Turn That Noise Down - Aerosmith, Permanent Vacation


So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1987 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve Taylor-Bryant goes on a Permanent Vacation...

It all changed for Aerosmith in the 1980's, or at least that's how I remember it. The sound evolved, only slightly mind you, and they became bigger than they had ever been, more commercially viable, more chart hits, more extravagant videos and, to be fair, I stayed with them until the early 1990's. However, if you're honest with yourself, 1987's Permanent Vacation album was the last true perfect studio release.

A fantastic intro that includes Steven Tyler's unique squealing launches into the magnificent Hearts Done Time and you just know you are listening to a band at the very top of their game. Magic Touch continues the driving anthemic feel with Joey Kramer showing yet again that less really can be more with drums. Rag Doll is one of the best Aerosmith songs ever recorded, enough said! Simoriah is a very underrated track that really should get more airplay to be honest and that's followed by the remarkable Dude (Looks Like A Lady) with its funky brass and all over musical appeal. St. John is a real blues rock throwback that manages to seem modern as well as timeless and keeps me singing out loud as we go into Hangman Jury which is one of my all time favourites from the band. From the frogs and creaking chair to the harmonica, there's not a lot that isn't perfect about Hangman Jury. The foot stomping excellence is never ending and next up is the brilliance of Girl Keeps Coming Apart. I used to cover this in a band years ago and was one of our crowds favourites. The first of the 'new' Aerosmith commercial hits is next in Angel, which is beautiful yet possibly my least favourite of theirs due to how massively overplayed it became. Title track Permanent Vacation (is that monkeys or Tyler at the start?) with steel drums alongside distorted guitars is a real breath of musical fresh air. I'm Down has a great 1960's feel and is different to the usual Aerosmith fare but is certainly more than a filler track which leads into the final song, The Movie with its infectious bass and sci-fi keyboards introduction. An almost experimental tune that ends the album perfectly.

Some of the albums that we've remembered for these anniversary pieces so far have not aged well, Permanent Vacation could be released now and be the best album on the market. Sheer perfection!



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