Aerosmith's Pump and Def Leppard's Rocks: A Female Drummer's Perspective
Sassy Album Cover
This is my absolute FAVORITE Aerosmith CD. During the time period when it was released, I was practicing my drums regularly. Joey Kramer was my God. My style was greatly influenced by him and Larry Mullen Jr. (U2). There are 4 outstanding songs on this album that I blasted in my headphones while playing on the drums. Blood pumping, grinding music. Give me some Aerosmith!
I first heard this group as a freshman in college when I heard Walk this Way and Dream On on the radio. In my country rock band called School for Scandal, I fumbled through our own cover of Walk This Way - desperately trying and failing to obtain that Aerosmith signature bass drum groove: boom chik boom-BOOM BOOM chik. In the 80's, Run DMC took that great groove and did Aerosmith a tremendous favor by combining forces to do a great video. Aerosmith got their second wind and they still haven't gotten back to earth yet.
You need the lyrics to sing air voice with the music but I personally don't think you need an introspective look at the words except for their sensitive song Janie's Got a Gun. Their songs are tongue-in-cheek and non-apologetic pure rock trash. Their lyrics are mostly clever rhymes about S-E-X. They capture the teenage boy's explosive discovery of his sexuality.
Their songs and grooves are so much fun to play with. Now I have to rev up my iTunes and listen to them while writing this!
Pump - The Album
The Author Drumming It Up
Song Details from Pump
Dulcimer Stop/The Other Side
This song is finely crafted. The crescendos and open spaces between beats along with Steve Tyler's primal scream definitely take you to The Other Side. The Aerosmith songsmiths are expert at 'the turn around.' The verse carries a hard groove and then twists right into a tonal shift before reaching the slamming chorus. Listen to the music between sections. Masterful.
Raucous, vulgar, Steve Tyler exudes hot and heavy lyrics. That's F.I.N.E but listen to the guitar curling around the drum like a lustful snake!
Going Down/Love in an Elevator
Aerosmith has a sense of humor and they LOVE double innuendos. Their video of this song is a classic MTV visual and audio gorge-fest.
Monkey on My Back
Perfect showcase for the vocal performance style of Steve Tyler and hard groovin' guitar of Joe Perry.
It's a group effort though. Along with bassist Tom Hamilton and rhythms guitarist Brad Witford they build a wall of sound around the drums, vocals and lead guitar to make a lip smackin' performance. They are a commercial band but have retained enough fire to keep it - interesting (hah, understatement AND double innuendo).
The Other Side: Official Video
Love in an Elevator: Live in Chile
F.I.N.E: Live in Germany
Rock of Ages: Album Cover
Why am I a Def Leppard Fan?
We were card-carrying new wave punkers, but we had a secret love for hard hard rock. For the lead singer of my band it was Motley Crew. For our guitarist it was classic Led Zeppelin. And for me, the drummer, it was Def Leppard.
We could never admit this infatuation to our peers at CBGB's or our Billy Idol and Clash style fans in the Big Apple. They wouldn't understand. We didn't dress the hard rock look, but oh we loved it!
I followed Def Leppard ever since I saw their video Photograph. It was a blast listening to their songs and pacing the floor while playing air guitar, air drums and even air voice.
The reasons I was a Def Leppard fan:
*The lead singer, Joe Elliott had a cool voice. High and granular but NOT irritatingly whiny like the lead singer of Rush (sorry Rush fans).
*The drummer, Rick Allen, rocked. I especially respected him and the band after he lost his left arm in car accident and he developed an electric drum setup with pedals so he could play snare with his LEFT FOOT! This enabled him to keep on playing. He had to relearn drumming and change his natural playing style. An awesome feat.
*I think they also have a hidden pop edge, a little more radio ready than Metallica or Judas Priest.
Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection
The author in the 1980s
My Favorite Def Leppard Songs
Def Leppard is Rock Music iconic. They incorporate strong drum riffs and vocal/lead guitar hooks with the hard chugging of a rhythm guitar. This collection represents their very best.
1 Pour Some Sugar on Me
3 Rock of ages
5 Bringing on the Heartache