greatest-hits compilations can be sorted into three categories: ones that compile the band's 1970s prime with Columbia Records (of which Greatest Hits
 and Gems
 are the benchmarks, especially the former); ones that compile the band's subsequent run with Geffen Records (Big Ones
); and ones that ostensibly span both eras via cross-licensing (O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits
). Devil's Got a New Disguise
falls into the final category, as it spans Aerosmith
's entire career to date, from "Dream On" and "Mama Kin" (from the band's 1973 eponymous debut) to a pair of new studio recordings ("Sedona Sunrise" and "Devil's Got a New Disguise"). Like O, Yeah!
, unfortunately, it pays short shrift to the Columbia recordings, compiling a measly five songs: "Dream On," "Mama Kin," "Sweet Emotion," "Back in the Saddle," and "Last Child." The remainder of the 18 songs are Geffen recordings, beginning with the Run-D.M.C.
version of "Walk This Way" and then moving on to Permanent Vacation
(1987), bypassing Done with Mirrors
(1985) as well as numerous other latter-day albums, namely Nine Lives
(1997), A Little South of Sanity
(1998), Honkin' on Bobo
(2004), and Rockin' the Joint
(2005). Such selective sampling doesn't bode well for comprehensiveness, yet it does result in a perfectly listenable album without any bad songs (unlike most of the double-disc Aerosmith
best-ofs like O, Yeah!
, which are comprehensive yet troublesomely bogged down by subpar material that doesn't really warrant compilation). After all, Aerosmith
struggled to craft engaging material in the wake of Pump
(1989), their last truly great album, so it's actually for the best that those latter-day albums are bypassed here. Truth be told, Devil's Got a New Disguise
is simply a trimmed-down version of O, Yeah!
, and while it's perfectly listenable, it also leaves much to be desired from the standpoint of comprehensiveness. If you were to own one and only one Aerosmith
album and consequently wanted a broad, if inevitably cursory, overview, Devil's Got a New Disguise
fits that niche well; however, you'd be better off with both the Columbia-era Greatest Hits
and the Geffen-era Big Ones
, two well-compiled best-ofs that complement each other ideally, and satisfactorily cover practically all of the band's key material without any overlap whatsoever.