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Aerosmith Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology Review

Compilation. Released 20 November 2001.  

BBC Review

For a couple of reformed bad boys, Tyler and Perry still manage to make Oasis sound...

Chris Jones 2002

Liberally stickered in your local emporium as a 'Best Of', this pumping, testosterone-filled beast of a compilation is, dare I say it, a bit of a sheep in wolf's clothing. Aerosmith were formed in 1970 (gasp) and have released over twenty albums, but what we have here is an anthology of the years spent with Geffen. In other words it's a minute 8 year slice of a band's 31 year career. Admittedly, all of the boy's trademark devices for alienating your neighbours are here - the bluesy sub-Zeppelinesque rifferama of Joe Perry, the yelping 'who let the cat out of the bag?' vocal stylings of Mr Stephen Tyler and, of course, the (ahem) politically correct lyrics. Yet it seems a shame to think that young whippersnappers who wish to annoy Granny this Christmas will be doing so without the full artillery that the Toxic Twins have amassed over the last third of a century.

It is well-documented that earning the above nickname was very nearly the ruin of the band, and were it not for the career resuscitating move to Geffen and the hiring of some top drawer producers we wouldn't today be still grinning at their bulgy-trousered antics. That renaissance is all here on view, starting with Done With Mirrors (how apposite) and Permanent Vacation featuring the shouty "Dude Looks Like A Lady". Naturally close attention is paid to the tip-top follow-up album Pump (7 tracks included) which sold squillions and made sure they'd never go away again. From then on, if you don't count the fabulous pairing with Run-D.M.C on the revamped "Walk This Way", the band set the controls to 'stadium-filling autopilot' and proceeded to deliver&well, more of the same.

So, it's a real shame that the band's first classic period gems such as the original "Walk This Way", "Back In The Saddle" or even "Draw The Line" are missing, leaving old rockers bereft and young 'uns without a true historical overview. Even worse, the boys left for Columbia before getting to that treacly power-ballad stuff like "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" - so your girlfriend won't like it either. All in all, nowhere near a best of with a truly puerile cover shot and yet, when young Tyler hits that long screaming note at the start of "Young Lust", well you just can't help grinning one more time...

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