Draw the Line – Aerosmith (1977)

draw-the-line

***1/2

Draw the Line has always been viewed as the album where Aerosmith started to slip, and indeed it is. Though there are a number of songs on the album that are right at home in Aerosmith’s ’70s catalog like the title track and “I Wanna Know Why,” there are just as many songs that are far below the standard that Aerosmith had been regularly setting. Songs like “Get it Up,” and “Sight for Sore Eyes” are almost shockingly bad considering how great Aerosmith had been just one year prior to this release. Joe Perry’s solo “Bright Light Fright” (which is such a bad song the rest of the band refused to play on it) is better than those other two, but not by much; and the same can be said for “The Hand That Feeds Me,” which was recorded on a day that Joe Perry was so fucked up he couldn’t even get out of bed (though, notably, Brad Whitford’s soloing on it is the best guitar work on the record). It’s really a shame, because “Kings and Queens” is an epic, almost autobiographical tale of the fall of an empire (which Aerosmith certainly was living at the time), and the cover of “Milk Cow Blues” is also enjoyable, even if they don’t bring that much new to the old Blues standby (it can’t even touch Elvis Presley’s version). The best song by a mile is “I Wanna Know Why” armed with its horn-blaring, Stonesesque Rock n’ Roll riffing. It’s just a shame that it had to appear on an album not worthy of its company.

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