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A Little South Of Sanity [2-CD SET]

A Little South Of Sanity [2-CD SET] thumbnail

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★★★★½
(121 Reviews)

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Drug addiction couldn’t stop them, nor could the ascension of alterna-rock and the process of aging. Not only are Aerosmith still together, but they’re still recording hit singles. Since their formation in the early ’70s, the band has scored a multitude of platinum albums and Top 40 hits. Moreover, Aerosmith remain a flamboyant, energized live band capable of recapturing that magical, sexual endorphin rush of youthful rock & roll abandon. Yup, on a good night, seeing Aerosmith is like experiencing your first time all over again. So it comes as no surprise that this band’s double live disc is no mere trip down memory lane. Vocalist Steven Tyler still sounds raw, untamed, and on-key, shrieking as passionately as ever and reaching notes Robert Plant and Ozzy Osbourne would sell their kidneys for. And guitarist Joe Perry’s bluesy, blustery rhythms and piercing solos still echo with passion and hunger. The first disc is a bit bogged down with ’90s material, but the band performs stellar versions of ”Love in an Elevator,” ”Livin’ on the Edge,” ”Cryin’,” and ”Janie’s Got Gun.” It’s the second disc that really sizzles, as the Toxic Twins dip into their drug-addled past and unleash monsters such as ”Back in the Saddle,” ”Dream On,” and ”Sweet Emotion.” Get your rocks off! –Jon Wiederhorn

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  • Review no.116. Very well assembled 2-CD, 23 track audio document of Aerosmith’s 1997-98 road trek. I don’t care what any old school fans might say about ‘Sanity’ plus EVEN though it was reportedly one of those ‘contractual obligation’ live albums, I still think it’s a worthy 2-CD release that’s truly a must-have. Cuts here that had me keeping this title handy for some time now are “Love In An Elevator”, “Same Old Song And Dance”, the dramatic “Jamie’s Got A Gun”, “Back In The Saddle”, “Last Child”, “Mama Kin”, “Walk This Way” and the concert show stomper “Sweet Emotion”. Absolutely 100% essential.

    Posted on December 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A casual fan like myself might have been happy with one 15 track disc, but fanatics would be “Crazy” not to love this. 2 discs and 23 tracks of live Aerosmith. The sound is pretty good, or at least not bad enough to complain about. There’s a wealth of 90’s songs here, but at this point that is a big portion of their material. “A Little South Of Sanity” does have the hits covered pretty well, be they old or newer, and tosses in a few gems like “Mama Kin” and “Monkey On My Back” as well. Overall a good collection, and clearly proves that Aerosmith still has “What It Takes” to rock your socks off.

    Posted on December 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Really great doudle live set from Aerosmith, the sound is loud and the choice of songs is perfect. One of the best rocking band of the planet.
    These guys are real rockers ! Highly recommanded, you can’t go wrong.

    Posted on December 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is what you get when you see Aerosmith in concert. They sound great and try to mix in some oldies within the lineup of songs. My only complaint is that it is usually the “same old song and dance” not to pun, but the same six or so classic hits. If you want to listen to a great live Aerosmith pre-mtv release, get “Live Bootleg”, also. “Live Bootleg” is highly recommended as it was the last live recording before the band fell into a drug coma and broke up. If you don’t get to see Aerosmith in concert, “A Little South of Sanity” will basically bring you there.

    Posted on December 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Ahhh-k-k-k-k-ow!!!! So there I was, wandering through the land of The Wiz (ah, whatta wonderful place). My sole purpose was to pick up Alanis Morissett’s new CD. That’s what I foolishly thought, but the Music Gods had other plans. After picking up Alanis’s new disc and then finding out Dream Theater’s new live CD was out (which I just had to pick up), I wandered over to the Aerosmith section. I’m thinking, “Why am I here? I have just about everything of theirs”. Then, lo and behold, this disc with an obnoxious-looking gas station dude on the cover popped out at me. “Yeah,” he seemed to say, “go ahead and pick me up because you have no choice. You’ve never seen me before.”Seen you before? I didn’t even know you existed. So, what closet had I been living in, anyway? — and, wait-a-minute, but what the IS this?! A live Aerosmith CD? A new one? Time to high-tail my arse outta this store before I REALLY get into trouble.So, what did I have here? A Little South of Sanity (yeah, that description fits me to a T these past few months), a live double CD which appeared to be a hodge-podge of different shows from the Get A Grip and Nine Lives tours. I slipped it into my CD player and I have three words for you: Kicks Boo-tay, Bay-bee!!Yeah, go ahead and groan: Another Aerosmith live CD? After all, they’ve already recorded three of those suckers. Sure they have. However, if you’ll excuse the cliché, Ladies and Gents, but these men are like fine wine — with age they sound and rock better than ever. Seeing them with my own two eyes (these ones) twice last summer, and once this summer, they blew me out of my chair. I was rocketed to the moon, folks. With that filed away in my memory bank, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed with this CD. All I had to do was close my eyes and I was there again, shaking my bootie and screaming my lungs out.The sound of this CD is so rich it’s like eating a piece of New York cheesecake; it’s so ballsy it pins you against the wall; and it’s so swinging it comes back to smack you in the face. Don’t get the rocking chairs out for these fellas, cuz they ain’t done yet.EAT THE RICH is the first song on the first disc, and it starts off the album with a beat that climaxes into a frenzy. This song ain’t missing a thing but Mr. Tyler’s burp at the conclusion of the song. LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR steamrolls away, with Mr. Perry a-wailing, Mr. Whitford a-shredding, Mr. Hamilton a-swinging, Mr. Kramer a-pounding, and Mr. Tyler changing some words to tickle his fancy.”You don’t mind if we take the next two hours to rock your world, do you?,” the Deamon of Screamin’ inquires. Heck no! I was gonna go clean the toilet but go right ahead. FALLING IN LOVE (IS HARD ON THE KNEES) makes an appearance next, in all of its spunky, cool-rocking, Tongue N’ Lip, glory.”Ah, West Palm Beach, what the(bleep)are you smoking?!?!” Mr. Tyler wants to know before diving into the coolest, most jamming, toe-tapping — grooviest (yeah, you heard me) — version of SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE you’ll ever hear. The song gets extended to a cool rap-and-jam session that would puff any fan’s chest with pride. This is the blues, good-time, rock n’ rolls, folks. Things turn down a notch with HOLE IN MY SOUL next, full of pretty melodies and Steven’s witty improvisations.I was starting to get all cozy with visions of past Aeroshows dancing in my head before I realized I had that MONKEY ON MY BACK. Like a thunderclap, it was bearing down on me, rockin’ my world, causing me to think it was the 4th of July.Boom! Boom! “I wanna hear some screaming!” Ya do, Mr. Tyler? How about if I sit on my speakers like that girl did in the Howard Stern movie, Private Parts. You think you’d hear me then? After some audience participation, LIVIN’ ON THE EDGE steamrolls into my speakers, blowing smoke out of their stacks.Whip your lighters out for some good CRYIN’. As overplayed as this song is, I love it, and I love the way it sounds live. There’s something so TORTURED about this song. Me being tortured myself, I can relate. Oh, and that mean, soulful harmonica solo — Gotta Love It! (pun intended). Are you getting the visual? Sure am, Steven. Boom! Boom! Boom-bah! Boom-bah! RAG DOLL, baby won’t you do me like you’ve done before! . Yeah, bay-bee — makes me want to dance. Oh, that slide guitar, that thump-thump of the drums that beats in time with my heart. Yes, I’m movin’. Gimme a table boys, and lemme shake my boo-tay!Now dripping in sweat, my blood a-boiling, I take a seat for a breather as an ANGEL appears. This is a song that isn’t played live very often and, surprisingly, it sounds pretty darn good. It’s a good, strong ballad, but it was never one I cared to hear live. I holds up quite well, however. JANIE’S GOT A GUN is next in the set, proving to be a powerful number before AMAZING chases it tails, sounding a little weak compared to the original studio-recorded version. There’s a lot of echoes on the vocals and Steven’s voice sounds a little raspy with fatigue. At one point during the first chorus, it sounds a little out of tune. This is a great song, and one of their strongest ballads, but it could have been a little better live.”So, you like the old (bleep), you like the new bleep)? Where were you in 79?” Steven crows at the beginning of Disc #2. “Pant. Pant. Pant. I’m BAAACK!! I’m BACK IN THE SADDLE again!” You know there’s no hope for Steven’s microphone surviving this number. The band’s amps and my speakers suffer an equally devastating fate, I’m quite certain. So, get up on that saddle and get “hog wild!”"Mr. Whitford, I’m sensing you have something up your sleeve,” says Mr. Tyler. That something would be the total mind-blowing, funky-booty-shaking, dontcha-go-pouting LAST CHILD. Ah, this song is kind of like taking an ice-cold drink on a sweltering hot day — DEE-LIC-IOUS!!!THE OTHER SIDE is next up at bat — skipping, hopping, tapping, and shaking all over the place before Mr. Joe F**king Perry steps up to the mic to WALK ON DOWN in that ultra cool-grooving way only he can deliver.Get your lighters out again, but this time get two. As much as I’ve heard various recordings of DREAM ON, this one has got to be one of the best I’ve heard. This song is a true classic, and I never get tired of it. Comparing this version to some earlier ones (such as the one included on Live Bootleg), it only proves how far the Boston Bad Boys have come from their drug-hazed days. This song just gets better with time.”Hey Whitford! Looking at the babes? Come here, Bay-bee!” Steven growls before launching into bluesy ballad, CRAZY — sounding oh-so-sexy and as sweet as saccharine at the same time.”To the people who go to Mamma Kins, work at Mamma Kins, and hang out at Mamma Kins — MAMMA KIN,” Steven introduces before launching into a rocking version of the aforementioned song. It rocks, it moves, it jams, and it sounds better than the original recording. Steven sings this one in a low octave while throwing in his special brand of Tyler improvisations.”Ah, yeah baby. Get the (bleep)offa the fence!” the Demon of Screamin’ chants before diving into the funkiest, coolest, get-down-with-your-bad-self version of WALK THIS WAY to be heard by the human ear. Ah, this song sorta reminds me of those favorite pair of faded, worn-in jeans: always feels soooo good when you put `em on — tight in all the right places while loose enough in other places.”Hey dude — lend me a dollar,” Steven croons to the melody of Beatles tune, Hey Jude. “Do it! DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY! Mamma-ooooh!!” Oh, to have those guilty pleasures in life. What would we do without songs like these? It’s like that piece of chocolate — you know you want it!”There goes my old girlfriend, well there’s another diamond ring. And uh . . . all those late night promises, I guess they don’t mean a thing.” SING IT, STEVEN! Don’t I know it! WHAT IT TAKES has been one of my many theme songs as of late. What makes this song even more special is Steven sings the whole first verse acapella. This song, in all senses of the word, is PURR-FECT!! Beautiful! Gorgeous! Heartwrenching! Love it!It’s almost that time, but before any good-byes are uttered, the Boston Bad Boys have to go out with a bang and a little SWEET EMOTION! Sweeeeet E-mooooo-tion!! How sweet it is! Cool and laid-back with enough bite to leave teeth marks, whatta way to leave you . . . . that’s right . . . wanting more.Whew! Is it hot in here, or is it just me? I don’t give a fig-leaf what anyone says: Aerosmith, old or new, young or old — I love it all. As far as song material, I can’t chose between the 70s, the 80s, or the 90s — it’s all good. It’s like going to an All You Can Eat buffet and being able to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the same sitting. I can’t skip meals — I gotta have `em all! I can tell you this, though: Aerosmith has gotten better live. They may have been “raw” in the 70s, but I think they were so “raw” they were losing too much blood — passing out, lurching around the stage

    Posted on December 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now