This CD collection definitely improves on its predecessors: “Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits” and “Big Ones”. The first ten songs are classic tunes from the 70’s, but the song selection in an improvement upon the Greatest Hits collection. “Mama Kin” is an excellent choice as an opener, “Seasons of Wither” is much better than “Kings and Queens” as an example of Aerosmith’s power ballad style. “Big Ten Inch Record” is kind of corny but gets a lot of radio play, so I guess I can understand its inclusion. Also, the songs that were included on Greatest Hits are the superior (and complete) original album versions, not pared down single versions. The other selections are obvious ones – hit singles from the “Permanent Vacation” CD to the “Get a Grip” CD that duplicate the “Big Ones” list. On top of all this, you get two songs each from the “Nine Lives” and “Just Push Play” CD’s as well as the single from the “Armageddon” soundtrack. The sound is top notch throughout. All in all, the best Aerosmith collection you can buy.
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First let’s address the album’s atrocious title. On top of being a mouthful, “O Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits” is one of the lamest names for a Greatest Hits collection ever. But to be fair, Aerosmith have put out so many hits collections that they’re running out of good titles to use. That said, this is definitely the Aerosmith hits collection you’ll want to get. “Greatest Hits” and “Big Ones” were both snapshots of a certain point in Aerosmith’s career, but “O Yeah!…” encapsulates their entire career (through 2002). All their bigs are here, conveniently in chronological order, except for the Run-DMC version of “Walk This Way” which is wisely put at the end of Disc 2 (the original is on Disc 1). Listening to the songs in order, it’s easy to track Aerosmith’s career from rock underdogs to the comeback kids to ’90s ballad kings. And since everybody has a favorite Aerosmith track, or five, you can be guaranteed that the album will have something for everybody. On top of 28 of their hits, the albums includes two new numbers: “Girls of Summer” and “Lay It Down”. The former is something of a miss: it’s basically just generic top 40 summer rock. The latter is a should-have-been-a-hit ballad in the vein of “Angel”.Inevitably Aerosmith will continue to release albums, and by extension, greatest hits albums. But for right now, this is the one with all their hits, and it’s worth every penny you’ll spend.
I think everybody who lives in America and owns a radio or television has heard an Aerosmith song, it’s near impossible not to have. Like many, I knew of a handful of catchy, rockin’ songs from classic rock radio and mp3 downloads. I was also somewhat confused as why not one retrospective had songs from their early and latter days on it, then I found out it was due to them changing labels in the mid-80s. This is the only Aerosmith compilation to feature songs from their Columbia and Geffen days on it and it makes a great buy for people who are interested in exploring their back catalogue, or just want those famous radio hits. A seasoned Aerosmith fan might want this for the bonus tracks, the Run D.M.C. version of ‘Walk This Way’ and the two new songs, the single, ‘Girls Of Summer’ and the ballad ‘Lay It Down. This also features the single from the Armageddon movie, ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.’ A diehard might already have the soundtrack for that song or even the Run D.M.C. cd too but they’re always nice to have grouped with other Aerosmith material. The remastered sound is loud and clear, a definite plus for audiophiles. The only glaring errors I see off-hand are the omissions of the popular ‘Eat The Rich,’ ‘Toys In The Attic,’ and their cover of ‘Come Together,’ songs even a beginner like me has heard on the radio. The latter two appear on the European import of this same compilation, but unfortunately you have to pay that European import price. Why the domestic release left those two songs off is beyond me. Aside from those minor negatives, this is the definitive Aerosmith compilation for beginners interested in America’s ultimate rock ‘n roll band.
O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, released in July 2002, is an Aerosmith compilation.
Aerosmith is, with out a doubt, “America’s Greatest Rock “N” Roll Band.” There are many other great classic rock bands, but they were from different countries. Pink Floyd (England), Led Zeppelin (England), Queen (England), The Beatles (England), The Rolling Stones (England), and Rush (Canada). Do we see a pattern here? There are many legendary classic rock bands from England. So Aerosmith isn’t the best ever, just in America they are.
Kicking this album off is ‘Mama Kin’ and ‘Dream On’, both from Aerosmith’s debut album, “Aerosmith.” I’m always happy to see ‘Mama Kin’ on a compilation, because it’s an excellent song. ‘Dream On’ is also here, but that’s no surprise, since it’s one of Aerosmith’s top five songs of all time.
From “Get Your Wings” come the songs ‘Same Old Song And Dance’ and ‘Seasons Of Wither’. This is the full version of ‘Same Old Song And Dance’ and not the heavily edited copy found on “Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits.” (Note: I’m going to bash Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits, because it has major editing problems.) ‘Seasons Of Wither’ is a nice song, but not the second best song on “Get Your Wings.” ‘Train Kept A Rollin’ holds that title, but it’s not here. Why? Who knows? It’s an excellent cover but it’s not found on “O, Yeah!”.
‘Walk This Way’, ‘Big Ten Inch Record’, and ‘Sweet Emotion’ are the songs from Aerosmith’s best album, “Toys In The Attic”. This is the full, four-and-a-minute version of ‘Sweet Emotion’ and not the edited version found on Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits. Two excellent songs missing from “Toys In The Attic” are ‘No More No More’ and ‘Toys In The Attic’. It’s nice to see ‘Big Ten Inch Record’ appear on an Aerosmith compilation, but ‘Toys In The Attic’ would have been a better choice.
From the album “Rocks” come the songs ‘Last Child’ and ‘Back In The Saddle’. ‘Back In The Saddle’ is one of Aerosmith’s best songs, along with ‘Last Child’. But where’s ‘Rats In The Cellar’, one of Aerosmith’s most underrated gems?
‘Draw The Line’ is the only song on “O, Yeah!” from the album “Draw The Line”. ‘Draw The Line’ has an excellent riff, and it’s a very catchy song. But where in the world is ‘Kings and Queens’. It’s just one more missing gem, not making the cut for “O, Yeah!”.
Now the compilation skips three albums, “Night In The Ruts”, “Rock In A Hard Place”, and “Done With Mirrors”. These definitely are not Aerosmith’s best albums, but they still had a few good songs. Songs like ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand)’, ‘Jailbait’, and ‘Let The Music Do The Talking’. It’s not a huge disappointment, but they should have at least put ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand)’ on “O, Yeah!”.
“Permanent Vacation” kicked off Aerosmith return to the spotlight, with songs like ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)’, ‘Angel’, and ‘Rag Doll’. All three of these songs deserve to be here. ‘Permanent Vacation’ would have been nice, but it’s no big deal. ‘Angel’ was Aerosmith’s first major ballad and they would have many more ballads in the albums to come.
Next we come to one of my personal favorites, “Pump”. It’s just one of those albums where every song is excellent. Making the cut for “O, Yeah!” are ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’, ‘Love In An Elevator’, ‘What It Takes’, and ‘The Other Side’. Other excellent songs on Pump that didn’t make it were ‘Young Lust’, ‘F.I.N.E.’, and ‘Monkey On My Back’. No huge disappoint about those songs not making the cut.
Now on to the so-called ballad album, “Get A Grip.” The album’s not all ballads, there are still rock songs, but they are not as well known as the ballads. The songs from “Get A Grip” include ‘Livin’ On The Edge’, ‘Cryin’, ‘Amazing’, and ‘Crazy’. All but ‘Livin’ On The Edge’ are ballads. The non-ballad songs that didn’t make O, Yeah! were ‘Eat The Rich’, ‘Fever’, and ‘Walk On Down’.
From the album “The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience” comes the song ‘Deuces Are Wild’.
‘Falling In Love’ and ‘Pink’ from “Nine Lives” made their way onto O, Yeah. ‘Falling In Love’ was a good choice, but I’d rather have ‘Hole In My Soul’ over ‘Pink’.
Next, from the “Armageddon Soundtrack” is Aerosmith’s only Billboard Hot 100 number one hit, ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’. This is easily one of my favorite Aerosmith songs of all time, and it deserves to be here with other Aerosmith classics.
From their 2001 album “Just Push Play”, come two songs, ‘Jaded’ and ‘Just Push Play’. “Just Push Play” is one of their worst albums ever, and these two songs are no exceptions.
To close the album off, you have two bonus tracks and a rap version of ‘Walk This Way’. That’s terrible. Rap and Aerosmith just don’t go together. It was a bad idea to recorded the song in the first place, let alone place it on an Aerosmith greatest hits compilation. The bonus tracks are ordinary songs, and nothing to get excited over.
In the end, you get an Aerosmith compilation loaded with 30 unedited songs, for a sale price of under 20 bucks. That’s not a bad deal considering it’s the best Aerosmith compilation out there. I’ll end my review with a list of missing songs and a list of excellent Aerosmith albums to start a collection with.
1. Train Kept a Rollin’
2. Toys In The Attic
3. No More No More
4. Rats In The Cellar
5. Kings And Queens
6. Remember (Walking In The Sand)
7. Permanent Vacation
8. Monkey On My Back
9. Eat The Rich
11. Hole In My Soul
The Six Albums Every Aerosmith Fan Must Have:
1. Get Your Wings
2. Toys In The Attic
5. Get A Grip
6. A Little South Of Sanity (Two-disc live album)
What a waste. Columbia/Sony could’ve compiled 2 discs worth of all of the great songs from Aerosmith’s first seven studio albums and paired them with stuff from “Nine Lives”, “Just Push Play”, and the “Armageddon” soundtrack (all on the Columbia/Sony label), and by putting that against Geffen’s “Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology”, you would’ve had four CD’s worth of truly ALL the Aerosmith hits. But Columbia had to cop out and partner with Geffen, the label responsible for navigating the band’s triumphant late-80’s comeback, to shoehorn in the usual array of hits that had already been covered on “Big Ones” and again on “Young Lust”. So instead of the “ultimate” collection, you are left with plethora of missing tracks: “Toys In The Attic”, “No More, No More”, “You See Me Crying”, “Train Kept A-Rollin”, “Sick As A Dog”, “Lightning Strikes”, “Kings And Queens”, “Come Together”, “Remember (Walking In The Sand)”, “What Kind of Love Are You On”, “Hole In My Soul”, “Fly Away From Here”, etc. If you want to come as close as you can to collecting all of Aerosmith’s hits without having to get all of the original albums, pick up “Greatest Hits”, “Gems”, and “Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology”. The latter collects pretty much everything you could ask for from their Geffen years, and the first two are decent overviews of their first six classic albums (severely edited versions of “Same Old Song And Dance”, “Sweet Emotion”, and “Kings And Queens” aside). Me personally – I’ve just got all of the studio albums.