Remember “Rocks”…”Toys in the Attic”…”Night in The Ruts” and “Done with Mirrors” ? This new album bring back the stage “rock n’ roll” that make the Aerosmith one of the best rock n’ roll bands of the 70’s and 80’s !!The “punch” returns with good melodies and rock guitars making this album one of the best surprises of 2004 !Special attention for Joey Kramer…plays better than ever !!BUY NOW !!
Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD – playable on all CD players) pressing. Universal. 2008.
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1. Road RunnerExcellent, hard-driving rocker to start the album. It’s a traditional first song on an Aerosmith album, but it also sets the tone for Bobo’s bluesy feel.2. Shame, Shame, ShameVery fun song. Extremely short, but this is one you could picture hearing while swing dancing in the ’40s or ’50s. Steven does a great job on the vocals and Tom and Joey keep the rhythym moving. Just wish it was longer!3. Eyesight To The BlindThis song establishes that Honkin’ On Bobo is a true blues project. Very genuine and raw: I picture myself in a smoky New Orleans bar when I listen to this tune. 4. Baby Please Don’t GoFrom the live performances, I didn’t think BPDG was as heavy and hard rocking as it’s turned out to be. This is a truly blistering song: it’s so heavy at the end that it’s bordering with overbearing, but the boys keep it in control just enough. This track is a masterpiece: if you go back and listen to the Big Joe Williams version, you realize how difficult it must have been to turn this into a hard rock/heavy metal song. Fantastic.5. Never Loved A GirlMany think The Grind is the obvious Top 40 single, but I think this one would play even better on the radio. It really hooks you off the top and pulls you in, and I think Steven’s vocals haven’t sounded better since some of the Nine Lives recordings. Full of emotion, style, and when you listen to it: it sounds like a true Aerosmith work.6. Back Back TrainAtmospheric, but Back Back Train doesn’t do much for me overall. Joe’s lyrics are intentionally devoid of emotion, but I actually think it detracts from the song. It’s still very effective musically, and the female voice is haunting.7. You Gotta MoveDefinitely catchy and hip shaking. However, I think the very beginning could have a harder edge and pull you in more effectively. If it was a tad shorter, it could be radio material, however. I think the song is very good, don’t get me wrong, but I also think it could have been great.8. The GrindHere’s why I like The Grind. It fools you at the outset into thinking it’s a blues song, then shifts into a ballad, but stays raw and hard (that sounds raunchy, sorry) long enough to prevent being an IDWTMAT or FAWH. This could be a big single *and* help the album because it’s got the feel of a traditional Aerosmith hit, but it will also make average listeners think “hmm…Aerosmith sounds a little different, I wonder what their new album is like.” I think this should be single #2 or #3…I’m hoping they’ll release Never Loved A Girl as well.9. I’m ReadyWOW. This is my favorite song on the album, by far. Talk about a risky song to cover: this could have been a disaster if approached any differently than the boys approached it. Tom, Brad, and Joe are completely in sync the whole way through, and Steven’s vocals are stinging. After three listens, I was hooked on this song, I can’t stop listening to it. Different? Yes. But this one stays with you.10. TemperatureAnother genuine blues song. Kind of blends together with I’m Ready and Eyesight in some respects, and doesn’t exactly stick out, but another solid tune nonetheless.11. Stop Messin’ AroundIs this a great rock ‘n’ roll song or what? It’s so great to finally hear a studio version, and it doesn’t disappoint, that’s for sure! Honestly, I think this is the most polished song on the album…it’s so much better than I thought, and Joe really sounds like he’s having a blast. Again, this is just a great rock ‘n’ roll song, and Aerosmith’s been doing this one for so long, that they can almost claim it as their own.12. Jesus Is On The Main LineI feel like I’m in a baptist church in Arkansas when I put this one on. Another risky tune, and it certainly isn’t for everyone, but this really shows the depth and conscience of Aerosmith’s musical ability.Honkin’ On Bobo is finally the ’70s throwback we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the first step into gaining back the rock and roll credibility the band surrendered for musical success, although I believe PV, Pump, GAG, and Nine Lives are all superb albums that shouldn’t be penalized for being successful. However, IDWTMAT, Just Push Play, and the Super Bowl halftime was really sending Aerosmith in a direction where people could make a valid argument that they were over-the-hill “sell-outs.”Honkin’ On Bobo ends that criticism. This is a true rock band, and an American musical treasure. Congratulations to the band for taking a big risk, and knocking everyone’s socks off.-Tom
Just when I had written these guys off for selling out they reunited with producer Jack Douglas and created their best album since “Rocks”. The new disk focuses on cover tunes instead of original material. Most of the tunes are blues covers or early rock and roll tunes. Even though there are some blues covers on the disk, they rock! Blues purists will balk but even though Aerosmith’s music was blues influenced, the influences came via the second generation of British blues. The Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, and early Fleetwood Mac appear to be more influential than Muddy Waters anyway. I do not know if it was the presence of Jack Douglas or lack of pressure for coming up with new hit material but the band sounds more inspired than they have in a number of years. I have seen them in concert a few times and the new disk sounds more like the excitement they can generate in concert. There are no clinkers and the songs themselves are all interesting. My favorites include Bo Diddley’s “Road Runner”, Big Joe Williams “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, and Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “You Gotta Move” and “Jesus Is On The Main Line”. The sass that Steven Tyler injects into the songs is great. He also plays a lot of harmonica on the album. Joe Perry and Brad Whitford add a bluesy tinge to the proceedings with their vast array of guitars. Joe Perry even takes the lead vocals on Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “Back Back Train” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Stop Messin’ Round”. An example of the vibe the album emits would be to imagine an Aerosmith cd that contained “Walkin’ The Dog”, “Train Kept A Rollin’”, “Big Ten Inch Record” and “Milkcow Blues” from Aerosmith’s earlier career. My only regret is that the disk clocks in at only about 44 minutes. Hopefully, they have more high quality material in the can from these sessions that will be issued at a later date. I guess these guys really do have nine lives!
First impression, strange name, but one of the best covers of all time, and the album is as advertised, Tyler puts his harp to good use in most songs on this album. Although the album contains 11 covers and only one original it sounds more like Aerosmith than Just Push Play did. Billed as an album where ‘Aerosmith does the blues’ do not expect a blues record. It is more closely comparible to the bands work in the 70s when you could still hear there obvious blues influences. Many of the tracks covered here are obscure as well, so the material sounds fresh and new. The songs range from rockers like the first single Baby Please Don’t Go and Shame Shame Shame to slower blues tunes such as Back Back Train sung by Joe Perry no less. In fact Perry lends lead vocals to two tracks on the album with the voice of the talented Tracy Bonham backing him up. This album is a welcome surprise from start to finish, fans of old Aerosmith will not be disappointed and fans of new Aerosmith will be introduced to a whole new world, with no boring power ballads (as good as Aerosmith does them) to break the mood. In short, even if you haven’t bought an Aerosmith album in years, this is the one to help renew your faith in the greatest Rock and Roll band of our time.
I think it is funny that the record company and the band promoted this as a Blues record prior to its release. This is a blues record only in the sense that Disraeli Gears by Cream or Beck-Ola are blues records.
Honkin on Bobo is a Blooze-Rock record that Rocks with a capital R and would not have been out of place in the early 70’s. This is a stunning return to rock and roll form for a band that has made way too many trips to the power-ballad ATM in recent years. Keep it coming guys, I love it.