[Album Review] “Classics Live I” – Aerosmith

Classics Live! I - AerosmithAlbum Title: Classics Live!
Artist: Aerosmith
Year: 1986
Running Time: 37m 54s

Track listing: 1 Train Kept a Rollin [1974]; 2 Kings and Queens [1977]; 3 Sweet Emotion [1975]; 4 Dream On [1973]; 5 Mama Kin [1973]; 6 Three Mile Smile/Reefer Head Woman [1979]; 7 Lord of The Thinghs [1974]; 8 Major Barbara

With dwindling record sales, Aerosmith released a couple of live albums in order to try and save their careers. Rather cynically, each one contained a minimal amount of songs and should have been released as one album. However, both are extremely good and capture the band at their best. This album was recorded between 1973 and 1987.

There are several automatic classics here. The brilliant ‘Train Kept a Rollin’ kicks things off in a strained but pacy manner and it is followed by the dynamic ‘Kings and Queens’ – a flawed classic. ‘Sweet Emotion’ is not very far behind and Tom Hamilton’s greatest bass moment launches us into the all out metal attack of one of the greatest rock songs of the seventies.

‘Dream On’ and ‘Mama Kin’ are next and both are irrepresible in execution. The former benefits from the more lavish instrumental application that it gets on stage and the latter becomes an extreme stadium jam thanks to the spirited participation from the excited crowd.

A “Night in the Ruts” double header ensues with ‘Three Mile Smile’ and ‘Reefer Head Woman’ making up one track. ‘..Smile’ sounds funkier than ever and is rather excellent and the 90-seconds of the blues stomper ‘Reefer..’, is much appreciated.

You can’t help thinking that the crowd were anticipating ‘Walk this Way’ as Joey Kramer thumps the intro to ‘Lord of the Thighs’ but the conditioned sleaze of ‘LOTT’ sounds wonderful thanks to Tyler and the Boys playing with the pace. However, it does outstay its welcome for a couple of minutes.

The final track is not actually a live track but rather a hidden gem that was originally meant for release on “Get Your Wings” and gets its ‘studio’ release here. ‘Major Barbara’ is a melodic but slightly raw romantic ode that would have fit nicely on “Get Your Wings” but whose inclusion here is gratefully accepted.

Overall it is an excellent package in its own right but it would have been nice to have a few more songs included.


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