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The Story of Aerosmith’s First No. 1 Album, ‘Get a Grip’

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By the time 1993 rolled around, the members of Aerosmith were rock kingpins once more, buoyed by the multi-platinum success of 1987’s Permanent Vacation and 1989’s Pump. The band’s seemingly unstoppable momentum continued unabated with Get a Grip, which was released on April 20, 1993.

Produced by Bruce Fairbairn (who also helmed the boards for the previous two Aerosmith albums), the 14-song record burst at the seams with loose-limbed boogie, snarling guitar riffs and plenty of arena-sized drums.

The songwriting team of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry was in top form, although Get a Grip was again a collaborative effort. Co-writers included Night Ranger‘s Jack Blades and Styx‘s Tommy Shaw (on the leering hard-rock strut “Shut Up and Dance”), Desmond Child (“Flesh” and the harmonica-driven lovelorn ballad “Crazy”) and Jim Vallance (“Eat the Rich” and the title track).

At the same time, Get a Grip doesn’t feel quite as slick as Pump, though “Amazing” (which features Don Henley on backing vocals) foreshadows the band’s move into lighter-waving ballads, and “Cryin'” and “Living on the Edge” were both monster hits.

Still, “Gotta Love It” and the title track seethe with the kind of smoky blues riffs Aerosmith made their name with, and “Eat the Rich” is a furious tribal stomp. Plus, radio-friendly go-to guy Brendan O’Brien mixed the record, keeping the band’s music modern-sounding while retaining its old soul.

The album went on to sell more than seven million copies in the U.S. and 20 million copies worldwide, ensuring the album’s place as Aerosmith’s most successful studio album in terms of global sales.

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