Pump – Aerosmith

Pump is the tenth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith. It was released on September 12, 1989, by Geffen Records. The album peaked at No. 5 on the US charts, and was certified septuple platinum by the RIAA in 1995. It also has certified sales of seven million copies in the U.S. to date, and is tied with its successor¬†Get a Grip¬†as Aerosmith’s second best-selling studio album in the U.S. (Toys in the Attic leads with nine million). The album was the fourth best-selling album of the year 1990. In the UK, it was the second Aerosmith album to be certified Silver (60,000 units sold) by the¬†British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in September 1989.

Pump¬†was the second of three sequentially recorded Aerosmith albums to feature producer¬†Bruce Fairbairn¬†and engineers Mike Fraser and Ken Lomas at¬†Little Mountain Sound Studios. The song starts out with the energetic Young Lust before going into one of my favourites of the band – F.I.N.E. which should have been the name of the album but whatever. The song title is an acronym for “Fucked Up,¬†Insecure,¬†Neurotic, and¬†Emotional”, as stated in the album’s liner notes.¬† Its raunchy lyrics focus on youth angst and lasciviousness, and the verses feature the line “I’m ready” after each line, suggesting¬† sexual arousal, or being “ready” for sex. Tongue-in-cheek lyrics are prevalent, including “she’s got the¬†Cracker Jack, now all I want’s the prize”, “I got the right key baby, but the wrong keyhole”, “I shove my tongue right between your cheeks”, etc.

Going Down/Love In An Elevator is a fun song with typical glee sung by Steven Tyler and co about well, according to Tyler himself ¬†based on an actual experience where he was making out with a woman in an elevator and the doors opened. With a raunchy music video to boot! We move on to the harder Monkey On My Back which I understand is about beating a drug addiction. Great song but then we go on to what I think is the very best song that the band has ever composed. It’s Janie’s Got A Gun which describes a young woman planning her revenge for childhood abuse. Clearly this is a fun and awesome tune and mostly upbeat despite the dark lyrics and implication. It won the band a 1990¬†Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Then we have Dulcimer Stomp which segue’s into the danceable The Other Side, which is about finding a new love and moving on from a toxic relationship. My Girl is an upbeat ditty while Don’t Get Mad/Get Even is more down low blues influenced about taking revenge for getting cheated even. Hoodoo/Voodoo Medicine Man is a similar drum beat heavy – almost hypnotic ending with the drums. And finally we have the power balled What It Takes which was released as the 3rd single. There is even accordion in it and it’s probably one of the top 5 ballads released by the band.

Overall its and excellent album and it received mostly positive reception, and has since been called “a high-water mark of the glam metal era”, that “stands toe to toe against Aerosmith’s undisputed mid-’70s classics.” Pump is first Aerosmith album that I bought back in 1991 when I was 15. I had previously only heard Angel and on hearing samples of Dude Looks Like A Lady and then the music video for Janie’ Got A Gun, I was hooked to the band. I’d call this one my joint favourite Aerosmith album along with 1993’s Get A Grip. I rate this album a 9 outta 10!