Aerosmith, Toys In The Attic (1975)
Okay, the impetus behind listening to this again – the first time I’ve listened right through to the album on vinyl actually – is because I’m nearing the end of Steven Tyler’s memoir (out June 11, New Zealand readers). It’s a pretty terrible book, poorly written and Tyler is all over the place. (In that sense maybe it’s very accurately written). I was never a big Aerosmith fan and to this day the only albums I have any fondness for – really – are Pump because that was a big album from my childhood; it paired up well with Appetite For Destruction. And I really like Rocks particularly for the opening one-two that sorta out-Led Zeppelins Led Zeppelin. Pump was a remarkable comeback, a few years on from the Dude Looks Like A Lady comeback and the Run DMC assisted comeback. Since then Aerosmith has regularly re-written Dream On as a dumbed down set of excruciating ballads. And there have been some terrible rock song attempts. But Toys In The Attic is the other album that stands up well – what with two of the best groove-rock songs of the 1970s in Walk This Way (the original take) and Sweet Emotion. Tyler sings a load of shit but he walked the walk. And the rest of the band knows how to be a rock band. I get the feeling that’s all they know. I feel Aerosmith could have only ever worked with Steven Tyler – just as much as Tyler could have only ever worked with Aerosmith. And Aerosmith could have only ever worked in America; an American band. I’ll probably never ever listen to this album right through again – but it’s got some gems. The copy I picked up has been well looked after (I think I got it from Real Groovy) but I bet a lot of people wore out copies of this record at parties in the mid-1970s. Maybe they still do in parts of Hawke’s Bay now.
Potential Spoiler-alert: In his autobiography, Tyler takes the credit for the grooves to both Sweet Emotion and Walk This Way. I know he was a drummer but it’s almost as if he knows they’re the best things on the record – not (just) the songs, I mean those simple but important drum beats. He claims he showed the Aerosmith drummer how to play them both.
Sample Track: Toys In The Attic
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