Photographer: Norman Seeff.
Those who do not pay much attention to record company affiliations should be warned that this discount-priced album, billed as the "best of Aerosmith," represents only their most popular recordings made for Geffen Records between 1987 and 1994. That said, it represents them well, including all 11 of Aerosmith's Top 40 hits from the period ("Angel," "Janie's Got a Gun," "Love in an Elevator," etc.), plus the track "Deuces Are Wild" from the album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience. This, of course, was the period when the bandmembers were collaborating with such songwriting hacks as Desmond Child, Holly Knight, and Jim Vallance to considerable commercial effect, maintaining the comeback they had launched with Run-D.M.C.'s remake of "Walk This Way." Those who do not pay much attention to sonic trends in the record industry should be warned that while the album was "96k/24-bit mastered from the original master tapes by Erick Labson," Labson's mastering approach responds to the tendency toward preparing music for its compression into MP3 files for digital downloading more than for old-fashioned CD audiophile listening; Labson has adopted a "push up all the faders" sound that is overly loud and poorly detailed; the late Bruce Fairbairn, original producer of these recordings, must be turning over in his grave. ~ William Ruhlmann