Sound — 9
This album was make or break for Aerosmith. Their label, Columbia, was disappointed with the lackluster sales of their debut and Get Your Wings. Part of this was because the head of Columbia, Clive Davis, didn't really get hard rock and prefered to spend most of the advertising cash on acts like Barbra Streisand. Anyway Aerosmith was heavily fueled by drugs at this point, but the album was written and recorded before they started to take over. This record really has that in your face balls out heavy blues-rock that made Aerosmith so influential and famous. You can tell they really had a great producer (Jack Douglas) and that they really had a passion for creating a great album. Joe Perry and Brad Whitford's guitar couldn't have sounded more together, and Joey Kramer and Tom Hamiltion's rythym section couldn't have kept the songs together better. On top of it all Steven Tyler just worked his raspy and bluesy voice like there was no tomorrow. Now for an in depth analyzation of each track. Toys in the Attic: The title track, a great high energy opener complete with fast and speedy guitar lick. The sound kind of revolves around your head. 01. Uncle Salty - a mellow blues track. Very different from Toys in the Attic. I love the way Steven's voice and lyrics mimic the guitar pattern. Pretty raw and basic track. 02. Adam's Apple - kind of a cross breed of Toys in the Attic and Uncle Salty. Its got the hard edged guitar and really tight and thumping bass that became Aerosmith's trademark sound. 03. Walk This Way - probably their most well known song from this time period (next to Dream On). Unfortunatley laid the base for rap and hip hop and was done in a duet with Run DMC in 1986. The way Joey Kramer takes adventage of the open-close hi-hatt really shows as he keeps the whole band together. 04. Big Ten Inch Record - one of my favourite on the album. Really funky and rockin tune complete with sax fills. I'm 99% sure this kind of song came from Steven's influence from playing in his father's jazz band as a young teen. The bassline is one of the best I've heard Tom Hamilton do. 05. Sweet Emotion - the bassline is one of the best I've heard Tom Hamilton do. Complete with signature talkbox opening and a bag of sugar for a shaker. It's great how the mellow and quiet opening morphs into this rough and ready rock tune. 06. No More No More - starts out a bit slow but then becomes a rockin' blues-rock tune. This song has become a live show staple. Other than that there's not much difference from this song compared to the other blues tunes on the record. The vocals on the refrain/chorus bit sound really thin and Joe Perry's voice really wasn't up to par. In my opinion the weakest tune on the record. 07. Round And Round - hard edged rocker! Really brings jump back into the record. The guitar kind of overplays the vocals through and the track sounds a bit uneven. Besides that the songs a great pre-metal tune. 08. You See Me Crying - Aerosmith's signature ballad close. Not a bad song but it doesn't really compare to their other ballads like Dream On or Seasons of Wither, but definatley better than Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. The sounds great, easily one of the best produced for its time, genre and money.
Lyrics — 9
Steven Tyler always had a mind for creating memorable lyrical lines. During the writing of the record he would normally shut himself out from everything in the stairwell of the Record Plant and just let the music flow onto the paper. Many of his original lyrics didn't make the record not because they weren't good, but because he would leave then lying around anywhere he pleased. For Walk This Way he had the lyrics written and then go out of the cab infront of the studio but left the lyrics in the backseat. The minute he walked in and heard Joe playing the lick Steven immediatly ran outside and looked for the cab. When he realized it was gone he ran inside and scrawled lyrics off the top of his head on the wall inside the staircase. Those lyrics are the beloved Walk This Way lyrics we love most. Great lyrics Steven, much better than the ones that would come soon on albums like Draw The Line and Rock and Hard Place.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is my top three Aerosmith albums of all time, next to Rocks and Permanent Vacation. The most impressive songs are by far Toys in the Attic, Sweet Emotion, and Walk This Way. This album really turned me on to the world of Aerosmith. If someone stole it I'd run over to them and quickly steal it back. Aerosmith really could have done more great albums if the drugs and booze hadn't taken over their lives by 1978. Great job boys, hats off for another classic.