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Forgive the cliche, but America's in love with dinosaurs. They're on TV, in the movies and, yes, in the music business.

Even after 20 years of recording and touring, Aerosmith and Judas Priest, probably the two most influential "heavy metal" bands of the 1970s and 1980s, have released albums proving, yet again, rock 'n' roll is still alive and not on the verge of extinction. Take a look.- AEROSMITH'S 16th album (11th studio album), "Get a Grip" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and could easily have been released in the band's early days. It's that funky.

The band's "swank 'n' sass" attitude grooves through a colorful combination of guitar licks and catchy arrangements. However, the lyrics provide the album's thoughtful aspects.

This release is a study of economic imbalance ("Eat the Rich"), inner city life ("Get a Grip"), melodramatic love ("Amazing") and the raunchy dangers of excess ("Fever").

Probably the most memorable cut is the first single, "Living on the Edge." The epic anthem combines a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground, psychedelic twist with the old Aerosmith punch to make a tough observation on civil unrest and racial tension.

Guitarist Joe Perry also gets a chance to sing lead, a role Steven Tyler usually tackles, on the soulful chant of "Walk on Down."

Guest musicians Lenny Kravitz, Don Henley, an orchestra of Polynesian log drums and a song co-written by Damn Yankees Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades ("Shut Up and Dance") help Aerosmith expand its rocking funk, jazz, rhythm and blues sound.

- JUDAS PRIEST'S "Metal Works '73-'93" was not meant to be a greatest hits album - or so the liner notes say. Instead, it was to be a simple compilation of the band's favorites, which happen to include . . . most of the band's most popular tracks.

The delights from a 14-album career (only 12 are credited within this release) lash out with emotional, dueling guitar licks, primal percussion and rip-roaring vocals.

The scorching speed of old and new hits like "Electric Eye," "Screaming for Vengeance," "Freewheel Burning," "Ram It Down" and "Painkiller" mix well with the early gothic sentiment of "Before the Dawn," "Sinner" and a live version of "Victim of Changes."

Hits like "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," "Breaking the Law," "Hell Bent for Leather," "Heading Out to the Highway" and "Living After Midnight" provide a rocking nostalgia for fans who knew Judas Priest before the pop flair of "Turbo Lover" and "Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days."

The 32-song double album soars, but there could be disappointments for some fans. Popular cuts like "Diamonds and Rust," "Parental Guidance" and "Evening Star" are missing from the song list.