REVIEW: Aerosmith – Box of Fire Bonus Disc (1994) and conclusion

AEROSMITH – Box of Fire Bonus Disc (1994 Sony, only included in the Box of Fire)

Sony did a sonic makeover to the Aerosmith catalogue in ’93, using their new Super Bit Mapping technique. Each CD received a well due remastering job, and improved packaging, as you have seen here throughout this series. In 1994 these albums were released again inside the near-definitive Columbia box set, Box of Fire. Back when I was working in the Record Store, we stocked this one for over $200 brand new. I remember looking at that sealed box longingly, wishing I could peer inside.

The bonus CD included in Box of Fire was an added little reward for those fans who waited to shell out for the full box, rather than buy the CDs individually. In defense of Sony for the double-dip, I distinctly remember them announcing in advance the the future box set would include all the albums and additional goodies. Because of that, I did indeed wait to shell out for Box of Fire. I bought it used, at the store that Joe Big Nose manages today. It was in good shape. I just needed to replace a few broken CD trays, and the outer plastic sleeve was also missing (not a huge deal). I later found that plastic sleeve at another one of our outlets, and the owner “Billy Bob” gave it to me himself! (Thanks man, you have no idea how much that makes an OCD collector like me happy.)

The Bonus Disc has five tracks.

1. “Sweet Emotion” (1991 remix by David Thoener). Remember the music video they released in late 1991 to promote the Pandora’s Box set? That video featured a remix of “Sweet Emotion”, and it was released as a limited as a limited CD single. It’s a little longer and has a few things mixed louder.

2. “Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”. A later track (1987) from the Less Than Zero soundtrack. I’m always in favour of getting one of Aerosmith’s numerous soundtrack contributions on an Aerosmith disc. I hate buying a soundtrack for one or two songs. Wanna know what Aerosmith sound like produced by Rick Rubin? This old rock n’ roll cover indicates, it’s kinda dry.

3. “Subway”. A cool instrumental jam from the Draw the Line sessions, but originally released on the 1991 “Sweet Emotion” CD single.

4. “Circle Jerk”.  Another instrumental from the same period.  Most fans who collect Aerosmith already had this one.  It was the unlisted “hidden” bonus track at the end of Pandora’s Box.  These two jams are simple and unadorned.  They were unreleased for a reason, although they both could have evolved into cool heavy rock songs.

5. “Dream On” (MTV Anniversary).  This live version from 1991, complete with orchestra, was from an MTV thing later released on a CD of its own. I’d rather have the song on this. It’s a brilliant version, best appreciated by the Aerosmith connoisseur.

The Bonus Disc is housed in a simple cardboard CD sleeve. This slips into a gap inside the Box of Fire, easy to miss and sometimes missing! If you’re buying a Box of Fire, make sure it’s intact.

Wrapping up this exhaustive look at the Box of Fire and all the albums inside, there is very little left to add.  The packaging is cool; a sturdy box with orange flame emblazoned all over.  The front door opens “garage style”, with a little plastic “match” as a handle, painted to look as if burned.  Each CD, housed in its own jewel case, slides easily in and out.  It’s a simply lovely way to display your Aerosmith collection, open or closed — when lined up, the CD spines form an Aerosmith logo!  Each disc is numbered 1-12 (except the Bonus Disc), and can be differentiated from the regular retail versions by the numbered spines.  If you bought these albums separately, they do not have the numbers or the coordinated spines that form the Aerosmith logo.  That’s how you can tell the difference!

I’m glad to have taken the time to listen to the entire Box of Fire, in sequence, from start to finish.  That’s something I haven’t done since I first bought it.

4/5 stars (for Bonus Disc and Box of Fire overall)

AEROSMITH BOX OF FIRE complete reviews:

Disc 1: Aerosmith (1973)
Disc 2: Get Your Wings (1974)
Disc 3: Toys in the Attic (1975)
Disc 4: Rocks (1976)
Disc 5: Draw the Line (1977)
Disc 6: Live! Bootleg (1978)
Disc 7: Night in the Ruts (1979)
Disc 8: Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits (1980)
Disc 9: Rock in a Hard Place (1982)
Disc 10: Classics Live! (1986)
Disc 11: Classics Live! II (1987)
Disc 12: Gems (1988)
Disc 13: Box of Fire Bonus Disc (1994)

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32 comments

    1. Can’t believe I’m done this series. Back to working coming up with new content!

      Well Scott, if albums like Live Bootleg never grow to have the impact on you that they had on Deke or myself, that’s OK. You will always have MANOWAR!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now there’s a band that knows how to do a live album! ;-)

        Actually I listened to Live Bootleg on Friday and found myself getting into it more. Don’t think I’ll ever hold it in the esteem that you and Deke do but it’s on the way up anyway.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. But Friday was Manowar Metal For Friday! ;)

          I hope you revisit Live Bootleg in some months from now. I think that’s kind of the key. Long term devotion rather than short term immersion. Just a theory. Because of me buying all these albums at once in the box, and trying to give each one equal play time, it was a long term thing for me.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I was in Taranna this week and saw a few of these on LP at a record store called ‘play de record’ – I was particularly excited to see the one with the jumper photo!
    Thanks for doing this series Mike (and for posting all the links on this page) – it will make my catching up easier once school slows down!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well done Mikey and thanks again for linking my Aerobabble along the way! Huge undertaking man I mean I was burnt on doing 3 Kiss Reviews in a week! Hahaha…well written and totally dug the layout with pics etc!
    Now that this has wrapped up I’m surprised Aero hasn’t done the Box Of Fire in a vinyl release…..now that would be something wouldn’t it!

    Great stuff…..

    Live Bootleg is where it’s at HMO! Trust us!…I think!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed this series, Mike. The box sounds like a pretty sweet set and you’ve got me wishing I still had Pandoras Box. I might not pick this up, but there’s a few albums I’ll be keeping an eye out for!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J! I’ll have to tackle Pandora’s Box.

      Something like a box set such as Pandora’s is like an exercise in diminishing returns. Its three discs have lots of stuff that deserves attention. But no matter how long or how much time I spend on that review, it’s still only one post!

      Like

      1. I really liked that box – loads of good stuff on there and it was a pretty great way to hear loads from a band that had a rich catalogue. I dare say that’s why I never really bothered seeking out more of their albums. I did spot a copy of Live Bootleg today for £2 on CD. I’ll need to pop in and pick that up, methinks (it’ll do till I get my hands on the record, innit).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I remember having a copy years ago and liking it, but not much more. Now I’m in the mood for it I may really dig it.

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  4. I’m listening to Pandora’s box at this moment which led me to your Box of Fire review. Quite a task u did listening to the whole box in order. Love Aerosmith…

    Like

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