Picks and Pans Review: Box of Fire

updated 12/19/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Aerosmith

The bad boys from Boston get the omnibus treatment with a box that bundles up their first 12 albums, plus a bonus disc of rarities. (The renascent group's five most recent efforts, released on Geffen Records, are not included.) Aerosmith's earliest work now sounds sloppy and uninspired, like a ragged, bluesier version of the Doobie Brothers. It wasn't until Joe Perry's hard-rock chops fused with Steve Tyler's glam attitude on 1975's Toys in the Attic that the band caught fire. Two of the albums included in this collection are greatest-hits packages, and three are live recordings, so this boxed set is even more guilty of overkill than most.(How many versions of "Dream On" or "Walk This Way" does anybody really need?) But if you're going to indulge yourself, who better to have as the house band than Aerosmith? After all, they wrote the book on excess. (Columbia)

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