REVIEW: Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits 1973-1988 (1997)

AEROSMITH – Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits 1973-1988 (1997 Sony)

Back in May/June, we took a detailed look at the entire Aerosmith Box of Fire set (1994), including the original Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits (1980).  What we didn’t inspect was the expanded 1997 reissue of Greatest Hits, now dubbed Greatest Hits 1973-1988, including an unreleased track.

Since this CD is based on the original Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits, it contains all the original songs. Because of the greatly expanded tracklist (from 10 to now 17 tracks), it is the preferred listening experience. The title is misleading: If it truly was the greatest hits from ’73 – ’88, wouldn’t “Angel” be included? “Dude”? “Rag Doll”? Yes, but this is the Columbia Records music, not the Geffen stuff. Casual fans don’t know that. Casual fans might see the title and say, “Oh cool…this will have some of the 80’s music on there.” No, it doesn’t.

“Chip Away The Stone” was released on CD for the first time on 1988’s Gems album, and there are a lot of fans out there who would name this as a favourite.  Putting it on the expanded Greatest Hits is what we in the reviewing world might call a “no-brainer”.  It elevates the album to a whole new level.

“Seasons of Wither” is a beautiful one from the early days, an acoustic number just a little different than your typical “ballad”. Fantastic song. “Big Ten-Inch Record” is loaded with horns and soul and sounds like classic Aerosmith. Be glad these tunes were added, among others. They’re all still great today, and not overplayed on radio or in concert. Of course you still get the songs you know, such as “Dream On”, “Same Old Song and Dance”, “Sweet Emotion”, and all that good stuff.

One unreleased song is present: A live version of “One Way Street”. This is actually a more recent recording from 1994 (so what’s this 1973-1988 nonsense?), and was also on a Walmart exclusive EP called Made in America in 1997.  “One Way Street” is a debut album classic, and oh so very welcome here.  It was recorded for radio broadcast, and the setting sounds intimate.  Steve’s harmonica work is the high point of this great little-known song.

I used to advise fans to pick this up instead of the old, cheaper Greatest Hits.  Today you can find it for under $5 if you know where to look.   The price has dropped considerably since I paid almost $28 for it on US import!

5/5 stars

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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33 comments

      1. I’ll leave that for someone else to post. With all the different territories I think they have more studio albums still, but I do already have any best of with exclusive material on it.

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      2. Ahhh man I can’t do that this one as well….I’m with Mike I’m to busy prepping for next weeks Huge Blog Announcement! Monday am..bright an early! Hahahaha….
        Could be the coolest thing I ever did blog wiser or the biggest trainwreck in WordPress history!
        Haha…..
        We shall see!

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        1. INTERESTING! I wonder what it could be…

          Coming out as a life-long Celine Dion fan? Giving up blogging altogether to go live as a monk? The possibilities are endless!

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  1. I don’t think I’ve seen this version around much. It does look pretty cheap on Amazon now but I don’t know if I really need those bonus tracks much. Think I could pass. Looks like a cool comp though. How many Aerocomps have you reviewed now? In fact, how many have you got?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gah! This is the one I’ve wanted! I have looked every Taranna trip and never found it. I think there’s even a version without the last two tracks and I’ve never seen it either.

    You say it’s $5 if you know where to look… sounds like you know where to look! If you see it, I wants it please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you know what? So far as I know there is no “official” 2 CD hits set from the Columbia years. There are a couple really overstuffed ones from Geffen, but all there is for this period is a combo set of this and Gems.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review, Mike. I think this might have been the one my friend had (what with him getting it off the back of the Nine Lives buzz). I spotted the 10 track LP version a few weeks ago in the Record Fayre. Really tempted to go see if the still have it …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Forgot to add One Way Street is a Brillant track! I was glad they resurrected it on the Get A Grip Tour for a bit until those MTV hits took over….

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    1. It is just like the Van Halen songs when DLR covers an old song from the ’40’s or ’50’s. I personally LOVE when a rock band takes an old forgotten song and rocks it up and modernizes it. Besides, Steven Tyler loves to throw in sexual innuendo whenever he can, so imho this is a great Aerosmith song that stays true to the Aerosmith way and sounds like Aerosmith to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. To me, Big Ten Inch is another side of Aerosmith. I really loved the horns and stuff like that. But I can completely understand your point, since it does stick out like a sore thumb.

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