Blabbermouth.net reported Friday, February 6, that in an interview with ABC ePrep the previous day Joe Perry, lead guitarist for Boston hard rockers Aerosmith, acknowledged that not only had Aerosmith begun rehearsals for a new album but the band had also tapped Brendan O’Brien to produce the new album.
Perry said the band got together to begin work on a new album. “We started rehearsing last week,” he said, adding, “the band’s been all gathered back together. And we’ve been at it and going over some of the new stuff.”
Great news for music fans. Excellent news for Aerosmith fans. The band is hoping to have the new tracks recorded before June 1, which the date they hope to kick off another North American concert tour.
The as yet untitled project, their 15th studio album, will be the band’s first full offering of original material since 2001’s “Just Push Play.” They released “Honkin’ On Bobo” in 2004 that had only one original tune, “Grind.” The album, an homage to their more blues-oriented heyday of 1970’s rock, had 11 cover tracks of classic blues material by such blues greats as Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Bo Diddley.
Joe Perry told ABC ePrep that the band was going to go after that sound again. He said Aerosmith would be “doing it more like we used to do the old records, which is the band playing live in the studio.” Working with O’Brien, who has produced Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine, AC/DC, Velvet Revolver and many others, would hopefully enable them to recapture that style.
Considered by many to be the greatest American rock band of all time (some Eagles and Metallica fans may present a different case), Aerosmith has only scored two No. 1 albums in Billboard chart history: 1993’s “Get A Grip” and 1997’s “Nine Lives.” But that hasn’t stopped every album from going either gold, platinum, or multi-platinum. They are ranked 12th on the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA)list of top-selling artists, having sold 66.5 million copies of their albums in the United States alone, just one million behind country singing legend George Strait.
Aerosmith became famous for their hard rocking style of blues-tinged, guitar driven music in the early 1970’s, scoring hits like “Dream On,” “Walk This Way,” and “Sweet Emotion,” all of which are still classic rock and hard rock radio mainstays. Like their British counterparts, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith pitched the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll lifestyle to the point of near dissolution. Joe Perry would leave the band in 1979 during the recording of “Draw The Line,” form an eponymous ensemble for three albums, and later return in 1984 to record the “comeback” album (which was not much of a comeback) “Done With Mirrors,” which was released in 1985.
But it was 1986’s collaboration with rap artists Run DMC on a cover of “Walk This Way” that brought the band’s music to an entire new generation. With glam rock hair metal bands dominating the hard rock scene, Aerosmith brought back the underlying blues element that is the core and foundation of hard rock/heavy metal music. The next year, “Permanent Vacation” would produce a radio and MTV video hit, “Dude Looks Like A Lady,” and Aerosmith was off and running again, producing hit tracks and multi-platinum albums. Starting with “Permanent Vacation,” three consecutive Aerosmith albums (including “Pump,” and “Get A Grip”) would sell 16 million albums between them.
The timing of their latest endeavor may not come at a better time. There seems to be a real push for a clearer, hard rock sound than has prevailed over the last several years of distortion-laden, grunge-influenced alternative music. Metallica and AC/DC have scored multi-platinum success with their latest releases, both offerings picking up on the trend of retrofitting new music to an older sound or style. (The Eagles, though not hard rockers, did the same retrofit with “Long Road Out of Eden,” which has sold over 7 million copies since its release.) Many other hard rockers — Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, Def Leppard — have all released new albums in the past year to varying degrees of success, but all with the same clear hard rocking sound that made them famous.
To remain relevant to the newest generation of music lovers who have grown up with computers, iPods, and video game consoles, many of whom had never actually heard more than one or two of the band’s songs, Aerosmith and Activision released “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith” in the summer of 2008. Aerosmith songs comprised over 60% of the soundtrack. The game was a huge success and has sold over a million copies, selling nearly 600,000 copies its first week of release.
Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.