|Done with Mirrors|
|Studio album by|
|Singles from Done with Mirrors|
|Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal||7/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Daily Vault||A|
Done with Mirrors is the eighth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released in December 1985. It marked the return to the band of guitarists Joe Perry, who had left in 1979, and Brad Whitford, who had left in 1981. The band's first album on Geffen Records, it was intended as their "comeback". However, despite good reviews, it did not live up to commercial expectations.
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 indicating that recording was underway (a technique he had used to capture Van Halen's sound). Templeman told the band to run through the songs in the studio and recorded them without their knowledge. Whitford referred to the nerves generated when knowingly recording songs as "the red light blues".
"I had a great time making that record," Templeman told The Washington Post's Geoff Edgers, "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."
Joe Perry was similarly dismissive: "Done with Mirrors, as far as I'm concerned, is our least inspired record. But I've heard fans really like it, so I'm not gonna stand there and tell 'em, 'No, it sucks.' We had to do that record to get to the next one, so it served its purpose. I just don't think it's up to the standard of some of our others."
Viacom (MTV & VH1) executive Doug Herzog recalled that, after this album, "Aerosmith was done… They were a little bit of a joke." However, they would revive their career in 1986 with a landmark remake of 1975's "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 views, the album earned mostly positive reviews, and is a cult favorite among fans.
So far, "Done with Mirrors" is the last album the band wrote without the aid of outside songwriters.
Packaging and title
In keeping with the title, all the text (bar the catalog number and UPC) on the original releases were written back-to-front – to be read by holding it to a mirror. Rereleases flip the artwork so it can be read without a mirror, and 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 refers both to illusions that are "done with mirrors", and the laying out of drugs such as cocaine, traditionally snorted off a mirror.
|1.||"Let the Music Do the Talking"||Steven Tyler, Joe Perry||3:48|
|2.||"My Fist Your Face"||Tyler, Perry||4:23|
|3.||"Shame on You"||Tyler||3:22|
|4.||"The Reason a Dog"||Tyler, Tom Hamilton||4:13|
|1.||"Shela"||Tyler, Brad Whitford||4:25|
|2.||"Gypsy Boots"||Tyler, Perry||4:16|
|3.||"She's on Fire"||Tyler, Perry||3:47|
|4.||"The Hop"||Tyler, Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Perry, Whitford||3:45|
|All CD, cassette and certain vinyl pressings bonus track|
- Steven Tyler – lead vocals, piano, harmonica, percussion
- Joe Perry – guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals
- Brad Whitford – guitar, acoustic guitar
- Tom Hamilton – bass guitar
- Joey Kramer – drums, percussion
- Ted Templeman – producer
- Jeff Hendrickson – engineer, mixing
- Tom Size, Gary Rindfuss, Stan Katayama – assistant engineers
- Howie Weinberg – analog mastering engineer at Masterdisk, New York
- Ken Caillat – digital mastering
- Joan Parker – production coordinator
- Kent Ayeroff – album cover concept
- Norman Moore – art direction and design
- Jim Shea – photography
- John Kalodner – A&R
|Japanese Albums Chart||41|
Billboard (North America)
|1985||"Let the Music Do the Talking"||18|
|RIAA - USA||Gold||July 21, 1993|
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