“Sniffin'” is an Aerosmith song left out of the Pump album and worked on during the 1989 demo sessions in Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, Canada. It’s also been referred to as “Looking Up Your Old Address” (which is what Tyler wanted the album to be called) and made it to the “A list” of songs the band was working on. It was a powerful instrumental based on a Joe Perry riff that ended in a blues jam, ala the “Ain’t Enough” intro.
Steven can be heard discussing its inclusion in the album during “The Making of Pump” documentary with producer Bruce Fairburn.
“It needed a bit longer, you yourself (refering to producer Bruce Fairbairn) said you wouldn’t wanna spend the whole day on a song, so if do get to do a song, just because it happens to be a little hard like, you know, hey whatever, “I am The Walrus” took the Beatles took a long time to get done, and if it was approached like this, it would have been put in the back-burner. That’s all, you can’t dismiss that, that’s total not true. I mean, you know, it would have happened to two of these (songs) in the studio, we would have never ended up doing Sniffin’, we would have never ended up doing Monkey on my Back. You know, just having that little bit of nuts, I don’t wanna sway anybody.”Steven Tyler to producer Bruce Fairbairn during the Making of Pump DVD, 1989.
A video called “steveondrums.mov” used to be hosted on the aerosmith.com website in 1997 showing the rehearsal of the song with Joe on guitar and Steven on drums. This footage was most likely recorded at the Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, Canada, in 1989. The video was provided by the “Aerosmith office” in Boston, “Vindaloo Music” (which partly closed in 2004).
The video might be from the moment Tyler and Perry showed the song to the band for the first time and Steven (formerly a drummer) was showing Joey how he imagined the drums should be played (Kramer can be briefly seen in the background, as well as Whitford sitting). It is assumed that this was a Tyler/Perry composition.
The full instrumental of this song, amongst other demos and outtakes from the Pump sessions, leaked in the late 1990s via bootlegs. The recording can still be easily found on the net.
We don’t know why it was omitted, but it was most likely due to a lack of time to get it finished (even when making it to the “A list”), Tyler never got to write lyrics and the working titles were related to drugs (sniffing cocaine) and stalking an ex-girlfriend accordingly, so the label may have been potentially against controversial those song titles. While it’s a cool instrumental, it is not as strong as other songs that made the cut of the album, but who’s to say what it could have sounded like with full production.
In 2008, an online vendor, SLCD, posted a CD of Aerosmith’s “Unreleased Tracks” selling for $500 and claimed that the CD had been provided by an ex-Geffen executive. The CD listed “Sniffin'” as the last track and it was the same instrumental that leaked years before (but with a cleaner sounding transfer), confirming the alternate title and the apparent lack of lyrics.