Devil’s Got A New Disguise

REVIEW: Devil’s Got A New Disguise – The Very Best of Aerosmith (2006)

AEROSMITH – Devil’s Got A New Disguise – The Very Best of Aerosmith (2006 Sony BMG)

Aren’t contracts a bitch? Aerosmith thinks so too. Eager to complete their contract with Sony, but sidelined by Tom Hamilton’s throat cancer, the band chose to release yet another greatest hits album. This being their third since the release of their last original studio album, Just Push Play.

Devil’s Got A New Disguise is nice in one respect.  It’s one of only a few compilations that covers the “old days”, the 80’s, and the 90’s.  It also contains a number of single versions that aren’t on the studio albums.  There have been so many Aero-collections, however, that I’ve lost track of where else you can get these single versions.

From the early days, only five songs are included, from three albums.  It’s a shame that somebody thought this was a good idea.  Where’s “Same Old Song and Dance”?  Then the Run DMC hit collaboration “Walk This Way” is up, in its familiar single edit.  The Geffen years follow, which were chock full of hit after hit after hit.  I am so, so sick of the Geffen years from sheer overplay, although “Angel” is conspicuous by its absence. (It is on the UK version of Devil’s Got A New Disguise, which had five different songs.)

The rarities here include single edits and remixes. “What It Takes” (one of the songs I’m not sick of) is present in edited and remixed form, the same version you probably heard on the radio.  “Crazy” and “Livin’ On the Edge” are also single edits, and a “pop mix” of “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” is included.  Whoopee!  I really don’t know if I had these already or not, to be honest.  I have a lot of Aero-singles.

The bait to buy this is two new songs: “Sedona Sunrise”, and “Devil’s Got a New Disguise”. Both are actually songs that were written 15 years prior for Pump, and reworked several times, so you can’t even accuse Aerosmith of writing new songs. Since “Devil’s Got A New Disguise” (formerly known as “Susie Q”) failed to make Pump, Get A Grip, Nine Lives, Just Push Play, or any of the hits albums featuring two news songs previous to this one (Big Ones and O, Yeah!), then you know it can’t be very good. And it’s not. The modern production on it is shit.  “Sedona Sunrise”, a soft one, is a bit better.

For your money, a better Aerosmith compilation with the exact same span of coverage but with two CDs of music is O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits.  It too had its own duo of new songs, more classics and double the playing time.

2/5 stars