Album review: Aerosmith, Get a Grip (1993)



By Steve Newton

When I first heard Aerosmith’s “comeback” releases—1987’s Permanent Vacation and 1989’s Pump—I thought they were mighty fine. In the intervening years, however, I found myself playing those discs less and less, tending instead to dig around in my vinyl collection for earlier ’Smith albums like Draw the Line and Get Your Wings. Catchy as they were, late-’80s hits like “Love in an Elevator” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” lacked the gritty style and down ’n’ dirty attitude that turned me on to the band in the first place.

But now my faithfulness to the mighty Aerosmith’s ’70s efforts has been rewarded with Get a Grip, a recording that I’m pretty sure I’ll be playing for as long as my ageing ears can stand raunchy guitars and screeching vocals.

Unlike the band’s last two albums, the Bruce Fairbairn–produced Get a Grip was only partially recorded in Vancouver; six tracks were recorded in some other place called L.A. Still, the city fathers should be proud that one of the album’s finest tunes, the feverish “Flesh”, was cut here, along with “Walk on Down”, the best Joe Perry tune since “Let the Music Do the Talkin’ ”.

Other unbeatable tracks are “Eat the Rich”, “Fever”, “Line Up”, and the title track. I’m so totally won over by Get a Grip that even Don Henley’s backup vocals on “Amazed” don’t bother me.

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