Atom and his Package documented the downward spiral of a once-great rock figure with "Sting Can't Possibly Be the Same Guy Who Was in the Police." Aerosmith's fall from grace deserves a sequel, something like "How Do Those MTV Geezers Rock So Hard on My Dad's Old Records?"
Before its decline, Aerosmith specialized in raucous boogie blues, reaching its peak with Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks (1976). Creative tension and prodigious substance abuse catalyzed Aerosmith's ascent, but fallout related to these factors spurred the group's first fallow period (1981-1984), during which it inspired the two worst trends in modern music history: rap-rock (with its Run-DMC collaboration) and flamboyant hair metal (with everything else it recorded).
After a late-'80s comeback album generated some solid hits, commercial success and creative stagnation collided in 1993, when the band released three melodically identical power ballads; the accompanying videos, featuring Alicia Silverstone, only enhanced their interchangeability. Aerosmith hasn't released anything of value since, and the dodgy track listing ("I Don't Want to Miss a Thing") for its new live album, Rockin' the Joint, bodes poorly for its current concerts. However, fans who haven't seen the group play might consider catching it now, before its set lists become even more diluted.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.