It’s hard not to think of any good rock song as a labor of love. Even if bands like to switch it up from time to time, you always get the sense that they're putting their heart and soul into the record and trying their best to turn in the greatest product they can possibly give to the fans. While they might believe in what they do, that doesn’t mean that time in the studio is necessarily a picnic either.
Speaking well after the fact, every single one of these artists talked about how grueling the sessions for these albums were, including massive tension in the studio, creative differences, and even a few times when band members got into physical altercations to settle their differences. It’s not like you can’t hear some of that pain on these albums either, with most of these songs sounding like they have been labored over for hours until they got just the right sound for the record.
Despite some pretty harsh recording sessions though, every single one of these records paid off in spades for the artists, going on to become some of their best work or outright benchmarks in the world of rock and roll, with everyone else having to now live up to the expectation this record set. What you’re hearing here is lightning in a bottle, but please don’t ask these musicians to do it again.
10. Draw the Line - Aerosmith
Towards the end of the ‘70s, Aerosmith were on top of the musical world. Even if the press were still calling them a bunch of Rolling Stones rip offs, the chemistry between Steven Tyler and Joe Perry was climaxing, making for a healthy mixture of blues boogie and straight up rock and roll on Rocks and Toys in the Attic. The story of Aerosmith also involves a lot of drugs as well though, and Draw the Line is when they started to go past the point of no return.
After spending the better part of a year on the road touring, everyone had gotten a pretty big dependency on cocaine, which made for some of the worst recording sessions of their career once they made this album, with days going by without anything getting done. Although the band thought it might be a good idea to get away from their usual drug dens in New York, moving out into an abandoned prison for the album only led to them giving into their demons that much more, with Joe Perry not leaving his room for days at a time because of how hooked he was on heroin.
The songs themselves weren’t that much better either, with the band focusing on easy mode or taking things in a slightly darker direction on tracks like Kings and Queens. The band might have been able to turn anything into gold at this point, but after the band went on tour one more time for this, everything came crashing down when Joe Perry left the band.