Let the Music Do the Talking

Album: Done with Mirrors (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry wrote this song after leaving the band in 1979. He recorded it with his own group, The Joe Perry Project, making it the title track of their 1980 album. When Perry returned to Aerosmith in 1984, the band signed a new record deal with Geffen Records and began to sober up, leading to their wildly successful comeback.

    Done with Mirrors was their first Geffen album, and a newly recorded "Let the Music Do the Talking" was the first single. This success would have to wait, however, as both the single and album sold poorly, mostly consumed by fans loyal to the band from their '70s heyday. Their resurgence would come two years later with the release of the Permanent Vacation album.
  • The Done with Mirrors album had an interesting packaging gimmick: the letters were printed backward so you had to hold it up to a mirror to read it. The single cover for this song was also printed this way.
  • Along with the rest of the album, this song was produced by Ted Templeman, best known for his work with Van Halen. It was Aerosmith's record company that paired them with Templeman, hoping he would deliver something along the lines of his previous Van Halen effort, 1984. Templeman and Aerosmith didn't click, and for their next album, Bruce Fairbairn was at the controls.
  • This is one of the few Aerosmith songs with no writing contribution from Steven Tyler. The entire song was written by Joe Perry; without Tyler's words, he simply wrote about how his music does the talking for him.
  • The band shot a video for this song, which was directed by Jerry Kramer, who had done a few Jefferson Starship videos and the Rod Stewart clip for "Some Guys Have All The Luck." Steven Tyler wanted to capture the live feel of the band, so the concept was footage show by a kid who sneaks a video camera into a show and films them performing this song.

    The clip was ignored by MTV, who only warmed to Aerosmith after Tyler and Joe Perry appeared in the Run-D.M.C. "Walk This Way" collaboration. Within a few years, Aerosmith would become one of the hottest bands on the network, thanks in part to Alicia Silverstone's appearances in their videos.

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