Nine Lives (Aerosmith album)

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Nine Lives
Aerosmith - Nine Lives.jpg
Studio album by Aerosmith
Released March 18, 1997 (1997-03-18)
Recorded September–November 1996 at Avatar Studios and The Boneyard
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 62:54
Label Columbia
Producer Kevin Shirley and Aerosmith
Aerosmith chronology
Get a Grip
Nine Lives
Just Push Play
Alternative Cover
Original album cover, replaced due to controversy.
Singles from Nine Lives
  1. "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)"
    Released: February 11, 1997
  2. "Hole in My Soul"
    Released: August 5, 1997
  3. "Pink"
    Released: November 18, 1997
  4. "Full Circle"
    Released: 1997
  5. "Nine Lives"
    Released: 1997 (promo only)
  6. "Taste of India"
    Released: January 29, 1998 (promo only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B−[2]
Robert Christgau (neither)[3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[4]

Nine Lives is the twelfth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released March 18, 1997. The album was produced by Aerosmith and Kevin Shirley, and was the band's first studio album released by Columbia Records since 1982's Rock in a Hard Place. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. One of the album's singles, "Pink", won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.


Early recordings took place at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida where the band worked with producer, Glen Ballard. It was here that Steven Tyler and Ballard co-wrote the lyrics for "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)", "Taste of India" and "Pink".[5] Other collaborators including Desmond Child and Taylor Rhodes joined Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry to write additional songs. Child previously collaborated with Aerosmith on such hits as "Angel," "Crazy" and "Dude (Looks like a Lady)." One week before rehearsals, the band's drummer, Joey Kramer went into a deep depression, having grieved the loss of his father a few years prior.[6] With Kramer unavailable to perform, rumours began to speculate that this would result in the band breaking up. A session drummer (Steve Ferrone) was brought in to play drum tracks until Kramer made a full return.[5]

Originally set for a summer release in 1996, Columbia Records pushed the album back after becoming dissatisfied with the nine tracks that Aerosmith and Ballard had produced.[7] Further issues occurred in July that same year when the band asked their manager, Tim Collins to step down after almost twelve years of partnership.[8] In his 2014 autobiography Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, Joe Perry recounts that Aerosmith felt betrayed by Collins as he would deviously trick the band members against one another.[9] With their long-time manager gone, the band made another decision to replace Ballard with in-house producer Kevin Shirley, and set up new production at Avatar Studios in New York City.[10] Shirley, who previously worked with Journey helped with the album's overtones and instruments, particularly the guitar sounds. In a 1997 MTV Special promoting the making of Nine Lives, Tyler declared, "He's got it somewhere stuck between "Toys in the Attic" and "Rocks"".[11]

The new sessions began in September 1996 and progressed right through to November. Following the shift-change in production, Kramer recovered from his breakdown and returned to the studio.[5] Instead of playing his own drum tracks over Ferrone's existing tracks, the entire band re-recorded all of the completed tracks with Kramer from scratch.[6] John Kalodner, Columbia's A&R executive was also brought back to supervise the project, after he had been pushed off the production in Florida by Collins. Kalodner helped trim the twenty-four songs that had been written down to thirteen.[5] Initially, the band settled on calling the album "Vindaloo"[7] after adding in elements of Indian music throughout some of the songs, including a sarangi intro by Ramesh Mishra on the song, "Taste of India", but upon completing the recording of the track "Nine Lives", the band felt it would make the perfect title, serving as a metaphor of the numerous issues throughout the albums troubled production.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Nine Lives" Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Marti Frederiksen 4:01
2. "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" Tyler, Perry, Glen Ballard 3:26
3. "Hole in My Soul" Tyler, Perry, Desmond Child 6:10
4. "Taste of India" Tyler, Perry, Ballard 5:53
5. "Full Circle" Tyler, Taylor Rhodes 5:01
6. "Something's Gotta Give" Tyler, Perry, Frederiksen 3:37
7. "Ain't That a Bitch" Tyler, Perry, Child 5:25
8. "The Farm" Tyler, Perry, Mark Hudson, Steve Dudas 4:27
9. "Crash" Tyler, Perry, Hudson, Dominic Miller 4:26
10. "Kiss Your Past Good-Bye" Tyler, Hudson 4:32
11. "Pink" Tyler, Richard Supa, Ballard 3:55
12. "Attitude Adjustment" Tyler, Perry, Frederiksen 3:45
13. "Fallen Angels" Tyler, Perry, Supa 8:16
Total length: 1:02:54


In his AllMusic review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine compared Nine Lives to previous Aerosmith albums stating, “Nine Lives, in contrast, is overlabored, with Aerosmith making a conscious effort to sound hip and vibrant, which ironically simply makes them sound tired." He also criticised the album's troubled production saying, "Not only are the performances perfunctory, but the songs aren't catchy no matter how hard it tries, "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" never develops a hook, and it is not an exception."[1] Elysa Gardner from Rolling Stone magazine was more favourable in her 1997 review concluding, "For those who simply can't abide a collection of Aerosmith tunes without its share of power ballads, Nine Lives doesn't disappoint."[4]


The booklet for Nine Lives contains 12 pieces of album art (including the cover). Each picture contains a smaller version of the previous picture within itself. The final picture is included in the first, creating an infinite loop. It was designed by Stefan Sagmeister.


The original cover art, inspired by a painting in a book by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, featured Lord Krishna (with a cat's head and female breasts) dancing on the head of the snake demon, Kāliyā. The Hindu community protested, feeling the artwork was offensive. The band had been unaware of the source of the artwork, and the record company apologized, leading to the next prints removing the art from the cover and booklet.[12][13] The new cover featured a cat tied to a circus knife-thrower’s wheel.[14]


Some releases of Nine Lives feature different track listings, most notably the two Japanese editions which both feature the song "Fall Together". The song was included as a B-side on the albums first single, "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)". The European re-release of the albums third single "Pink", features the B-side "What Kind of Love Are You On". The song was originally titled "What Kind of Lover You Want" and was one of many outtakes left from the recording sessions in Florida. The song also appeared in the 1998 movie Armageddon and was later included on the movie’s soundtrack. Other unfinished tracks that were discarded during the recording sessions in Florida include, "When the Monkeys Come", "Bacon Biscuit Blues", " Bridges Are Burning", "Heart of Passion", "Loretta" and "Trouble". Tyler also mentioned a song called "Where the Sun Never Shines" during an MTV interview shortly after the album’s release.[15]


Additional personnel
  • Producers: Kevin Shirley and Aerosmith
  • Engineers: Mark Hudson, Joe Perry, Rory Romano, Elliot Scheiner, Kevin Shirley, Steven Tyler
  • Second engineer: Rory Romano
  • Mixing: Elliot Scheiner, Kevin Shirley
  • Mastering: Leon Zervos
  • Programming: Sander Selover
  • Horn arrangements: David Campbell, Steven Tyler
  • String arrangements: David Campbell
  • Guitar technicians: Lisa Sharken, Jim Survis
  • Production engineer: David Frangioni
  • Art direction: Christopher Austopchuk, Gail Marowitz
  • Photo art direction: Christopher Austopchuk, Gail Marowitz
  • Photography: F. Scott Schafer
  • Calligraphy: Jeanne Greco
  • Stylist: Fiona Williams-Chappel



Chart (1997) Peak
Australian Top 50 Albums[17] 13
Austrian Top 75 Albums[18] 2
Flanders, Belgium 100 Albums[19] 11
Wallonia, Belgium 100 Albums[20] 5
Canadian Albums Chart[21] 2
Finnish Top 50 Albums[22] 1
French Top 100 Albums[23] 5
German Albums[24] 3
Japanese Albums Chart[25] 3
Netherlands Top 100 Albums[26] 17
New Zealand Top 40 Albums[27] 14
Norwegian Top 40 Albums[28] 6
Swedish Top 60 Albums[29] 3
Swiss Top 100 Albums[30] 3
UK Albums Chart[31] 4
US Billboard 200[21] 1


Year Single Chart Position
1997 "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Top 40 Mainstream 29
The Billboard Hot 100 35
"Hole in My Soul" Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
The Billboard Hot 100 51
Top 40 Mainstream 63
"Nine Lives" Mainstream Rock Tracks 37
"Pink" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Top 40 Mainstream 23
"Taste of India" Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
1998 "Pink" The Billboard Hot 100 27


Organization Level Date
IFPI - Finland Gold[32] 1997
BVMI - Germany Gold[33]
Swiss Music Charts - Switzerland Gold[34]
Swiss Music Charts - Switzerland Platinum[34]
BPI - UK Silver[35] March 1, 1997
Gold[35] July 22, 2013
RIAA - USA Gold[36] May 6, 1997
Platinum[36] May 16, 1997
2× Platinum[36] June 8, 1998
CRIA – Canada Gold Mar 31, 1997
Platinum Mar 31, 1997
2× Platinum Mar 31, 1997
3× Platinum Oct 30, 1998
IFPI - Austria Gold[37] May 12, 1997
ZPAV - Poland Gold[38] Sep 16, 1997
ABPD - Brazil Gold[39] 1999
Platinum[39] 2007


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1998 "Pink" Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal


  1. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Nine Lives". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Browne, David (1997-03-14). "Nine Lives Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Nine Lives". Robert Christgau. 
  4. ^ a b Elysa Gardner (1997-02-21). "Nine Lives | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  5. ^ a b c d Newman, Melinda. "Aerosmith to Get Global Record Push From Columbia". Billboard, 15 February 1997. Retrieved Jul 10th, 2016
  6. ^ a b "JAM Magazine Online - Drummer Of Aerosmith, Joey Kramer Hit Hard: A Story Of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top". Retrieved Jul 10th, 2016
  7. ^ a b "Record Heaven – Aerosmith – Nine Lives". Retrieved Jul 10th 2016
  8. ^ "The Baltimore Sun - Aerosmith sacks manager who revived band's fame, sobriety". Retrieved Jul 10th, 2016
  9. ^ "Joe Perry with David Ritz Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith". Retrieved Jul 10th, 2016
  10. ^ "Aerosmith Nine Lives on 180g Import 2LP". Retrieved Jul 10th, 2016
  11. ^ MTV – Making Nine Lives. Retrieved Jul 10th, 2016
  13. ^ Author unknown. "Aerosmith Chooses New Album Art". Rolling Stone. April 22, 1997.
  14. ^ Shock and Awe: Top 10 Controversial Album Covers
  15. ^ MTV – Prima interview 1997. Retrieved Aug 19th, 2016
  16. ^ a b c d e f - Nine Lives Retrieved 9-12-2015.
  17. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Australian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Austrian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "Nine Lives by Aerosmith". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Finnish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Les Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Chartverfolgung / AEROSMITH / Longplay". Music Line (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  25. ^ "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". Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  26. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). New Zealand Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Norwegian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Swedish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Aerosmith – Nine Lives (Album)" (ASP). Schweizer Hitparade. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Artist Chart History: Aerosmith". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Aerosmith Search Results". IFPI Finland (in Finnish). Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Gold- /Platin-Datenbank" [Gold- /Platinum-Database]. Bundesverband Musikindustrie (in German).  Type "Aerosmith" under Interpret to see search results.
  34. ^ a b "Awards 1997" (ASP). Swiss Music Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "Certified Awards Search" (ASPX). British Phonographic Industry.  Search for "Aerosmith" to see results.
  36. ^ a b c "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  37. ^ "Gold & Platin". IFPI Austria (in German).  Type "Aerosmith" under Interpret to see search results.
  38. ^ "Złote CD". ZPAV (in Polish). 
  39. ^ a b "Certificações" (in Portuguese). ABPD. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Untouchable by Scarface
Billboard 200 number-one album
April 5–11, 1997
Succeeded by
Life After Death by The Notorious B.I.G.