When I think of Aerosmith’s Rock in a Hard Place, two things pop into my noggin right away!
1- Rock In a Hard Place was my first ever studio album purchase of an Aerosmith album at the start of Grade 10(September 1982) If your counting Aerosmith ‘Live Bootleg’ I bought in the summer of 1981 whereas around that same time my Dad’s friend gave me a copy of Draw The Line! Get all that?
2-Aerosmith probably when they entered the studio had to use a snowblower to move all that ‘White Snow'(Ahem!) to get to the recording console!
Whatever the case and I don’t know how they pulled it off but the first three songs on this album(Jailbait/Lightning Strikes/Bitches Brew) are three classic songs that could have fit on any previous Aero album!
Joe Perry/Brad Whitford^ were long gone at this point. Jimmy Crespo/Rick Dufay had the task of replacing the two original ax slingers which were no easy task.
Crespo and Dufay^^ do pull it off as Jimmy throughout RIAHP just bulldozes his way riffing along with the albums 10 tracks 7 of which Jimmy co-wrote with Steven Tyler!
Speaking of Tyler considering he was whacked out of his tree, he pulls off an incredible performance! Steven just lets his vocals rip right out of the gate and gets down to the dirty business known as Tyler with the lyrics!
Course, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer were still round on Bass and Drums respectively. I mean what were those guys going to do without a Lead Singer and Guitar player kicking about! Fortunately, Crespo kicks everyone in the ass, and these guys dial up a massive fireball of Molten Rock.
To me at that young age of 15 going on 16 a few weeks after this album came out I had no idea as Tyler explained a few years later on Rockline( a weekly American call-in radio show) in 1987^^^ that RIAHP cost $1.2 Million to record. Steven added that he “Promised to never do that again.”
I liked that Aero bookended each Side with the AeroBallad ( Cry Me A River and Push Come To Shove) as Aerosmith didn’t puss out on any ballads up until the late ’80s with Angel and later on in the late 90s that Gosh Darn Awful Disney Track. Yeah, that one!
Still though when Tyler was beyond pickled up back in the day, he sure knew how to belt the Aeroballad out!
Rock in a Hard Place came out at a time(1982) when the masses didn’t care about Aerosmith. The album stiffed, and the tour wasn’t as successful as it should have been.
For myself, though. And my pal Tbone we “got it” with this album as we did when Joe and Brad returned to Aero and they released the very ” were still polluted and if this is our last hurrah than…hurrah” crispy Done With Mirrors release in 1985! You can smoke your last seed in your bong that there will another Impact album on Done With Mirrors at some point!
^ Mr. Whitford played guitar on Lightning Strikes and then went home to never return until his sidekick Joe came back.
^^ Rick Dufay is pictured on the back cover, but he didn’t play a note on this album. Crespo did most if not all the ax work. Dufay knew how to rock a sweater back in 82!
^^^ Steve and Joe were on Rockline plugging the Aerosobered Permanent Vacation record. (Fall/1987) I still remember Perry laughing when Steve mentioned how much dough was spent on RIAHP!