Rock in a Hard Place is the seventh studio album by American hard rock band Aerosmith, released in August 1982 by Columbia Records. It is the only Aerosmith album not to feature lead guitarist Joe Perry, following his departure from the band in 1979. Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford also left during the recording in 1981. The band spent $1.5 million on the recording of this album, which saw them reunited with producer Jack Douglas.
Demos from these sessions leaked in the form of a bootleg called “Pure Gold .999”. Mark Prado, reviews the recording in his book “Aerosmith: Tapes From The Cellar”.
“Take it or Leave It” is an early version of “Bolivian Ragamuffin”, with Tyler scatting over the top of it, the lyrics not fully formed, though the final vocal run is.Mark Prado, Aerosmith: Tapes From The Cellar
“Bitches Brew” is an instrumental showing off Crespo’s strong and relentless guitar attack.
“Gut Bucket Blues” is an instrumental of “Bolivian Ragamuffin”, close to what would be on the album.
This take of “Riff and Roll” is different than what appears on “Pandoras Box”. An interesting take, but one could see why it didn’t make the final album.
“Jig is Up” has different lyrcis, that are punctuated by the vocals, “whip it out”. (Steven scats ove, something like “Whatchya Gonna Do”. A few elements went on to become “Jig Is Up”, but this version has different guitar riffs and sections, just a few ideas and melodies made it to the final thing).
“Jailbait” is the most fully conceived track of the bunch here. While the music is similar to the album version, the vocal isn’t. Credit Tyler for going back and making changes to the lyrics.
“Lightning Strickes” lacks the swirling keyboard intro here. The music is close to what is a final take, minus the guitar lead and the first part of Tyler’s vocal. The keyboards are more towards the end on this take.
The acoustic part of “Joanie’s Butterfly” is an instrumental here, as Crespo had intended. Tyler had other ideas and added lyrics later. Percussion is also on the track. The “second” electric part of the tune is also without vocal here with a longer ending.
“Cry me a River” has more guitar at the beginning and finger snaping as well. The vocals are here, but not the final take that Tyler would later perfect. Humorously, the end features Tyler intentionally mangling the vocals, then saying, “oh fuck”.
A song called “Far, Far Away” may also have been written during these sessions, according to the book: Aerosmith: Rocks Phoenix.
A new writing session took place with the replacement members (Crespo and Dufay) after the August 1982 release of the “Rock in a Hard Place” album. The songs written were meant to be used by “that” alternate lineup of the band.