[Album Review] “Young Lust” – Aerosmith

Young Lust - AerosmithAlbum Title: Young Lust – The Aerosmith Anthology
Artist: Aerosmith
Year: 2001
Running Time: 158m 45s

Track listing: [DISC 1] 1 Let the Music Do the Talking; 2 My Fist Your Face; 3 Shame On You; 4 Heart’s Done Time; 5 Rag Doll; 6 Dude (Looks Like a Lady); 7 Angel; 8 Hangman Jury; 9 Permanent Vacation; 10 Young Lust; 11 The Other Side; 12 What It Takes; 13 Monkey on my Back; 14 Love in an Elevator; 15 Janie’s Got a Gun; 16 Ain’t Enough; 17 Walk This Way (with Run-DMC)  [DISC 2] 1 Eat the Rich; 2 Love me Two Times; 3 Head First; 4 Livin’ On the Edge (acoustic); 5 Don’t Stop; 6 Can’t Stop Messin; 7 Amazing (orchestral); 8 Cryin’; 9 Crazy; 10 Shut up and Dance; 11 Deuces are Wild; 12 Walk on Water; 13 Blind Man; 14 Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees) (live); 15 Dream On (live); 16 Hole in my Soul (live); 17 Sweet Emotion (live)

Another greatest hits collection from Aerosmith, but actually nothing to do with the band rather complexly. Geffen have thrown together the best of Aerosmith from their years with the label (roughly 1985 to 1996), but the band were not consulted in any way about the project. So is that a good or a bad thing?

“Young Lust” is one of those rare collections. We thankfully do not just get the hits, we also get a number of non-studio album tracks, a few rarities and those album tracks that are fan favourites but did not receive radio play, or a single release.

Starting at the beginning is a trio of tracks from the much maligned “Done With Mirrors” album from 1985. Recorded during the tail end of Aerosmith’s drug and alcohol abuse, the album failed to perform well in the charts, and only moderately from a critical and creative point of view. Still, the best of it is here – the Joe Perry Project tune ‘Let the Music do the Talking’, catchy rocker (and album best) ‘My Fist Your Face’ and brooding Led Zep-styled ‘Shame On You’.

Comeback album “Permanent Vacation” is well represented with the three hits (‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’, ‘Angel’, ‘Rag Doll’) and the best of the rest included (outstanding cut ‘Hangman Jury’ and ‘Heart’s Done Time’ along with the title track). The trick is repeated with their career-best release, “Pump”. The popular hits, ‘Janies Got a Gun’, ‘Love in an Elevator’, ‘What it Takes’ and ‘The Other Side’ are all here, and they are ably accompanied by the unnerving raunch of ‘Young Lust’ and Tyler’s story of addiction, ‘Monkey on my Back’. Shame that ‘FINE’ is not included mind you.

The first disc finishes off with the reasonable ‘Ain’t Enough’, a Japan-only recording, and the career-saving ‘Walk this Way’ re-recording with Run DMC, as fresh now as it was 15 years ago.

The peak of Aerosmith’s commercial success came with “Get a Grip” and there cannot be many fans who don’t own it. So it is too Geffen’s credit that they have tried to vary things a little by including alternative versions of big hits ‘Amazing’ (orchestral version) and one of the decades best tracks, ‘Living on the Edge’ (acoustic). The inevitable inclusion of the over-exposed ‘Cryin’ and ‘Crazy’ is expected, and also here are mediocre rockers ‘Eat the Rich’ and ‘Shut up and Dance’. Thankfully we also get the brilliant ‘Head First’ and funky ‘Don’t Stop’ (only available as B-sides before this) as well as Europe-only release, ‘Can’t Stop Messin’. Soundtrack releases ‘Love me Two Times’, a cover of the Doors classic, and Beavis and Butthead Experience recording, the superb ‘Deuces are Wild’ (why this wasn’t an album track I will never know) are thrown in for good measure also

Completing the album are the two new recordings for the “Big Ones” greatest hits release in 1994, ‘Blind Man’ and the better of the two tracks, ‘Walk on Water’. The last four tracks are taken from the live Geffen release, “A Little South of Sanity”, a handy way for them to include tracks recorded for Columbia on 1997’s “Nine Lives” – ‘Falling in Love’ and ‘Hole in my Soul’ as well as 70s classics, ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Dream On’. Pity that they couldn’t give us a live version of ‘Pink’ somehow.

This is pretty much a flawless collection, although who is going to buy it is another thing. Die-hard fans will have much of it (although it is a convenient way of getting your hands on hard to find stuff like the B-sides), while casual listeners may be put off by the fact that they don’t recognise around a dozen or so of the tracks.

But you can’t knock 34 tunes, and this is the best representation of the bands career during this time. Get your hands on the “Greatest Hits 1973-1988” as well and you will have a great cross-section of one of rock’s finest bands all in 2 albums.

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