Get A Grip
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Get A Grip CD Geffen Records, GED24444, 1993, 15 Track
If there's a better advertisement for a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll than Steven Tyler--a man who looks better at 50 than most of us do at 20--it hasn't surfaced yet. The secret? It isn't just that Aerosmith have refused to grow old. They've refused even to grow up. Unquestionably the most magnificently puerile band on the planet--next to the 'Smith, AC/DC are Leonard Cohen--their lyrical preoccupations haven't altered for the best part of three decades: getting wasted, getting your rocks off, and, er, that's it. "Sex is like a gun," Tyler sings on one track on Get A Grip, "You aim, you shoot, you run." At the start of another, he belches into the microphone. He was 45 years old at the time.
Aerosmith's sonic formula has hardly kept pace with the mercurial shifts in modern music either (during the intro to this album, Tyler starts to rap, then thinks better of it). It's classic good-time rock & roll propelled by Joe Perry' trademark super-funky riffing, but when it sounds this joyous, who's complaining? Boasting hits like "Livin' On The Edge", "Eat The Rich", "Amazing", "Crazy" and the glorious drunken singalong "Cryin'", Get A Grip is vintage Aerosmith, and comes in a vintage Aerosmith sleeve: a cow's udders with one pierced teat. If you only buy one Aerosmith album. well, it doesn't really matter which, but this one won't let you down. --Simon Price.