Done with Mirrors

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Done with Mirrors
Aerosmith Done With Mirrors.jpg
Studio album by Aerosmith
Released November 9, 1985
Recorded 1984
Studio The Power Station
Fantasy Studios
Genre
Length 35:50
Label Geffen
Producer Ted Templeman
Aerosmith chronology
Rock in a Hard Place
(1982)Rock in a Hard Place1982
Done with Mirrors
(1985)
Permanent Vacation
(1987)Permanent Vacation1987
Singles from Done with Mirrors
  1. "Let the Music Do the Talking"
    Released: 16 September 1985
  2. "Shela"
    Released: 31 October 1985
  3. "My Fist Your Face"
    Released: 2 December 1985
  4. "Darkness"
    Released: 4 March 1986
CD design showcasing mirrored image
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone (unfavorable)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[5]

Done with Mirrors is the eighth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released November 9, 1985. The release marked the return to the band of guitarists Joe Perry, who had left the group in 1979, and Brad Whitford, who had left the band in 1981. It was also the band's first album released by Geffen Records. It was intended as their "comeback" album, and while it got good reviews during its release, it did not live up to commercial expectations.

"Let the Music Do the Talking" was a new recording of the title track of the first album by The Joe Perry Project, with altered lyrics and melody.

In an interview, Brad Whitford revealed that producer Ted Templeman wanted to capture the band's aggressive "out of control freight train" sound by removing the red light that indicated that the band was recording (a technique he used to capture Van Halen's sound). He informed the band to run through the songs in the studio and recorded them without the band's knowledge. Whitford referred to the nerves generated when knowingly recording songs as "the red light blues".

Templeman later explained having to record the album in an unfamiliar studio negatively affected the final product.

"I had a great time making that record, and Steven was one of the most amazing guys. But we had to do that record in Berkeley because they didn’t want those guys to score (drugs). They didn’t want them to be in L.A. or San Francisco. I wasn’t familiar with the board. As a producer, if you know your room and the mic preamps, you know how things are going to sound. I don’t think I made Joey’s drums sound as good as they could have, or Joe’s guitar."

— Geoff Edgers, Washington Post[6]

Joey Kramer, who was a guest on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, expressed his dislike of Done with Mirrors, claiming that the band "never really finished it".[7] Joe Perry was similarly dismissive of Done with Mirrors in an interview with Noisecreep, stating that he "really didn't like [the album]."[8]

Viacom (MTV & VH1) executive Doug Herzog recalled that after this album, "Aerosmith was done at that point. … They were a little bit of a joke."[6] The band would soon revive their career in 1986 with the landmark remake of their 1975 song "Walk This Way" with hip-hop group Run DMC, followed by an album that would eventually go 5× Platinum – Permanent Vacation – in 1987.

Despite the band's unfavorable views on the album, it received mostly positive critical reaction, and has become a cult favorite among Aerosmith fans.[9]

Packaging and title[edit]

In keeping with the title, all the text (except for the catalog number and UPC) on the original releases of the album was written back-to-front, and could be read normally by holding it up to a mirror. All subsequent releases flip the artwork so that it can be read without a mirror, and also add the band's logo. As a result, the original CD (which came in a longbox) is collectable. (All text in the booklet of the first CD-pressing is also back-to-front.)

The title is a double entendre, referring both to illusions that are "done with mirrors", as well as how the drugs are often laid out before consuming (such as cocaine, which is traditionally snorted off a mirror).

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Let the Music Do the Talking" Joe Perry 3:48
2. "My Fist Your Face" Steven Tyler, Perry 4:23
3. "Shame on You" Tyler 3:22
4. "The Reason a Dog" Tyler, Tom Hamilton 4:13
5. "Shela" Tyler, Brad Whitford 4:25
6. "Gypsy Boots" Perry, Tyler 4:16
7. "She's on Fire" Tyler, Perry 3:47
8. "The Hop" Tyler, Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Perry, Whitford 3:45
9. "Darkness" (not available on vinyl LP) Tyler 3:43
Total length: 35:43

Personnel[edit]

Production

  • Ted Templeman – producer
  • Jeff Hendrickson – engineer
  • Tom Size – assistant engineer
  • Gary Rindfuss – assistant engineer
  • Stan Katayama – assistant engineer
  • Howie Weinberg – analog mastering engineer
  • Ken Caillat – digital mastering
  • Joan Parker – production coordinator
  • Jay Fortune – instrument technician
  • Toby Francis – instrument technician
  • Patrick O'Neil – instrument technician
  • Kent Ayeroff – album cover concept
  • Norman Moore – art direction and design
  • Jim Shea – photography

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Billboard (North America)[10]

Year Chart Position
1985 Billboard 200 36
Japanese Albums Chart[11] 41

Singles[edit]

Billboard (North America)[12]

Year Single US Main
Rock
1985 "Let the Music Do the Talking" 18
1986 "Shela" 20

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
RIAA - USA Gold[13] July 21, 1993

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Aerosmith Done with Mirrors review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Album Aerosmith: Done With Mirrors". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  3. ^ Russell, Xavier (November 1985). "Smith's Krisp". Kerrang!. 107. London, UK: Morgan Grampian. pp. 18–19. 
  4. ^ Guterman, Jimmy (1985-12-05). "Done With Mirrors". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  5. ^ "Aerosmith Album Guide". Rolling Stone. 2004. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Walk This Way - Run DMC, Aerosmith Music History - Washington Post". 
  7. ^ "That Metal Show Season 3 Episode 8: Ratt". That Metal Show. VH1. 2009. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  8. ^ Epting, Chris. "Joe Perry Reveals Which Aerosmith Albums He's Not a Fan Of (EXCLUSIVE)". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  9. ^ http://ultimateclassicrock.com/aerosmith-done-with-mirrors/
  10. ^ "Done with Mirrors Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  11. ^ "エアロスミスのCDアルバムランキング、エアロスミスのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  12. ^ "Aerosmith - Chart history - Billboard". 
  13. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 2009-11-24. 

External links[edit]