Honkin' on Bobo

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Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
More than a few established bands have vowed at one time or another to get back to their roots, but few actually make it. Aerosmith certainly do. Harking back to their early-'70s nascence, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and company dive headlong into a passel of blues standards, then coat those classics in the glam-slam charm that became their trademark back in the day. Although unlikely to win friends among blues purists, these dirt-under-the-fingernails versions of "Road Runner" and Muddy Waters' "I'm Ready" slide along on Joe Perry's guitar-grease. Perry takes a couple more vocal turns than usual, his rusty croak proving a nice fit for Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Back ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
More than a few established bands have vowed at one time or another to get back to their roots, but few actually make it. Aerosmith certainly do. Harking back to their early-'70s nascence, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and company dive headlong into a passel of blues standards, then coat those classics in the glam-slam charm that became their trademark back in the day. Although unlikely to win friends among blues purists, these dirt-under-the-fingernails versions of "Road Runner" and Muddy Waters' "I'm Ready" slide along on Joe Perry's guitar-grease. Perry takes a couple more vocal turns than usual, his rusty croak proving a nice fit for Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Back Back Train," and a decent enough foil for Fleetwood Mac's "Stop Messin' Around." Tyler acquits himself surprisingly well on songs that require a little more nuance, notably a heartfelt take on Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight to the Blind" and a gripping "Jesus on the Mainline." While Honkin' on Bobo is largely a vehicle for Aerosmith to indulge in a little hero worship, the band slip in one original, "The Grind," which boasts some adept scatting and piano playing from Tyler. A far cry from the group's polished recent work, Honkin' is kind of a mess, but a beautiful mess at that.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Aerosmith prove that a band can be inspired by the blues and play the blues without ever feeling like a blues band. Then again, the nature of the blues is that every musician who plays it stamps his or her own identity on a set of familiar chord changes and songs. While it might not feel like the blues, Aerosmith do indeed stamp their identity on each track on their long-promised blues album, the atrociously named Honkin' on Bobo. Other rockers who have cut full-length blues albums have always played the music with a kind of scholarly reverence, taking care to pay tribute to their influences. Not Aerosmith. They turn up the amps and cut loose, playing slick and sleazy blooze-rock that feels indebted to second-generation blues-rock instead of blues forefathers. But that's the nature of the band. Surely, they loved Chess and country blues as much as they loved the Stones, but they are so thoroughly the children of Mick and Keith, they can't help but sound like a rock & roll band no matter what they do, no matter what they play. That might mean that Honkin' on Bobo is something that could be close to anathema to blues purists, since it's a rock album pure and simple, but chances are the bandmembers don't care, since they're just here to have a good time playing songs they love. Besides, the song selection proves they're no purists. There are some warhorses with "Road Runner," "Baby, Please Don't Go," "I'm Ready," and "Eyesight to the Blind," but there's also a heavy dose of Fred McDowell, a Fleetwood Mac tune, a little-known Little Walter song, an obscure song from the obscure band Freedom, a Smiley Lewis number, and one casual original. While the warhorses are predictable, the rest is not, and the album itself is a bit of a surprise, too. Every indication, from the awful title and silly album art to the notion that the band was going back to its roots, suggests that this is going to be an embarrassment from a band that has been no stranger to embarrassment during the '90s. Instead, it's the best flat-out rock album Aerosmith have made in ages, ever since Joe Perry rejoined the band for Done With Mirrors. Re-teaming with producer Jack Douglas, who helmed all their greatest albums in the '70s, Aerosmith sound reinvigorated, even liberated from the need to have a hit power ballad, and they tear through these 12 songs with an energy they seemed to lose sometime after Pump. Sure, they can still be tasteless and ridiculous, whether in Steven Tyler's vocal affectations or in the band's oversized riffs, but again, that's the nature of the band -- no other band does sleaze better. When they do it well, it can be irresistible rock & roll, and it's been a long, long time since they've sounded as good as they do here. Despite that awful title, Honkin' on Bobo is a real surprise and a real return to form for Aerosmith. Special thanks to legendary pianist Johnnie Johnson, who plays on a couple of cuts here and lends the band just a little genuine blues grit.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
Bobo is a celebratory attack on the canon, not a violation of it.... Aerosmith's specialty is jubilant overkill, and Bobo is a huge, affectionate spoonful.

Bobo is a celebratory attack on the canon, not a violation of it.... Aerosmith's specialty is jubilant overkill, and Bobo is a huge, affectionate spoonful.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/30/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998702523
  • Catalog Number: 87025

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Road Runner
  2. 2 Shame, Shame, Shame
  3. 3 Eyesight to the Blind
  4. 4 Baby, Please Don't Go
  5. 5 Never Loved a Girl
  6. 6 Back Back Train
  7. 7 You Gotta Move
  8. 8 The Grind
  9. 9 I'm Ready
  10. 10 Temperature
  11. 11 Stop Messin' Around
  12. 12 Jesus Is on the Main Line
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Aerosmith Primary Artist
Joe Perry Dobro, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Hurdy-Gurdy, Slide Guitar, Group Member
Johnnie Johnson Piano
The Memphis Horns Brass
Joey Kramer Drums, Background Vocals, Group Member
Steven Tyler Harmonica, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals, Group Member
Brad Whitford Guitar, Group Member
Tracy Bonham Vocals
Paul Santo Piano, Hammond Organ, Pump Organ, Wurlitzer
Tom Hamilton Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Background Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer
Big Joe Williams Composer
Joe Perry Composer, Producer
Mississippi Fred McDowell Composer
Paul Caruso Engineer
Rev. Gary Davis Composer
Jack Douglas Producer
Ruby Fisher Composer
Marti Frederiksen Composer, Producer, Engineer
Peter Green Composer
Ken Hopkins Composer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Ellas McDaniel Composer
Jay Messina Engineer
R. Shannon Composer
Steven Tyler Composer, Producer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Composer
Clifford Adams Composer
David Bett Art Direction
Christopher Austopchuk Art Direction
Jim Survis Guitar Techician
Walter Jacobs Composer
Traditional Composer
Keith Garde Creative Consultant
C. Adams Composer
Paul Santo Engineer
Brian Paturalski Engineer
Greg Howard Guitar Techician
P.A. Green Composer
John "Magee" McGarry Drum Technician
Jerry Sabatino Guitar Techician
Joel Cohen Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just NAASTY blues

    Yes, there are 2 AAs in Naasty cause one just ain't enough. Super Aerosmith CD mixed with influences from Stevie Ray Vaughn and Muddy Waters. You can't beat Tyler's voice for rockin' blues. And of course you have some of his harmonica thrown in. If you like Stevie Ray Vaughn, you'll love this CD. Aerosmith is in top-notch form.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best combination ever

    This is one CD you cannot live without if you are a true Aerosmith fan AND a true blues lover of the Muddy Waters era. It is like a night on Beale Street. I think Tyler is the greatest in a dozen ways but this brings out his and Perry's further talents to do the blues in style. Tyler's signature is there although most songs are not his writing. He can honk on Bobo with the best. I also think it brings a new dimension to Perry's voice and style. I never found his singing to so totally grab my attention before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Aerosmith ROCKS again!!!!

    The cd cover reads "Blues done Aerosmith style" so don't think it is a blues album. Aerosmith gets back to their roots and then tears them up. The guitars are heavy, the bass is thumpin, the drums are a rockin' and Steven Tyler is truely the demon of screamin'. When "Road Runner" starts steven tyler says "lets go see the elephants" if he meant lets go see the biggest band in history rock you till it hurts he was right.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Aerosmith is BACK!!!!

    Do not buy this CD - if you are looking for a Blues Album. This is a rock album that covers some old blues songs. Aerosmith treats these songs as if they wrote them and they bring a stripped down sound (no over production) to this album that reminds me of "Get Your Wings" days. Truly an outstanding effort by Stevie and the Boys. Nobody can play dirty, gritty rock and roll like these boys when they do it right and they certainly have on this disc.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Creative Constipation Continues...

    Well here it is, the new Aerosmith CD we've all been waiting for. Unfortunately, I don't believe many of their fans were hoping for what's on offer here. They start off smokin' with "Road Runner", easily the most Aero-worthy track on the CD, but afterwards end up descending to the level of an enthusiastic, but rather boring barroom boogie/blues band. The bad boys from Boston provide competent background music to getting drunk in some rundown juke joint but none of the tunes, save for "Road Runner", would ever be interesting enough to make you set down your beer and actually pay any serious attention to the music. The guys do seem to really be enjoying themselves on this disc so there is plenty of fire in the performances, but the tunes are about as combustible as wet toilet paper. That being said, maybe this "going back to our roots" release will serve to wake these guys up and put an end to their recent creative constipation, thus clearing their musical bowels to make way for another classic Aerosmith release rather than another well polished turd such as this...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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