Album Title: Aerosmith
Running Time: 35m 54s
Track listing: 1 Make It; 2 Somebody; 3 Dream On; 4 One Way Street; 5 Mama Kin; 6 Write Me (A Letter); 7 Movin’ Out; 8 Walkin’ The Dog
Since this is where the Aerosmith story begins, a brief history shall be relayed. Aerosmith were formed in 1970 with original guitarist, Ray Tabano, replaced by Brad Whitford soon after. In 1972 they clinched a remarkable five year/five album recording contract with Columbia.
This is the first of them and there is a lot of quality on show here and is certainly a good sign of things to come from the Boston Bad Boys. The top tracks on here are probably ‘Dream On’, ‘One Way Street’ and ‘Mama Kin’.
‘Dream On’ is a classic cut – a ballad with a haunting melody and message. ‘Everytime I look in the mirror; all these lines on my face getting clearer; the past is gone; it went by like dusk to dawn’. A rather strange state of mind for an energetic 25 year old but Tyler continued ‘dream on, dream until your dreams come true’. He clearly knows that life is short and that you got to keep aiming for the top; ‘you gotta lose to know how to win’.
‘One Way Street’ is a 7-minute epic complete with foot-tapping rhythm, funky harmonica, stunning cymbals and sombre piano that demonstrates the blues connection that Aerosmith have and ‘Mama Kin’ simplistically hones into view, struts its funky thang and hot-tails out of there like a naughty schoolchild.
‘Write Me’ has an irrepresible guitar/drum backbone all coated nicely with an attractive vocal performance from Steven Tyler and a stropping Tom Hamilton bassline while ‘Make It’ and ‘Somebody’ are decent slices of Aerosmith-style rock n roll.
‘Walkin’ the Dog’ is a cover version of the 1963 Rufus Thomas hit which apparently is about doing some yo yo trick. I wonder. ‘Movin’ Out’ is arguably the closest to rickety that we get here – a moody rocker where Tyler bemoans getting caught up in the urban sprawl. It is raw and reasonably inventive and is the only (original) track here that Tyler co-wrote; guitarist Joe Perry penning the notes with him.
All in all it is a pretty solid debut from the Bostonians who clearly are heavily influenced by bands like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. It is a little thin in spots but overall the star quality appears to be there.