Aerosmith Excerpt.

So, I figured out, over the weekend, why Aerosmith stopped being relevant. Or, rather, when. Turns out, it all happened in 1993, which is funny because if I'm not mistaken, that's the year my dad and I saw them play in the Tacoma Dome.

Here's the thing, I'll go ahead and Nutshell Aerosmith for you right now. They form in the early 70s; there's a slow rise to fame where they peak in 1976 with their fourth album "Rocks"; hardcore drug use runs rampant throughout the band, anywhere from heroin and cocaine on down; their subsequent efforts suffer as a result, yet their live shows are still lauded by their legion of American fans; Joe Perry and Brad Whitford both leave the band by the end of the 70s, Aerosmith trudges on with replacement parts; 1980: "Aerosmith Greatest Hits" is released; they get back together by 1985 and mount a comeback; by 1989, they're back on top with their best album since "Rocks", entitled "Pump"; thereafter, they employ a number of outside song-writers to assist in their album making; their commercial peak hits in 1993 with the slew of Alicia Silverstone videos.

That's where we are now. In that same year, a little show on MTV entitled "Beavis & Butthead" dominates the pop culture spectrum; a soundtrack album is released featuring a number of Beavis & Butthead-approved bands; Aerosmith is one of these bands. They didn't have to do it, since Aerosmith's popularity had surpassed even their 70s glory years, but something compelled them. They also didn't have to put a brand new song on the album - "Deuces Are Wild" - but they did anyway. And, as it turned out, this song just so happened to be one of the best songs they'd ever released; and it wasn't even sold as a single.

I don't really know how this song came about - it could've been just a B-side from their previous album's sessions - but it would serve to be the prototypical "Aerosmith Song" for the rest of their career up to the current date. Everything they've released since has sounded almost exactly like "Deuces Are Wild". Hence why they've become irrelevent.

Aerosmith is now a factory band. Outside songwriters now helm the ship, providing lyrics and riffs for the band to dutifully perform. Music Making is no longer a creative process for Aerosmith, they've been reduced to a well-paid, high-profile Cover Band (fittingly, their last studio album was one solely comprised of covers of old blues songs).

In giving you the Aerosmith Nutshell, I made a point of noting when their Greatest Hits album came out. Aerosmith loves to tout how great they are, and since have released too many Greatest Hits-type albums to count. In 1994 - just one year after "Deuces Are Wild" - they released their second hits album, entitled "Big Ones". In this Volume 2 of sorts, they compiled all their hits since their big comeback in the late 80s, including "Deuces Are Wild". In addition, "Big Ones" offered two new songs, to appeal to Aerosmith completionists - such as myself - who already owned all their albums. Only, the two new songs were no where NEAR the calibre of quality to be deemed "hits". In short, they were TERRIBLE, with trite lyrics, bogus playing, and all the feeling and passion of sitting in your underwear in a doctor's office awaiting news of your prognosis. Sure, they followed the "Deuces Are Wild" model, but dammit! In one year, they'd gone from the Biggest Band In America to has beens. It's been a slow yet steady descent into utter craptitude since.

They release a new album soon - perhaps even this year - and I hope there's some semblance of a Return to Form. Disheartening is the word to best describe how I feel; Aerosmith has long been my favorite band, or one of them anyway.

But, I didn't get on here to talk about Aerosmith all damn day. Although, that's QUITE the lengthy introduction to the Meat & Potatoes of my discussion with you. I'm here to talk about my weekend, and the revelations clinging to its coattails. I'm here to talk about the One Track Mind of one Steven A. Taylor.