I bought Permanent Vacation 24 years ago today. True story. How do I know this? Well I’m anal enough to put little stickers on the inner sleeves of all my records with the date I bought them on. Sorry, I know I have brought shame on my family and I’m fully aware that these are not the actions of a rational dude. Still do it though. In fact when I bought this LP I used to keep my collection in a drawer.
Ah well, I bought this in the short-lived but fab Backstreets Records in Carmarthen all that time ago. I was skinny, spotty and 16 way back then. I’d really enjoyed ‘Dude (looks like a lady)’, hell we’ve all been there, umm, okay, it’s just me then, but this is one of the first few LPs I bought to fit in and be a part of something around me; it was a big LP back then and even townies were falling for its charms.
I really didn’t rate it much either, the proletarian charms of AC/DC blew it away for me then (and now). Okay, I loved ‘Dude’ and quite liked ‘I’m down’ and the funny little instrumental curio ‘The movie’, but it wasn’t until I saw them a year, or two later that I ever rated ‘heart’s done time’ or ‘Magic touch’; but that’s another story.
Listening to it again I rather guiltily sang along to ‘Angel’, the start of the real, lovey dovey big-ballad quagmire that Aerosmith are still stuck in and which ruined them as a proper rock band. Most of it sounds like what it really was, a factory-tooled multiple outside-songwriter production line Big American Rock LP. It’s not like every groove has a special memory for me either, no Proust-like memories of hot glances stolen across a crowded classroom, soundtracked by ‘Simoriah’ (which still sounds to me a little bit too much like a downstairs infection).
You can stick it all apart from ‘Dude’, ‘Magic touch’, and, go on then, ‘Angel’. As far as I’m concerned. It all feels a bit cynical to me now, I just thought it wasn’t very good back then. And I was right.