Pump (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 12, 1989[1]
RecordedJanuary–June 1989
StudioLittle Mountain Sound, Vancouver, Canada
ProducerBruce Fairbairn
Aerosmith chronology
Permanent Vacation
Get a Grip
Singles from Pump
  1. "Love in an Elevator"
    Released: August 15, 1989[3]
  2. "Janie's Got a Gun"
    Released: November 8, 1989[3]
  3. "What It Takes"
    Released: February 26, 1990[3]
  4. "The Other Side"
    Released: June 6, 1990[3]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[5]
The Daily VaultA[6]
Rolling Stone[8]

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,[10] and was certified septuple platinum by the RIAA in 1995.[1]

The album contains the hit singles "Love in an Elevator", "The Other Side", "What It Takes", "Janie's Got a Gun", which all entered the Top 40 of the Hot 100. 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). It produced a variety of successes and "firsts" for the band including their first Grammy Award ("Janie's Got a Gun").[8] "Love in an Elevator" became the first Aerosmith song to hit number one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The album was the fourth best-selling album of the year 1990.[11]

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.

A video documentary on the recording, The Making of Pump, was released in 1990.


In December 1988, Aerosmith got together at Rik Tinory Productions in Cohasset, Massachusetts to rehearse and compose new songs, as the band members thought the isolated nature of the studio would help their creativity. Over 19 songs were written, split between an "A-list" with songs considered possible hits, such as "Love in an Elevator" and "What It Takes", and the "B-list" having songs yet to be developed such as "Voodoo Medicine Man". Producer Bruce Fairbairn focused on getting as many hooks on the songs as possible.[12]

Some songs proposed for the album, though never released in their original form, include "Girl's Got Somethin'", "Is Anybody Out There", "Guilty Kilt", "Rubber Bandit", "Sniffin'", and "Sedona Sunrise". Many songs also had alternate titles, for example, "Voodoo Medicine Man" was originally titled "Buried Alive" and "News for Ya Baby". The majority of these songs can be seen in photos of the studio's whiteboard and in footage from The Making of Pump.

In January 1989, the band went to Vancouver to again record at Fairbairn's Little Mountain Sound, where the producer had helmed Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet and New Jersey. "I don't even listen to Bon Jovi," Steven Tyler protested, "so we didn't say, 'Oh, shit, they had a great album,' and go up there."[13]

Aerosmith was at Little Mountain Sound at the same time that Mötley Crüe were recording Dr. Feelgood. As a result, Steven Tyler sang backing vocals on "Sticky Sweet". During the vocal sessions, Mick Mars' guitar sound leaked from the room next door due to Mars' volume and many amplifiers.[14]

The intention with the album was exploring a rawness that had been glossed over for a commercial sound in Permanent Vacation.[15] Joe Perry declared that "When we went to do this album, we knew what we wanted, we wanted to strip off a little fat we felt on our last one. We didn't say 'We need a drug song or a child abuse song,' but when they fit, we used them. That's Aerosmith: we aren't bound by any rules." This escape from the rules led to the instrumental interludes between the songs.[16] The interludes were done with the collaboration of musician Randy Raine-Reusch, who was brought to the studio after Perry and Tyler visited his house to search for unusual instruments to employ.[17] Many of the lyrics employ sexual themes, which Tyler attributed to having "making up for the lost time" he spent using drugs instead of having sex in the 1970s.[15]

On a 1989 MTV special entitled "Aerosmith Sunday", Brad Whitford explained the album title with "Now that we're off drugs, we're all pumped up."[19]

Steven Tyler regretted not putting lyrics in the album booklet, something that happened because Geffen was afraid the Parents Music Resource Center would protest over lyrical content with many sex and drugs references.[20] To remedy this omission, the lyrics were included in the tour program. The album cover features a black and white photo of a smaller International K Series truck on top of a larger International KB Series truck, both with their cargo beds removed. The chrome International markings on the hoods have been replaced with the letters "F.I.N.E.", short for "Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional" as stated in the album's liner notes.


Aerosmith found themselves in a lawsuit after a small rock band named Pump sued Aerosmith's management company for service mark infringement.[21] Aerosmith won the case.[19] Aerosmith also found themselves in legal trouble when the songwriting team Holland–Dozier–Holland threatened to sue the band over the main melody in Aerosmith's song "The Other Side" which sounded similar to the melody in the song "Standing in the Shadows of Love". As part of the settlement, Aerosmith agreed to add "Holland–Dozier–Holland" in the songwriting credits for "The Other Side".


The album 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."[22]

"At a time when young guns from Mötley Crüe to Poison were doing their level best to hoist the heavy metal crown from the likes of Def Leppard and Bon Jovi," noted Q, "it took a bunch of hoary, addled old stagers like Aerosmith to come up with the year's best metal album."[23]

"Aerosmith is still the reigning king of the hard-rock double entendre," wrote Rolling Stone. "But Pump – like, real subtle – has more going for it than locker-room laughs, such as the vintage high-speed crunch (circa Toys in the Attic) of 'Young Lust', the sassy slap 'n' tickle of 'My Girl' and the kitchen-sink sound of 'Janie's Got A Gun'."[24]

"If fried brains is your idea of a rock dream, the first side will do the job at least as good as whatever raging slab is also your idea of a rock dream," wrote Robert Christgau. "For five songs, everything loud and acrid about them just keeps on coming--not even tune doctors can stave off the juggernaut. Of course, this band's idea of a rock dream is also the traditional 'Young Lust' and 'Love in an Elevator'--OK as far as it goes, but I could do with more 'Janie's Got a Gun,' in which an abused teenager offs her dad."[25]

"Messrs Tyler and Perry" observed Hi-Fi News & Record Review, "have cleaned up their act, hoovered their nostrils, added a few more items of choice veg to their cod-pieces and come up with a stonker."[26]

Spin placed it at No. 279 on their list of "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years", and said "Aerosmith gets no respect for locating that perfect sweet spot between the shamelessness of ‘80s sleaze-metal and the self-aware wink of proto-ironic ‘90s MTV culture".[27] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[28]

Loudwire ranked the album fourth in their ranking of Aerosmith studio albums, and said, "'Pump,' like its multiplatinum predecessor, 'Permanent Vacation,' unabashedly catered to '80s hair metal trends with glossy mega-productions like "Love in an Elevator" and the Grammy-winning "Janie's Got a Gun," but it also did a commendable job of reviving the vintage Aerosmith style on loads of amazing tunes".[29]

Track listing[edit]

Pump track listing
1."Young Lust"Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Jim Vallance4:19
2."F.I.N.E.*"Tyler, Perry, Desmond Child4:08
3."Going Down/Love in an Elevator"Tyler, Perry5:38
4."Monkey on My Back"Tyler, Perry3:56
5."Water Song/Janie's Got a Gun"Tyler, Tom Hamilton5:40
6."Dulcimer Stomp/The Other Side"Tyler, Vallance, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland[30][31]4:56
7."My Girl"Tyler, Perry3:10
8."Don't Get Mad, Get Even"Tyler, Perry4:48
9."Hoodoo/Voodoo Medicine Man"Tyler, Brad Whitford4:41
10."What It Takes" (Includes an instrumental hidden track composed & performed by Randy Raine-Reusch)Tyler, Perry, Child6:28
Total length:47:44
Japanese version
11."Ain't Enough"Tyler, Perry4:57
Total length:52:46



  • Steven Tyler – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
  • Joe Perry – guitar: second solo on "Love in an Elevator", slide guitar on "Monkey on My Back", backing vocals
  • Brad Whitford – guitar: lead guitar on "Voodoo Medicine Man" and first solo on "Love in an Elevator"
  • Tom Hamilton – bass guitar, backing vocals on "Love in an Elevator"
  • Joey Kramer – drums

Additional personnel

  • Bob Dowd – backing vocals on "Love in an Elevator"
  • Catherine Epps – spoken intro (Elevator Operator) on "Love in an Elevator"
  • Bruce Fairbairn – trumpet, backing vocals on "Love in an Elevator"
  • The Margarita Horns (Bruce Fairbairn, Henry Christian, Ian Putz, Tom Keenlyside) – brass instruments, saxophones
  • John Webster – keyboards
  • Randy Raine-Reusch – musical interludes (glass harmonica on "Water Song", Appalachian dulcimer on "Dulcimer Stomp", didgeridoo on "Don't Get Mad, Get Even", and Thai khaen on "Hoodoo"), plus naw (gourd mouth organ of the Lahu people of Northern Thailand) starting at 5:19 in the hidden track contained in "What It Takes"


  • Producer: Bruce Fairbairn
  • Engineers: Michael Fraser, Ken Lomas
  • Mixing: Mike Fraser
  • Mastering: Greg Fulginiti
  • Mastering Supervisor: David Donnelly
  • Art direction: Kim Champagne, Gabrielle Raumberger
  • Logo design: Andy Engel
  • Photography: Norman Seeff
  • Tattoo art: Mark Ryden
  • John Kalodner: John Kalodner



Certifications for Pump
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[50] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[51] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Germany (BVMI)[52] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[53] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Pump - RIAA: Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  3. ^ a b c d "Aerosmith - Singles". hitparade.ch. Retrieved June 23, 2021. Click on individual song pages for dates.
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Review at AllMusic. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "A". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved August 16, 2020 – via robertchristgau.com.
  6. ^ Narvaez, Alfredo (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Pump". dailyvault.com. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  7. ^ 04/01/2001
  8. ^ a b Neely, Kim (October 19, 1989). "Pump". Rolling Stone.
  9. ^ Blashiff, Pat (November 1989). "Reviews: Aerosmith - Pump". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. 5 (8).
  10. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  11. ^ "Billboard.com - Year End Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013.
  12. ^ The Making of Pump. Sony Music. 1990.
  13. ^ Rolling Stone 1989 retrospective, precise date unknown
  14. ^ Bosso, Joe (October 27, 2022). "Mick Mars on his favorite Mötley Crüe solo, how he (unintentionally) ended up on Aerosmith's Pump, and the Dr. Feelgood Garnet amp". guitarworld. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  15. ^ a b Bienstock, Richard (September 15, 2011). Aerosmith. Voyageur Press. ISBN 9781610597692 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Hinckley, David (January 19, 1990). "Aerosmith's All 'Pumped' Up". New York Daily News.
  17. ^ "Randy Raine-Reusch - Aerosmith, Cranberries, Yes". www.asza.com.
  18. ^ Fricke, David (April 27, 2011). "Talk This Way: Rolling Stone's 1994 Interview With Aerosmith's Steven Tyler". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Pump, Inc. v. Collins Management, 746 F. Supp. 1159 (D. Mass. 1990)
  20. ^ "SPIN". SPIN Media LLC. December 14, 1990 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ Stim, Richard (2006). Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business. Berkeley, California: Nolo. p. 208. ISBN 1-4133-0517-2.
  22. ^ Rolli, Bryan (July 1, 2021). "Top 30 Glam Metal Albums". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  23. ^ Q, January 1990
  24. ^ Rolling Stone, December 14–28, 1989
  25. ^ Robert Christgau: CG: Aerosmith
  26. ^ Hi-Fi News & Record Review, November 1989
  27. ^ "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985-2014)". Spin. May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  28. ^ MacDonald, Bruno (2006). "Aerosmith: Pump". In Dimery, Robert (ed.). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Universe Publishing. p. 625. ISBN 978-0-7893-1371-3.
  29. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo (February 28, 2017). "Aerosmith Albums Ranked". Loudwire. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  30. ^ "BMI Songwriting Credits: Other Side - Aerosmith".
  31. ^ "ACE Repertory". www.ascap.com.
  32. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  33. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6624". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22April 2018.
  34. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Aerosmith – Pump" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  35. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Aerosmith". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 10.
  36. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Aerosmith – Pump" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  37. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved June 2, 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Album". Then, in the "Titolo" field, search "Pump".
  38. ^ "エアロスミスのアルバム売上ランキング". ORICON NEWS. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  39. ^ "Charts.nz – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  40. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  41. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  43. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  44. ^ "Aerosmith Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  45. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  46. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums for 1990". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  47. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1990". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  48. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1990". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  49. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  50. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 9.
  51. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". Music Canada.
  52. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Aerosmith; 'Pump')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  53. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  54. ^ "British album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". British Phonographic Industry.
  55. ^ "American album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". Recording Industry Association of America.