Columbia Records, 1976

REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez


(Editor's Note: The reference that Al makes in the first paragraph was to Bob Pierce, the alias I wrote under for two years; I had just reverted to writing under my real name, and Al decided to have some fun with me. - CT)

Checking the Daily Vault Reviews Archives (copyright and trademark owned by Mr. Bob Pie....oops) I was very amazed to see that no one had tackled this album. After all, not only is it considered one of Aerosmith's best (many think it IS their best), but it's one of those albums that looks back and still sounds fresh. The problem was, after coming into the limelight thanks to my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Toys In The Attic, the band didn't come out with more radio-ready singles. You know, more stuff like "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion." Taking that aside, this album, I would say, IS better than its predecesor. I'll tell you why.

1) Tighter focus: After Toys' success, the band could have gone on and released a big piece of dung. It's not unusual for bands to let up after hitting it big. It happens. Instead, the band went back and cranked out more and better material. Stuff like "Back In The Saddle" and "Rats In The Cellar".

2) Total effort by band: I know that from Day One, Aerosmith has never exclusively written their material within itself. Yet here, every member of the band contributes to, at least, one song. (Note to Aerosmith: Get together in a closed room and YOU write the songs. Let everyone into it.) From Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton's "Sick As A Dog" to Joe Perry's "Combination" to the multi-written "Home Tonight." Sure, they had some outside help, but you can sense this was the band's album.

3) Leaner: This goes on with that tighter focus. There are no throwaways here. Every song comes in, rocks its deeds, and then is off. I know that many would like to have more than the nine songs present here, but I think that would have slowed down this rock train. You don't even have the time to breathe. As soon as one song is done, here comes the next one. It's amazing and a testament to their ethic.

4) Funkier: I know I have to eat crow for at first disliking the classic "Last Child." But I have come around - thanks in part to that uber-cool live version in A Little South Of Sanity. (BTW, People is out of their minds to think this album was one of the worst! Get me my shotguns!) Then, there's "Get The Lead Out" which is just as funky and will have you shaking your groove thang. (OK, really bad cliche there, but it fits.)

I could go on and on, but I'll stop. The truth is that with this album, Aerosmith comes to fulfill their Manifest Destiny and forever remove the idea that they are the "poor man's Rolling Stones." After Toys In The Attic, who could have expected them to top themselves? Well, they did.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 1999 Alfredo Narvaez and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia Records, and is used for informational purposes only.