CK 38061 Rock In A Hard Place
Produced by Jack Douglas, Steven Tyler, Tony Bongiovi
Released on August 1, 1982
Find it at GEMM
CK 38061 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 8.0: A CHEAP TRICK. If someone tells you this is an underrated album, it’s a near certainty they’re harboring an Aerosmith tattoo somewhere on their body. Since I’ve only got the one cheesy-looking skull tattoo, you can take my word for it when I tell you this album stinks. Rock In A Hard Place is an Aerosmith album in name only. You can’t replace Joe Perry with Jimmy Crespo and get away with it, and replacing Brad Whitford with a Frenchman is just wrong on so many levels. No French person in the history of the world has ever rocked, not even a little. (I’m only kidding, of course. I’m sure lots of French people rock; they’re just very discreet about it.) Bringing back original producer Jack Douglas is a nice gesture, but Steven Tyler was too far gone to bring back. I mean, there’s running out of good ideas, and then there’s being so bereft of anything that even remotely resembles a good idea that you find yourself singing the words from the Burger King tv commercial (“Bolivian Ragamuffin”). Barring a scenario in which the entire band is abducted by aliens and experimented on, the only possible explanation for an album this bad is drug abuse. Tyler has always courted the edge of excess in his vocals, but he sounds completely wasted on “Push Comes To Shove” and “Jailbait.” Not every song on here is terrible; “Lightning Strikes,” “Bitch’s Brew” and “Rock in a Hard Place” are pretty good. But for every song that has you thinking maybe the Perry-less adventures of Aerosmith might be interesting after all, there’s a horrible song that immediately clears you of any such disillusionment, like the “Joanie’s Butterfly” debacle or a version of “Cry Me A River” that one can only assume was recorded while Steven Tyler’s genitals were hundreds of miles away being dipped in a stem-cell solution in Zurich, Switzerland. I personally believe this album never should have been recorded, but it was, and I’m not building a time machine just to go back and tell Brad Whitford that Whitford-St.Holmes would fold after one album, at least not until after I’d shown a young Adolf Hitler that he could pick up women by playing the ukelele, so my recommendation to you would be to ignore this album altogether. Or build your own time machine. Just don’t forget to bring a copy of Whitford-St.Holmes and a ukelele.


  1. JAILBAIT    (Steven Tyler/Jimmy Crespo)
  2. LIGHTNING STRIKES    (Richie Supa)
  3. BITCH'S BREW    (Steven Tyler/Jimmy Crespo)
  4. BOLIVIAN RAGAMUFFIN    (Steven Tyler/Jimmy Crespo)
  5. CRY ME A RIVER    (Arthur Hamilton)
  6. PRELUDE TO JOANIE    (Steven Tyler)
  7. JOANIE'S BUTTERFLY    (Steven Tyler/Jimmy Crespo/Jack Douglas)
  8. ROCK IN A HARD PLACE (CHESHIRE CAT)    (Steven Tyler/Jimmy Crespo/Jack Douglas)
  9. JIG IS UP    (Steven Tyler/Jimmy Crespo)
  10. PUSH COMES TO SHOVE    (Steven Tyler)


JIMMY CRESPO -- lead guitar
RICK DUFAY -- guitar
JOEY KRAMER -- drums
STEVEN TYLER -- vocals, keyboards, harmonica, percussion
Jack Douglas -- percussion
Paul Harris -- piano (10)
John Lievano -- guitar O.D. (7)
Richard Straub -- violins (7)
John Turi -- sax (8)
Brad Whitford -- rhythm guitar (2)
Gerard Rozhek -- photography and visual direction

return to AEROSMITH discography

US August 1, 1982 Columbia LP FC 38061  
UK 1982 CBS LP 85931  
BRA 1982 CBS LP 138551  
CAN 1982 Columbia LP WFC 38061  
JPN 1982 CBS/Sony LP 25AP-2407  
US   Columbia LP/CD PC/CK 38061  
AUSL   CBS CD 466719-2  
US 1993 Columbia CD CK 57368 20-bit digital remaster


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