“FEEL THE PAIN” Steven Tyler’s Beethoven inspired dark ballad rejected in three iterations for AEROSMITH’s pop comeback album!

“Feel the Pain” is an Aerosmith outtake from the 1987 sessions for Permanent Vacations. During the production process, different titles were used to refer to the song in its different takes and iterations including “Sleepy Sickness” and “Scream In Pain”, as taken from different parts of the lyrics, each with small variations in lyrics and structure.

This dark ballad is believed to be written by Steven Tyler as the piano is prominent in all 3 versions of the demo. The song takes heavy influence from “Moonlight Sonata” (the popular name for the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia”) first movement, “Adagio sostenuto”, by Ludwig van Beethoven. Steven plays very similar chord progressions to Beethoven’s sonata intro. The melody has been appropriately called a “lamentation” and “a nocturnal scene, in which a mournful ghostly voice sounds from the distance”, scenes and feelings that are perfectly evoked in Aerosmith’s version as well.

The song instrumentation is laid back and soft for the first half, as it’s primarily driven by piano arpeggios. Joey Kramer’s drums kick in as the second verse arrives, joined by heavier power chords by Brad during the chorus, followed by guitar fills and solos by Joe Perry. Perry and Kramer help maintain the momentum and intensity of the song as it fades out. While melodically beautiful and complex, presenting unusual chord progressions, it’s also slow and unnecessarily long with a lack of a satisfying climax, a clear sign that it needed further production work.

It was possibly rejected because of the darker themes presented, relatable to drug use, numbness of the senses, mental health, regret, when compared to the rest of the songs being fun, hard-rocking and raunchy; and evident influence of Beethoven’s work.

Feel The Pain
ooo oo oo
ooo oo oo

IT’S SLEEPIN’ SICKNESS THAT KNOWS ME WELL
IT’S ALL AROUND ME MY MIND CAN TELL
AND ALL THE CHILDREN THEY KNOW MY NAME
WILL SCREAM FOREVER I KNOW THE PAIN

OO FEEL THE PAIN
OO FEEL THE PAIN
OO-OO I FEEL THE PAIN
OO FEEL THE PAIN

IT’S A SLEEPIN’ SICKNESS THAT KNOWS ME WELL
SHE GOT THE FEVER SHE’S HOT AS HELL
AND ALL DA CHILDREN THEY KNOW MY NAME
GOOD-NIGHT MARE’S COMIN’
THEY’LL SCREAM IN PAIN

OO SCREAM IN PAIN
OO SCREAM IN PAIN-AH
OO SCREAM IN PAIN
OO SCREAM IN PAIN
y-y-y-y-yow


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