This is the great groin grinding sound of Aerosmith all put in one great boxed set! It is their best work from the seventies. You get all their sounds for a reasonably low price. PLUS you get an extra bonus disc with some great songs that you can’t get anywhere else. This definetly gets five stars and two thumbs up!!
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
The “Box Of Fire” brings together all of Aerosmith’s releases for Columbia records, as well as a few rare tracks (of which the excellent “Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu” is by far the most interesting).
All twelve albums have been digitally remastered, and the packaging is exquisite, with numerous photos and memorabilia from the era when each specific album was concerned.
The only problem with this lavish box set, and the reason why I’m only giving it 3 stars, is that it doesn’t really add that much to the Aerosmith legacy.
By including all of their Columbia albums, including one great, one good, and one very mediocre live album, it almost makes itself obsolete…all these records are readily available (and have also been remastered since “Box Of Fire” came out), and the previous Columbia-era box set, the superb “Pandora’s Box”, contains many more rarities and previously unissued songs than “Box Of Fire” – and much more interesting ones as well.
And that’s why I’m not all that impressed by this collection. Sure, the packaging is excellent, but there is very, very little here that the serious Aerosmith fan doesn’t already own – if anything. And the casual fan will be better served by buying the best of these twelve albums individually, and perhaps adding “Pandora’s Box”…Aerosmith’s classic 70s albums have all been remastered as well.
Really brilliant box sets, like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “SRV”, The Faces’ “Five Guys Walk Into A Bar”, and Bob Dylan’s “Biograph”, include all the hits and most of the best album tracks, as well as many rarities and unreleased songs. But “Box Of Fire” indiscriminately throws together all of what is already there, adding five “rarities” of which only one is truly great (and truly rare).
I see a lot of reviews that seem clueless as to why this box set was released the way it was. Some history might clear this up.
Aerosmith started off on the Columbia label, under which they released 12 official albums. This box set includes those 12 specific albums in their entirety, along with a bonus EP of rarities. After cleaning up their drug problems in the mid-1980s, they switched to Geffen in 1985 and stayed with them through 1994. November 1994 saw the release of both “Big Ones” (a compilation of hits from the Geffen years) and “Box of Fire”.
This was no coincidence, because the band was ending their contract with Geffen and returning to Columbia (on which they released everything from 1997’s “Nine Lives” onwards). You have to realize that in the music world, a band’s label largely determines how the release of compilations and box sets are made. When a band with a huge back catalog signs to a new label, it’s not unusual to see the new label re-release the old catalog themselves, because a new label is not interested in promoting a band that has classic albums that still sell on a different label! In this case, Aerosmith returned to Columbia, who in turn remastered and rereleased the Columbia catalog here in “Box of Fire”.
Some people are complaining about the redundant tracks, or the fact that you could use less discs to fit the same music. Again, this is a re-release of the first 12 Aerosmith albums, as a collector’s set. They’re going for completeness. They were however released for individual sale too, so boxing 12 of what they were selling separate seemed simple enough I’m sure. Unfortunately, the band is notorious for having way more than their share of live albums and official studio compilations. In the case of their first dozen albums, 3 were live, and 2 were compilations!
So who would want to buy the first 12 at once? Especially with “Greatest Hits” included? (The other compilation, “Gems”, is at least unique in that it has the rare single “Chip Away at the Stone”). Granted the box is beautifully put together, the music is classic, and buying this is cheaper than buying the discs individually. But die-hard fans would no doubt already own the CDs, and casual fans of old Aerosmith would be happy with the 1991 “Pandora’s Box” box set.
One last thing to keep in mind is that in 1994, many were finally replacing their cassettes and vinyl with CD. So for fans who didn’t make the switch yet, this was a good all-in-one buy! It worked for The Police box set and “complete studio” Led Zeppelin too (then again these had no redundant tracks to deal with). “Box of Fire” is still good for the price, but these days I’d say it’s overkill for all but the die-hard fan.
By far the most comprehensive Aerosmith collection available. Box of Fire includes all of the band’s Columbia albums with the exception of, of course, Nine Lives, and even adds a 5 cd bonus disc. The discs come remastered and with extensive linear notes. The only drawback to this excellent box set is the price. At around $100, it is too much for most listeners, but for those who are loaded you should definately get this collection, especially if you don’t already own these albums. If you do though, you will almost certainly want to pass as there is nothing new here outside the five songs (of which you have probably already heard, and maybe even own, three) and the box itself.
This set contains all 12 of Aerosmith’s early Columbia releases–7 studio albums, 3 live ones, an early Greatest Hits, and the album ‘Gems’, which I guess is another anthology. For many fans of their newer music, few of these tracks will be recognizable, maybe only a few from the Greatest hits. Still, this is a great way to discover Aerosmith at their height.Besides the 12 original albums, this set includes a 5-track bonus disc, most notable for its rockin’ rendition of ‘Sweet Emotion’ and the absolutely beautiful version of ‘Dream On’ (with a symphony!). These are two excellent remakes of a couple of Aerosmith’s best songs.The great thing about this set is that all the old albums appear exactly as they originally did (though they’ve been remastered). You don’t have to worry about song selection because it’s all here. So, for anyone wanting to start a good Aerosmith collection, this is the absolute best place to start. This box set is highly recommended. Don’t let the high price tag fool you–it’s well worth every penny.