Aerosmith (album)

Last updated

Aerosmith
Aerosmith - Aerosmith.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1973 (1973-01-05)
RecordedOctober 1972
StudioIntermedia Studios, Boston, Massachusetts
Genre
Length35:48
Label Columbia
Producer Adrian Barber
Aerosmith chronology
Aerosmith
(1973)
Get Your Wings
(1974)
Singles from Aerosmith
  1. "Mama Kin"
    Released: January 13, 1973
  2. "Dream On"
    Released: June 27, 1973 [1]
  3. "Make It (Promo)"
    Released: 1973
Alternative Cover
AerosmithAlternative.jpg
Second Pressing
Audio sample
Sample of "Dream On"

Aerosmith is the eponymous debut studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released on January 5, 1973 by Columbia Records. [2] The song "Walkin' the Dog" is a cover of a song originally performed by Rufus Thomas. The single "Dream On" became an American top ten single when re-released in 1976; it had first been released as a single in 1973. The album peaked at number 21 on the US Billboard 200 Chart in 1976. [3]

Aerosmith American rock band

Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and hyped as "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop rock, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with vocalist Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston.

Columbia Records American record label; currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment

Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.

Walking the Dog 1963 single by Rufus Thomas

"Walking the Dog" is a Rufus Thomas song. It was released on his 1963 album Walking the Dog. It was his signature hit and also his biggest, reaching number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1963 and remaining on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks. The lyrics make references to children's nursery rhymes, especially Miss Mary Mack.

Contents

On the original cover, the song "Walkin' the Dog" was misprinted as "Walkin' the Dig". When a second pressing of the album was released in 1976, this error was corrected and the cover replaced with a modified one made up entirely of the photo of the band members. This second pressing is the more commonly available version of the LP. When reissued on CD in 1993 as a remastered version, the original first pressing artwork was used.

Background

After entering a partnership with Frank Connelly, David Krebs and Steve Leber invited members of two record labelsAtlantic Records and Columbia Records – to view an Aerosmith concert at Max's Kansas City. Clive Davis, the president of Columbia, was impressed with the band and Aerosmith signed with Columbia in the summer of 1972. Although lead singer Steven Tyler had been in several previous groups, most of the band members had never been in a studio before. The band was heavily influenced by many of the British blues/rock bands of the 1960s, including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Yardbirds, and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos; also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists ; and maintains contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information.

Atlantic Records American record label

Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding. Its position was greatly improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, and expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes.

Max's Kansas City was a nightclub and restaurant at 213 Park Avenue South in New York City, which became a gathering spot for musicians, poets, artists and politicians in the 1960s and 1970s. It was opened by Mickey Ruskin (1933–1983) in December 1965, and closed in 1981.

Composition

The album opens with "Make It" and the appropriate opening line, "Good evening, people, welcome to the show, got something here I want you all to know." The song, composed by Tyler, who had struggled in a slew of local bands before Aerosmith, encourages listeners to succeed in achieving their dreams and not letting anything stop them, much like Aerosmith in their early club days performing up to three shows a day trying to get a record deal. "Somebody" is driven by a basic blues guitar riff and Tyler's lyrics tell the story of a character trying to search for the woman of his dreams. Written by Tyler and his friend Steven Emspak, "Somebody" was released in June 1973 as the B-side to the "Dream On" single. "Dream On" was also written by Tyler and became Aerosmith's first major hit and classic rock radio staple. The single peaked at number 59 nationally but hit big in the band's native Boston, [4] where it was the number 1 single of the year on the less commercial top 40 station, WVBZ-FM, [5] number 5 for the year on highly rated Top 40 WRKO-AM, [6] and number 16 on heritage Top 40 WMEX-AM. [5] The album version of "Dream On" (4:28, as opposed to the 3:25 1973 45rpm edit) was re-issued early in 1976, debuting at number 81 on January 10, breaking into the Top 40 on February 14 and peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 national chart on April 10. [7] Columbia chose to service Top 40 radio stations with a re-issue of the 3:25 edited version, thus, many 1976 Pop Radio listeners were exposed to the group's first Top 10 effort through the 45 edit. The song is famous for its building climax to showcase Tyler's trademark screams, and is notable for being the only track on the album that displays Tyler's real singing voice. It was written on piano but the recording contains a two-guitar arrangement, with guitarist Brad Whitford explaining to Guitar World's Alan Di Perna in 1997, "The idea was just to transcribe what Steven was doing with his left and right hands on the piano." The song is composed in the key of F minor. [6] [8]

Classic rock is a radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format features music ranging generally from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, primarily focusing on commercially successful hard rock popularized in the 1970s. The radio format became increasingly popular with the baby boomer demographic by the end of the 1990s.

WVBF is a radio station broadcasting a news/talk format. Licensed to Middleborough Center, Massachusetts, United States, the station serves the Middleborough/Taunton area. The station is currently owned by Steven J. Callahan. WVBF carries the Massachusetts Reading Network when not airing local programming. IRN/USA Radio News plays at the top of the hour during locally produced programs.

WRKO news/talk radio station in Boston

WRKO is a commercial AM radio station in Boston, Massachusetts. It is owned by iHeartMedia and airs a talk radio format. Its transmitter is in Burlington, Massachusetts, next to the Burlington Mall, and the station's studios are on Cabot Road in Medford.

In the authorized Stephen Davis band memoir Walk This Way, Tyler speaks at length about the origins of the songs: [9]

Stephen Davis is an American music journalist and historian.

"Make It" is the first song on Aerosmith's self-titled debut album, Aerosmith. It was released as a promo single for the album, but got little to no airplay. The song begins with the protagonist welcoming people to a show and tells them he has something they should know, the info in question is to make it and not break it, which means to succeed in achieving your dreams and not letting anything stop you.

New Hampshire State of the United States of America

New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by area and the 10th least populous of the 50 states. Concord is the state capital, while Manchester is the largest city in the state. It has no general sales tax, nor is personal income taxed at either the state or local level. The New Hampshire primary is the first primary in the U.S. presidential election cycle. Its license plates carry the state motto, "Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its extensive granite formations and quarries.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.

Recording

The group recorded their debut album at Intermedia Studios in 331 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts with record producer Adrian Barber. [2] For the most part, the production is sparse and dry – two guitars, bass, drums, a singer, and occasionally piano – but the most remarkable feature of the album is how different Tyler sounds compared to the albums that followed. In his autobiography Tyler recalls, "The band was very uptight. We were so nervous that when the red recording light came on we froze. We were scared shitless. I changed my voice into the Muppet, Kermit the Frog, to sound more like a blues singer." [10] In 1997 the singer told Stephen Davis, "Yes, I changed my voice when we did the final vocals. I didn't like my voice, the way it sounded. I was insecure, but nobody told me not to." [11] Tyler added that producer Adrian Barber was "good for his time" but it was like "being with a retarded child in there, and I'm not sure if it was because he was so high, or because we all were." [12] In his autobiography Rocks, Joe Perry is more critical of Barber:

Record producer individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Adrian Barber is a musician / producer who is most noted for recording the Beatles Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 and producing the Allman Brothers Band's self-titled debut album along with the Velvet Underground's album Loaded.

Kermit the Frog Muppet character

Kermit the Frog is a Muppet character, an anthropomorphic frog and Jim Henson's most well-known creation. Introduced in 1955, Kermit serves as the straight man protagonist of numerous Muppet productions, most notably Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, as well as in other television series, films, specials, and public service announcements through the years. Henson originally performed Kermit until his death in 1990; Steve Whitmire performed Kermit from that time up until his dismissal from the role in 2016. Kermit is currently performed by Matt Vogel. He was also voiced by Frank Welker in Muppet Babies and occasionally in other animation projects, and is voiced by Matt Danner in the 2018 reboot of Muppet Babies.

Our producer was practically useless. He had little input. When I heard the playback, I kept thinking, 'We're better than this. We should sound better than this. We're being recorded wrong. We sound fuckin' flat.' But because I lacked the studio chops to prescribe a remedy, I kept quiet. It pained me, though, that my guitar was not cutting through... There's magic on it, but just not the magic that I had envisioned. [13]

Bassist Tom Hamilton later confessed, "The album was done so fast I barely remember anything but overdubbing some tracks and running to the bathroom for a hit of blow..." [11] Perry reflected, "We were uptight, afraid to make mistakes... We were total novices with no idea what to go for." [12] However, despite the band's nervousness and Tyler's atypical singing approach, Aerosmith lucidly shows that all the elements that would make them one of the biggest American rock bands of the 1970s were already in place.[ according to whom? ] The collection also includes a cover of the Rufus Thomas hit "Walking the Dog," also covered by the Rolling Stones on their first LP.

Recalling the album art, Perry commented in 2014, "Unfortunately the packaging was lame. We didn't even see the cover until the first printing. It was something that Columbia just threw together... The whole thing was sloppy. It marked the start of our education in dealing with labels." [14]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [15]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10 [16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [17]
The Daily VaultA- [18]

The album was not a success when it was released in January 1973. [2] To the band's disappointment, it was not reviewed in Rolling Stone magazine. Moreover, Columbia released Aerosmith at the same time as Bruce Springsteen's debut album, for which they made a greater promotional effort. [19] Critics compared the band unfavorably to The Rolling Stones [20] and the New York Dolls. [21]

In a modern review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine described Aerosmith as "truly an American band, sounding as though they were the best bar band in your local town, cranking out nasty hard-edged rock"; he considered "Dream On" "the blueprint for all power ballads" and the album a worthy debut where the band's "sleazoid blues-rock" sound is fully present but not yet perfected as in the next album. [15] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff described the album as "raw, dirty and steeped with squalid integrity", but observed that "every successive release sounds light years ahead in terms of production, songcraft, maturity, everything..." [16]

In an interview to Classic Rock magazine, Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin recalled: "Growing up in Indiana, I loved fucking Aerosmith, man… Smoke a joint, listen to the first record." [22] Aerosmith was considered a massive influence on Guns N' Roses and helped shape their sound. [23]

Track listing

All tracks written by Steven Tyler, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Make It"3:41
2."Somebody" (Tyler, Steven Emspack)3:45
3."Dream On"4:28
4."One Way Street"7:00
Side two
No.TitleLength
1."Mama Kin"4:25
2."Write Me a Letter"4:11
3."Movin' Out" (Tyler, Joe Perry)5:03
4."Walkin' the Dog" (Rufus Thomas)3:12

Personnel

Aerosmith
Additional musicians
Production

Charts

Certifications

CountryOrganizationYearSales
US RIAA 19862x Platinum (+ 2,000,000) [27]
Canada CRIA 1979Platinum (+ 100,000) [28]

Related Research Articles

<i>Rocks</i> (Aerosmith album) album

Rocks is the fourth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released May 3, 1976. AllMusic described Rocks as having "captured Aerosmith at their most raw and rocking." Rocks was ranked No. 176 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It has greatly influenced many hard rock and heavy metal artists, including Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and Nirvana. The album was a commercial success, charting three singles on the Billboard Hot 100, two of which reached the Top 40. The album was one of the first to ship platinum when it was released, and has since gone quadruple platinum.

<i>Toys in the Attic</i> (album) album

Toys in the Attic is the third studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released April 8, 1975 by Columbia Records. Its first single release, "Sweet Emotion," was released a month later on May 19 and "Walk This Way" was released on August 28 in the same year. The album is the band's most commercially successful studio LP in the United States, with eight million copies sold, according to the RIAA.

<i>Draw the Line</i> (Aerosmith album) Aerosmith album

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<i>Night in the Ruts</i> album by Aerosmith

Night in the Ruts is the sixth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released on November 1, 1979, by Columbia Records. Guitarist Joe Perry left the band midway through its recording. The album was initially produced at the band's Warehouse rehearsal space by Jack Douglas, who had produced Aerosmith's previous four albums, but later Columbia Records brought in Gary Lyons to replace Douglas as the producer.

Steven Tyler American singer, songwriter, keyboardist

Steven Tyler is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and former television music competition judge. He is best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, piano, and percussion. He is known as the "Demon of Screamin'" due to his high screams and his wide vocal range. He is also known for his on-stage acrobatics. During his high-energy performances, Tyler usually dresses in bright, colorful outfits with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand.

Joe Perry (musician) American musician

Anthony Joseph Perry is the lead guitarist, backing and occasional lead vocalist, and contributing songwriter for the American rock band Aerosmith.

<i>Honkin on Bobo</i> album

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<i>O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits</i> compilation album by Aerosmith

O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits is a greatest hits album by American hard rock band Aerosmith, released in 2002 by Columbia Records and Geffen Records. A double-disc album, it includes 28 of the band's biggest hits in chronological order and spans the band's entire career up to 2002. Also included are two new songs, "Girls of Summer" and "Lay it Down", which the band recorded in Hawaii.

<i>Get Your Wings</i> album

Get Your Wings is the second studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released March 1, 1974. The album is the first to feature production from Jack Douglas, who produced the band's next four albums. Three singles were released from the album, but none of them made the pop charts.

<i>Rock in a Hard Place</i> album by Aerosmith

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<i>Pump</i> (album) 1989 album by Aerosmith

Pump is the tenth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released on September 12, 1989. The album was remastered and reissued in 2001.

<i>Nine Lives</i> (Aerosmith album) studio album by American rock band Aerosmith

Nine Lives is the twelfth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released March 18, 1997. The album was produced by Aerosmith and Kevin Shirley, and was the band's first studio album released by Columbia Records since 1982's Rock in a Hard Place. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. One of the album's singles, "Pink", won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Sweet Emotion 1975 single by Aerosmith

"Sweet Emotion" is a song by the American rock band Aerosmith, released by Columbia Records in April 1975 on the album Toys in the Attic and was released as a single a month later on May 19. The song began a string of pop hits and large-scale mainstream success for the band that would continue for the remainder of the 1970s. The song was written by lead singer Steven Tyler and bassist Tom Hamilton, produced by Jack Douglas and recorded at the Record Plant.

Dream On (Aerosmith song) 1973 single by Aerosmith

"Dream On" is a power ballad by Aerosmith from their 1973 debut album, Aerosmith. Written by lead singer Steven Tyler, this song was their first major hit and became a classic rock radio staple. Released in June 1973, it peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 but hit big in the band's native Boston, where it was the number one single of the year on WBZ-FM, number five for the year on WRKO and number 16 on WMEX (AM). The song received immediate heavy airplay too on the former WVBF (FM), often showing up in the #1 position on "The Top Five At Five" in June 1973.

Love in an Elevator single

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Livin on the Edge Aerosmith song

"Livin' on the Edge" is a song by American hard rock band Aerosmith. The song was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Mark Hudson. It was released in 1993 as the first single from the band's commercially successful album Get a Grip. The single reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, number three on the Cash Box Top 100, and number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart, where it remained for nine weeks, making it Aerosmith's most successful single on that chart. In the UK, the song peaked at number 19 on the British pop chart in April 1993.

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Paul Santo

Paul Santo is an American musician, songwriter, composer, audio engineer, record producer, and music career coach. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist virtuoso, acclaimed sound recording and reproduction engineer, and prominent music industry insider. Best known as a Grammy Award winning audio engineer with an illustrious music career authenticated by a list of accolades and achievements, panoptic of a full range of musical styles and genres, from rock and rhythm and blues to hip hop and country. His reputation and influence in the music industry spans several decades, from the earliest days, when he had a recording studio just a few miles south of Boston in Weymouth, Massachusetts, to years later, where he found himself in studios all over the world, from Los Angeles to London, recording sound with artists like Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Ringo Starr, Kid Rock, and Aerosmith.

References

  1. Aerosmith's Greatest Hits (CD booklet). Aerosmith. New York City, New York: Columbia Records. 1993. CK 57367.
  2. 1 2 3 Wild, David (1991). Pandora's Box (CD booklet). Aerosmith. New York City, New York: Columbia Records. pp. 17, 18. C3K 86567.
  3. 1 2 "Aerosmith Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard.com. Billboard . Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  4. "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Aerosmith, 'Dream On'". Rolling Stone . April 7, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  5. 1 2 Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 195.
  6. 1 2 3 "Dream On by Aerosmith". Songfacts.com. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  7. 1 2 "Aerosmith Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard.com. Billboard . Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  8. Di Perna, Alan (March 1997). "Aerosmith". Guitar World . Vol. 17 no. 3.
  9. Davis & Aerosmith 1997, pp. 171-173.
  10. Tyler & Dalton 2011, p. 93.
  11. 1 2 Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 175.
  12. 1 2 Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 174.
  13. Perry & Ritz 2014, pp. 117-118.
  14. Perry & Ritz 2014, p. 118.
  15. 1 2 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Aerosmith - Aerosmith review". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  16. 1 2 Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 17. ISBN   978-1894959025.
  17. "Aerosmith Album Guide". Rolling Stone . 2004. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  18. Thelen, Christopher (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Aerosmith". dailyvault.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  19. Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 181.
  20. Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 192.
  21. Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 204.
  22. Wall, Mick (June 2001). "In too deep". Classic Rock . No. 28. p. 39.
  23. Stenning, Paul (2005). Guns N' Roses: The Band That Time Forgot: The Complete Unauthorised Biography. Chrome Dreams. p. 95. ISBN   978-1-84240-314-3. "Our basic root is hard rock, a bit heavier than the Stones, more in a vein like Aerosmith
  24. "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 25, No. 15, July 10, 1976". Library and Archives Canada. July 10, 1976. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  25. "Top Singles – Volume 20, No. 17, December 08, 1973". Library and Archives Canada. December 8, 1973. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  26. "Top Singles – Volume 25, No. 5, May 01, 1976". Library and Archives Canada. May 1, 1976. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
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Bibliography