Night In The Ruts


Columbia Records, 1979

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


By the time Night In The Ruts came out in late 1979, Aerosmith -- at least as the fans knew them, anyway -- was no more. Long-simmering tensions between band members had finally come to a head, and lead guitarist Joe Perry had left the band.

But the meltdown of the band had already become painfully obvious on their last studio album, Draw The Line. Night In The Ruts is merely a continuation of that process, despite some decent moments.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Sign of trouble number one is the inclusion of three cover tunes, though Steven Tyler and crew do a respectable job on "Reefer Head Woman." What I will never understand, though, is how an absolutely abysmal track like "Remember (Walking In The Sand)" could not only make it onto this album, but be included on Aerosmith's Greatest Hits. There were much better tracks than this one that could have made the cut.

Take "No Surprize," for instance. A slab of hot lead to open up this disc, it is admittedly not the strongest track Aerosmith has ever recorded, but it dares to hold out hope that there was still fire in the collective bellies of Tyler, Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer. Regrettably, most of the remaining tracks either stumble out of the gate or just go into perpetual free-fall.

Some cuts, like "Chiquita," "Three Mile Smile" and "Cheese Cake," suggest that Aerosmith could still wake up from their drug-addled days and produce tracks that could kick ass, albeit not as strongly as their glory days. Maybe, for the newcomer to Aerosmith, these tracks could instill some cheer - but for those who had followed the band since their early days, as enjoyable as these tracks may be, they pale in comparison to their true highlights.

But when Aerosmith falls on Night On The Ruts, they fall hard. Examine such tracks as "Bone To Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy)," "Think About It" or the dreadful "Mia," the three tracks which close this disc. Flat, dull and lifeless, these songs speak more about the state of Aerosmith in 1979 than any tell-all book could.

Night In The Ruts marked a major passage in Aerosmith's history - and, regrettably, was one which would be stretched out for a few years. If you absolutely must own every record Aerosmith has put out, then check this one for yourself. But don't be surprised to discover that the music lives up to the album's title.

Rating: C-

User Rating: C+



© 2003 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia Records, and is used for informational purposes only.