Rock in a Hard Place

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Rock in a Hard Place
Aerosmith - Rock in a Hard Place.jpg
Studio album by Aerosmith
Released August 1, 1982
Recorded 1981–1982 at The Power Station and Criteria Studios
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 40:16
Label Columbia
Producer Jack Douglas
Steven Tyler
Tony Bongiovi
Aerosmith chronology
Night in the Ruts
Rock in a Hard Place
Done with Mirrors
Singles from Rock in a Hard Place
  1. "Lightning Strikes"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Bitch's Brew"
    Released: 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone (unfavorable) [2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 1/5 stars [3]

Rock in a Hard Place is the seventh studio album by American hard rock band Aerosmith, released on August 1, 1982, on Columbia. It is the only Aerosmith album not to feature lead guitarist Joe Perry, following his departure from the band in 1979.

Recording and reviews[edit]

Following the departure of Joe Perry in 1979, Aerosmith went on hiatus for two years before beginning work on a new album.[citation needed] The band spent $1.5 million on the recording of this album.[4]

Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford left the band during its recording in 1981. Whitford is billed as an "additional musician," and can be heard playing rhythm guitar on "Lightning Strikes." This was also Aerosmith's last studio album released on Columbia Records until 1997.[citation needed] The track "Cry Me a River" is a cover written by Arthur Hamilton. The last track of the album, "Push Comes to Shove," is about Tyler's then-girlfriend and future wife Teresa Barrick and her twin sister Lisa.[citation needed]

"Lightning Strikes" was the album's biggest hit and the only one to be retained in the live setlist after the Rock In A Hard Place Tour in 1982–83, being played regularly until 1990.[citation needed]

Despite the album's negative reviews, drummer Joey Kramer asserts in his 2009 autobiography, Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top: "The record doesn't suck. There's some real good stuff on it. But it's not a real Aerosmith record because it's just me, Steven, and Tom—with a fill-in guitar player.... It's Jimmy Crespo doing the guitar work."[4]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Jailbait"   Steven Tyler, Jimmy Crespo, Rick Dufay 4:38
2. "Lightning Strikes"   Tyler, Crespo, Richard Supa 4:26
3. "Bitch's Brew"   Tyler, Crespo 4:14
4. "Bolivian Ragamuffin"   Tyler, Crespo 3:32
5. "Cry Me a River"   Arthur Hamilton 4:06
6. "Prelude to Joanie"   Tyler 1:21
7. "Joanie's Butterfly"   Tyler, Crespo, Jack Douglas 5:35
8. "Rock in a Hard Place (Cheshire Cat)"   Tyler, Crespo, Douglas 4:46
9. "Jig Is Up"   Tyler, Crespo 3:10
10. "Push Comes to Shove"   Tyler 4:28


Additional musicians
  • Brad Whitford – rhythm guitar ("Lightning Strikes")
  • Paul Harris – piano ("Push Comes to Shove")
  • John Turi – saxophone ("Rock in a Hard Place (Cheshire Cat)")
  • Reinhard Straub – violin ("Joanie's Butterfly")
  • John Lievano – acoustic guitar ("Joanie's Butterfly")
Recording personnel
  • Jack Douglas – producer, additional engineer
  • Godfrey Diamond – chief engineer
  • Tony Bongiovi – co-producer, additional engineer
  • John Agnello – assistant engineer
  • Bruce Hensal – assistant engineer
  • Jim Sessody – assistant engineer
  • Gary Rindfuss – assistant engineer
  • Josh Abbey – assistant engineer
  • Malcolm Pollack – assistant engineer
  • Zoe Yanakis – assistant engineer
  • George Marino – mastering


  • Gerard Rozhek – photography, visual direction


Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1982 The Billboard 200 32

Singles – Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1982 "Lightning Strikes" Mainstream Rock Tracks 21


Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA Gold[5] November 10, 1989


  1. ^ Rock in a Hard Place at AllMusic
  2. ^ J.D. Considine (1982-12-04 (mislabeled as "December 4, 1981")). "Rock in a Hard Place". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-05-14.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Aerosmith: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  4. ^ a b Kramer, Joey (2010). Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top. New York: HarperOne. p. 134. ISBN 978-0061566622. 
  5. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 2009-11-24. 

External links[edit]

Rock in a Hard Place at MusicBrainz