Embarrassing moments in a music critics life could be the name of a blog where this review would be one of the most prominent. The album was later ranked #229 on Rolling Stone`s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. “Walk This Way” and the album’s title track are part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame`s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.
The album is also their most commercially successful studio LP in the US, with eight million copies sold.
Someone liked this album, but certainly not Mr. Bell.
Have a fun read!
Aerosmith: “Toys In The Attic” (CBS)
By Max Bell
“Toys In The Attic,” is Aerosmith`s third record. No one here knows that much about Aerosmith, except that they`re a straight-ahead Eastern seaboard band with roots in New Hampshire, Boston and Manhattan who concentrate on emulating the R&B raunch of the 60`s allied to the supposed improvements of today. That`s what it says here, anyway.
Their strength (derivative simplicity) may well turn out to be their downfall as far as sustained success goes because, though “Toys” is rifling high in the U.S. charts, we`ve already heard this brand of hard rock more than enough – to wit the recent inroads made by the likes of Queen and Golden Earring.
The title track bursts right in as if it had been playing for several minutes. A clever touch with plenty of The Who in there.
Lead singer Steve Tyler looks remarkably similar to the dreadful Freddy Mercury, but he sings O.K. so we`ll let him off. Anyway, Aerosmith keep the influences nice and obvious at first until you realise that what you`re experiencing is actually incestous deja vu.
“Uncle Salty” has failsafe boogie riffs, clean dancing beat and a dual guitar – cracked chandelier tension provided by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. It palls after a time…like most of the songs. Jack Douglas has produced a thick, strong mix around sophisticated material but, as a whole, the experience is immediately expendable. There`s not enough deviation from a predictable norm.
So: “Walk This Way” and “Adam`s Apple” are interchangeable. Pleasant slide creations and uncomfortably fast sound level – odd bursts of high octane in all the right places. Text-book rock and wasted energy.
Where they chance their arm – like on the rude blues “Big Ten Inch Record” with its refined swooping horns and torch piano melody – they show all the distinctive markings of fair live potential, but one that still leaves nothing fancy to the imagination.
“Sweet Emotion” has guess-the-riff chord sequences and an annoying triangle intruding in the background which only succeeded in making me check if the telephone was ringing. Things take off at last on “No More, No More” (that`s asking for it) where the opening is neatly stolen from “Rip This Joint” but trails off into a sonic burst seizure of its own that comes over into “Round And Round” (not Chuck`s version).
Tyler`s voice here has the temporary quality of a brain-vein-snapping madman. The kind of vocalist who drives the old folks nuts.
They finally blow the whole thing on the horribly gimmicky “You See Me Crying” where someone had the bright idea to slow up the tapes so one imagines one`s stereo is on the blink. The delayed-action orchestration is a dismal failure too – and anyway the original (Spirit`s “Soldier”) was better.
Maybe as a first album this would be a commendable offering but, as it`s their third, Aerosmith haven`t got a lot to shout about.
Their claims that “our music is rough and raunchy R&B with a lot of refinement”, and claims made for them that “they capture the tradition of the Stones” aren`t borne out here.
The Stones were originals of a sort. By the time you get to third-generation bands it`s reasonable to hope for slightly more than the basics – even if they are well done.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Jimmy Webb, Paul McCartney, Billy Cobham, Bob Marley, Camel, Decameron.
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