“13” Aerosmith’s greatest dark ballad that never saw the light of day

“13” is the working title of an unreleased song from the 1992 Get a Grip sessions. “13” was most likely used because it was the 13th song on the list of songs they were working on and as the song didn’t have lyrics they just refereed to it as “13”.

This is a great example of a mellow dark ballad that never saw the light of day. Basic tracks sound great, it features some interesting Brad/Joe guitar arrangements. It starts with a slow, soft and gentle clean guitar intro, followed by the arpeggio verses. The pre-chorus has nice guitar work with an almost country flavor and is perhaps one of the better structured sections of the song.

Even when the lyrics were basically nonexistent, Steven did throw a few words through his scatting and expressed his feelings through the melody. The song was clearly meant to talk about a lost love, loneliness, missing a person, regretting wrong choices, believing in the mystic arts -“down on the things in a crystal ball”-, and confusing reality with a dream -“did I wake up from a dream?, it was the one she told me”.

The chorus is another highlight, it speeds up the tempo and changes to a more energetic rocking section that has an Asian flavour in the sounds used, including additional percussion. Steven sings “mokimoyo”, “monkī” means “monkey” in Japanese, but was clearly was used as a place holder word with no real meaning; or perhaps it was used to point to a drug related issue, just as “Monkey on My Back” did. Steven did scat all through the demo marking a vocal melody that is beautifully haunting when mixed with the guitar arrangements. A second layer of vocals harmonises on top of his first scatting attempt, and also works remarkably well. Over the main line of the chorus a high pitch voice screams, “somebody take me away, get out!” also implying a cry for escape, to get away from a difficult situation.

The second chorus is followed by an extended rock jam that works as an outro, until the song seemingly ends in descending chords, much ala “Pandora’s Box” ending. The demo did not include a clear guitar solo section, perhaps this was meant to include Joe’s solo. But as the song fades away, it starts again with a gentler acoustic reprise of the verse and pre-chorus, that takes the song close to the 8 minutes mark before coming to a real end.

It was most likely rejected because Steven didn’t finish the lyrics on time, and also because of the length of the initial demo, the 8 minute mark would have been a problem for an radio friendly album like Get a Grip.

4 thoughts on ““13” Aerosmith’s greatest dark ballad that never saw the light of day

  1. i need hear this song again pleaseeee! The last time I heard that song was in 2009 before losing the recording as it was removed from YouTube for copyright


    1. Hey Lemon, we are not sure where you could find it, but its outthere, and yes, we agree this was a powerful and awesome demo. We do hope they release it. Theres a new post about Tom anouncing the band is currently working on a boxset, take a look at it 😉


    2. Hey! A snippet of “13” just got uploaded to Reddit! The OP said they have a few demos and other recordings that they were going to upload to YouTube, but this one got blocked. But you can check it out on this Reddit post!


      1. That’s awesome man! I think thats defnitly one that circulated a few years ago, you can tell its an edit of a longer song, still very much unfinished, but the vocal melody and some of the arragements are really good…


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