On Bobo' is only Aerosmith's fourteenth
studio album in their 34-year career.
(If you count live albums, compilations,
greatest hits, etc., it would run into
hundreds), and is very much a return to
the original earthy sound that made them
America's favorite rock 'n' roll sons
in the mid seventies. In the eighties
they returned with a more commercial style,
blasting off phase two of their success
story with a collaboration with Run M/C
on 'Walk this Way'. This was not only
a great radio hit, but a firm favorite
to this day on stations like MTV.
Aerosmith finally got a number one hit
with the slushy 'I Don't Want To Miss
A Thing' from the movie 'Armageddon',
which starred Aerosmith's Steve Tyler's
beautiful daughter Liv Tyler. During the
90's and 2000's Aerosmith put out some
classy polished Rock albums namely 'Permanent
Vacation', 'Pump', ‘Get a Grip',
'Just Push Play', etc., which were all
commercially very successful and backed
up by extensive world tours. On record
Aerosmith was a very smooth animal, but
on stage the beast would come out and
they would rock like a tornado. So if
the polish of 'I Don't Want To Miss A
Thing' is your tipple, these nuggets may
be a bit rough for you.
For 'Honkin' For Bobo' the band have
gone back to their roots, even bringing
back producer Jack Douglas, who last worked
with the Aerosmith in 1977 on their 'Draw
the Line' album. Of the twelve songs on
this album eleven are covers, but this
is not a kop out by the band, as long
have gone the days when they had to do
anything to put food on the table. In
fact with their now over a decade of clean
living, one wonders what they do spend
their fortunes on.
So what you get is a band in a studio
having some fun, and at the same time
turning out an album that their legions
of fans have been waiting years to hear.
You can actually feel the guys enjoying
themselves on this recording, and the
feeling is infectious.
The album opens up with Steve Tyler wailing
over some distorted guitar licks from
Mr. Perry and Mr. Whitford. ''Laaadies
and Geeentlemen, step right up, let's
go see the boys." With that Joe Perry
rips out the lead riff from Ellas McDaniel's
(Better known as Bo Diddley’s) 'Roadrunner',
bringing the rest of the band crashing
in on the beat. This is Aerosmith at their
best as it says on the album wrapper "This
is Blues done Aerosmith style". You
can hear the sweat running down the guitar
frets and see the smiles on their faces.
This is not a collection of blues songs
moaning their lot for all to hear, this
is a collection of tunes celebrating the
joys of life. The closest the band actually
get to a ballad is the self-penned 'The
Grind', which fits in wonderfully well
with this collection of classic songs.
With every song you know that it is undoubtedly
Aerosmith. Steve Tyler's vocals are amongst
the best he has ever laid down in a studio,
plus he is given plenty of room to show
off his harmonica skills.
Joey Kramer, the heartbeat of Aerosmith,
thrusts each song along with almost indecent
haste, while Brad Whitford’s guitar
as usual compliments Joe Perry's perfectly,
who occasionally steps up into the spotlight
to joust with his guitar brother.
Tom Hamilton, the rock on which Aerosmith
is built, gives a sterling performance,
and is given a chance to shine when the
bass is placed way up in the mix for the
band’s take on Big Joe Williams’
'Baby, Please Don't Go', which is also
the band's first single off the album.
But above all this is Joe Perry's album.
His guitar playing is all over the songs,
including a jaw dropping performance on
the Peter Green penned Fleetwood Mac song
'Stop Messin' Round'. (Yes, I know it
is hard to remember that Fleetwood Mac
was originally a blues band.) Not only
is the guitar playing out of this world,
but Joe Perry actually gets the opportunity
to sing lead vocals on this song and ‘Back
Other highlights include a dramatic version
of Mississippi Fred McDowell's 'You Gotta
Move', where Aerosmith out-stone the Rolling
Stones, who had covered the song on their
1971 album 'Sticky Fingers', plus a moody
reworking of Willie Dixon's 'I'm Ready'.
The album is brought to a celebrating
climax with 'Jesus Is On The Main Line'
with some wonderful pump organ from Paul
Santo and additional lead vocals from
the very talented Tracy Bonham.
As the last Aerosmith studio album said:
"Just push play", and you get
forty-four minutes of classic blues/rock.
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew