Aerosmith: Get Your Wings

I always assumed Get Your Wings was released after Aerosmith's first creative peak, so I wasn't expecting very much. Even with low expectations, though, by the second track I was disgusted by what I perceived as a blatant attempt -- and failure -- to recapture the excitement of hits like "Walk This Way." Imagine my surprise when I looked at the copyright date and read "1974." Holy smokes, these aren't some washed up geezers fading from glory, this is a young band who's on the verge of making their mark on the rock world!

Unfortunately, the album is still dull. "Lord of the Thighs" is a high point, but the only track that captures any real excitement is "Train Kept a Rollin'." For the most part, Steven Tyler sounds like a Mick Jagger wannabe who's fronting an uninspired bar band. Joe Perry has a few strong moments, but the cliched blues-rock solos from the Brecker brothers best represent the album's sound. "Seasons of Wither" fails to channel the passion of the previous album's "Dream On." The rest of the songs are utterly forgettable.

Unless you're a huge Aerosmith fan, this isn't something you need to check out. However, this album provides hints of what Aerosmith would become, and that's really cool to hear three decades later.

Music: 2.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
The band wasn't known for being innovative, and this album shows them at their most generic. However, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler both occasionally shine. Given their partnerships with professional songwriters later in their career, it's not surprising that the best song on the album is the one they didn't write. Lyrically, they should be forever embarassed about the stupidity of lines like "To get it on I got to watch what I say / Or I'll catch hell from the women's liberation."

Packaging: 2.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
Everything's pretty generic, except for liner notes that tap into the mystique that surrounded rock bands in the early '70s. (Watch Almost Famous if you don't know what I'm talking about.) The record reviews and letters are really enjoyable.

Listen if you like: The first Aerosmith album, early '70s Alice Cooper, the Stones, early J. Geils Band, straightforward '70s classic rock.

If it were food, it'd be: Undercooked potatoes. A staple food that's not very good yet, but they're on the verge of being delicious.


bob_vinyl said...

I really think that Aerosmith's biggest contribution is their ability to swing (at least for a rock band). That isn't so evident on Get Your Wings. It's not bad, but perhaps a bit of a sophomore slump.

Metal Mark said...

I like Get your wings quite a bit, probably better than the debut and maybe as much as "Draw the line". It's a more subtle album then the next two, but I think that works. I actually thought the debut was a clunky and here they were getting tighter and sorting things out a bit. I still listen to this one fairly often.