Joe Perry


*special introductory paragraph!
*Let The Music Do The Talking
*I've Got The Rock 'n' Rolls Again
*Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker
*Joe Perry
*Have Guitar, Will Travel

Shortly after Aerosmith's sixth LP, Night In The Ruts, tanked at the box office (regardless of some totally kickass songs like "No Surprize," "Chiquita" and "Coney Island White Fish Boy"), guitarists Brad Whitford and Joe Perry bid Steven Tyler and friends a fine adieu and set off for failed solo careers. While neither Whitford nor the rejiggered Aerosmith managed to release more than one album in the next four years, "The Joe Perry Project" churned out THREE. Which might explain why only one of them is any good at all! The original Aerosmith reunited in 1984 for Done With Mirrors and were soon on top of their game once again. For exactly one album. Nevertheless, Perry stayed in the fold as the money in rolled, playing lousy music for 12-year-old girls until finally the urge to express his actual musical interests overcame him in early 2005 (the year of the cat). And guess what happened next???

That's right! He put out another shitty Aerosmith album!

Note: This hasn't actually happened yet. But come on, what are the odds it won't?

Let The Music Do The Talking - CBS 1980
Rating = 7

The original Joe Perry Project featured David "Jim" Hull on bass guitar, Ronnie Stewart (who apparently is neither Ronnie Wood nor Rod Stewart, but a strange hybrid of the two) on drums, and a '70s white guy Montrose/Foreigner/Deep Purple/early Paul Rodgers-type singer named Ralph Morman who split the vocals nearly evenly with the coolly low-registered Perry. Have you by chance heard Joe Perry sing? "Bright Light Fright" from Draw The Line? His voice is wicked bonus. He sounds like he looks -- like a "cool" rocker! His range is likely very small, but he hits the notes he needs to hits and never ever wallows into high-end screaming like most of his lead singers did (and DO, if you count Steven Tyler).

This album, unlike the two Project releases that would follow, sounds like classic '70s Aerosmith with a different singer. Jack Douglas gives it a really raw (if a bit trebly) mix reminiscent of Night In The Ruts, and Joe's guitar tone, playing style and riff-mongering creativity are instantly recognizable. If there are a few more "iffy" tracks than one might find on a '70s Aerosmith release, it's most likely because Joe had never been forced to write an entire album by himself before. Only three of these nine songs were co-written with other members of the Project; probably uncoincidentally, they're the least interesting songs on the record -- a noisy instrumental and two funk-by-numbers that never would have made the cut on an Aerosmith release (especially since they sound a hell of a lot like "Sight For Sore Eyes" and "Three Mile Smile").

If you're like Tom Petty and would enjoy a "Breakdown" of the material, let me just say: "Don't Come Around Here No More!" Heh heh. No no, I'm just making Tom Petty jokes. I'd be happy to give you a breakdown, as long as you're an "American Girl." Heh heh HEH! Oh, that's great, GREAT material! Ahhh, "It's Good To Be King." Hey! Ow! Stop "Jammin' Me" in the pecker with your thumb! Look, I realize "The Waiting Is The Hardest Part," but you keep bugging me and I'll toss you out the fuckin' window. And you can certainly try "Learning To Fly" real quick but you'll likely end up "Free Fallin'" "Into The Great Wide Open." I'm serious! "Don't Do Me Like That," because "I Won't Back Down"! "You Got Lucky" that I've kept my web site going this long in the first place. "You Don't Know How It Feels" to get hatemail every goddamned day. Oh thank God, "Here Comes My Girl." Oh no! She's going into cardiac arrest! You're a doctor, right? "Listen To Her Heart"!!! "I Need To Know" if she's going to be okay!!! It doesn't sound good!?! Oh no!!! If she needs a transplant, are you qualified to give her a "Change Of Heart"? Shit! I can't drive her to the hospital; I lost my license for "Runnin' Down A Dream" Theater fan outside their concert! What's that? Yes, I suppose you can drive me like a car, but if "You Wreck Me," I'll -- Oh wait! She's waking up! Oh, thank God there's no killing the spirit of a "Woman In Love"! I was so worried that this morning's session was "The Last BJ" I'd ever get!

I hope you enjoyed my Tom Petty musical. Entitled "Movin' Out Billy Joel's Furniture So Tom Petty Can Move In," go see it tonight on a Broadway near you!

As for that breakdown I promised about half an hour ago, this album is basically three funky ones, three tough mean rockers and three superfun goodtime songs. And you know what one of those tough mean rockers is? I'll give you a hint -- the album's called Let The Music Do The Talking.

That's right! This album features an early version of what would soon become Aerosmith's should've-been-a-comeback single and video, "Let The Music Do The Talking." This version isn't as heavy and dense as that version, but it's just as fast and you can't beat that swoopily descending riff. Interestingly, when Aerosmith gave it a go, Steven Tyler rewrote both the lyrics AND the vocal melody. I bet he was all "Ralph Morman? More like Ralph MorON!," if you ask him!!!

I like this record and recommend it to any Aerosmith fan. It's not as consistent as their classic records, but it beats the living dead out of anything they've done since Permanent Vacation. In my estimation, four of the songs are GREAT instant classic Aero-rockers, and a couple others would be as well if they weren't so frigfraggin' long and repetitive (especially "The Mist Is Rising," a plodding, queasy death-riff that rules dickweed for about three minutes, then continues for another three and a half minutes for no reason at all). And don't worry, "Shooting Star" isn't a Bad Company cover!

"Discount Dogs" IS, however, a David Bowie cover. Just less expensive.


No no, not "FUCK YOU" as in "The Reader Of This Review." I mean you personally.

Reader Comments
I came across an old post you did about the Joe Perry Project with the Tom Petty musical medley thingy…I laughed really good when I read the “’Running Down A Dream’ theatre fan” line. I don’t laugh much these days. You’re a decent writer…keep it up! The “FUCK YOUUUUUUUUU” at the end was pretty damn funny too. I saw the Joe Perry Project at The Shaboo Inn in CT back in I don’t know ’80..? (Rocky Farnsworth)
Just finished reading your article on the JPP first album, “Let The Music Do The Talking”, and I have a bit to add to your opinion of Ralph Morman. I have the pleasure of being able to say that I know Ralph through some mutual friends of ours, one being the guitarist of his prior band, BUX, Punky Meadows, whom if I hadn’t met, I would not still be playing guitar myself. That band released only one LP, (unfortunately!), called ‘We Come to Play’, released on Capital Records in the early 70’s. If you liked his singing on the JPP album, you’ll really like this out of print LP, IF you can find a copy!
I had the pleasure of jamming with Ralph many times, he actually can sing like a motherfucker. I will always remember the fact that we played so loud that most of the time a singer wouldn’t be even heard. But not Ralph… this guy doesn’t even need a P.A system, he can scream it, sing it, whatthefuck ever. We also got stinkin’ hammered. It was a lot of fun.

Ralph is cool.


Thomas Bonarrigo
I met Ralph when he was singing in a band in CT. I was the drummer for Daddy Warbux and we stole him and Jimmy McCann the guitarist and had them join our group. We were together with that configuration for about two years until 1973. Ralph and our other singer Wiley Crawford, (deceased), were two of the best vocalist money could buy. The were amazing together and we were very close to signing with a major label, back then that meant something. Unfortunately, the egos got in the way and the band broke up before that happened. Ralph was a great front man but yes, he did like to indulge a wee bit too much. I haven’t seen him in years but I hope he is alive and well.

Eileen West
I had the pleasure of meeting Wiley Crawford in the early 80’s. Yes, he had some years on me but I was the ultimate groupy J. I was in awe of his talent, voice and musically. When he passed on it broke my heart. I do however have a very important piece of him, his son Michael Crawford. Mike is the spitting image of his father with all the harumphhhs…and yes he is as pompous as can be. My only regret is that Wiley was not around to make music Michael’s priority. Love to all you music makers!! J

Jimmy McCann, Esq.
My name is Jim McCann. I am the guitarist that Tommy B. refers to in Daddy Warbux. I was fortunate to play with both Wiley, and Ralph, together, and separate. Tommy is correct, cannot get better than these guys. I heard from Ralph little over a year ago. He called my law office wanting to gig again. At 63, I hated to, but declined. Ralph lives in Kentucky. I worked with Wiley for a couple years in a Ct. band called NightBird, circa 1976. Indeed Wiley was a great talent. I kept in touch with him throughout the nineties. I learned of his death from his dad. Was very saddened. In my stint as a guitarist, the greatest talents I worked with was Wiley, and a fellow named Grayson Hugh(in the 60's). Yes Wiley was a tad off the wall, but he was a friend. If his son has a fraction of his dad's talent, he is gifted. Also, the Wheel was a gas.

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I've Got The Rock 'n' Rolls Again - CBS 1981
Rating = 4

Have you ever heard that song "Mamunia" by The Wings? That song -- though, make no mistake, it's not good at all -- sure does stick in the brain. I'm constantly singing that chorus "Mamunia Mamunia Mamunia Oh-oh-oh! Mamunia Mamunia Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!" to myself, often loudly at 3 in the morning outside the burn victims' ward. If Joe Perry had put a song like THAT on his second solo album, he might have gone down in history as a true sport. A good guy who makes things happen. But not now, John. Metaphorically speaking, this album is an album cover with a record inside. And that record doesn't have very many memorable songs on it. Very simple and predictable two- and three-chord riffs pave the day, with only three or four instances of Joe's creative talent shining through the tired mess of throwaways. Bad songs indeed! Unless you like them, in which case they're good to you. I can only speak from my own experience.

One time I crapped in my bathing suit at a public pool. Unfortunately this is the only experience I've ever had, so the rest of this review might not be of interest to the small but growing non-coprophile community.

This album is a piece of shit with a turd in it. Just wait til you smear this crap all over your face and get a mouth full of squishylogs. It's 'a fecal matter' indeed when J

Where the debut JPP (Jaul Pevere And the Paiders) record sounded like Aerosmith with a different singer, this one sounds like an overtrebly generic '70s hard rock band. Part of the blame must go to Bruce Botnick, who took a hiatus from Scarecrow And Mrs. King just so he could screw up the production job and turn Joe into a big messy orange trebly unlistenable jerk. Worse yet, four of these ten tracks were penned ENTIRELY by other band members (Joe only wrote TWO by himself!?), and new lead singer/rhythm guitarist Charlie Farren's high-pitched Billy Squier shout-sing and boring party-hearty songwriting contributions make the record sound less like an Aerosmith side project than a Van Hagar tribute band. Not that Van Hagar existed yet, but when it did, hooee! Hey?

It's time for another quick breakdown, though I've unfortunately run out of Tom Petty hit singles. Hopefully, this breakdown will bring "Peace In L.A." so that "Mary Jane's Last Dance" won't be so disa

-- Goodtime shitty warm rockers of terribleness = 2
-- Bland midtempo bluesy rockers written by the bassist = 2
-- Awesome Joe Perry-penned-and-sung high-speed ass-kickers that rule = 2
-- Classic Joe Perry funk riff ruined by overexposure = 1
-- Dio-style argeggiated eerie notes and nighttime sexy chords of vampire lust A-OOOOOO! (That was a werewolf) = 1
-- Awkward though not entirely unlikeable combination of "serious rocker" and "goofy goodtime funk" = 1
-- Title track with its one good part and multiple shitty parts (including the "I'm A Man" intro) = 1

So that makes a mere two great songs, two Joeful among the woeful: fast rocker "Soldier Of Fortune" and sweet sweetback badassss song "South Station Blues," which rocks so lickingly riff-hard that they even put it on the Aerosmith box set! I love that Aerosmith box set. It only covers the first six albums. Therefore, it's good!

You know what's awesome? The way that Steve Tyler and Joe Perry merged into a single human being and sang for Journey for all those years and nobody even noticed! Similarly, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page merged into a single human being once in 1975, but she was a 14-year-old girl and they were done in about 4 minutes so I guess it's not really the same.

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Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker - MCA 1983
Rating = 3

Hey Joe - Where you going with that lousy album in your discography? That's what Jimi Hendrix said when he heard Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker playing on Heaven's Turntable one cloudy afternoon. And, not to make fun of the dead, but I had my "feeding tube" balls deep in Terri Schiavo's mouth the other day when it suddenly occurred to me that Jimi has a point. This album is not just bad - it's rotten as an egg!

It's basically a pop metal album. Hair metal. Like a garage band from L.A. The drums are mixed ridiculously HUGELY, the obnoxious singer sounds like a cross between high nasally Vince Neil and that gruff phlegmy guy in Slade, lots of horns and saxophones stink up the mix, and, to use an anology, the songwriting is to early Aerosmith as current Aerosmith is to early Aerosmith. You could almost imagine that they were trying to conjure up the spirit of the New York Dolls with their boogie woogie piano and two basic chords if not for the cookie tossing vocalist reminding you that Poison and Motley Crue were supposedly doing the same thing. How on earth did Joe Perry get mixed up in this garbage?

And are the band photos a joke? Singer "Cowboy Mach Bell" (?) has a HUGE bleach blonde perm, is coated in eye shadow and rouge, and is wearing a tight b/w-striped shirt with a pink bandanna wrapped around his neck. Drummer Joe Pet is a sleazy Mexican Lothario with a mustache, dressed in black leather and holding a bouquet of flowers. Bassist Danny Hargrove is a black man wearing a gay "come hither" look, a red bandanna, a red shirt tied in a knot at his waist, and a long gay blue scarf around his neck. Joe just looks like Joe though, which would suggest that the other guys are just being themselves as well. But grow up you people, there's nothing wrong with being gay. (As long as you're not a fag about it.)

The back cover of the record goes so far as to WARN the listener, "Hope you listen to it in the spirit it was recorded. If there are any rough spots, turn it up and that'll take care of it." Uhh... NOPE! It doesn't! These songs are bad, bad, bad, and no amount of Loudness will change that. Most of the guitarwork could be by ANY garage band hoping to become glam stars, and Joe's illustrious style only shows up very rarely, mainly in the album's sole ass-kicker, "4 Guns West." A few other tracks threaten to not suck all the fun out of living ("Crossfire" has a very cute notey lick between each line until it finally succumbs to endless guitar, horn and sax soloing; "Adrianna" has an excellent ascending clean guitar intro before it turns into a horn-smothered funk disaster; and "Never Wanna Stop" has an adorable country/western feel with neat slide guitar and acoustic strumming - basically it would be a winner with any other singer), but most of it is dumb midtempo glam macho hair metal poppycock. And Joe doesn't sing a single song!

A rotten salad of vomit and rusty nails. That's what I ate for lunch yesterday, and I don't like this third solo album by Joe Perry. Perhaps he should have followed the examples of Brad SHITford and AeroSHITh and released only one album between 1980 and 1983. But 'perhaps' is a big word, and not one to be philosophized away so easily. The man needed to make a living. With debt out to here and a drug habit the size of his wife's fat ass, he couldn't afford to sit back and piddle-puddle while the world swam Dixie with the new romantics. This combination of hurried rushiness and physical consumption resulted in two of the worst releases of his career. Luckily, after this travesty hit the bookstores and lost the NCAA Final Four, Joe tucked his tail between his legs like a chastened dog (except that Joe doesn't literally have a tail so he did it allegorically) and rejoined Arrowsmith in time to do an album with mirrors (cocaine mirrors - get it? I do.)

I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open, and it's not for the sake of trying. Did you know that '50s pinup model Bettie Page became a weirdo Christian in the '60s before succumbing to schizophrenia and stabbing three people? It's true! Now she weighs 900 pounds and poses exclusively for Playboy's Eighty-Year-Old Hippopotamuses. "Come" and get a copy! In fact, "come" in Terri Schiavo's hair and get a copy!

I'm all about the dirty Terri Schiavo jokes. Check this one out: Why did Terri Schiavo spend 15 years in a vegetative condition?

A. Because she wasn't related to Tom DeLay!

What do you mean, "it wasn't dirty"? It had the word "Lay" in it! How dirtier can you get?

WHOA! You're right! That IS dirty! Great use of "Bush" puns, and I love how you worked in both a corpse-fucking gag and the phrase "Terri's Hairy Cherry." In the words of David Lee Roth, "Hummala babila hummala babila hummala babila buzily bop!"

In the equally charismatic words of Sammy Hagar, "Pussy has hairs!"

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Joe Perry - Sony 2005
Rating = 7

One time several years ago, I was hanging out with The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir "Dalyankovic" and he was once again running off at the mouth about the early death of bandleader Gerald Garcia. "Po' Jerry," Bob kept saying in a black Southern accent. "Po' Jerry." Attempting to lighten the dour mood, I switched the first letter in each word and shouted, "JO' PERRY?" Bob began cackling manically (not maniacally, for he was perfectly sane in his actions, but manically, for he suffers from hyperactivity) and shouting, "His new album, entitled simply Joe Perry, is the best thing anyone in Aerosmith has done since Permanent Vacation!" I of course became angry and defensive at this accusation, for we all know my strong feelings about Joey Kramer's zesty backbeat in "Falling In Love Is Hard On The Knees." But Bob was insistible so I gave the new Joe Perry album a good solid earful of my time. And holy rockarolly was he correct! Finally, after all these years, I could again listen to some new Joe Perry licks without being driven from my home by clouds of flatulence.

But why a solo project at this point in his career? Shouldn't he be donating his best material to Aerosmith? Or are they so heavily controlled by their record company that no song is permitted without being rewritten by Desmond Child and pumped up with fake horns? There are seven honestly GREAT songs on this album (out of 13). Now, I have the foresight and industry experience to understand Aerosmith's reluctance to include a jazzy instrumental on one of their teen-friendly modern-day releases, and in the wake of a blues covers project they probably wouldn't have any interest in handing over album space to Joe-sung covers of The Doors' "The Crystal Ship" and that old blues song "Vigilante Man" that Nazareth covered so many years ago. But that still leaves four great songs written by Joe Perry, long-time guitarist of Aerosmith! Did he just not want them ruined by Steven Tyler's asinine squealing? These are questions I must have answered at once!

Joe Perry's guitars are so loud, SO thick, SOOO distorted and SOOOOOOOOOO plentiful that your head will most likely split in two the second that "Shakin' My Cage" blasts its rich dark slide guitar up your snootch-and-hollow. But don't give up so easily, for a man with a split head can still live a fulfilling though sexless and unbearably painful and lonely existence. These songs are about love, probably for Joe's wife (from Joe). Joe sings lead on all eleven non-instrumental tracks, which does go some way toward making you realize why he's not lead singer for Aerosmith. I mean, the guy DOES have a cool voice for cool rockers and even manages some gorgeous vocal harmonies with himself in the Indianland-tinged "Pray For Me," but his emotional and melodic ranges are very limited, and he kinda sounds like he's in bed with a stuffy nose most of the time. But crikey do his guitars sound fantastic! Three halos for modern recording technology and Joe's blasting rock-loving ear!

Joe Perry is and has always been a great writer of interesting and melodic hard rock riffs. The best tracks on here (four of which are unfortunately included within the first five tracks, leaving a much more sandhazard-filled back nine to play through afterwards) feature wicked recurring licks that make your brain buzz with glee, fun and appreciation. Whether he's sharing gorgeous arpeggios, combining acoustic jingle with electric fuzz, blasting sped-up '80s metal hooks or zooming all over creation with his beloved slide, the man's love for (and talent with) the six-string instrument commonly known as the "tuigar" is so obvious that it's infectious and you'll soon die from it if not treated for a hepatitis shot. But who told you to jab at your wrist with the pointy edge of the CD case anyway? Are you high on drugs or wine? Joe Perry isn't! He's as clean as a thistle!

The weaker songs on the CD mainly suffer from lack of creativity. Generic -- though loud and expertly mixed -- blues-rock riffs are out and about (I hear both "Giving The Dog A Bone" and "Spirit In The Sky," to name two), but are usually at least paired with catchy pop choruses. There ARE two absolute stinkers on here though, ranking up there with the worst of Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker. One is the frankly UNLISTENABLE "Push Comes To Shove," a dead ringer for a modern Aerosmith throwaway, featuring Joe just talk/rapping over like one guitar note. All attitude and no hook at all. The other is the... Look, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings here, so I'll just quickly say this and move on. His gentle sensitive ballad for his wife, entitled "Ten Years," is the FUNNIEST AND MOST GODAWFUL PIECE OF EMBARRASSING CORNY AMATEURISH STINK-OUT-LOUD WRETCHEDNESS not written by me that I've ever heard in my life. Oh yes, I've done it too -- tried to write gentle love ballads for my girlfriends and/or wives. My attempts ("Michele," "Generic Love Song," "Happy Birthday Winky" and whatever the heck I wrote for Aimee Terrebonne) are actually possibly even worse than Joe's. But then, I'm not on a major label and nobody's ever going to hear them! Joe, on the other hand, is going to be the laughing stock of the United States of America when this piece of crap comes out! People from coast to coast will be holding hands and laughing! Just laughing and pointing at Dumb Old Joe Perry who thinks he can write a sensitive love ballad! Ha ha ha! YOU SUCK!!!!

The rest of the CD is good though. This is a must-own for anybody who has continued to follow Aerosmith through the '90s and '00s in ever-waning hope that they would someday somehow record a good album again. Joe Perry is the shining light of that band, and if he has to record solo albums to get his best songs out to the world, I welcome them as a homeless man welcomes a warm shoe. Schiavo Terri and Joe Perry -- Stayin' Alive 2gether!

Reader Comments (Evan)
Just happened upon your Joe Perry reviews and wanted to say how much I enjoyed them. Hilarious, excessive, insightful, some great turns of phrase ("zooming all over creation with his beloved slide"). Thanks & I'll look forward to checking out more of your site! (John)
I'm currently listening to "Twilight", a very decent instrumental track from the album. "Ten Years" is now starting... I'll provide a running commentary.

Nice intro... sounds like fake flutes in the background, but otherwise somewhat pretty. Joe's voice sounds strange here. Maybe because he's singing too high. Sounds like something I'd write, HA. It's definitely the kind of lyrics one would write and not revise because the only other person they're meant for is someone who would find the awkward phrasing and corniness cute.


Otherwise, I totally get this song.

The rest of the album thus far is great, aside from Joe's insistence of using the title of the track as a couplet for the chorus, Wesley Willis style.

The riff for "Vigilante Man" kicks ass. Joe's definitely found a sonic place for his voice, one that allows the positive aspects to come through, and that hides enough of the weaknesses.

A decent album, for sure! And I still have two more tracks to go!
two words:cliche shit. I wish this old fart would get back on the smack again. He was way cooler when he was a junkie. Most fat-cat washed up rock dinosaurs were better when they were junkies(Clapton). (KAH)
Too funny! Glad I came across your website. I was looking for info on when the Joe Perry Project was on tour. I believe I saw them sometime in the early 80's in Barre, VT! I don't even remember the concert, but I do remember a "friend" puking spaghettios all over the bleachers!!


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Have Guitar, Will Travel - Roman 2009
Rating = 6

Like many of us here today in life, I'm ick and ired of fly-by-night musicians ripping off Duane Eddy's classic album title Have 'Twangy' Guitar - Will Travel. First there was Bo Diddley with his complete rippity-rippity-rip-rip-rip-off Have Guitar, Will Travel, then shortly afterwards Jimmy Page got into the action with the plagiarism special The Jimmy Page Collection: Have Guitar Will Travel, and right around this time Neil Smith wrote a stolen rip-off book called Have Guitar, Will Travel, and then Sky High took the low road and stole the idea for their Have Guitar Will Travel! CD, then not long after that the world was disgusted by the sleazeball credit-taking attitude of The "Sweet Hot" Guitars Of Jesse Lee Johnson, who thought it would be clever to name their CD Have Guitars, Will Travel, then five of us puked into each others' mouths upon learning of the filthy disgusting theft of stolen rip-off perpetrated by Grant Green for his album Have Guitar, Will Travel, then a few minutes later the entire compound burst into flames due to the ethical/geological ramifications of Eddy Arnold releasing an album called Have Guitar Will Travel, and finally after long last a new race was born, but then they died too after running across the unforgivable blasphemy of a Kent Blazy album called Have Guitar Will Travel, so thank God we can count on lifelong Republican Joe Perry to come up with a creative and original album title all his own. Yes, Joe Perry certainly was a terrific album title. He has a new one now too but I think the title's still TBD.

This album is very fun, but also quite flawed. Joe rips out some killer riffs -- Aerosmith fans should particularly appreciate the sleazy blues-rock riffer "Slingshot," brooding high-pitched creeper "Heaven And Hell," uptempo slide guitar rockenroller "Freedom" and simple goodtime Chuck Berry scorcher "Scare The Cat" -- and his determination to provide a diverse palette of paint sounds on the easel of his album while always keeping the energy level high is a gasket-blasting gasser. Seriously, who would've expected a 2009 Joe Perry album to start off with a synth-driven glee club pop tune? Then there's uptempo guitar rockers, dark evil overlords, Zeppeliny prog, straightforward pop-rock, an Aero-ballad, a cheezy slice of '70s sci-fi tuff rock, and even a barroom rockabilly version of "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In"! In other words, the record certainly never gets dull or predictable.

However, even good things have their problems. For example, (a) like the similarly guitar-focused Done With Mirrors, very few of these songs are developed beyond their main riffs, (b) Joe's flat, rangeless voice is a cool detached novelty when placed in the middle of eleven Steven Tyler screamers, but boy does it sound like amateurish shit when forced to carry a record on its own (listen to the dramatic "No Quarter"-esque "Oh Lord (21 Grams)" -- surely that's just a guide vocal they accidentally left in, right? Right!?), and (c) some of the lyrics are astonishingly bad (most jaw-dropping offender: "I don't believe in Heaven, I don't believe in Hell/'Cause if I believed in Heaven, I'd have to believe in Hell!").

Actually, I should clarify -- Joe doesn't sing every song on here; it's just that he ruins nearly all the ones he DOES sing! The other singer, a German named Hagen (not Nina Hagen though, unless she 'took a trip to the Sausage Factory' IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN) sounds identical to Steven Tyler when he sings in his high range and a lot like a tuneful Joe Perry in his low. Why he only sings a few songs instead of the whole thing, I've no idea.

If you can get past the weak choruses and flat vocals, you will have as much fun listening to this record as I'm sure Joe had recording it. These weaknesses are a little hard to ignore though; they make the record sound a lot more amateurish than it really should considering Joe's impressive credentials and instrumental talent.

One other thing: did Joe simply forget that Aerosmith has already recorded a song (and a darned good one) called "No Surprize"?

Or that Paul McCartney has already recorded a song called "Freedom"?

Or that Crosby, Stills & Nash have already recorded a song called "Wooden Ships"?

Or that Black Sabbath has already recorded a song called "Heaven & Hell"?

Or that Alice Cooper has already recorded a song called "We've Still Got A Long Way To Go"?

Or that Geordie has already recorded a song called "Oh Lord"?

Joe Perry: America's Most Creative Title Maker-Upper!

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Joe Perry's CDs are on sale at a record store near THIS LINK! So click it and then take a right at the big penis!

Joe Perry. Oh, Mr. Style. Some kind of killer bee. Click on this link a while.


Ah man, who doesn't love a classic filler track from Done With Mirrors? I've never met the man!