Honkin' on Bobo

Last updated
Honkin' on Bobo
Aerosmith - Honkin' On Bobo.JPG
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 30, 2004 (2004-03-30) [1]
  • The Boneyard
  • The Bryer Patch
  • Pandora's Box
Label Columbia
Aerosmith chronology
Just Push Play
Honkin' on Bobo
Music from Another Dimension!
Singles from Honkin' on Bobo
  1. "Baby, Please Don't Go"
    Released: 2004

Honkin' on Bobo is the 14th studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released on March 30, 2004, by Columbia Records. [1] The album includes 11 covers of blues and blues rock songs from the 1950s and 1960s, with one new song, "The Grind". The album pays tribute to Aerosmith's earliest influences and showcases a rawer sound, reminiscent of their 1970s work, when compared to their more recent commercial efforts. Honkin' on Bobo was produced by Jack Douglas, who was Aerosmith's producer on a vast majority of their 1970s output.


The album sold over 160,000 copies in its first week, reaching number five on the Billboard 200. [2] Honkin' on Bobo was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on May 11, 2004. [3]


Honkin' On Bobo was recorded in Joe Perry's ranch near Boston, with the band playing only when they were in a good mood, as according to Perry, "We wanted to do something we haven't done before and that excites us. That's what makes us want to do another record. Otherwise, we'd say, 'OK, we've done everything we can do, so why bother even going in again?’." The album title was suggested by Steven Tyler, who heard the phrase somewhere and the band found it funny. [4] Perry also stated during a radio interview that "We just know that it's a phrase that sounds ... jazzish, nastyish, so it works for us." [5]

Many tracks on the album feature harmonica work by Tyler, including Little Walter's "Temperature" which was played on an episode of the House of Blues Radio Hour which was about the harmonica. [6] A harmonica keychain was included with the limited edition version. [7]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 69/100 [8]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [9]
Entertainment Weekly B− [10]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [11]
USA Today Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [12]

Metacritic gave the album a score of 69 out of 100 based on 12 generally favorable reviews. [8] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said that the album is the best the band has done since Pump in 1989, and that it cannot be called a "blues" album because it is a rock album. He called the album a "surprise" in that, even though the album's artwork and title are bad, it marks a return to Aerosmith. [7] In his Blender magazine review of the album, Jon Pareles said that the band did their blues album different than most others because, instead of making "respectable" cover versions, they make quite unrespectable cover versions like "You Gotta Move". The album, to him, proves that Aerosmith can still rock. [9] Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly felt that the album didn't live up to what it should be because it is too loud, but some songs on the album are good. [10]

David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine wrote an article for the magazine comparing and contrasting Aerosmith's Honkin' on Bobo and Eric Clapton's Me and Mr. Johnson which also explored blues influences. He said that Clapton's album was mostly about pain, while Aerosmith's album was about sex and running away from lovers. He also considers Bobo to be a double-tribute album – one tribute to the original musicians and one tribute for 1960s blues-rock bands – and considers the album to be overdone, which is what Aerosmith is good at. [11]

Track listing

Per liner notes: [13]

Side one
1."Road Runner" (Bo Diddley cover)Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley 3:46
2."Shame, Shame, Shame" (Smiley Lewis cover)Ruby Fisher, Kenyon Hopkins 2:15
3."Eyesight to the Blind" (Sonny Boy Williamson II cover) Sonny Boy Williamson II 3:09
4."Baby, Please Don't Go" (Them cover) Joe Williams 3:24
5."Never Loved a Girl" (Aretha Franklin cover)Ronny Shannon3:12
6."Back Back Train" (Mississippi Fred McDowell cover) Fred McDowell 4:23
Side two
7."You Gotta Move" (The Rolling Stones cover) Rev. Gary Davis, Fred McDowell5:30
8."The Grind" Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Marti Frederiksen 3:46
9."I'm Ready" (Muddy Waters cover) Willie Dixon 4:13
10."Temperature" (Little Walter cover)Joel Michael Cohen, Walter Jacobs 2:52
11."Stop Messin' Around" (Fleetwood Mac cover) Clifford Adams, Peter Green 4:29
12."Jesus is on the Main Line" (Mississippi Fred McDowell cover)(Traditional, arr. by F. McDowell)2:51
Japanese Edition
13."Jaded"Tyler, Marti Frederiksen 3:34


Per liner notes: [13]

Additional musicians




Chart (2004)Peak
Australian Top 100 Albums [14] 59
Austrian Top 75 Albums [15] 22
Belgium (Wallonia) 100 Albums [16] 44
Canadian Albums Chart [17] 5
Finnish Top 40 Albums [18] 35
French Top 200 Albums [19] 52
German Albums Chart [20] 32
Irish Top 75 Albums [21] 60
Japanese Top 30 Albums [22] 6
Netherlands Top 100 Albums [23] 64
Spain (AFYVE) [24] 48
Swedish Top 60 Albums [25] 38
Swiss Top 100 Albums [26] 17
UK Albums Chart [27] 28
US Billboard 200 [28] 5
US Blues Albums [29] 1


RIAJ - JapanGold [30] April 10, 2004
RIAA - USAGoldMay 11, 2004

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