Aerosmith – Aerosmith (1973)

aerosmith

****1/2

Aerosmith’s 1973 debut is without a doubt one of the greatest Rock n’ Roll debuts of all time and remains a criminally underrated album that added greatly to the golden age of the genre. Its inclusion of “Dream on” (and to a lesser extent, “Mama Kin”) are what bring casual listeners to the table, but it’s the meat of the album from the Stonesesque “One Way Street” to Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin the Dog” that puts it near the peak of Aerosmith’s catalog, and thus the overall catalog of Rock music. Even the weaker tracks like “Write Me a Letter” and “Somebody” lay claim to the birth of the glorious interwoven riffing of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, who already sound like they’ve been playing together for years. Even Joey Kramer’s drumming threatens to steal the show in “Make it” which Steven Tyler wrote in the car looking at the Boston skyline and realizing that he and his crew were about to hit it big. It didn’t stop the nerves, though; Tyler famously changed his voice on this album in an attempt to sound like an old black blues singer. But when he hits the high notes of “Dream on,” there’s no doubting who’s behind them. Though “Dream on” is a classic (though a diminished one after hundreds of listens), the real showstealer of the album is “Movin Out,” the first song Tyler and Perry ever wrote together. Listening to it today, you can hear the birth of one of the greatest songwriting pairs in music history. It’s still just as exhilarating as it was almost a half-century ago.

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