Tag Archives: aerosmith

Aerosmith vs Van Halen-1st 6 LP Challenge

The other day on Twitter someone retweeted an article from Ultimate Classic Rock. This article was a list of the Top 10 American Rock Bands. The Top 3 were Aerosmith, Van Halen, and ZZ Top. Noted Van Halen enthusiast and author of an upcoming book on them, Greg Renoff had VH number one ahead of Aerosmith. His reasoning, not biased in the least I’m sure, was that the first 6 LP’s of VH outweighed the first 6 from Aerosmith. At first glance I agree but started thinking how many great Aersomth songs there are and how padded some of the Halen albums are. So in an excuse to listen to those albums again let’s put them head to head.

1st Album

aero1Aerosmith’s self titled debut is only 8 songs but it contains arguably their biggest song “Dream On”. Ironically the song was not a hit when the album first came out, it took a couple years later for the public to discover it. That’s why you will see some versions that has “featuring Dream On” on the cover. Another highlight is “Mama Kin” a song that is still in their live set. The rest of the album is good but you can tell that it is a first album but the potential is obvious.


Van Halen’s debut is a mother trucker. You know every song on this album. From “Runnin With The Devil” to “You Really Got Me” to “Ain’t Talking About Love” they are all classic rock radio standards. Add in what “Eruption” and the immeasurable influence of Eddie’s playing on the next generations and it’s a no-brainer.
Winner: Van Halen by QUICK KO

2nd Album

On Get Your Wings you are starting to get more of a sense of what Aerosmith would become. It has a couple more classics with “Train Kept A Rollin’” and “Same Old Song and Dance”. The sex theme shows up on “Lord Of The Thighs” along with underrated track “Seasons Of Wither”.

On the imaginatively titled II, Van Halen does not ease up with “Dance The Night Away”, “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”, and “Beautiful Girls”. The band starts flexing its’ personality more with a heavy dose of Diamond Dave on “Bottoms Up” and more guitar greatness on “Spanish Fly”.
Both albums are great but the Van Halen one is deeper.
Winner: Van Halen by late round stoppage

3rd Album


Now this is where it gets interesting. On the third album both bands have had a chance to record and tour so they know who they are. At this point of their careers Van Halen is a bigger band. Toys In The Album is a true classic with 3 monster songs in “Walk This Way”, “Sweet Emotion”, and the title track. Add in “Big Ten Inch”, “Uncle Salty”, “You See Me Crying” and this album that will live on your turntable.

Women And Children First is no slouch though. “And The Cradle Will Rock” and “Everybody Wants Some!!” are two Van Halen staples. There are a couple of other tracks that everyone knows in “Take Your Whiskey Home” and “Romeo’s Delight”. However when push comes to shove, I think Toys is a much better album.
WINNER: Aerosmith by late round KO.

4th Album

At this point in their careers both bands are pretty big. Aerosmith released album #4 with Rocks. It’s a pretty solid offering. Kicks off with “Back In The Saddle” and “Last Child”. One of my favorite tracks on here is “Nobody’s Fault”along with another underrated track “Sick As A Dog”. Almost forgot about “Lick and A Promise” one more Steven Tyler track dripping with raunchiness.

Van Halen brought us Women and Children First. The biggies here are “So This Is Love?”, “Unchained”, and “Mean Streets”. All three of those are songs any band would kill to have created. What is interesting is Van Halen’s albums are becoming shorter. The first had 11 tracks now we’re down to 9 with two of them being under two minutes and one of those an instrumental. In a match up between the two albums I think that is a big factor.
Winner: Aerosmith by unanimous decision

5the Album

So by the time we get to album #5 both bands are still huge and if you read Aerosmith’s book you know how far gone the whole band is. The Toxic Twins moniker has clearly been earned. Van Halen is still the party band of their time but don’t seem to be showing the cracks Aerosmith does. The band from Boston released Draw The Line and just like Toys the title track is a killer. The other big track is “Kings and Queens” but “Milk Cow Blues” should not be ignored. Plus it has “Get It Up” a highly ignored rocker.

The fifth offering from VH was Diver Down. This is kind of an odd album in that it has 12 tracks but 5 of them are covers. And 4 of the remaining are instrumentals. Normally this would be seen a screw job to fans but it’s Van Halen. “Pretty Woman” and “Dancing In The Streets” are pretty iconic covers. As is “Where Have All The Good Time Gone” even though this is another Kinks cover. I guess if it worked once try it again. Right Quiet Riot?
Anyway. Those are all keepers as is the instrumental “Little Guitars”. I must point out that the original songs are stinkers. I don’t know what was going on in the VH camp but this seems like a rush job. I could see someone choosing Draw The Line since they are originals but I got to to with VH.
Winner: Van Halen by split decision

6th Album


There is something interesting about the first 6 albums from these bands. 1 through 5 came out a year apart but there was a 2-year gap in between 5 and 6. Plus album number 7 had big lineup changes for both. The mighty Aerosmith were in full drug hell by this time. They were a mess and it is kind of evident here. Night In The Ruts is not a bad album but there is not a hammer here. The band seems to have wanted to get back to the blues rock/Zeppelin influence. “Cheese Cake” and “Reefer Headed Woman” are perfect examples. The best track might be “Bone To Bone” but there’s no definite one.

I can still remember when 1984 came out. During lunch break at high school some classmates ran out and bought it and were listening to it before 4th period. It was the first Van Halen that took advantage of MTV. “Jump” was a big hit but “Hot For Teacher” knocked it out of the park. Add in that it has “Top Jimmy” “Drop Dead Legs”, and “Panama” and the last album by the original 4 was just as gi-normous as their first.
Winner:Van Halen by QUICK KO

Depending on how you scored the 5th album, you either have a draw or 4-2 in favor of Van Halen. I had an idea of how it would go before I wrote this but am kind of shocked how close it ended up being. I love Aerosmith but I think Van Halen is the bigger band. Even if you include the sober Aerosmith you then have to include the Van Hagar years and those were pretty good for them. The first and last album for Van Halen are just monstrous. So many classic songs. However in the middle ones, Aerosmith’s were a lot deeper. I don’t know why Van Halen coasted.
Either way that is a quality catalog that any band would be happy with.
How did you score it?
I had the top 3 American rock bands as KISS, Van Halen, Aerosmith.

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Buckcherry the kings of the hard rock party have returned with Confessions. It has a loose theme of the 7 deadly sins plus a couple others the band discovered while on tour.

This album is full of what you expect from the band with a couple of surprises. It all kicks off with “Gluttony” arguably the best named song title ever. Especially on a track that is about drinking, eating, smoking, and fucking too much. What’s not to like about that? Title aside it is a very rocking track and the essence of what Buckcherry is.

Then we hit the problem that I have always found with Buckcherry. One awesome song and a bunch of “alright” tracks. “Wrath” is a decent song but the tough lyrics doesn’t seem to work. I don’t know if it is Joshua Todd’s delivery or what. Same with “Seven Ways To Die”, just seems very formulaic. Granted, they’re not all duds, “Air” has a nice surf-ish guitar sound and it’s nicely coupled with refreshingly restrained vocals. “Sloth” is a great slow rocker with an Aerosmith vibe. “Pride” and “Envy” and “Lust” are all nice tracks but they all seem like the same song.

Some of the most enjoyable songs on Confessions are the slower ones. “The Truth” is an updated power ballad but it works real well plus Todd sings slower and cleaner and it really stands out. The album closes out with “Dreamin’ of You” an real nice acoustic ballad that is able to dodge the cliche with Todd’s unique voice.

People that like Buckcherry are going to like Confessions. They may even love it. My big problem is that this is 2 or 3 songs too many and the song order is horrendous. If they would have switched a couple of the songs from the front of the album with ones on the back it would have been great. However, in this day and age of iTunes and MP3 that may be only a problem for those that listen all the way through.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

Normally I post a video from the album here. But for some reason the video for “Gluttony” is not available for USA.


Also, the lyric video for “ 7 deadly” has the embedding disabled.

That almost makes me want to change my review.

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Vince Neil-Tattoos & Tequila

There is nothing more insulting than an artist trying to cash in. This is evident with the release of Tattoos & Tequila from Vince Neil. Of course do not confuse this with his soon to be released autobiography or his new club. I think it is called cross marketing or something.
He has hordes of cash that he bang porn starts on nightly and yet has to reduce himself to the same level as a “tribute” CD that kept Deadline records alive for way too long. Think about it, this is the same thing that Mark Slaughter and Marq Tourquin have to do. Add in the fact that two members of Slaughter are the backing band, guitarist Jeff Blando and bassist Dana Strum, and this has disaster written all over it,
Shockingly, it is not. Vince did a nice job in choosing songs that he obviously loved when he was a kid.  The admiration comes through loud and clear and it adds a layer of fun to it, Naturally there is the requisite Aerosmith track, “Nobody’s Fault”. This is done as the straight ahead rocker that it is but if you have heard the Testament version this really pales in comparison. After that he does a nice job of choosing the obvious band but doing the surprising song. Vince covers the Scorpions on “Another Piece of Meat”. Really superb choice of cover and it fits his style real well. His version of “ACDC” from The Sweet is a nice homage to a very underrated band. You could say the same thing for “He’s A Whore” by Cheap Trick.
There are some curious choices at the end the album. “Who’ll Stop the Rain’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival. To his credit, Vince’s version has more of a country feel to it so he at least tried something different with it. Lastly, there is “Viva Las Vegas”. I know Vince has a huge affinity for Vegas so a tribute should be in order. However, taking such an iconic song and re-working it like he has just comes off as real hokey.
The two original tracks “Tattoos & Tequila” and “Another Bad Day” are decent. The title track is a typical sexually charged song that pole dancers will be using for years. “Another Bad  Day” was written by Nikki Sixx and was originally supposed to be released on Motley Crue’s “New Tattoo” CD. This song is more of a mid-paced melancholy song that echoes what they did when they reunited years ago.
Credit needs to be given to producer Jack Blades, The Night Ranger singer/bassist does a great job in having the band not fall into the habit of sounding like the original or Crue.
All in all, Vince has done a nice job with this disc and if you get it at Best Buy for $8 like I did or iTunes for $10 then you should be happy. Anything more than that and only the hard cores will be happy.



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