Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rocktober Album #8: Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic (1975)

Aerosmith is one of those bands that you kind of forget about, but I'd say they're probably one of the top five to ten American rock bands of all-time. They were on top of the rock world for much of the '70s, and their third album, 1975's Toys in the Attic, is rightly revered by many as their best album.

Steven Tyler has such a perfect rock voice. It's slightly gravely, and he has that enviable ability to scream and wail while maintaining control. Joe Perry really shines on this album (not that he doesn't shine on others), with some fantastic riffs and great solos.

All in all, Toys in the Attic is one of those albums that should be in every rock and roll fan's music collection. Sadly, many of the songs are not on Playlist.com. Here is a link to the Last FM page for the album, which has clips of every song.

1. Toys in the Attic
The title track is a fast-paced rocker with a nice bass line that drives the song and sets a nice tone for the rest of the album. In the grand scheme of Aerosmith songs, this is definitely an underrated song. Unfortunately, the album version is not on Playlist.com, so I put a live version on the mix instead.

2. Uncle Salty
"Uncle Salty" could very well be the name of Mr. Peanut's archrival, and perhaps that was the goal of the band with this song. While they may not have achieved that (yet), the song is a nice little rock and roller.

3. Adam's Apple
This is a tale of biblical sex and how women are evil and always have been. Get away from me, devil woman.

4. Walk This Way
Is there a better riff in rock history? I'm not sure, but "Walk This Way" has a pretty legit claim that it holds that title. And the song is about a high schooler losing his virginity, something to which I can't really relate, but I'm sure a lot of people going to hell can. Of course, Aerosmith's 1986 collaboration with Run D.M.C. on a rap/rock reworking of this song is what resurrected Aerosmith's career after several years of nothingness. It's hard to say which version is better. They're both pretty awesome. VH1 named the original the No. 8 best hard rock song of all-time.

5. Big Ten Inch Record
This is a cover of a Bull Moose Jackson song from the early '50s, and the song is a big ball of boogie woogie innuendo. I've always been a fan of this song. Of course, it's not without controversy. Does Tyler sing "suck on my big ten inch . . . record" or "'cept for my big ten inch . . . record." Either way, I'm pretty sure it's about a dong, not a record.

6. Sweet Emotion
This is a rock classic. Thanks in large part to Richard Linklater, every time I hear the intro to the song, I think of Dazed and Confused, which immediately makes me happy. But seriously, this is an awesome song. It was the band's first top 40 song, and it's alleged to be written at least in part about Joe Perry's wife. If you listen to the lyrics, that's not a good thing for her (e.g., a description of woman as being a "sweat hog mama with a face like a gent").

7. No More No More
I'm a big fan of this song, and I don't know why it isn't played on classic rock radio more often (or at all). This is a darker sounding song about being fed up with life on the road, but realizing that that's the life the band is bound to live. Unfortunately, Playlist.com only have the live version of this one too.

8. Round and Round
Not to be confused with the Ratt song of the same name, Aerosmith's "Round and Round" is a plodding rock song. Perry's guitar work is pretty solid on this song, with little solos here and there. The song is a little ahead of its time, in my opinion. It sounds like it could be a New Wave of British Heavy Metal song, or even an early '80s hard rock or hair band song.

9. You See Me Crying
This song did not age very well. It's a bit over-the-top with strings and ELO-esque pianos and guitars. It's not as Aerosmith as I'd prefer.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

No comments: