Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A to Z: 2 Compilations Not To Be Altered

Haahnster can be a creature of habit. That’s for sure. And, certain things just were made to be a certain way. Changing those certain things would be unacceptable. That’s why I had to buy these two CDs while they still existed in unaltered format, the same 10 songs each, and in the same order from start to finish. The same as the vinyl LPs I grew up with, dammit!

Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits (1980): Pink might be Steven Tyler’s favorite crayon. But, to me, far and away the best Aerosmith music is still the 1970’s Aerosmith music. The first side (“Dream On”, “Same Old Song And Dance”, “Sweet Emotion”, “Walk This Way” and “Last Child”) is as strong a group of songs as was produced in that decade by almost anyone. The first 3 on the second side (“Back In The Saddle”, “Draw The Line” and “Kings And Queens”) are pretty fuckin’ good, too. The quality drops a notch with the two '60s remakes (“Come Together” and “Remember (Walking In The Sand)”). But they are good fun nonetheless.

The Best Of ZZ Top (1977): Mat reminded me of this one with his reference to the great FM radio double-play, “Waitin’ For The Bus”/”Jesus Just Left Chicago” (songs 2 and 3 on the 1st side). Of course, the opening song here (“Tush”) is a classic, as is Side 1, song 4 (“Francine”). The last song on Side 1, “Just Got Paid,” was always a personal favorite of mine. Man, I remember jamming along with Billy Gibbons on guitar to that one in the basement in 7th and 8th grade! (I ruled on air guitar, by the way.) Who could forget the 1st song on Side 2? It’s that ultimate John Lee Hooker “tribute” (rip-off, according to the courts), “La Grange.” The rest of the 2nd side (“Blue Jean Blues”, “Backdoor Love Affair”, “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” and “Heard It On The X”) is solid, too. Great stuff!


Blogger Beth said...

I agree with you that the only real Aerosmith to listen to is the 1970s version. I don't mind what they've done in the last 15 years, but it's just a watered-down version of the original band. I'm a "Sweet Emotion" girl myself. I must admit, though, that I love Run-DMC's "Walk This Way." (BTW, have you heard R.E.M.'s cover of "Toys in the Attic"? Pretty good.)

I was never a huge ZZ Top fan, but you “Waitin’ For The Bus”/”Jesus Just Left Chicago” and "LaGrange," both of which are excellent.

I'm on the other end of the late 1970s/early 1980s record shelf today ... with a post on The B-52's first two albums.

5:41 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Two excellent bands.

I count 14 ZZ Top ticket stubs in my concert box (although none since 1997) and Aerosmith is still one of my alltime fav's. I haven't missed them a single time since the 77 tour. Yep, that's an amazing 21 ticket stubs on them.

They rock.

But I've got to tell you that I just hate greatest hits albums. I'm just a sucker for the originals - which is why I have thousands, I guess.

I have enjoyed buying all the greatest hits for my kids, though. When you don't grow up with it, it's not so special for you. My son, who is 21, just loves this stuff too which I guess validates something somewhere.

9:45 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Old Lady said...

One of the best concerts I ever went to was here in my little town. Brownsville Station & ZZ Top. God it was fantastic. I believe it was in 1975. I can still hear it in my head

1:47 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger mat said...

Glad I could inspire you! Both of those are great. A couple of others- Boston's debut (I know radio has killed it, but...)and Guns and Roses Appetite for Destruction. The flow if too good to f*%$ with!

5:47 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Dale said...

That Aerosmith album got worn out by my brothers and I thank them for that, great stuff.

I've heard the REM Toys in the Attic Beth, I think it was on a 12" single maybe?

Nazareth's Greatest Hits was another one of those classic leave it alone albums for me.

8:20 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

Beth: REM's "Toys In The Attic" is available on the compilation Dead Letter Office, correct? I know I've heard it. (Of course, it's good!)

KK: I've seen Aerosmith live twice...EXCELLENT! I don't think I've ever seen ZZ Top live, which is a shame.

OL: That does sound cool!

Mat: Agreed.

Dale: "Now, you're messin' with a..."

8:16 AM, August 16, 2006  

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