Pump (album)

Pump is the tenth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released in September 1989. The album was remastered and reissued in 2001.

Aerosmith Pump.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1989 (1989-09)[1]
RecordedJanuary–June 1989
StudioLittle Mountain Sound, Vancouver, Canada
GenreHard rock[2]
ProducerBruce Fairbairn
Aerosmith chronology
Permanent Vacation
Get a Grip
Singles from Pump
  1. "Love in an Elevator"
    Released: August 15, 1989
  2. "Janie's Got a Gun"
    Released: November 8, 1989
  3. "What It Takes"
    Released: December 19, 1989
  4. "The Other Side"
    Released: June 6, 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauB+[4]
Q5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[6]
The Daily VaultA[8]

Pump incorporates the use of keyboards and a horn section on many of the singles ("Love in an Elevator", "The Other Side"), and contains straightforward rockers ("F.I.N.E.", "Young Lust"), the ballad "What It Takes", songs about issues such as incest and murder ("Janie's Got a Gun") and drug and alcohol abuse ("Monkey on My Back"),[6] as well as a variety of instrumental interludes such as "Hoodoo" and "Dulcimer Stomp."

The album 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 eight million).[9] It produced a variety of successes and "firsts" for the band including their first Grammy Award ("Janie's Got a Gun").[6] "Love in an Elevator" became the first Aerosmith song to hit #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Additionally, it is the only Aerosmith album to date to have three Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and three number one singles on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The album was the fourth bestselling album of the year 1990.[10]

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.[11]

Some songs proposed for the album, though never released, 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."[12]

The intention with the album was exploring a rawness that had been glossed over for a commercial sound in Permanent Vacation.[13] 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 lead to the instrumental interludes between the songs.[14] 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.[15] 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.[13]

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."[17]

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.[18] 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, with the letters F.I.N.E (an acronym for "Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional", as stated in the album's liner notes) in place of the chrome International markings on the side of both hoods.

Track listingEdit

Side one
1."Young Lust"Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Jim Vallance4:18
2."F.I.N.E."Tyler, Perry, Desmond Child4:09
3."Going Down/Love in an Elevator"Tyler, Perry5:39
4."Monkey on My Back"Tyler, Perry3:57
5."Water Song/Janie's Got a Gun"Tyler, Tom Hamilton5:38
Side two
1."Dulcimer Stomp/The Other Side"Tyler, Vallance, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland[19][20]4:56
2."My Girl"Tyler, Perry3:10
3."Don't Get Mad, Get Even"Tyler, Perry4:48
4."Hoodoo/Voodoo Medicine Man"Tyler, Brad Whitford4:39
5."What It Takes"Tyler, Perry, Child5:11
Total length:47:22
Alternative version
10."What It Takes" (Includes an instrumental hidden track composed & performed by Randy Raine-Reusch)6:28
Total length:47:41
Japanese version
11."Ain't Enough"Tyler, Perry4:57
Total length:52:46


Aerosmith found themselves in law school textbooks after a small rock band named Pump sued Aerosmith's management company for service mark infringement.[21] Aerosmith won the case.[17] 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".[citation needed]



  • 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 "Hoodoo/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 (Appalachian dulcimer on "Dulcimer Stomp", didgeridoo on "Don't Get Mad, Get Even", Thai naw (mouth organ) on "Hoodoo", and glass harmonica on "Water Song")


  • 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


"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."[22]

"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'."[23]

"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."[24]


Chart (1989) Peak
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 33
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26] 13
Japanese Albums Chart[27] 10
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[28] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 8
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 9
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 3
US Billboard 200[32] 5
Chart (1990) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[33] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[34] 8

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1989 "Love in an Elevator" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 5
"F.I.N.E." Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
"Janie's Got a Gun" Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
The Billboard Hot 100 4
1990 "Monkey on My Back" Mainstream Rock Tracks 17
"What It Takes" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 9
"The Other Side" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 22

End of decade chartsEdit

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[35] 73


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[36] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Germany (BVMI)[37] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[38] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1990 "Janie's Got a Gun" Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Huxley 2015, eBook, "Pump, Geffen, September 1989".
  2. ^ Kot, Greg. "Aerosmith - Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ Pump at AllMusic
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Pump". Robert Christgau.
  5. ^ 04/01/2001
  6. ^ a b c Rolling Stone review
  7. ^ Blashiff, Pat (November 1989). "Reviews: Aerosmith - Pump". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. 5 (8).
  8. ^ Narvaez, Alfredo (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Pump". dailyvault.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  10. ^ Billboard.com - Year End Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200
  11. ^ The Making of Pump. Sony Music. 1990.
  12. ^ Rolling Stone 1989 retrospective, precise date unknown
  13. ^ a b Aerosmith: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Boston Bad Boys
  14. ^ Hinckley, David (January 19, 1990). "Aerosmith's All 'Pumped' Up". New York Daily News.
  15. ^ http://www.asza.com/r3aero.shtml
  16. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/talk-this-way-rolling-stones-1994-interview-with-aerosmiths-steven-tyler-20110427?page=4
  17. ^ a b Pump, Inc. v. Collins Management, 746 F. Supp. 1159 (D. Mass. 1990)
  18. ^ Spin Magazine
  19. ^ BMI Songwriting Credits: Other Side - Aerosmith[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ ASCAP Songwriting Credits: Other Side (The) - Aerosmith
  21. ^ Stim, Richard (2006). Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business. Berkeley, California: Nolo. p. 208. ISBN 1-4133-0517-2.
  22. ^ Q, January 1990
  23. ^ Rolling Stone, 14–28 December 1989
  24. ^ Hi-Fi News & Record Review, November 1989
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Aerosmith – Pump" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  26. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  27. ^ "エアロスミスのCDアルバムランキング、エアロスミスのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  32. ^ "Aerosmith Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  34. ^ "Charts.nz – Aerosmith – Pump". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". Music Canada.
  37. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Aerosmith; 'Pump')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  38. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  39. ^ "British album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Pump in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – Aerosmith – Pump". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.