Updated: Feb 3
By Jay Broderick - On January 5, 1973, a rock and roll band out of Boston, MA released their first of what would eventually become 15 studio albums. Incredibly, that's 50 years ago. It's impossible for me to believe it as I type this blog. While I was certainly around at that time, I was simply too young to ever "remember" this. In fact, it wouldn't be until 11 or 12 years later that I would actually come to know this band, but the timeline astonishes me.
The band was none other than Aerosmith. The album? Their self titled debut, Aerosmith. Upon its original release, the album actually wasn't received to very high praise, but the band would go on to be the largest selling American rock band of all time. Their hit songs and awards are endless, and as we revisit the debut album, it's a pretty damned solid record.
The lead-off track on this album is the aptly titled "Make It". This song is a clear telling of the sacrifices that a band must make in order to have success in the cutthroat music industry. As if foreshadowing, or perhaps even a pact that the band vows to make, the track kicked off the bands first record, and their career.
"Somebody" is the second song on this album which is followed by the band's first single "Dream On". "Dream On" is one of the band's most popular, and certainly one of their most recognizable songs. Despite Steven Tyler's young age when writing this song, he was clearly well versed in the fact that life is short. Time goes by way too fast, and we all know that as we age, it speeds up, faster and faster. But of course, it's never too late to dream. Keep dreaming until those dreams come true!
"One Way Street" closes off Side 1 of this LP. Flip that baby over (because of course you are listening to this on vinyl), and you'll get a taste of "Mama Kin", which is a song that was first introduced to me by LA rockers Guns 'n Roses from their 2nd studio album G N' R Lies which was released in 1988... 15 years after Aerosmith first recorded it. I love the G n' R recording, but hearing the original version is money! "Mama Kin" is about living the life that you want to live, rather than what somebody else has pre-planned for you... even if it's your folks. To tie in with the theme of "Dream On", life is short. It's crucial to enjoy every second, and not get bogged down with the mundane day-to-day, in a 9 to 5 that you hate. Life lessons that many of us learn far too late. Scratch that.... it's never too late!
The album closes off with the last 3 tracks "Write Me a Letter", "Movin' Out" and "Walkin' the Dog" which continue the band's theme about sex, drugs and rock and roll! Ultimately, no really new messages here, but this was 50 years ago... and after all, it IS rock and roll!
This album kicked off an impossible career for these rockers from Boston. Listening back on this, 50 years later, the album has that classic Aerosmith feel of hard rock with it's bluesy undertones, but it is in no way dated like some other classic rock albums of its time. I do think that a part of it that holds dear to me is the fact that the album was never overplayed. Perhaps this is a reason many of these songs still sound fresh to me. Even despite the horrible album cover!
Steven Tyler – lead vocals
Joe Perry – guitars, vocals
Brad Whitford – guitars
Tom Hamilton – bass guitar
Joey Kramer – drums
Take a step back to 50 years ago by giving this a spin, and leave me your thoughts below. While here, why not subscribe to our mailing list to ensure you don't miss a beat!