Get Your Wings – Aerosmith (1974)

get-your-wings

****1/2

Aerosmith has always been my favorite band and their debut album has always been in my top three favorites from them (topped, naturally, by Toys in the Attic and Rocks). As such, I’ve always been annoyed that it often gets passed over in favor of its follow-up Get Your Wings, which I never considered to ever be even in the same ballpark as their self-titled debut. But after listening to it for what feels like the hundredth time today, I finally get it. Regardless of whether you prefer Aerosmith or Get Your Wings, there can be no denying that they’re both exceptional albums of below-the-belly button Blues-based Rock n’ Roll. And after listening objectively to “Same Old Song and Dance” through “Pandora’s Box” (which was penned in part by drummer Joey Kramer, a rarity in the band’s decade-spanning catalog), I found myself coming away with a greater-than-ever appreciation for an LP that continued the momentum of my favorite band of all time as they were gearing up to deliver back-to-back classics (not to mention, garner Top 40 mainstream appeal).

It seems impossible to believe anyone hasn’t heard “Same Old Song and Dance” by this point. I’ve probably heard it hundreds of times. But considering that my love for it has only grown over the course of that time speaks to its strength as a tune. Its follow-up, “Lord of the Thighs” is probably my favorite Aerosmith song ever armed with a hypnotic simultaneous piano/guitar riff that, to me, is on the level of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” The rest of the album from “Woman of the World” to Yardbirds cover “Train Kept a-Rollin” boast these awesome, rhythmic midsections that almost recall James Brown which Aerosmith never really recaptured, and so the songs retain a unique feel in the band’s catalog. Even “Seasons of Wither” and “Spaced,” which I’ve often condemned as the throwaways of the album (though “Seasons” was one of the earlier Aerosmith songs I knew thanks to its surprising inclusion in O Yeah! 30 Ultimate Aerosmith Hits), offer a strange blend of apocalyptic doom and gloom and intrigue to which the band never returned. Even if you’d rather hear “One Way Street” or “Movin Out,” everything on Get Your Wings was great and the fact that people still argue over the qualitative order of Aerosmith’s first four records to this day only offers further credence to the notion that they are one of the greatest Rock bands of all time.

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