Saturday, 12 February 2011

CD Review: Toys In The Attic, by Aerosmith (1975)

With Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple all hailing from Britain, Aerosmith made their claim for inclusion among America's first wave of serious heavy metal bands with Toys In The Attic, their third studio album. Influenced by the blues but unmistakably leaning towards the harder edges that meld into metal, Toys In The Attic established the boys from Boston in the main pack of metal's early creators, and included their greatest ever hit.

Walk This Way contains a lot of metal's early DNA: a concentrated dose of energy, cow bells, a terrific guitar riff, guitar solos, and vocals alternating between manic and fun-loving. It's also an early example of how danceable metal could be, the song's beat requiring a lot more physical activity than just walking.

In support, Toys In The Attic offers several strong tracks that helped to establish the band's legacy. Sweet Emotion is a deceptively powerful track, the stretched vocals and generally languid pace hiding a surprisingly heavy guitar and drum foundation. The title track opens the album with a hyperactive pace full of intent, while the CD closes out with two more solid tracks: Round And Round is the most dense and distant song on the album, and also one of the heaviest. The ballad You See Me Crying is an appropriate closer, and reveals a slower, soulful side to the band, with elaborate orchestral arrangement.

The only clear mis-step on the album is Uncle Salty, an aggravating track that starts poorly and never recovers. The famous Big Ten Inch Record isn't a great song, but it is great innuendo.

Toys In The Attic has proved to be a durable record, and a cornerstone of metal's early years in America. Rather than being forgotten, the toys in the attic have provided years of playtime fun.


Steven Tyler - Vocals
Joe Perry - Guitars
Brad Whitford - Guitars
Tom Hamilton - Bass
Joey Kramer - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Toys In The Attic - 8
2. Uncle Salty - 6
3. Adam's Apple - 7
4. Walk This Way - 10
5. Big Ten Inch Record - 7
6. Sweet Emotion - 8
7. No More No More - 7
8. Round And Round - 8
9. You See Me Crying - 8

Average: 7.67

Produced by Jack Douglas.  Engineered by Jay Messina.
Mastered by Doug Sax.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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