Devil's Got A New Disguise: The Very Best Of Aerosmith Best of
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Here at last is the Iconic outfit's single-disc greatest hits compilation. This definitive collection adds all the anthemic early Aerosmith chart-toppers cut for Columbia Records like "Dream On" and "Walk This Way," to the band's gem-hard Geffen Records sides, such as "Love In An Elevator" and "Janie's Got A Gun." Add to this mouth-watering synthesis a pair of new-recorded Aerosmith tunes, and you've got the answer to every Aerosmith fan's feverish dream.
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Top Customer Reviews
I won't comment much on the hits portion of this disc. I am so, so sick of the Geffen years from sheer overplay, although "Angel" is conspicuous by its absence. You do get a handful of tracks (6) that are pre-Geffen, but all stuff that is available on the numerous hits albums before. Even "Walk This Way" was available on a previous hits album.
The bait to buy this is two new songs: "Sedona Sunrise", and "Devil's Got a New Disguise". "Devil" is actually a song that was written 15 years previous for Pump and reworked several times, so you can't even accuse Aerosmith of writing a new song. And, since it failed to make Pump, Get A Grip, Nine Lives, Just Push Play, or any of the hits albums featuring two news songs previous to this one (Big Ones and O Yeah), then you know it can't be very good. And it's not. "Sedona Sunrise", a soft one, is better.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The recent compilations favor the overblown blues/soul orchestrations of the latter phase of the band's career (late 80s to present), while giving short shrift to the well-toned heavy rock of the classic years (up to the late 70s) and completely ignoring the lost years (late 70s to mid 80s). If you're partial to the hard rockin' classic years, then for a useful overview you still can't do any better than the short and snappy Greatest Hits from 1980. Or just buy all the proper albums from that period, which would be infinitely more rewarding than these useless modern compilations. As for this new Devil's Got a New Disguise release, the song selection is nearly identical to the O Yeah collection from just four years ago, with the obligatory so-called bonus tracks to supposedly make the purchase worthwhile. Here, "Sedona Sunrise" is actually rather unique for the band's recent history, but there's a reason the two bonus tracks were previously unreleased. One could certainly blame the record companies for regurgitating all these quickie compilations, but some fault also lies with the band, who have diluted their legacy by allowing these repetitive retrospectives to be released, as easy ways to fulfill contracts. If you're really into Aerosmith, just commit some money to all of those fourteen original albums. After all, there's as many of those as there are retrospectives, and the originals are where the action really is. [~doomsdayer520~]
The catch? Two unreleased songs dating as far back as "Pump" and "Get a Grip". In the age of digital downloading, trying to trick fans into buying a lousy compilation with such a nasty trick is low, very low, even for record industry standards. Don't waste your money on this: if you're a fan, you already have the tunes, and if you're looking for an introduction, go get "O, Yeah Ultimate Hits", which is far better than this.
By all means, support the artist: (LEGALLY!!!!) download the "new" tunes, but skip this CD. And what's the deal with the cover??? C'mon, been there, done that!!! It's a sad remake of Def Leppard's "Retroactive" cover, only 13 years late!! Talk about being a day late, a dollar short...anyway... There is nothing wrong with the band, or the music included here for that matter, but simply put: you don't need this. No one does...
In order to fulfill their contract they put out a Greatest Hits, and because it contains two new songs (one an old demo from the Pump days, actually) it is technically a "new album."
So there you go.
I generally would rather have a new album from an artist or band a truly love, but specialty products like greatest hits compilations, boxsets, live albums, and rarity compilations are fun too, and a lot of times something I really look forward to enough - especially with bands that have very little of those type of releases, or have yet to get them right - that I would request them over a new album. There is a weird condescension among fans generally: first they complain that a band does not release enough bootleg/hard to find stuff, then they complain they don't release enough new stuff, then they complain that the new stuff isn't as good as the old stuff. There is just no pleasing so many of you that it is little wonder that most bands adopt the "we'll do what we like, no point in trying to please everybody" mentality.
The problem with this release is not that it exists or that there have been others before or that it is somehow here instead of a new album,; the problem is the simple fact that it is pointless. It is pointless to try and cram thirty plus years worth of hits on to one CD and it is pointless for anyone to buy this instead of the recent two disc hits set ("Oh Yeah! The Ultimate Collection," 2002) that itself, even at two discs, managed to miss a few high points fans would argue should have been included, but is a far closer representation of "the very best of Aerosmith" that this album claims to be. There is also "Big Ones" for later day, Geffen-era Aerosmith fans, and/or their early-80s Columbia-era greatest hits collection representing the first chapter of the band.
There is this new ideology in the record industry that even though a band may have a few greatest hits albums already, that there must be a one-disc "very best" of. Nothing but the biggest hits. For those, I guess, who are just the "singles-only" type of fan and consider anything less than a top ten hit to be filler. For them, maybe this album is what they are looking for.
Let's face it, these types of greatest hits (and all hits collections really, but these one-disc jobs especially) are not made for true fans. And why would true fans want them? Most should already have all these songs, and real fans will tell you they listen to the big hits the least. These are for the people with limited knowledge about the group and just want a collection of stuff they like when it pops on the radio. I would rather an album like this existed to provide that but also sneak in some other stuff, songs that would turn the casual listener into a true fan by making them want to seek out more of the group's great music ("Oh Yeah!" might be that ticket for the Aerosmith uninitiated). But that's not the case with these types of releases.
Sometimes, even though you hate to see so much missing, these one-disc-ers are able to do a decent job hitting the necessary marks. Prince's single disc hits, though I would never trade it for his more mammoth hits compilation, does a pretty good job of compiling a collection of his best stuff without leaving the listener feeling gypped. Yes it misses a lot, but at least it stays true to its title as a "very best of." I'm a huge Tom Petty fan and think his single-disc hits is lite and lacking, but I can't argue that his biggest hits are indeed all represented (for the record, his two disc "Anthology" is a far better product). Then there is something like Bruce Springsteen's single disc hits which looks like the record company pulled 5 or 6 genuine hits and then just threw darts at song titles posted on the wall to comprise the rest of the set, with no regard for fans would consider his "best."
This Aerosmith "very best of," while technically comprised of huge hits, falls closer to the Springsteen side. It simply misses too much and there is just no reason to opt for this instead of "Oh Yeah!" unless you are the most minimalist Aerosmith fan. They have not even put out an album of original Aerosmith-penned material since that last hits collection, so this release is especially odd since it is not updating the last hits with songs from an album (or albums) released since the last hits compilation.
So, while the music here is all admittedly 5-star quality, there is not enough of it, and there are better releases to find these songs as well as the others that should be here. There are three reasons though I can think of to pick this one up: 1) As I said, for the casual fan this may be enough (though I strongly suggest you choose one of the other options), 2) It is dirt cheap compared to the 2-disc set, or even the decade-plus old "Big Ones" - $7 at Best Buy, and 3) the main reason: two new songs and both of them are good. It's not surprising that the melodic, roadhouse blues of "Sedona Surprise" sounds something akin to "What it Takes." The song is from the "Pump" sessions. I'm not sure about the history of "Devil's Got a New Disguise," but it too sounds like something from 90's-era Aerosmith. Regardless, they are well-worth having for any Aerosmith fan. But you can probably get them off itunes for a buck each and still save some cash, even at the relatively small price of this set.
So here is another Aerosmith greatest hits collection. Like I said, I think it's pointless in lieu of there other, superior collections, but there is no need to bash the band for it. So it's out there and us true fans don't need it. I guess then we just won't buy it. No biggie.