Big Ones, indeed.
I don’t know how many Best Of or Greatest hits compilations Aerosmith has, but it’s got to be a metric shit-ton, by this point. Way more than they have studio albums, by now, certainly? I’ve never counted but it feels like a reasonable guess. And they’ve been going almost as long as I’ve been alive. It’s scary.
In a way, this is cool. Aerosmith is definitely a band known for its hits. And the hits are monstrously huge. Radio inundates us with songs we’ve heard a million times over, rarely bouncing a deep cut off of us, just for the thrill of it. Fans will listen to the albums, the rest of humanity can sing along with Rag Doll whether they know all the words or not.
In another way, it’s all a bit insulting. How many of these goddamn compilations are fans expected to buy? And is there value for the money in the (seemingly) endless slew of discs that drops onto the market, at this point? I suppose it’s some new geek behind a desk at the label who’s sure that THIS or THAT compilation will be the Ultimate Aerosmith statement… only to be replaced six months later by another new young turk who says the last guy was an idiot and THIS will be the Ultimate statement… and so on… ad nauseum… Also, whomever’s making these choices (as if anyone cares), Steve Tyler needs another Lamborghini, so make sure you step up and drop your hard-earned.
It would be an interesting survey (Lebrain, maybe you can help) to compile a complete list of these Hits Of Aerosmith discs. I can’t be arsed to do it myself, but I’d love to know just how many there are…
Anyway, here we have Big Ones, and it’s a doozy. You know this, because you probably own it. I’m likely preaching to the choir, here. It’s everything the casual fan would ever (likely) want to hear from Aerosmith (for its time period). Yes, fans will say “but they forgot THIS AND THIS AND THIS TRACK, and they should have at least used the live version of THAT TRACK…” and so on, but generally speaking if even a noob in 1994 had to put together a 1-CD Hits set from this band’s more recent (80s+) output, the track list on this one would be a pretty fair guess.
Am I a fan, to be ranting like this? A fair question. I’m not hard-core. I own a few albums (and would like to have more, especially the earlier stuff). I like the band, and sometimes they’re the only ones that can scratch the itch. Do I think they are America’s answer to the Rolling Stones? Not since the late 70s (a period completely missed by this compilation), and even then only because there was no one else truly vying for the position. Besides, if you want the Stones, you should just listen to the fucking Stones. And am I a Stones fan? Oh hells yes.
Would I recommend this compilation to you? Sure. Why not? It’ll play everything you already know. I bought it for $2 and it pleases me enough to keep it. Will it be all you need, a complete set that means you don’t have to buy more albums (or more compilations)? Oh hells no.