Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Favorite songs the world: Part III…

You’ve all heard Jackson and I debate the greatest Aerosmith album here on the blogs and I’m never a loss for words when it comes to presenting my case (I vacillate a great deal on which album qualifies between all four of the first records since strong arguments can be made for any of them), but this is actually a post about my favorite songs in the world and one of them anchors my position when I bestow the honor on the bands debut effort.

This first Aerosmith album is such a major staple of my listening life it seems that it plays in my head constantly. It was one of the first albums we were able to listen to while skateboarding and shredding ramps in Newport News, VA back in 1977. The advent of the portable 8-track player made this possible and one of the few 8 track tapes my buddy had was this album. Music was an important element to skateboarding back then and still is. After moving to New York, the album remained part of skate ramp heavy rotation (this time with cassette boomboxes) along with the other pre-plastic, pre-drug free Aerosmith albums. Back then, it was the rocker tunes off this album that got the most play; “Make It”, “Mama Kin”, “Walkin’ The Dog”, “Write Me A Letter”, etc… It wasn’t until I was in college and heavy into blues music study that I stopped lifting the needle when “One Way Street” queued up.

Aerosmith is a great band and they had a great sound, but Steven Tyler’s singing and clever lyrical delivery is what keeps me tuned in. He is simply one serious jive talkin’ mother fucker, and his vocal style is what stands out most to me when evaluating all the things that make the band great. This element is never better applied than on this first album and on “One Way Street” in particular. What I hear now when listening to this album after falling equally in love with the next three (Get Your Wings, Rocks, Toys in the Attic), is the overwhelming hunger for legitimacy and desire for success. Steven sings in “Movin’ Out”…

Good mornin' glory hallelujah to ya
What is the story
And what's been goin' through ya
Livin' like a king off the fat of the land
Workin' like a dog in a rock and roll band...

Working like a dog is exactly what these guys were doing and you can actually HEAR it on this record. Yeah, no doubt the fidelity sucks and the production is weak, but that’s what it’s supposed to sound like. If they ever put the multi-track tape back on the machine in an attempt to clean it up for some bullshit remix I’d fucking kill somebody. It NEEDS to sound like a basement tape because that’s what it IS. Kids today take note: Working like a dog is a rite of passage. If you skip this all to impoartant step, you will fail to ever be legit.

Some might conclude that the solo section in “One Way Street” might be a tad long, but I love it. It sounds like the band just got into that fucking killer groove and didn’t want to stop. And the guitar break with the hand clapping following Steven wailing “…and honey, your head’s a one way street, and I really feel I’ve got to be movin’ on”, HOLY SHIT that stuff cooks! If you’re not bobbing your head at a minimum at this point, I swear you must be dead.

So give it a listen and tell me what you think. I’ve added “Movin’ Out” to the Bandogo player also as a bonus track because, well, it kicks major ass too.


At 6:53 PM, October 18, 2007, Blogger Mother Goldstein said...

Great songs, I personally think the solo is too short.

That post brought back great memories, I was introduced to aerosmith in the summer before by 9th grade year. At that time they released "night in the ruts" (1980) and "Greatest Hits" was soon to follow. My introduction did not come from either of those. The first 4 albums (aerosmith, get your wings, hot rocks, and toys in the attic) were how I got hooked...
now that I think about it, I really didn't like much more after that, with the exception of:
"Ruts" had some pretty cool stuff on it.
"classics live I and II" and "live bootleg" - I'm always a sucker for a live record.

Wait! their MTV unplugged was pretty f'n amazing as well - Tyler playing a harpsichord and screaming like a 17 year old during "dream on" if you haven't seen or heard it, check it out.

Oh yeah, one more - I'm not sure of the year... maybe 2003 they released "honkin on bobo" an in your face blues record that has some of the sweetest guitar solos...

Great post.

At 11:41 PM, October 18, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

Fan-damn-tastic post. I'm not well-versed on Aerosmith, and this makes me want to download the album now.

I know how you feel, though. The passion and love you feel for these is the same I feel for Murmur and the other early R.E.M. albums.

At 2:03 AM, October 25, 2007, Blogger Jackson said...

I will attest to the omnipresence of the first Aerosmith record in Tony's life.

Indeed I heard some of it in the Porsche when he picked me up at Hartsdale Me Airport.

By the time I started skating the ramp down in Lee Area there was a lot of Deep Purple being played, and B.O.C. Mostly your brother provided the soundtrack at that point. I probably annoyed him to death trying get Priest tapes into his boom box.

Tyler is at least 60% of Aerosmith's greatness factor - easy.

Tyler destroys this tune. He is totally immersed in it.

The instrumental interlude is not nearly too long. It stays interesting. Keep it interesting, you never have to stop.

They developed as studio musicians over the years, rather quickly in fact, but they never got tighter. I'm sure most of this record is basically live takes with minimal overdubs.

I do have to say that when it comes time to hit the stage, there a none better. I saw them three times spanning ten years, and they tore the shit up every time, even in 92 when they were at the height of their over produced shitty record phase.

Oh yeah....

Toys is the best.


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