Done with Mirrors

Done with Mirrors
Aerosmith Done With Mirrors.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1985 (1985-12)[1]
RecordedEarly 1985
GenreHard rock
ProducerTed Templeman
Aerosmith chronology
Rock in a Hard Place
Done with Mirrors
Permanent Vacation
Singles from Done with Mirrors
  1. "Let the Music Do the Talking"
    Released: September 16, 1985
  2. "Shela"
    Released: October 31, 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauB+[3]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[4]
Kerrang!5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone(unfavorable)[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[7]
The Daily VaultA[8]

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.


"Let the Music Do the Talking" was a rerecording of the title track from first album by the Joe Perry Project, with altered lyrics and melody.

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."[9]

On VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, Joey Kramer expressed his dislike of Done with Mirrors, claiming that the band "never really finished it".[10]

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."[11][12]

Viacom (MTV & VH1) executive Doug Herzog recalled that, after this album, "Aerosmith was done… They were a little bit of a joke."[9] 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.[13]

So far, "Done with Mirrors" is the last album the band wrote without the aid of outside songwriters.

Packaging and title[edit]

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.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Let the Music Do the Talking"Steven Tyler, Joe Perry3:48
2."My Fist Your Face"Tyler, Perry4:23
3."Shame on You"Tyler3:22
4."The Reason a Dog"Tyler, Tom Hamilton4:13
Side two
1."Shela"Tyler, Brad Whitford4:25
2."Gypsy Boots"Tyler, Perry4:16
3."She's on Fire"Tyler, Perry3:47
4."The Hop"Tyler, Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Perry, Whitford3:45




  • 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



Billboard (North America)[14]

Year Chart Position
1985 Billboard 200 36
Japanese Albums Chart[15] 41


Billboard (North America)[16]

Year Single US Main
1985 "Let the Music Do the Talking" 18
1986 "Shela" 20


Organization Level Date
RIAA - USA Gold[17] July 21, 1993

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Huxley 2015, eBook, "Done With Mirrors, Geffen, December 1985".
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Aerosmith - Done with Mirrors review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Album - Aerosmith: Done With Mirrors". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Russell, Xavier (November 1985). "Smith's Krisp". Kerrang!. No. 107. London, UK: Morgan Grampian. pp. 18–19.
  6. ^ Guterman, Jimmy (1985-12-05). "Done With Mirrors". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg. "Aerosmith - Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Thelen, Christopher (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Done with Mirrors". Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b Edgers, Geoff (May 18, 2016). "The inside story of when Run‑DMC met Aerosmith and changed music forever". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  10. ^ "That Metal Show Season 3 Episode 8: Ratt". That Metal Show. VH1. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  11. ^ Yates, Henry (February 2015). "Heavy Load". Classic Rock. No. 206. p. 138.
  12. ^ Epting, Chris. "Joe Perry Reveals Which Aerosmith Albums He's Not a Fan Of (Exclusive)". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Done with Mirrors Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Aerosmith - Chart history - Billboard".
  17. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 2009-11-24.