Playlists Redux

Aerosmith ‘Get A Grip’ Redux

Every now and then on RockYouLike, we take a decent enough album and turn it into a classic.  So far we’ve done Oasis’ Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, and U2’s Rattle & Hum.  This time round, we’re turning our attention to the 1993 Aerosmith album Get A Grip. We’re going to transform it from an overly-long, mediocre album into a classic.

Aerosmith cemented their 80’s comeback with 1989’s Pump.  It housed 10 songs, including 4 huge hit singles, and proved that the return to form of ’87’s Permanent Vacation wasn’t a fluke.  Anticipation was high for their next release, which would come in April 1993.  Get A Grip was preceded by a killer lead single in ‘Livin’ On The Edge’, so this correspondent was giddily excited when, on day of release, he inserted the album into his Walkman and pressed play.

Sixty-five minutes later, I was knackered – and underwhelmed.  Aerosmith’s best albums of the 70s and 80s had a runtime of between 35 and 50 minutes.  This new one was just too long.  About four songs too long.  Four crap songs too long.

So the first thing we need to do to reclaim Get A Grip is to make it shorter.  Here, for reference, is the original tracklisting:

  1. Intro
  2. Eat The Rich
  3. Get A Grip
  4. Fever
  5. Livin’ on The Edge
  6. Flesh
  7. Walk On Down
  8. Shut Up and Dance
  9. Cryin’
  10. Gotta Love It
  11. Crazy
  12. Line Up
  13.  Amazing
  14. Boogie Man

Jesus, I’m tired just reading that list.

Let’s take out the dead wood.  Bye Bye ‘Walk On Down’ (Sorry Joe), ‘Shut Up And Dance’ (B-side at best), ‘Crazy’ (Yes, ‘Crazy’. Awful song), ‘Line Up’ (that can be a B-side too), and the final track ‘Boogie Man’, which just takes away from the emotion of ‘Amazing’, a closing track if ever there was one.

Sometimes when we Redux an album, there’s a B-Side or two that gets elevated to album status. Not here though. The likes of ‘Head First’ and ‘Don’t Stop’ stay relegated.  There’s one track though, ‘Can’t Stop Messin”, that only appeared on ‘Special Editions’ of the album, so we’re going to grant it full album status on our Redux.

Next we’re going to re-jig the tracklist of the remaining songs.  ‘Eat The Rich’ is a good song, but it’s not an album opener.  Similarly, on the cassette version, ‘Shut Up and Dance’ was the first track on Side 2.  As it’s gone for a burton on our new version, that’s not gonna happen.  Here’s our new order:

  1. Intro/Fever
  2. Get A Grip
  3. Livin’ on The Edge
  4. Flesh
  5. Eat The Rich

1. Cryin’
2. Gotta Love It
3. Can’t Stop Messin’
4. Amazing

New runtime? 45:28.  Much better.

Now let’s tackle the album cover.  I don’t know about you, but the original cover always made me feel queasy. Who wants to see a cow’s teat with a ring pierced through it?  You can even see a vein in there. Bleurgh.

On the back cover of the CD booklet there’s a cool photo of the classic Aerosmith logo branded on the cow.  We’re gonna use that, and superimpose the album title in the bottom right hand corner. Yes, the cover may now lose the connection between gripping the cow’s teat and the album title, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice for the sake of not vomiting when I look at it.

Much better.

So here’s how our new, shorter, stuffed-full-of-great-songs Get A Grip looks and sounds. Maximum volume please.