Rock in a Hard Place

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Rock in a Hard Place
Aerosmith - Rock in a Hard Place.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 27, 1982
StudioThe Power Station, New York City,
Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida
ProducerJack 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

Rock in a Hard Place is the seventh studio album by American hard rock band Aerosmith, released on August 27, 1982 through Columbia Records. It was certified gold on November 10, 1989.[1] It is the only Aerosmith album not to feature lead guitarist Joe Perry, following his departure from the band in 1979. Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford also left during the recording in 1981. The band spent $1.5 million on the recording of this album,[2] which saw them reunited with producer Jack Douglas. Although the official website for Aerosmith lists the release date for Rock in a Hard Place as August 1, 1982, the album was originally scheduled for release on August 20, 1982. [3] It was then delayed one week until August 27, 1982. [4]


Previously, Aerosmith released six studio albums, but multiple problems arose. Joe Perry had left the band in 1979 after the incidents at the World Series of Rock in Cleveland, Ohio and was replaced by Jimmy Crespo. Meanwhile, Steven Tyler's drug abuse increased. After recording the single "Lightning Strikes", guitarist Brad Whitford also left Aerosmith in 1981 and was replaced by Rick Dufay when the recording of the album was finished.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic1.5/5 stars[5]
Classic Rock3.5/5 stars[6]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide1/5 stars[8]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, J. D. Considine lamented how the band had decided to maintain their old sound on the album, despite new heavy rock "fast power chords had made Aerosmith’s bluesy boogie almost obsolete". He praised "Perry lookalike Jimmy Crespo"'s guitar playing, but wrote that "despite an occasional burst of primal energy, much of the LP rocks by rote."[9]

AllMusic Greg Prato wrote that Aerosmith "didn't possess the magical chemistry of their '70s classics" without Perry and Withford, but the band could "still rock out" producing their "most studio-enhanced and experimental record up to this point" with "a few pleasant surprises", like "the psychedelicized 'Joanie's Butterfly'".[5] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff described the album as "a bit patchy" with highlights being "Jailbait", "Lightning Strikes" and "Joanie's Butterfly" and the rest "variously lumbering, untuneful and forced", and concluded that, although Aerosmith "could barely function", they "never made a bad record."[7] "In theory a disaster," observed Classic Rock magazine, "in practice, an unlikely triumph. Never mind the Spinal Tap-anticipating Stonehenge cover – Rock in a Hard Place is one kick-ass album… 'Lightning Strikes', 'Bolivian Ragamuffin' and 'Joanie's Butterfly' are classic Aerosmith songs – no matter who played on them."[10]

"The record doesn't suck," wrote drummer Joey Kramer in his 2009 autobiography, Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top. "There's some real good stuff on it. But it's not a real Aerosmith record because it's just me, Steven, and Tom [Hamilton] — with a fill-in guitar player.... It's Jimmy Crespo doing the guitar work."[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Jailbait"Steven Tyler, Jimmy Crespo4:38
2."Lightning Strikes"Tyler, Crespo, Richard Supa4:26
3."Bitch's Brew"Tyler, Crespo4:14
4."Bolivian Ragamuffin"Tyler, Crespo3:32
5."Cry Me a River"Arthur Hamilton4:06
Side two
1."Prelude to Joanie"Tyler1:21
2."Joanie's Butterfly"Tyler, Crespo, Jack Douglas5:35
3."Rock in a Hard Place (Cheshire Cat)"Tyler, Crespo, Douglas4:46
4."Jig Is Up"Tyler, Crespo3:10
5."Push Comes to Shove"Tyler4:28




Country Organization Year Sales
US RIAA 1989 Gold (+ 500,000)[1]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog # Notes
United States August 27, 1982 Columbia LP / 8-Track / Cassette FC 38061 / FCA 38061 / FCT 38061 Barcode
United States July 1983 Columbia LP / Cassette PC 38061 / PCT 38061 Barcode, "The Nice Price"[14]
United States January 24, 1989 Columbia CD CK 38061 reissued October 20, 1990[15][16]
United States September 7, 1993 Columbia CD / Cassette CK 57368 / CT 57368 20-Bit Digital Mastering 1993; scheduled for release on August 24, 1993 but delayed 2 weeks[17]
United States April 19, 2014 Columbia LP 88883761441 Remastered, 180 Gram, Record Store Day 2014; general release June 3, 2014[18]


  1. ^ a b "RIAA Gold & Platinum; search for Aerosmith". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Kramer, Joey (2010). Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top. New York: HarperOne. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-06-156662-2.
  3. ^ "Rock in a hard place / [performed by] Aerosmith".
  4. ^ "Aerosmith: Rock In A Hard Place".
  5. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Aerosmith - Rock in a Hard Place review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  6. ^ "Album Of The Week Club: Aerosmith - Rock In A Hard Place". Classic Rock. January 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  8. ^ "Aerosmith: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  9. ^ J. D. Considine (December 4, 1982). "Rock in a Hard Place". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  10. ^ "Aerosmith - Rock in a Hard Place". Classic Rock. No. 209. May 2015. p. 27.
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 37, No. 12, November 06, 1982". Library and Archives Canada. November 6, 1982. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "Aerosmith Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "Aerosmith Chart History: Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Billboard July 23, 1983, page 23
  15. ^ "Rock in a Hard Place".
  16. ^ "Rock in a Hard Place".
  17. ^ "Rock In A Hard Place Lmtd Ed./Remastered".
  18. ^ "Rock in a Hard Place".

External links[edit]