REVIEW: Aerosmith – Big Ones (1994)

AEROSMITH – Big Ones (1994 Geffen)

There is an informal rule that a band should have at least three albums out before they entertain the idea of a live or “greatest hits” release.  Aerosmith obviously had lots of albums out in 1994, but on two different labels:  Columbia, and Geffen.  Their 1994 best of, not-so-cleverly titled Big Ones, drew from only three Geffen albums.  Therein lies its weakness, though Aerosmith have often had issues trying to balance their classic and pop hit eras on compilations.  Big Ones is easily made redundant by later compilations, but how is it for a straight listen?

A long one:  73 minutes with lots of hits and perhaps a few too many ballads, although there is no denying their chart power.

Three songs were new to the majority of buyers.  “Deuces Are Wild” was a fine ballad, one of their best from this era.  It wasn’t entirely new; it was written for Pump and considered for Get A Grip before being released in 1993 on the Beavis and Butt-head Experience CD.  The other two were brand new recordings:  “Walk on Water” and “Blind Man”.  Fans who dug the heavy Aerosmith on tunes like “Eat the Rich” will enjoy “Walk on Water” as one of their harder rockers.  OK song, but long forgotten now.  Unfortunately “Blind Man” is just another ballad, this one similar to “What It Takes” from Pump.  It’s the better of the two new songs, but sadly another ballad is not what Big Ones needed.

Making this CD even less valuable to buyers, every single track is on the later album Young List: The Aerosmith Anthology (2001).   Even the three new songs!

Otherwise Big Ones plays much like a run-though of Aerosmith’s radio staples that you can hear on the FM dial just about everywhere.  Each and every big hit from the three massive Geffen albums is here.  How often do you need to hear “Crazy”, “Cryin'”, “Amazing”, “Janie”, “Rag Doll”, “Angel”, “Dude”, “Elevator” and the rest?  That is up to you.

Even the cover art is devoid of imagination.

2/5 stars

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41 comments

  1. ‘Cryin” is one of those rare songs that I don’t think I can hear enough. Everything else on the album I could take or leave, but I love that song.
    Maybe it has something to do with Alicia Silverstone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had this one. Late 90s. After Nine Lives. Think I only ever listened to a couple of tracks when I put it on. Too much big ballady stuff as you say. Also, I remember feeling very annoyed with myself for buying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I either got this for free or paid $2.99 out of the bargain bin. Hopefully I got it free. I’m annoyed for owning it as it’s completely redundant in my collection. I didn’t even rip it to PC.

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      1. HA…no but man having said that this thing sold like hotcakes. Aero was striking while the hammer was hot!
        Speaking of which today I listened on the way home from work the Done Live With Mirrors …man u cannot beat good ol Stoned Smith kicking through a booze induced drug hazed My Fist Your Face….
        Love it!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, me too! This was really tedious to play. I will honestly probably never listen to it again. I shouldn’t even own it anymore except to “have them all”. And I don’t even have them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading this, I was “reminded” of an SNL sketch from around this time. I say “reminded” but all that remember is Adam Sandler singing the songs and inferring that Cryin’ and Crazy are pretty much the same song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally unrelated but I bought Animalize on disc recently on anticipation of your re review. As for Big Ones?? Meh. The Smiths lost me after Rocks. Some great tracks but a lot of dross. Rocks Donington isn’t too bad though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I owned this at some point. I may still? Hm, iTunes says no, but that doesn’t mean anything. It might be somewhere in the Man Cave and I just never bothered to rip it. Invariably I have at least one (often two) used copies of this CD on my shelves at work. Why? These days I am pretty tired of this period of Aerosmith. Waaaaay too many ballads that all sound the frickin’ same. Each one starts and I sigh, “Ach, here we go again.” I skip a lot of them.

    You’re right, there’s no denying the strength and power of the work, I am just not in that headspace right now.

    I did cover it in 2014, though, apparently!

    https://keepsmealive.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/aerosmith-big-ones/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We sell CDs cheap, and people are always looking for hits discs to throw in their car. *

        * For those who know their Good Omens, though, we know that every album left in a car will eventually become a greatest hits of Queen. True story.

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