“Pandora’s Box” collects more than fifty singles, album tracks, demos, outtakes, live cuts and rarities, including all the best and best-known songs from Aerosmith’s 1970 debut until 1982’s “Rock And A Hard Place”.
Also included is solo material from Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, as well as an early track from Steven Tyler when he fronted a band called Chain Reaction in the ’60s (“When I Needed You”), and while this is not a career-spanning box set, it is a really wonderful overview of Aerosmith’s best period.
The hits should attract the casual admirer: “Dream On” is here, along with “Walk This Way”, “Mama Kin”, “Draw The Line”, “Sweet Emotion” and many more. And the more obscure selections will surely please the longtime fan: “Rattlesnake Shake”, “On The Road Again”, the great, raunchy blues “Big Ten-Inch Record”, a demo of “Movin’ Out”, live versions of “Adam’s Apple”, “Write Me A Letter” and “I Wanna Know Why” are all great, as is the previously unreleased “Let It Slide”, an instrumental which was to become the basis for the song “Cheese Cake”, and which shows Joe Perry’s too-rarely heard prowess on the slide guitar.
And my favorite Aerosmith rocker is here too, penned by sideman Richie Supa (keyboards, occational guitar): “Chip Away At The Stone”, complete with one of Joe Perry’s best guitar riffs.
The band’s cover of John Lennon’s “Come Together” is included as well, of course, as is a great, slow rendition of the Otis Rush-classic “All Your Love (I Need Lovin’)”, and several underrated album tracks like “Seasons Of Wither”, “No Surprize”, “Three Mile Smile” and “Cheese Cake”.
One of the best box sets of the 90s, “Pandora’s Box” really delivers the goods for both hardcore fans and more casual listeners who don’t want all the band’s original albums. Get this fine collection, and the recent two-disc “Young Lust” anthology which draws from ‘Smith’s 80s and 90s Geffen albums, and you’re all set!
4 1/2 stars. An excellent package.