AEROSMITH's 'Permanent Vacation' LP Turns 30!

The band's 9th album was 'Pivotal' in how they moved forward in the 80's...

August 31, 2017

Yulia Grigoryeva | Dreamstime

AEROSMITH, arguably America's greatest Rock & Roll Band, have enjoyed a great deal of success from their beginning in 1970 to their current status as Rock Legends! Certainly, their first 4 LPs--'Aerosmith,' 'Get Your Wings,' 'Toys in the Attic,' & Rocks' ' stand as some of the best straight-ahead, gritty, Rock & Roll records from that period, and the enduring popularity of some of the great songs on those albums is testament to the band's talent as musicians and songwriters. However, the band eventually fell into the usual 'Rock Star' trappings, 'over-indulgences,' and internal discord, and eventually started a downward spiral for the band that came to a head during the production of their 6th album, 'Night In The Ruts,' when guitarist JOE PERRY left the band in mid-recording. He would stay away through the recording of the next album, 'Rock In A Hard Place,' (BRAD WHITFORD would also leave shortly after) and journeyman guitarist JIMMY CRESPO would (temporarily) join the band. Things were not looking too good for the 'Boston Bad Boys...' When the 1980's rolled around, AEROSMITH (collectively) decided to clean up their act, reunite, and make the attempt to recapture their greatness. The start of that process was the (November) 1985 album, 'Done With Mirrors,' which saw both JOE PERRY and BRAD WHITFORD back in the Aerosmith fold. The album was intended to be their 'comeback' album, but didn't rise to the expected level of success. It was when AEROSMITH decided to change their overall approach to writing and recording songs that better things started happening, and it culminated with the 1987 release of their 9th studio album, 'Permanent Vacation.' According to JOE PERRY, “It was really the start of a new paradigm as far as writing and making records,” Perry told Ultimate Classic Rock. “We went into the studio and just tried to grind it out, and it didn’t work that way anymore. Obviously we needed some new influence, and it wasn't’t going to work the old way. That’s when we started writing with other people.” Those 'other people' included songwriters Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, and Holly Knight, all of whom had track records of success from writing songs for other artists. Additionally, the band enlisted the production talents of Bruce Fairbairn (Loverboy, Bon Jovi) and they relocated to Vancouver BC to record the album. Backed by the strength of songs like 'Dude (Looks Like A Lady),' 'Rag Doll,' and 'Angel,' 'Permanent Vacation' became their real 'comeback' album, and heavy radio and MTV airplay helped propel AEROSMITH back to the upper echelon of Rock where they remain to this day. The favorable results realized with 'Permanent Vacation' was instrumental in the band returning to Bruce Fairbairn (and his Vancouver studio) to record their next 2 albums, 'Pump' (1989), and 'Get A Grip' (1993). Rock On!