Rock and Roll Mathematics 101: Aerosmith's Greatest Hits + Big
Ones = O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits
"Instead of having the Geffen part and the Columbia part separately, it's
got the whole thing," Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton boasted of his band's
new compilation. "I don't know how our manager did it, but the record
companies got together on this one."
"It's called money, Tom," answered singer Steven Tyler.
The genial singer may have the key factor to the equation, but the band's
friend and frequent producer, Jack Douglas, knows where else to apply it.
"Getting Columbia and Geffen together should be a good example for India and
Pakistan, because if they can do it, anyone can," Douglas joked.
Whatever the war waged to get Aerosmith's entire legendary catalog together,
it is over. O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits is due July 2 and will
bring together early classics like "Dream On" and "Sweet Emotion" with more
recent favorites like "Janie's Got a Gun" and "Livin' on the Edge." And
unlike their previous best-of collections, O, Yeah! will feature the
band's singles in chronological order, from "Mama Kin" to "Just Push Play."
"It's really great that somebody who wants to know about our music will be
able to go and buy one thing," Hamilton said, sharing a couch last week with
Tyler and Douglas at West Hollywood's luxurious Sunset Marquis. "And, if I
do say so myself, there's great songs on there."
As an added bonus, O, Yeah! which will sport one of four
different 3D covers also features Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry's
landmark "Walk This Way" collaboration with Run-D.M.C. and two new tracks,
"Lay It Down" and "Girls of Summer."
The latter, the band's new single, is a summer anthem Douglas described as
George Harrison meets the Beach Boys. Tyler, Perry and Marti Frederiksen,
who co-produced and co-wrote 2001's Just Push Play, co-wrote the tune
after they decided to stop in Hawaii on a flight back from a Japanese tour
earlier this year (see "Aerosmith Head To
Hawaii To Record New Tunes").
"Since '71 it's been my dream to take the guys to some house somewhere and
write a record," Tyler said. "And nothing's changed, so we decided to land
in Maui, Joe and I and Marti, and we rented a beach house and we used
ProTools and we just stared flailing and, of course, what vibe would come
Along with the beach party "Girls of Summer," the Maui sessions yielded four
other tracks, including "Lay It Down," which was originally titled "Bad
Enough" and intended for the "Spider-Man" soundtrack (which instead features
Aerosmith covering the "Spider-Man Theme").
"We submitted that, and they thought it was a great song but not a hit
single Aerosmith song, so we pulled it out and redid the verses and put a
different chorus on, and it came out 'Lay It Down,' " Tyler explained. "It's
just a good, easy listening song. I love it. It's real R&B."
The other three new tracks will turn up on the band's next album, which
Aerosmith will begin recording later in the year. First, though, they'll
head out on the Girls of Summer Tour with two of their favorite artists, Kid
Rock and Run-D.M.C. (see "Aerosmith/ Kid
Rock/ Run-D.M.C. Tour Schedule Walks Your Way").
"There's a lot of people who have not seen Run-D.M.C. play, because it's
really been a long time since they've really been out there," Hamilton said.
"So you have kids like 16 that have thought of them as these legends and
never thought they would hear them live, but now they'll come and see them.
And Kid Rock, he's like a classic character that there's always somebody
like in different eras, but the difference with him is he's just a little
smarter. He's got the obnoxiousness, but he's also got the finesse. It's
gonna be a challenge for us every night to go on and top those guys."
While Aerosmith are on the road, Douglas will be in the studio remixing
Aerosmith's early albums in 5.1 surround sound for release in the DVD audio
format. He will also coordinate commentary tracks that will feature him and
the band talking about the recording sessions. "I mean, if we can remember,"
"I cant wait for that, 'cause when I grew up, my idea of listening to music
was to get exactly between the speakers, get just the right volume and like
completely go into a trance," Hamilton said. "So now it's gonna be coming
from behind you and all over the place."
Tyler, always the jokester, chimed in: "Yeah the only 5.1 we had back in the
'70s was your mom yelling, 'Turn that sh-- down!' and then we turned
Before Aerosmith take the road, the band, which also includes guitarist Brad
Whitford and drummer Joey Kramer, will perform at the World Cup in Japan on
Coinciding with O, Yeah! and the 30th anniversary of Aerosmith's
signing with Columbia, VH1 will premiere a special two-hour "Behind the
Music" episode on July 5.
O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits track list:
- "Mama Kin"
- "Dream On"
- "Same Old Song and Dance"
- "Seasons of Wither"
- "Walk This Way"
- "Big Ten Inch Record"
- "Sweet Emotion"
- "Last Child"
- "Back in the Saddle"
- "Draw the Line"
- "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)"
- "Rag Doll"
- "Janie's Got a Gun"
- "Love in an Elevator"
- "What It Takes"
- "The Other Side"
- "Livin' on the Edge"
- "Deuces Are Wild"
- "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)"
- "Pink (the South Beach Mix)"
- "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
- "Just Push Play (Radio Remix)"
- "Walk This Way" (Steven Tyler and Joe Perry w/ Run-D.M.C.)
- "Girls of Summer"
- "Lay It Down"