Friday, January 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Toys in the Attic, by Aerosmith

In 1975 Aerosmith were really coming into their own. After relentless touring for their previous two albums the band had become a well oiled machine. Not only that, but each individual member had improved as a player over the time they were touring since they were on almost every single night for months at a time. When the time came around to make their third album Toys in the Attic, this improvement was definitely apparent because the tunes they wrote and performed on it made the album the best selling one in the U.S. that they ever made.

Where the first couple of Aerosmith albums had a bit more of a straight up blues feel to them, Toys in the Attic ventures outside of that into what many consider just straight up hard rock. It definitely has much more variety to its sound. It features hits such as Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way (the good version), Toys in the Attic, You See Me Crying, etc. Some of the lyrics can be rather tongue in cheek and it makes it all the more enjoyable because right when you think Steven Tyler is about to say something dirty, he goes to something else.

Uncle Salty has to be one of my absolute favorite Aerosmith tracks of all time. Honestly, I don't feel it gets played or talked about enough. The way it has that walking groove somehow just hits me the right way. That isn't surprising though, considering that walking pace matches the human heartbeat which is a rhythm that naturally goes well with us. It's a rather emotional and heavy tune if you actually listen to the lyrics. Makes you feel kind of bad for everyone being sung about. You could easily get lost in the earthy groove, but if you listen close enough it will kind of blow you away.

Sweet Emotion is one of those songs that shows you just how much Aerosmith had improved as individual musicians and as a cohesive unit. There are so many complex and interesting pieces to it (particularly the bass intro done by Tom Hamilton, the talkbox, and the backing percussion) that when put together it makes for quite the musical feast. I honestly like that the bass takes the center focus in this song because it so well acts as the glue that holds everything together, even in the more riffy parts.

I don't know if this would be the record that I would start a new Aerosmith fan off with, but it would definitely be among the first. This album has sold a lot over the years for a damn good reason. I can't say there is a single track on there that I personally don't love to death. It has all the right amount of everything in terms of a classic rock record: hard rockers, fun B sides, and emotionally potent slower tracks - all of which are put in the perfect order. This is definitely Aerosmith in top form before the drugs and partying took too much of a toll on them. This is a must have for certain.

Toys in the Attic, by Aerosmith receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Toys in the Attic
2. Uncle Salty
3. Adam's Apple
4. Walk This Way
5. Big Ten Inch Record
6. Sweet Emotion
7. No More No More
8. Round and Round
9. You See Me Crying

Buy the album on Amazon:

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