Bridges Are Burning

“Bridges are Burning” is a pop/rock song that didn’t make the final cut on the Nine Lives album. It was originally written by Tyler and Perry with Marti Frederiksen and Joel Edward Perry during the 1996 session at the South Beach studios under Glen Ballard’s production. The ASCAP copyright information lists “Can’t Compare” as an alternate title. Tyler works his voice hard in this one, but it rocks, it could almost be considered the poppyer sister of the Nine Lives track.

Steven and Marti in 2006

The song starts directly into the verse with full-on distortion and wah wah guitars over the verse rocking chords. Drums use some great drum fills (they sound like trademark Kramer fills, but it is unclear if the demo has Joey or Steve Ferrone playing them). Verses vocals mimic the slow ascending and descending of notes of the main riff, always ending with a scream. The pre-chorus feature guitars playing chords in 5ths, which mirrors the same descending nature of another outtake pre-chorus, Loretta (again hinting the involvement of Frederiksen in Loretta’s writing). While verses are rock heavy, the pre-chorus serves as a transition towards the “poppyer” rock chorus. Guitars and bass complement each other nicely. Powerful Tyler vocals integrate perfectly with the music and harmonise with additional layers of vocals and overdubs, including sound FX and a synth brass section.

The second verse arrives in a similar manner, jumping directly on to vocals and repeating the pre-chorus. This second chorus however, leads to a guitar solo section on top of G and F chords that also work as a sort of bridge. This section has an alternative rock feel given the heavy use of the wha wha pedal. The guitar solo is very different to previous Aerosmith tracks, so its difficult to recognise if it was Perry or Whitford on lead. As the solo goes along, it makes you want to continue listening, until a brief reprise of the verse is played, followed by an excellent drum fill ready to jump back on two final spins of the chorus with heavier overdubs. This leads to the song conclusion in an extended jamming outro on the chord of Em. This last solo is again heavy on pedals and perhaps they use Hendrix feedback while holding notes. Tyler can be heard playing shakers on the background to complement the rhythm. As the song hits the four and a half minutes mark, it starts to fade out.

The lyrics are not properly finished. The phrase “burning bridges” is used to describe how people can “destroy paths, connections, reputation, opportunities, etc., particularly intentionally“, likewise, the band itself has often used the phrase in interviews and in autobiographies to describe how in the 70’s and 80’s they “burned” several of their connections, reputation and opportunities. From the partial lyrics used in the demo, we could interpretate as a a heavy complain against ex-managers and their abusive behaviour, specially Tim Collins, as he often tried to micro-manage and manipulate the band, even at a personal level. Collins was fired in 1996, while the Nine Lives sessions were still happening, and upon his dismissal, he took rumours of the band being back on drugs to the press, hence Collins “burned the bridges” for himself after his unprofessional conduct.

Other than the fact that the lyrics were not fully finished, the song could also have been omitted because much of its melodies sound a bit repetitive at times, and the topic of Collins was still too fresh in the press, it could have been perceived as bad PR.

A fan covered the song based in samples leaked, lyrics and independent research.

Bridges Are Burning
(Tyler, Frderiksen, Perry)

First i go up,
And i’m down,
Then i’m up,
Then i’m down,
Then i’m up,
In your face…

My upside is down,
Well my downside is up,
And my cool ain’t enough,
For the pace, getting rest…

You speak of truth,
But it roars like your lying
What goes around, comes around,
Double time…

Bridges are burning,
And then the world it ain’t turning,
And is it you can be learning,
Untill i’m outta here, outta here, outta…

First i go up,
And i’m down,
Then i’m up,
Then i’m down,
Then i’m up,
In your face…

My upside is down,
When my downside is up,
And my cool ain’t enough,
For the play, and that’s the good share master lovin’…

He’ll have no glory,
the queen’s been deplored,
give up cuts rock, men your so overblown, ohhh…

Bridges are burning,
And in the face it ain’t turning,
And is it you on the learning,
Oh my oh i’m outta here, outta here, yeah…

the Bridges are burning,
oh when the world keeps you turning,
oh was it you at the learning,
until the night, night, night in…

(solo)

My upside is down,
When my downside is up,
And my cool ain’t enough,
And my love ain’t enough for the play…

Bridges are burning,
oh when the world still turning,
oh will you even be learning,
and so i’m outta here, outta here,

Bridges are burning,
and the world it ain’t turning,
and weather you have been learning,
well i’m out-ta here…

OuUuuuuu, ou….

Chords:
Verses: D/Am – Em
Pre-chorus: A5 – G5 – E5
Chorus: D – F – G (x2)
Chords during 1st solo: G – F (x4)
Outro: Em5


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