Tuesday, September 12, 1989

Aerosmith’s Pump released

First posted 4/2/2008; updated ?.



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Released: September 12, 1989

Peak: 5 US, 3 UK, 2 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.1 UK, 11.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Young Lust (Tyler, Perry, Jim Vallance) [4:18]
  2. F.I.N.E. (Tyler, Perry, Desmond Child) [4:09] (11/25/89, 14 AR)
  3. Going Down/Love in an Elevator (Tyler, Perry) [5:39] (9/2/89, 5 US, 1 AR, 13 UK, 13 CN, 33 AU, gold single)
  4. Monkey on My Back (Tyler, Perry) [3:57] (4/14/90, 17 AR)
  5. Water Song/Janie’s Got a Gun (Tyler, Tom Hamilton) [5:38] (9/23/89, 4 US, 2 AR, 76 UK, 2 CN, 1 AU)
  6. Dulcimer Stomp/The Other Side (Tyler, Vallance, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland) [4:56] (6/16/90, 22 US, 1 AR, 46 UK, 22 CN, 73 AU)
  7. My Girl (Tyler, Perry) [3:10]
  8. Don’t Get Made, Get Even (Tyler, Perry) [4:48]
  9. Hoodoo/ Voodoo Medicine Man (Tyler, Brad Whitford) [4:39]
  10. What It Takes (Tyler, Perry, Child) [5:11] (1/13/90, 9 US, 1 AR, 15 CN, 46 CN)

Total Running Time: 47:22

The Players:

  • Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica, percussion)
  • Joe Perry (guitar)
  • Brad Whitford (rhythm guitar)
  • Tom Hamilton (bass)
  • Joey Kramer (drums, percussion)


4.346 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

Quotable: “Rank[s] with Rocks and Toys in the Attic.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


About the Album:

1987’s Permanent Vacation heralded in the second wave of Aerosmith, the return of the original lineup in one of rock history’s greatest comeback stories. While that album “seemed a little overwhelmed by its pop concessions, Pump revels in them without ever losing sight of Aerosmith’s dirty hard rock core.” STE

For Pump, the band set out to explore “a rawness that had been glossed over for a commercial sound in Permanent Vacation.” WK As guitarist Joe Perry said, “We wanted to strip off a little fat we felt on our last one.” WK The result? Q magazine called it “the year’s best metal album,” WK noting that “it took a bunch of hoary, addled old stagers like Aerosmith” to “hoist the heavy metal crown from the likes of Def Leppard and Bon Jovi.” WK

Rolling Stone called Aerosmith “the reigning kind of the double entendre” WK but said Pump “has more going for it than locker-room laughs, such as the vintage high-speed crunch (circa Toys in the Attic) of Young Lust…[and] the sassy slap ‘n’ tickle of My Girl.” WK

Part of the success of Vacation was due to producer Bruce Fairbairn, who returns for Pump. At his suggestion, the band brought in outside songwriting help from Desmond Child (Loverboy, Bon Jovi) and Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi) for the previous album. Both songwriters show up again here – Child on What It Takes and F.I.N.E. and Vallance on “Young Lust” and The Other Side. Two of those songs were top 40 hits. “What It Takes,” which “has more emotion and grit than any of their other power ballads,” STE hit #9 on the U.S. pop charts while “The Other Side” reached #22. Both songs also topped the album rock tracks chart.

“The Other Side” gave Aerosmith some legal troubles when the famed Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland threatened to sue the band because of similarities between the melodies of “The Other Side” and “Standing in the Shadows of Love.” Aerosmith ended up adding them to the songwriting credits. WK

The album’s two biggest songs, however, were penned solely by the band. Lead single Love in an Elevator, like “The Other Side,” rock[s] relentlessly, no matter how many horns and synths fight with the guitars.” STE The song was a top-five pop hit and, surprisingly, Aerosmith’s first trip to the pinnacle of the album rock chart.

Janie’s Got a Gun tackles more complex territory than most previous songs” STE with its no-holds-barred glimpse into incest and murder. It was also a top-five pop hit. It also gave Aerosmith its first Grammy – for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. They went on to win the award three more times.

Notes: An alternate version of the album included a hidden instrumental track after “What It Takes” while the Japanese version added the song “Ain’t It Enough.”

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