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Aerosmith

Aerosmith

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In retrospect, it's a bit shocking how fully formed the signature Aerosmith sound was on their self-titled 1973 debut -- which may not be the same thing as best-executed, because this album still sounds like a first album, complete with the typical stumbles and haziness that comes with a debut. Despite all this, Aerosmith clearly showcases all the attributes of the band that would become the defining American hard rock band of the '70s. Here, the Stones influences are readily apparent, from the Jagger-esque phrasing of Steven Tyler to the group's high-octane boogie, but the group displays little of the Stones' deep love of blues here. Instead, Aerosmith is bloozy -- their riffs don't swing, they slide. They borrow liberally from Led Zeppelin's hybridization of Chess and Sun riffs without ever sounding much like Zep. They are never as British as Zeppelin -- they lack the delicate folky preciousness, they lack the obsession with blues authenticity, they lack the larger-than-life persona of so many Brit bands. They are truly an American band, sounding as though they were the best bar band in your local town, cranking out nasty hard-edged rock, best heard on "Mama Kin," the best rocker here, one that's so greasy it nearly slips through their fingers. But the early masterpiece is, of course, "Dream On," the first full-fledged power ballad. There was nothing quite like it in 1973, and it remains the blueprint for all power ballads since. The rest of the record contains the seeds of Aerosmith's sleazoid blues-rock, but they wouldn't quite perfect that sound until the next time around.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Aerosmith

Aerosmith

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1
Make It (Album Version)
00:03:40

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Composer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Lyricist - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Somebody (Alternate Version)
00:03:45

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Composer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Lyricist - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - S. EMSPACK, Composer - S. EMSPACK, Lyricist - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Dream On (Album Version)
00:04:27

Adrian Barber, Producer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Aerosmith, Performer - S. Tyler, Composer - S. Tyler, Lyricist - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Joey Kramer, Drums - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Harmonica

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
One Way Street (Album Version)
00:07:02

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Composer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Lyricist - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Mama Kin (Album Version)
00:04:29

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - David Woodford, Saxophone - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Composer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Lyricist - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Write Me a Letter (Album Version)
00:04:12

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - David Woodford, Saxophone - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Composer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Lyricist - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Movin' Out (Album Version)
00:05:02

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Composer - Joe Perry, Guitar - Joe Perry, Lyricist - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Composer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Lyricist - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Walkin' The Dog (Album Version)
00:03:13

Ray Colcord, Recording Engineer - Ray Colcord, Re-Mixer - Aerosmith, Performer - Joe Perry, Background Vocal - Joe Perry, Guitar - Adrian Barber, Producer - Adrian Barber, Engineer - Caryl Wienstock, Engineer - Steven Tyler, Vocal - Steven Tyler, Harmonica - Tom Hamilton, Bass - Buddy Vega, Assistant Producer - Bob Stoughton, 2nd Engineer - R. THOMAS, Composer - R. THOMAS, Lyricist - Joey Kramer, Drums - Vic Anesini, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

In retrospect, it's a bit shocking how fully formed the signature Aerosmith sound was on their self-titled 1973 debut -- which may not be the same thing as best-executed, because this album still sounds like a first album, complete with the typical stumbles and haziness that comes with a debut. Despite all this, Aerosmith clearly showcases all the attributes of the band that would become the defining American hard rock band of the '70s. Here, the Stones influences are readily apparent, from the Jagger-esque phrasing of Steven Tyler to the group's high-octane boogie, but the group displays little of the Stones' deep love of blues here. Instead, Aerosmith is bloozy -- their riffs don't swing, they slide. They borrow liberally from Led Zeppelin's hybridization of Chess and Sun riffs without ever sounding much like Zep. They are never as British as Zeppelin -- they lack the delicate folky preciousness, they lack the obsession with blues authenticity, they lack the larger-than-life persona of so many Brit bands. They are truly an American band, sounding as though they were the best bar band in your local town, cranking out nasty hard-edged rock, best heard on "Mama Kin," the best rocker here, one that's so greasy it nearly slips through their fingers. But the early masterpiece is, of course, "Dream On," the first full-fledged power ballad. There was nothing quite like it in 1973, and it remains the blueprint for all power ballads since. The rest of the record contains the seeds of Aerosmith's sleazoid blues-rock, but they wouldn't quite perfect that sound until the next time around.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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