Song of the Week: Once Is Enough, by Aerosmith

Song of the Week: Once Is Enough, by Aerosmith

From the Glimmer Twins to the Toxic Twins, but this time the circumstances are reversed.  Last time I featured a blistering cover of a Stones song whereas this time I’ll be featuring Aerosmith delivering a pitch-perfect country rock version of a song written by Richard Supa. Long before they hooked up with ballad mongers Diane Warren and Desmond Child, the band collaborated with – and sometimes simply covered songs by – Supa. He first popped up with the song “Chip Away The Stone” on the Live: Bootleg album, later stood in for the recently-departed Joe Perry, and co-wrote “Lightning Strikes” and “Amazing” with Steven Tyler.  The former two being great songs, the latter, kind of a mess (and set to a wretchedly dated video* to boot!).

Dude...

Dude...

But back when Aerosmith were working on their true comeback album, Permanent Vacation, they took a walk down country-rock lane with the help of their old friend.  The song “Once Is Enough” has long been one of my favorites, despite its relegation to the flip side of the 12-inch single for “Dude (Looks Like a Lady).”  It’s a classic country tears ‘n’ beers type of track, but Tyler’s lead vocal and the great stacked harmonies provide an almost Beatles-esque twist.  For some reason, they decided to present it in two versions within the one track: first the country take, then the band kicks in for a rock take.  I always found the rock version to be fine, but unnecessary, so – as the song is unavailable online except for in a poor demo version – I will stream the first half here, complete with the wonderful sound of crackling vinyl.

Once Is Enough (mp3)

I should note, also, that the song popped up later on the budget-priced Essential Willie Nelson collection, credited as a duet between Willie & Steven Tyler, with Aerosmith.  To my ear, it sounds as though they gave Willie the old masters for the original track and he just remixed them with his vocal.  The result is less than awesome (and you know I love me some Willie), but you can get that if you so desire.

Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler & Aerosmith - The Essential Willie Nelson - One Time Too Many

* Footnote: inexplicably, and wonderfully, the first related video that came up when I loaded this video was “To the guy who farted.”

Totally Fuzzy