Aerosmith – Rocks (1976)

AllMusic Review: Few albums have been so appropriately named as Aerosmith’s 1976 classic Rocks. Despite hard drug use escalating among bandmembers, Aerosmith produced a superb follow-up to their masterwork Toys in the Attic, nearly topping it in the process. Many Aero fans will point to Toys as the band’s quintessential album (it contained two radio/concert standards after all, “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion”), but out of all their albums, Rocks did the best job of capturing Aerosmith at their most raw and rocking. Like its predecessor, a pair of songs have become their most renowned — the menacing, hard rock, cowboy-stomper “Back in the Saddle,” as well as the downright viscous funk groove of “Last Child.” Again, even the lesser-known tracks prove essential to the makeup of the album, such as the stimulated “Rats in the Cellar” (a response of sorts to “Toys in the Attic”), the Stonesy “Combination,” and the forgotten riff-rocker “Get the Lead Out.” Also included is the apocalyptic “Nobody’s Fault,” the up-and-coming rock star tale of “Lick and a Promise,” and the album-closing ballad “Home Tonight.” With Rocks, Aerosmith appeared to be indestructible. — Greg Prato

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Back in the Saddle” Steven Tyler, Joe Perry 4:40
2. “Last Child” Tyler, Brad Whitford 3:26
3. “Rats in the Cellar” Tyler, Perry 4:05
4. “Combination” Perry 3:39
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Sick as a Dog” Tyler, Tom Hamilton 4:16
2. “Nobody’s Fault” Tyler, Whitford 4:21
3. “Get the Lead Out” Tyler, Perry 3:41
4. “Lick and a Promise” Tyler, Perry 3:05
5. “Home Tonight” Tyler 3:15

 

 

Schill Score:  8/10

 

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Aerosmith – Toys In The Attic (1975)

AllMusic Review: After nearly getting off the ground with Get Your Wings, Aerosmith finally perfected their mix of Stonesy raunch and Zeppelin-esque riffing with their third album, Toys in the Attic. The success of the album derives from a combination of an increased sense of songwriting skills and purpose. Not only does Joe Perry turn out indelible riffs like “Walk This Way,” “Toys in the Attic,” and “Sweet Emotion,” but Steven Tyler has fully embraced sleaziness as his artistic muse. Taking his cue from the old dirty blues “Big Ten Inch Record,” Tyler writes with a gleeful impishness about sex throughout Toys in the Attic, whether it’s the teenage heavy petting of “Walk This Way,” the promiscuous “Sweet Emotion,” or the double-entendres of “Uncle Salty” and “Adam’s Apple.” The rest of Aerosmith, led by Perry’s dirty, exaggerated riffing, provide an appropriately greasy backing. Before Toys in the Attic, no other hard rock band sounded like this. Sure, Aerosmith cribbed heavily from the records of the Rolling Stones, New York Dolls, and Led Zeppelin, but they didn’t have any of the menace of their influences, nor any of their mystique. Aerosmith was a gritty, street-wise hard rock band who played their blues as blooze and were in it for a good time; Toys in the Attic crystallizes that attitude. — Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Toys in the Attic” Steven Tyler, Joe Perry 3:07
2. “Uncle Salty” Tyler, Tom Hamilton 4:09
3. “Adam’s Apple” Tyler 4:33
4. “Walk This Way” Tyler, Perry 3:40
5. “Big Ten Inch Record” Fred Weismantel 2:16
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Sweet Emotion” Tyler, Hamilton 4:34
2. “No More No More” Tyler, Perry 4:34
3. “Round and Round” Tyler, Brad Whitford 5:03
4. “You See Me Crying” Tyler, Don Solomon 5:12

 

 

Schill Score: 9.25/10

 

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