Toys In The Attic

Aerosmith

Toys In The Attic is, by all accounts, THE album that launched Aerosmith into the stratosphere. Released in 1975, Toys In The Attic was a natural progression as third albums go. The Boston quintet’s self-titled debut showed a lot of promise while their second release, "Get Your Wings," solidified the band as a rough and tumble outfit with a swagger and attitude that rivaled the Rolling Stones. Steven Tyler’s gift as a songwriter and enigmatic front man was undeniable as the twin guitar attack of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, supported by the sturdy rhythm section of bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer, was a force to be reckoned with. Artistically and commercially, the elements fell neatly into place on Toys In The Attic.

Produced by Jack Douglas, Toys In The Attic defined Aerosmith’s sound as somewhere between sleek heavy metal and hard rockin’ blues, driven by sheer will and endurance. The buck didn’t stop there. As demonstrated on “Dream On” and “Seasons Of Wither,” Aerosmith also had a knack for building power ballads, and the first single off of Toys, “Sweet Emotion,” remains a perfect example of how dexterous the band could be with a melody. For the most part, however, Aerosmith is at full throttle on the album. The title track takes off without a hitch, while “No More No More” and “Round and Round” salivate on loose yet ridged riffs and Tyler’s hot n’ spicy lyrical wordplay. “Uncle Salty” predates Aerosmith’s sentiments about child abuse almost 15 years before they hit upon the subject again in “Janie's Got A Gun.” “Big Ten Inch Record,” a 50s novelty song, is thrown in just to show that the band has a twisted sense of humor.

If Toys In The Attic is the album that put Aerosmith over the top, “Walk This Way” is surely the song that not only sustained, but rebounded their popularity. It is one of the few songs in history that has charted twice in two separate decades. When rap pioneers Run D.M.C. decided to cover the song and invited Tyler and Perry to appear in the video, Aerosmith was resurrected as a viable and marketable act. And it’s been nonstop ever since. Despite a slight dip in their full-bodied assault, the band continues to tour, record and collect accolades.

~ Shawn Perry

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