Album Title: Toys in the Attic
Running Time: 37m 11s
Track listing: 1 Toys in the Attic; 2 Uncle Salty; 3 Adam’s Apple; 4 Walk This Way; 5 Big Ten Inch Record; 6 Sweet Emotion; 7 No More No More; 8 Round and Round; 9 You See Me Crying
The hair is longer, the confidence is higher, the attitude is sharper and the music is getting better all the time. “Toys in the Attic” is a near milestone in 70s rock history for several reasons; ‘Toys in the Attic’, ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Walk This Way’. Retrospect was to show us that all three songs would become the backbone of the Aerosmith story and American rock…although I would prefer to stay in 1975 for now.
The album opens up with the thundering ‘Toys in the Attic’ which sweeps you off your feet from the opening bars to the final cymbal. The ferocious pace was unmatched on an Aeromsith disc before this. ‘Sweet Emotion’ is a pure classic. It opens with the definitive Tom Hamilton bassline [a line originally rejected by Tyler during the early years], rises and mellows again before it finally erupts into a crescendo of attitude.
‘Walk This Way’ is the ultimate in simplicity, but yet the ultimate in rock and roll braggadocio. Tyler almost raps his way through this tale of lost virginity while drummer, Joey Kramer, and lead guitarist, Joe Perry, bounce an insatiable rhythm off each other. To once again visit the land of retrospect, the song was covered by Run DMC in 1986 and featured Joe and Steven Tyler guesting on the track – this resulted in another Top 10 hit and made the song the most popular and well known in their repertoire.
So apart from the cream, is there anything else on this album? There is ‘You See me Crying’, a lavish orchestral ballad which exudes over-the-top sentimentality and pathos accompanied with a beautiful piano piece from Tyler. Incidnetally, vocally, Tyler is outstanding on this cut.
‘No More No More’ is a mature look at life in a rock and roll band and is an indication of how the pressures of being at the top of your profession can affect you;’Blood stains the ivories of my daddy’s baby grand, ain’t seen no daylight since we started this band; Times are a-changing, nothing ever stands still, If I don’t start changing, I’ll be writin’ my will’. Marvellous piano and guitar accompaniment.
For the umpteenth time, Aerosmith manage to combine rock and roll basics with a horn-driven chorus on ‘Adams Apple’. Tyler explores exactly where orinigal sin originated. Absolutely nothing wrong with this track. ‘Big Ten Inch Record’ is an all out band party. Total innuendo in this jazzy, big-band cover version which features some high powered harmonica and piano performances.
The two moderate areas on the record are ‘Uncle Salty’ which seems a little anemic in comparison to what preceeds it but is still not half-bad. The same goes for Brad Whitford’s heated ‘Round and Round’ which is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin at times.
This is a powerhouse of a record which houses several classics and semi-classics. The best Aerosmith release so far.