Ultimate Mix Tape: Aerosmith's Joe Perry Lists 60 Minutes of Music That's Closest to His Heart
Through the late Sixties and Early Seventies, the great English bands had a virtual monopoly on blues and r&b-based hard rock.
But with the arrival of Aerosmith's self-titled debut in 1973, America finally had a rock band that could equal the Stones and Led Zeppelin.
Interpersonal difficulties and big-time drug problems brought Aerosmith down for a time, but in the mid-Eighties they made one of the most spectacular comebacks in the history of rock, a revival that has continued well into the Nineties. If they've relied a bit much on song doctors and power ballads lately, fear not.
"There's a song on the Armageddon soundtrack we're really proud of," asserts soft spoken guitarist Joe Perry, and he isn't talking about the power ballad, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." "It was originally cut for the last album three years ago, but for some reason it got left off. So we just re-cut it in Miami."
The song alluded to by Perry — "What Kind of love Are You On" — is easily one of the most energetic and innovative guitar-driven rockers they've ever attempted. Listen closely and you'll find traces of every influence Perry sticks on his 60 Minutes tape, from the Stones to Rage Against the Machine.
"Check it out — that's where Aerosmith is heading," Perry adds.
Looks like they really may have nine lives after all.
"I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER" — SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE
Stand! (Epic, 1969)
"It's the energy. I just can't sit still when this song comes on. It takes the James Brown funk we were into but makes it more modern. Even in the studio they sounded like an incredible live band, which they were.
"That drive is what we go for when Aerosmith plays. During that era you went out on tour and basically designed stuff to hit 'em over the head — whether they'd heard of you or not. There was no MTV, where they'd seen your video 50 times. That's why there was so much live dynamics and jamming going on — you had to win them over like Sly did."