Aerosmith is coming back East! The “Deuces Are Wild” residency lands in MGM Springfield at the MassMutual Center on August 21, 24, 26, and 29. Playing a smaller place gives the band tons of latitude to play some deeper material and tailor a setlist for A-smith fanatics! Perhaps we’ll hear a song from every studio album; there’s 15, so that could make up a chunk of the night’s playlist. Here’s what the band has to choose from – ranked from biggest to least-selling in the U.S. By the way, the group has sold a grand total of 66.5 million albums in America and the biggest seller is the 11-million monster GREATEST HITS from 1980.
#1 TOYS IN THE ATTIC (8 million sold) This was the third album and the one that broke the band in America after it released two amazing, but overlooked, records in 1973 and ’74. It happened in an odd way, “Sweet Emotion” beginning the process, setting up a re-release of “Dream On” from the first album which went ballistic and, in turn, setting up a re-release of “Walk This Way” from TOYS that went Top 10.
#2 GET A GRIP (7 million sold) Released in 1993, this was the third in line after the band’s improbable 80’s comeback. It took a long time to record this in between rehabs, arguments and producer hassles, coming three years after “PUMP.” Buoyed by the Top 30 success of four singles: “Living on the Edge,” “Cryin’,” “Amazing,” and “Crazy,” this album might be tied for second lace in sales in the States, but it’s the bands #1 seller around the world.
#3 PUMP (7 million sold). This one came out in September 1989 and is tie for second place with GET A GRIP. The band traveled to Vancouver to record with producer Bruce Fairbairn, who had guided the previous PERMANENT VACATION to success, ending a many-year drought for the Bad Boys of Boston. “Love in an Elevator,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” and “What it Takes” were the big singles on this album, with accompanying videos becoming hits on MTV (which still actually showed videos!).
#4 PERMANENT VACATION (5 million sold) This was the impossible comeback album of 1987 that restored Aerosmith to greatness after its relative last gasp in 1979 with NIGHT IN THE RUTS. After that, Joe Perry and eventually Brad Whitford left and the other three guys wandered in the badlands. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger; this album proves it.
#5 ROCKS (4 million sold) This hard rock masterpiece from 1976, the band’s fourth album, came out just before ‘everything all the time’ began to unglue the members of the band. From the majesty of Joe Perry’s fat six-string bass lead on “Back in the Saddle” to the metal assault of “Nobody’s Fault,” ROCKS just soared. Slash said this album made him want to learn how to play the guitar.
#6 GET YOUR WINGS (3 million sold) The sophomore album from March 1974. Although this album generated no hit singles, it was bursting with great songs that would fill Aerosmith setlists for years to come and become mainstays on rock radio. Just try these on for size: “Same Old Song and Dance,” “Train ‘Kept a Rollin,” and “Seasons of wither.”Nuff said.
#7 NINE LIVES (2.1 million sold) This 1997 release has sold north of 2 million copies mainly on the strength of the singles “Pink” and “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees).” Contributing to the sales buzz was a vigorous promotional campaign by Columbia Records, which had re-acquired Aerosmith after the band defected to Geffen in 1985. This release came a long four years after the previous best-selling GET A GRIP.
#8 AEROSMITH (2 million sold) The opening salvo, this album hit the streets on January 5, 1973, the same day Bruce Springsteen released his own debut on the same label, Columbia. Aerosmith and Bruce had similar results – indifference. Nobody further out than Route 495 took much notice of this album until three years later when the success of TOYS IN THE ATTIC prompted the record label to re-release “Dream On,” which screamed up to #6 the second time around.
#9 DRAW THE LINE (2 million sold) Tied with the first album in sales, the fifth album marked a band in the process of a high speed crash. Despite the wheels coming off during these sessions and the widespread negative critical response to the album, there remained some of band’s artistic greatness, especially in the title track and “Kings and Queens.” It sold a million legitimately, then another million on inertia from ROCKS alone.
#10 JUST PUSH PLAY (1.3 million sold) Out of the 90’s and into the new millennium, JUST PUSH PLAY was recorded and mixed by computers and some of the guys in the band weren’t too happy about that fact. The members rarely played together in the studio, leaving Joe Perry, in particular, cold about this 2001 release. Nevertheless, Aerosmith did pop a hit single, “Jaded,” out of JUST PUSH PLAY and it quickly went platinum, and then some.
#11 NIGHT IN THE RUTS (1 million sold) This 1979 release marked the passage of Aerosmith past the point of no-return. From here on, they were on the highway to hell. Joe Perry got fed up and left the band to form the Joe Perry Project and the rest brought in new guitarist Jimmy Crespo to replace him. Crespo was good, but the songwriting partnership with Tyler was broken. A very uneven album, the day was saved by the hit cover of the Shangri-las “Remember (Walking in the Sand).”
#12 HONKIN’ ON BOBO (600,000 sold) This 2004 album returned Aerosmith to it’s blues-rock core after the computerized JUST PUSH PLAY left a bad taste in just about everyone’s mouth. Demoed and recorded at Joe Perry’s Bone Yard studio and the band’s rehearsal space, BOBO featured 11 blues covers and one original. It might not have sold as much as its predecessor, but the band members had a whole lot more fun creating it.
#13 DONE WITH MIRRORS (500,000 sold) It took awhile for this album to go Gold, selling half a million copies. It was the band’s return to the studio with guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford back in the fold. Arriving in 1985 with MTV the rage, America wasn’t quite ready to welcome the stars of the 70’s back, but a couple hit songs (which this album did not have) would have helped. “My Fist, Your Face” had a nice riff to it.
#14 ROCK IN A HARD PLACE (500,000 sold) This album took over a year to make and a million dollars (in 1982!). Recorded in New York City amidst many shady dealers and way too much mischief, the body that was once Aerosmith crawled forward on its belly – barely alive. The only bright spot – “When Lightning Strikes,” was written by friend and songwriter Richie Supa.
#15 MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION (185,000 copies sold) Over eight and half years after HONKIN’ ON BOBO this collection hit the streets in 2012. It was not necessarily well received, even though the band’s concert grosses were as lively as ever. Clocking in at over an hour, there was plenty of music on MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION, even songs written solely by Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton. In the end, the effort just didn’t sound cohesive enough and none of the four singles released managed to do the trick on the charts. To be fair, though, the manner of how consumers bought music had changed; younger listeners were downloading individual songs. Albums from even legends such as Aerosmith were not a priority. Plus, the dearth of rock radio stations that played new music sealed DIMENSION’s doom.