ROCK IN A HARD PLACE is Aerosmith's only recording without group members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford (Whitford appears as a guest artist on "Lightning Strikes").
Aerosmith: Steven Tyler (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, percussion); Jimmy Crespo, Rick Dufay (guitar); Tom Hamilton (bass); Joey Kramer (drums).
Additional personnel: Brad Whitford, Joe Lievano (guitar); Reinhard Straub (violin); John Turi (saxophone); Paul Harris (piano); Jack Douglas (percussion).
Recorded at The Power Station, New York, New York and Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using Sony's 20-Bit Digital Super Bit Mapping process.
ROCK IN A HARD PLACE was not only the first '80s Aerosmith album, it was also the only album to not feature founding members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. Perry left in the middle of making the prior album, NIGHT IN THE RUTS, and Whitford hung around long enough to play rhythm guitar on this record's excellent "Lightning Strikes." Both left as a result of personal problems and were replaced by guitarists Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay.
Although Perry's contributions as a collaborator with Steven Tyler were missed, Crespo did a good job taking up the slack. Among the more notable songs he penned with Tyler were the slide guitar-drenched locomotive "Bolivian Ragamuffin," the sassy strut "Jig is Up," and the salacious "Jailbait." Aerosmith took the opportunity for a little studio experimentation ROCK IN A HARD PLACE as well. Vocoders were used on "Prelude to Joanie," which segued smoothly into the Indian-flavored "Jaonie's Butterfly," foreshadowing the band's later cultural dabbling on 1997's NINE LIVES. Also included was a surprising, slow-burn reading of Julie London's 1955 hit "Cry Me a River."