Witness the first evolutionary steps of a middle-income man’s Led Zeppelin.
Get Your Wings (1974)
Less stupid, more tuneful.
(“Lord Of The Thighs”, “Seasons Of Wither”)
Toys In The Attic (1975)
I start this review project on this album because I have never actually heard all the songs on their debut, and have only listened to their second album once or twice. In future, albums of different bands may or may not be included in my reviews, depending on how comfortable I am with the material. Otherwise, it could be doing a band a great disservice if they’re better than I thought, or doing the consumer a great disservice if they’re worse. That being said, this is an album that you should buy if you like hard rock. Yes, the obvious songs appear later on compilations(they’ve got a small handful). But I’d rather own the original article, despite my affinity for greatest-hits packages, because it has some truly worthwhile material that might not be up to greatest-hits snuff, but which is very enjoyable to listen to in this context.
(“Sweet Emotion”, “No More No More”, “Round And Round”)
2010: (I looked over the song list, listened to them again, and lo and behold…even better than I thought. I didn’t give Tyler’s lyrics enough credit the first time around. This rocks.) Grade: A-
4/10/16: Retcon info: Ignore the “start this…” section and the over-wordy parts. That should trim it down to about three lines.
Not the masterpiece some people consider it (I count four mediocre-at-best songs out of nine total), this is still a very good album. The reason is that the other five songs are well above mediocre, especially the multi-riff soft-to-hard (nice intro, guys) controlled chaos machine “Nobody’s Fault”. This would have made a great EP, and you can make it one. Just push “stop” (ha ha, inside joke) right after “Nobody’s Fault”.
(“Last Child”, “Nobody’s Fault”)
4/10/16: Three things: Reading these now I get both a pleasant sense of nostalgia towards something well-meant and a cringe towards over-writing and just plain mediocrity. Three, I hesitate to criticize because some of my writing is still just as bad. Well, at least I’m not really trying anymore. You know, I don’t give a fck. IT’S AUTHENTIC. Grade: B+
Greatest Hits (1980)
Now THIS is a Greatest Hits album.
Not a single weak track, and they had plenty more to back it up with too. In fact I think the selection is a little off, with some songs not included that should be here. In fact part two I think the selection is, at fifth glance, a good deal off. This could have been much better than it is. But, that’s saying something, as it’s still D@MN good. They might have even been able to make a double album out of this. Oh wait…they do, eight years later. Anyways, this is a must-own for any hard rock fan that doesn’t mind some melody with the crunch.
(“Dream On”, “Sweet Emotion”, “Come Together”)
Posing on the back cover so confidently, you’d think they actually created something interesting and new(or at least vital) here. What they HAVE done is sat on their rich tushes and sucked every last worthwhile beat and riff from their catalog. I’m sure the Permanent Vacation fans of ’87 will eat this up and then promptly spit it out in horror…God no, a collection of REAL Aerosmith songs, not a song-doctor hack job. What’s next, a live double? The sad decline of a (once) really good band that should’ve fallen on their collective swords years ago.
(“Nobody’s Fault”, “Round and Round”)
2010: (Has aged more like bread than wine) Grade: B-
“…For five songs, everything loud and acrid about them just keeps on
coming–not even tune doctors can stave off the juggernaut. Of course, this band’s idea of a rock dream is also the traditional “Young Lust” and “Love in an Elevator”–OK as far as it goes, but I could do with more “Janie’s Got a Gun,” in which an abused teenager offs her dad…”
– Robert Christgau
I love that guy.
(“Janie’s Got A Gun”)
4/10/16: I cannot echo him, I can only hope to badly emulate him. Grade: B