20 Years Ago: Aerosmith Release ‘Get A Grip’
By the time 1993 rolled around, the members of Aerosmith were rock kingpins once more, buoyed by the multi-platinum success of 1987’s ‘Permanent Vacation‘ and 1989’s ‘Pump.’ The band’s seemingly unstoppable momentum continued unabated with ‘Get A Grip,’ which was released on April 20, 1993.
Produced by Bruce Fairbairn (who also helmed the boards for the previous two Aerosmith albums), the 14-song record burst at the seams with loose-limbed boogie, snarling guitar riffs and plenty of arena-sized drums.
The songwriting team of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry was in top form—the ’70s throwback ‘Line Up’ in particular should have been a hit—although ‘Get A Grip’ was again a collaborative effort; co-writers included Night Ranger‘s Jack Blades and Styx‘s Tommy Shaw (the leering hard rock strut ‘Shut Up And Dance’), Desmond Child (the harmonica-driven lovelorn ballad ‘Crazy,’ ‘Flesh’) and Jim Vallance (‘Eat The Rich,’ the title track).
At the same time, ‘Get A Grip’ doesn’t feel quite as slick as ‘Pump.’ Sure, the schmaltzy ‘Amazing’ (which has Don Henley on backup vocals) foreshadowed the band’s move into lighter-waving ballads, and both ‘Cryin” and ‘Living On The Edge’ were monster MTV hits.
However, ‘Gotta Love It’ and the title track seethe with the kind of smoky blues riffs that only Aerosmith gets away with, while ‘Eat The Rich’ is a furious tribal stomp. In addition, the mixing job by radio-friendly go-to guy Brendan O’Brien kept the band’s music sounding modern, despite its old soul.
The album went on to sell over 7 million copies in the U.S. and 20 million copies worldwide; the latter figure ensured ‘Get A Grip’ is Aerosmith’s most successful studio album in terms of worldwide sales.
Hear Aerosmith’s ‘Get a Grip’