From the Vault...


"Draw The Line"

© Columbia Records

Year of Release: 1977

track listing
  • Draw The Line
  • I Wanna Know Why
  • Critical Mass
  • Get It Up
  • Bright Light Fright
  • Kings And Queens
  • The Hand That Feeds
  • Sight For Sore Eyes
  • Milk Cow Blues

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    "Draw The Line"

    The band Aersomith certainly did get better as they aged. But bac in the year 1977, things were just not right. On the popularity of their past two albums, Toys In The Attic (which is a must-have), and Rocks (which only had one recognizable hit, "Back In The Saddle Again"), drugs were becoming a major problem for the band. For Draw The Line, the band was at its worst, health-wise. And for comparing how Aerosmith is today, and from their Toys In The Attic album, Draw The Line indeed had drawn its line. Musically, the instrumentation on most songs were somewhat good, but it just wasn't the Aerosmith we were hoping to hear at that time from Toys, this being the album that put them on the map. (Let us not forget their debut album, which had another one of their most remembered songs -- "Dream On."

    Steven Tyler's voice was hardly recognizable on Draw The Line, and the use of drugs was the reason. Throughout the entire album, you could say that "this is not the Aeromsith I expected." The title track, and "Get It Up" almost has the sound of what would be a some-to-good/great Aerosmith song(s). Actually, on some songs, the band is sounding more of a garage band, like on "Critical Mass" or even a boogie (garage) band on "Milk Cow Blues." The word "blues" does kinda fit on these two songs mentioned, yet it just didn't classify them being songs that would make Aerosmith great. In fact, there wasn't any songs that would be a well-remembered hit, such as "Walk This Way," "Dream On," "Sweet Emotion" or "Back In The Saddle Again." As for the blues, they would record a well-done Blues album, (better than Draw The Line), Honkin' On Bobo.

    Somehow you could scratch your head, and ask "This is Aerosmith?" "I Wanna Know Why" has a different style than they did, and I can't help to compare this particular track a band that would emerge decades later, the Foo Fighters. Another one to that question, is "Bright Light Fright." As the band was in their "I just didn't care anymore" mood, it is definitely heard on this album.

    The remaining songs "Kings And Queens" is better, but not great. "The Hand That Feeds" could (and saying this in a slightly way), could fit (but not equally) to the title track, and "Get It Up." Likewise, the said could be said for "Sight For Sore Eyes."

    Yes, that's it... "Sight For Sore Eyes"... Aeromsith was at the end of their ropes. Drugs had made a huge impact in their songs, and Draw The Line showed it. It definitely was not their best album. Yet the band would later kick off the drugs, and proceed into a great comeback in the 1980s and 1990s releases. They definitely got back in the saddle again, and with much better (and rewarding) results.

    One great thing about Aerosmith's Draw The Line was the album artwork, designed by Al Hirschfield. He would be famous for drawing black and white caricature (cartoon) portraits of celebrity and Broadway stars. Among his drawings of celebrities were those of Liza Minelli, and Ernest Hemmingway. A collection of postage stamps of celebrities drawn by Hirschfield were distributed in 1991. Those postage drawings included Laurel & Hardy, Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy, Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, and Abbott & Costello. His works are shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He lived to be 99 years old, as he passed away of natural causes in 2003. For more info, visit his Wikipedia page.

    Draw The Line is a hit or (most preferably) miss. It takes us back to a great time for Aerosmith. Yet, looking back, these songs are not necessarily bad, or even worse. These songs were just a departure from what we were normally used to hearing. It was hard to try and match the greatness of the 1970s Aerosmith songs that we all remember. The drugs were the blame, and it showed. Not until the 1980s they would ride high and mighty once again. They knew that the drugs were becoming a nightmare. Not just in their music, but their lives. The later songs that would become classics: "Rag Doll," "Dude Looks Like A Lady," "Janie's Got A Gun," "Cryin'" And of course, their #1 hit from the movie Armageddon -- "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing." (Surprisingly, that would be their only #1 hit.) Steven Tyler has done good for himself, being an American Idol judge, recording a Country album. Far from different than his wild, rock and roll with the band that made him famous. They are still together, as they put their demons behind them, and proved to many, that you can bounce back, and be better than ever, with life, and music.

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    Previous Review: #1643
    Bobby Darin--Oh Look At Me Now/Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie
    Next Review: #1645
    Barbara Mandrell--Ultimate Collection