When it comes to tribute albums, one can usually separate the good from the bad by applying the label showcase rule. Meaning, if the bands taking part in said tribute album all belong to the same record company, then you just know that the justification for compiling the record in the first place (promoting the label’s roster rather than the music itself) was probably more self-serving than honest appreciation. In the case of Shrapnel Records’ 2001 submission to the category, One Way Street: A Tribute to Aerosmith, this issue is muddled somewhat by the fact that, instead of actual working bands tackling Tyler, Perry, and company classics like “Round and Round,” “Rats in the Cellar,” and “Lord of the Thighs” (as well as more recent fare like “Cryin’” and “Living on the Edge”), what you get here are various combinations of current employees/former rock stars seemingly thrown together in haphazard fashion. Like spare parts bolted together to create an otherworldly dinosaur rock act for the ages, one-time legends like Joe Lynn Turner, Al Pitrelli, Carmine Appice, Reb Beach, Tim Bogert, Glenn Hughes, Steve Lukather, Doug Pinnick, Jimmy Bain, John Corabi, and Bruce Kulick (the list really does go on and on) elbow each other aside in search of some room on these 11 cuts. More pleasurable because of their personal abilities than their chemistry, these performances will interest the famed participants’ die-hard fans, few others.
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