We first heard about the band’s plan to release a boxset with unreleased material in June 2020 when Tom Hamilton commented:
“At one time we did a cover of “Highway Star”, you know that song by Deep Purple? We do have a bunch of stuff, and we are in the process of working on a box set, but we are just getting started, so I can’t even begin to think of what we are going to put on there that are unreleased tracks, but we do have some good stuff that just never got finished. Well, that’s the thing, we are just starting, so, I wish I could tell you more.”Tom Hamilton @ Rock N’ Roll Fantasy’s MasterClass virtual series via Zoom 2020/06/28
Soon after in July, Marti Frederiksen added:
I mean, yeah, listen, that’s the “collaborating” word coming back in to. When you write these songs, you give them to the record company, or to the A&R guy, and they go “no, not quite this song”. You know, it could be the best song in the world, and if that guy is just in a different mood, and just doesn’t feel like that’s right on the record, then it can be shut down that simple, and “Innocent Man“, that song, I mean, we have a full-on (production), I mean, it’s probably out there now, but we do have a full-on production of that, just like that record (Just Push Play), with strings and all those background (vocals), and everything, and the same with the other ones you named (Easy, Ain’t it True, Bridges are Burning, I Love you Down), some of them were just done.Marti Frederiksen @ Rock N’ Roll Fantasy’s MasterClass virtual series via Zoom 2020/07/27
Joey followed in August adding:
As far as stuff that’s gonna be released or not gonna be released, you know we’re like kind of sorting through all of that stuff now, there’s so much of it man, there’s so much footage of us playing live and recordings of us playing live, in outtakes from albums and, all the amount of stuff that’s around, it’s difficult to go through and it’s difficult to decide….Joey Kramer @ Rock N’ Roll Fantasy’s MasterClass virtual series via Zoom 2020/08/31
…The answer answer to your question is I don’t really know, you know we’ve been in in the process of sorting all that shit out for a long time, so the answer to your question is I don’t know, I don’t really have the answer, I’m sorry that I don’t, but that’s kind of just the way it is.
Joey Kramer’s long time friend Peppy Castro briefly commented:
Its something that fans go crazy over, you give fans facts and behind stories, and what band is bigger than Aerosmith? they are iconic, they are legends, so that would be a great to do man, I think they are very smart to do that, to take some jams that were left on the editing floor, and put it on a box set, give it to the fans, its a great idea.Peppy Castro interview with the Aerosmith BackBurner 24/09/2020
Then Joe Perry gave an interview to the Boston Globe to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary:
The golden anniversary of the first Aerosmith gig kicks off what the band hopes will be an extended period of retrospection, says Perry. They’re discussing an upcoming release that could showcase a recently discovered rehearsal tape from the period before the band was signed to Columbia Records. The original reel-to-reel tape turned up, Perry believes, in the band’s old van, a 1964 International Harvester Metro delivery truck. The van made news when it was pulled from the woods on private property in the town of Chesterfield a couple of years ago.Joe Perry interview, James Sullivan, Boston Globe correspondent 05/11/2020
“There was a lot of stuff tucked in the corners — ticket stubs, a notebook, gas receipts,” Perry explains, speaking by phone while lying in the sun at his Florida home. It’s a pristine recording, he says: “Even though some of the lyrics are different and it’s a little different in the arrangements, if you played it side by side with the first album, you might find it hard to figure out which is which.”
Later, an official Aerosmith post also alluded to an imminent announcement of an upcoming release from the band’s vault (which looks like was actually referring to HD remastered versions of their classic video clips):
We have a lot of amazing things coming to celebrate #Aerosmith50! Sadly, due to everything going on there have been some unexpected delays. But don’t worry, you won’t believe the treasures we have been digging out of the vaults to share with the Blue Army. It will be worth the wait… Stay Tuned!!!Aerosmith Facebook post 06/11/2020
In February 2021, during Joey’s second MasterClass, he seemed to have forgotten about his previous claims, stating to “know nothing” about an upcoming release and that he was very much enjoying his time off relaxing with his family.
In August 2021 Billboard reported that Aerosmith would bring its entire recorded catalogue to Universal Music and that the new partnership would evaluate further releases of their audio/visual vaults for their 50th Anniversary celebration:
“It’s been a long road but I’m extremely happy and proud to say on behalf of Aerosmith we have been able to bring our 50 years of music under one roof by partnering with UMG,” said Aerosmith co-founder and lead guitarist Joe Perry. “This will allow us to bring our music to our fans in ways we never were able to before. It’s something we’ve dreamed about happening for a long time. It’s a win for Aerosmith, UMG and ultimately our fans. Needless to say we are very excited. It’s an incredible way to celebrate 50 years and the many more years to come.”Joe Perry, Billboard 24/08/2021
Finally, it was announced that a 1971 rehearsal would be the first release of the UMG deal, and during a media interview, Joe Perry finally confirmed a multi-CD box set with outtakes and alternate versions of their classic songs:
Aerosmith also has a multi-CD box set in the works. Perry says, unlike some bands, there’s no massive backlog of unreleased new songs waiting to see light of day.WBUR Nov 2021
“It would be great if we had an album’s worth of unheard material,” Perry says, “but it didn’t work that way for us. On the other hand, there are a lot of songs — like ‘Dream On,’ ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Kings and Queens’ where there’s a different vocal, or guitar solo or tempo. A different vibe. I think that would probably be more interesting for fans to hear.”
Perry says those out-takes have the high-quality sound they achieved with producer Jack Douglas at the Record Plant in the mid-1970s, the New York studio where they did their first five albums. “I’m anxious to dig into some of those and hear some of those different takes.”
So what do you think Aerosmith is preparing for the new boxset? outtakes? old rehearsals? new COVID-times remote recordings?