“Livin’ On The Edge” by Aerosmith — Stiff, clinical, constipated. A “message” song drowned out by the subtext (“We’re trying to enjoy our sobriety!”). This was a response to the L.A. riots, allegedly, which makes me want to emphasize that celebrities do not need to offer their two cents on every major current event.
“Cryin’” by Aerosmith — Impossible to believe this is from the same album as “Livin’ On The Edge.” The romance and swagger feel so authentic. And the hook is perfect. Is this the last good song to arrive before the extinction of the overblown rock video?
“Cradle of Love” by Billy Idol — People sort of forget Billy Idol ever existed. I’m glad my generation had a blonde Elvis who dressed like the Road Warrior. “Cradle of Love” seems to advocate predatory behavior and that’s problematic but in Billy’s defense he could be talking about a 72-year-old dating someone in their 40s.
“Karn Evil 9: First Impression—Part 2” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer — Better known as the classic rock ghost that announces, “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!” An absolutely ridiculous song and horny to boot. “Soon the gypsy queen in a glaze of Vaseline will perform on the guillotine.” Not that I’m kink shaming.
“Any Way You Want It” by Journey — Hearing Journey these days mostly reminds me of car commercials and that extremely sad story about Steve Perry falling in love with a cancer patient who didn’t survive. They knew how to craft timeless pop rock, though.
“All The Small Things” by Blink-182 — This song was big when I was in college so I associate it with the crushing stress of trying to obtain my bachelor's degree. That opening wallop immediately make my chest seize up. This lib is triggered.
“Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson — An incredibly dated and clunky piece of work but an important reminder we should all learn CPR.