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Thursday, June 28, 2007

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

The first record. A strong debut, but the production is slightly raw, and the songwriting was still in the developmental stage. It is very blues oriented, which is probably why Tony favors it.

Classic Moments:

One Way Street
Mama Kin
Dream On (I have to give credit where it's due, but I'm so way over this tune. I much prefer the live version with the F word and such)


'Get Your Wings'

The second record marks the arrival of producer Jack Douglas. With him comes better production, and more maturity in the songwriting. It is the sound of the band coming of age.

Classic Moments:

(The whole record is a classic moment, but some songs are better than others.....)

Same Old Song and Dance
Seasons of Wither (maybe the best ever Aerosmith song)
Lord of the Thighs
S.O.S (Too Bad)

And yes Tony, Steve Hunter does play the lead on Train Kept A' Rollin'.


Toys in the Attic

This is the apex of Aerosmith. Argue all you like, but the facts are the facts. Walk This Way and Sweet Emotion are without doubt the biggest Aerosmith songs, they are ubiquitous, they transcend the band, and have become touchstones of pop culture.

Looking beyond the hits, there's no weak tune on this record. The production is smart, clean, and varied.

Maybe it's the fact that there is far more piano on this album, but certainly the production and arrangement set this one above the rest.

It's all classic folks.


Rocks

This is the sound of Aerosmith hitting their stride. The production on Rocks is thick and juicy, but a tad formulaic. There's not a lot of dynamics, just solid rock, which is, again, probably why Tony favors it.

The poster was cool.



Classic Moments:

Nobody's Fault (maybe the second greatest Aerosmith song)
Last Child (again, the live version smokes this one)
Back In the Saddle (ditto)
Rats In the Cellar (skin a turnin' yeller.....)
Sick As a Dog (get yer head out of the loo....)



Draw the Line

Steven Tyler has said that this is the album where they lost the ability to know where to draw the line, as far as the drawing of lines goes.

I still love the record, specially the cover art, but it does signal a downward turn for the band, one that they would never fully recover from.

Classic Moments:

Kings and Queens
Draw the Line
Milk Cow Blues
Sight For Sore Eyes

Jackson also recommends:

Get It Up
Critical Mass
I Wanna Know Why

Hey, that's most of the record......throw in Joe's lead vocal track, Bright Light Fright, for kicks, maybe this one is as good as Rocks after all......



Night In the Ruts

This is where it all falls apart. Joe quit during the recording (actually during a tour forced upon the band during the recording), and after that, the band fell apart never to be heard from again.

Or so Jackson would like to believe.

It seems some other band came out in the eighties, and used the moniker Aerosmith, they even adopted the names as the real band, and the look too, but we know the real Aerosmith died with the seventies.

Classic Moments:

Cheesecake
Remember, Walking In the Sand
Reefer Head Woman

Comments:
Dick Wagner! That’s the name I was thinking of. This other guy Steve Hunter is a new one on me. I still need more proof like say the Guitar Player mag quote footnote, or an interview, or, etc… I know it sounds like I’m looking for WMD here, but I’ve for so long pictured Joe Perry ripping those leads that it’s weird to think it was someone else. I’ll get over it, doesn’t diminish the sheer greatness of that track though.

All in all not a bad summation of the only Aerosmith records worth buying sans Live Bootleg (except that Rocks is their best effort). I also think Night in the Ruts is better than you remember and that the band was intact for it. It was Rock in a Hard Place where others began platooning(?). I’ll have to check my box set booklet for this history and re-post tomorrow.
 
Hey man, do your own research, my bet is that you'll come to the same conclusions:

Steve Hunter played on Train Kept a Rollin

Joe Perry never finished his parts on Night In the Ruts

Toys is superior....
 
Was it Steve or Dick? The side by side comparisons you and Chris ran me through were from Dick Wagner tunes if I recall. I'm almost convinced, but would like documentation on something as important as this.
 
"Seasons of Wither" my personal fave.

"Rocks" blew my head off it was so great.

"Double Live Bootleg", years after I last listened to it I opened it up and there were still seeds and shake inside the cover.

If you want to feel old (or wise), toss one of your 20something co-workers "Get Your Wings", his reaction will probably be "is this new?".

"No grasshoppa, there was another Aerosmith before "Pump" and MTV."
 
I think we might have a quarum on Seasons of Wither being the best ever Aerosmith tune.
 
Seasons is a fookin great tune indeed. Rich Berardi and I skipped physics class my Sr. year to learn it on guitar and it was one of my crown accomplishments in higher education. I can still hammer it out, but it's got a cool yet killer time signature to it that throws this 4/4 guy for a loop. Have never seen a web tab that's correct for it. Very hard to hit that vocal on "take the wind right out of your sails...".
 
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