were released after his death. I urge all who read this to please, no matter what bands you like, if you are going to buy a greatest hits album, keep it to just ONE greatest hits album. Just because you may be a huge Aerosmith fan doesn't mean you need all 5 fucking compilation albums!
The first album of the new Columbia deal, Nine Lives, debuted at #1 but fell quickly. The group would finally have their first (and only) #1 hit single with "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" from the soundtrack to an overblown Hollywood shitfest called Armageddon, which featured Tyler's quarter-mule daughter Liv as the lead actress. Subsequent albums have done nothing as it seems a new generation of music fans have no use for a band led by a middle-aged product of beastiality. Tyler was seen screaching through a rendition of the national anthem at game one of the 2004 World Series at Fenway Park. Not even his downright awful alley-cat like voice could ruin this Sox fan's euphoria on that day.
If the story of Aerosmith has taught us anything besides Boston has a very checkered music past (after all, not only are fellow inductees Boston from here but so are fellow inductees New Kids On The Block), it's that no matter how drunk you get and how flurtatious four legged creatures might be, please stick with fucking mammals from the human race.
Aerosmith, music...that sucks!