I’ve always been a part-time fan of the Smith. When I was younger I heard Walk This Way, Dude Looks Like a Lady and all those other hits everyone in the world heard many years ago. Their appearance in Wayne’s World II strengthened their image in my head (much like Alice Coopers in the first). However things took a turn for the worst when they released I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing before I ever got a chance to adopt them as a real favourite in the music books. This lack of Tyler, Perry and the boys continued until I decided to pick up a copy of their Devils Best of a couple of years ago. Listening to Love In an Elevator, Livin’ On The Edge, Sweet Emotion, Falling in Love and all the other hits was a nice little retro visit and the door was opened up again to truly appreciate Americas greatest hard rock band.
The first step of this revitalization was clear, start from the beginning so I picked up a copy of their self-titled debut album and it didn’t take long to get hooked in. Stephen Tyler’s voice was so simple in 1973. He had none of the cliché trademark he emphasise these days and the band’s sound was much more low-key. They could have been compared to the likes of AC/DC rather than Guns N Roses. There is also a distinct lack of ballads that bogged their later eighties, nineties and current career with one exception, Dream On. A powerful ballad styled song with a style all of its own, which stands out miles from the other tracks on this record.
Opening with the stripped back, riff filled Make It. Aerosmith dishes out one classic after another that puts many of their later work into a cold, dark shade. Somebody, One Way Street, Write Me and Movin’ Out provide the back bone of this album while a cover of Rufus Thomas‘ Walkin’ the Dog, Mama Kin and Dream On make it the classic it is. Mama Kin’s opening riff, blues rock piano melody and swagger is pure rock n roll and without a doubt the bands first definitive hard rock track.
If you’ve only ever heard the greatest hits and you want to find out more about Aerosmith, check this album out. Toys in the Attic and Pump can WAIT, trust me.