In my opinion, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are the Yin and Yang of Aerosmith. The band can not succeed without both members. Joe Perry is one of the best rock guitarists of all time, and Steven Tyler is one of the best singers to grace hard rock music.
With that being said, the early eighties was a dark period for Aerosmith, and the band forged ahead without Joe Perry or Brad Whitford (although Whitford did play on “Lighting Strikes”). The rhythm section of Aerosmith was securely in tact for this album, as Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton were still in the band. “Rock In A Hard Place” still has quite a bit of that Aerosmith groove, but this disc is far from the band’s best effort.
When it comes right down to it, the great thing about Aerosmith is their vast collection of great hard rock songs. When I dusted this disc off to give it another chance, I hoped to find a couple of classic Aerosmith tunes on this disc. After two or three plays, none of these song stick with me very much. It isn’t that they are band, they just aren’t very memorable. The best cuts are “Jailbait”, “Lightning Strikes”, and the title track “Rock and In A Hard Place (Cheshire Cat)”. While I like the music, even the best tunes don’t live up to Aerosmith’s past works.
“Rock In A Hard Place” isn’t the worst Aerosmith album, but in my opinion it is just an o.k. disc, and one for the Aerosmith diehard fans only.
2. Lightning Strikes
3. Bitch’s Brew
4. Bolivian Ragamuffin
5. Cry Me A River
6. Prelude To Joanie
7. Joanie’s Butterfly
8. Rock In A Hard Place
9. Jig Is Up
10. Push Comes To Shove
Steven Tyler – Vocals
Jimmy Crespo – Lead Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass
Joey Kramer – Drums
Rick Dufay – Guitar
Brad Whitford – Rhythm Guitar on Lightning Strikes
Paul Harris – Piano – Push Comes to Shove
John Turi – Sax – Rock In A Hard Place
Richard Struab – Violins on Joanie’s Butterfly
John Lievano – Guitar O.D. on Joanie’s Butterfly
Jack Douglas – Percussion
Back in the day when MTV used to play music videos, one video and song that would not get out of my head was “Balls To The Wall” by Accept. This song and video was a staple on the Headbanger’s Ball on MTV, and was a favorite of mine.
I finally got around to replacing my cassette tape with the remastered CD of Accept’s 1984 metal classic, “Balls To the Wall”. The remastered version was released in 2001and as a bonus, a couple of extra live cuts that were recorded in Japan in 1985 were added to the CD.
“Balls To The Wall” may be the song that everyone knows on this disc, but it isn’t the only good song on this CD by any means.
“London Leatherboys” may not be an instant classic, and does sound a little dated in 2008, but I still like it. “Fight It Back” is the type of stadium anthem that will have you throwing your fists in the air, and banging your head instantly.
“Head Over Heels” has a distinct hair metal sound to it, but is pretty good. I think the live version on this disc is even better than the original. I love the guitar solos on this song.
“Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had” is a mid tempo rocker that sounds like it could have been on a Motley Crue album. The 80’s metal influence on Accept is pretty obvious on this song. Listen to the bass rhythm on this song. It is very Nikki Sixx like. As a whole it is a very cool tune.
“Love Child” is another fist pumping, head banger with more excellent guitar work by Frank and Hoffmann.
“Turn Me On” reminds me a lot of mid 80’s Judas Priest. This is a really cool rocking tune that should have gotten more airplay.
Udo Dirkschneider’s vocals are so abrasive on the anthem, “Losers and Winners” it almost sounds like he is going to shred his vocals chords. (Some may say this is how he always sounds.) Either way it works. This is a killer tune.
“Balls To The Wall” is another enjoyable album by Accept. It is their most successful album to date, but I don’t think it is their absolute best. The more I listen to “Balls to the Wall”, the more I think that the over all sound on this record falls somewhere between the Scorpions and Judas Priest. The song writing might be a little suspect on this disc, but Udo’s distinct vocals push it over the top. Most metal heads will like it, and ought to pick it up.
1. Balls To The Wall
2. London Leatherboys
3. Fight It Back
4. Head Over Heels
5. Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had
6. Love Child
7. Turn Me On
8. Losers and Winners
9. Guardian Of The Night
11. Head Over Heels (Live)
12. Love Child (Live)
Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Herman Frank – Guitars
Wolf Hoffmann – Guitars
Peter Baltes – Bass
Stefan Kaufmann – Drums