This is it – ESSENTIAL AEROSMITH #2, right behind ROCKS. Anybody that believes Aerosmith has always been a second rate band needs to look at the artwork inside, and listen to the music on, this CD. WALK THIS WAY was way ahead of it’s time. SWEET EMOTION is awesome. YOU SEE ME CRYING is one of the most beautiful rock songs I’ve ever heard. All of the tracks on this album are KILLER, and that’s quite an accomplishment considering these guys put this album together in a barn just outside of Boston. As I said about ROCKS, you can’t be an Aerosmith fan if you don’t own this CD. Nothing more to say.
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“Toys in the Attic” and “Rocks” are both 4 star albums. They are pure rock n roll at its greatest and raw form, with a classic feel. For simplicity, I have combined both reviews in this one review.
There is not a bad song on either disc, although I would not call these albums masterpieces in the true sense of the word, hence four stars. I would argue it is the only albums of theirs that you need. Frankly, I would give all their other albums two stars, although I realize that might make a lot of people gasp. In my book, nothing else Aerosmith has done compares. Other earlier works are not as solid and later works sound like an entirely different band. Even the greatest hits albums fall short, to me.
You want the greatest hits? It is a double disc set, sold in seperate parts – Part 1: “Toys in the Attic” Part 2: “Rocks”.
This is not my favorite album from Aerosmith (Rocks is) but it is their best if for no other reason that it gave us the classic Walk This Way a song which made them Superstars (Twice no less!). WTW’s guitar riff is as recognizable as that of Cat Scratch Fever and Smoke On The Water, it is clearly a signature tune. I caught Aerosmith on the Just Push Play Tour this summer and the band played 5 songs from Toy’s (Walk This Way, Uncle Salty, 10 Inch Record, Sweet Emotion and Toy’s In The Attic) a good indication that after almost 30 years the band is still rightfully proud of this record that pushed them over the top. This album contains the song You See Me Crying which was a prelude to the power ballads they perfected in the 80’s and 90’s. Not as hard as Rocks but a cranker for sure, there is nothing like blasting WTW while driving on a sunday afternoon in my vintage American muscle car (79 Trans Am SE). If the Dallas Cowboy can call themselves America’s Team then Aerosmit!h should be called America’s band (even if KISS fans can make a good argument out of it). Aerosmith is to rock and roll what Ferrari is to sports cars. This album contains no duds and should be in every fan’s collection.
I was recently saying to my wife, while watching clips of some recent Aerosmith live shows that, in spite of the direction they’ve gone in from the late 80s to the present, I’d like to go see them again. (I also asked her if she thought it would be possible to go for around $20. I must have paid somewhere between 10 and 20 bucks when I saw them during their glory days in the late 70s at Madison Square Garden, back when they were playing music like this. My wife was pretty sure that a ticket now costs quite a bit more.)
I got into these guys during my 1st two years in high school (1975-77), and I have loved high energy, heavy guitar driven, blues based rock bands ever since. And really, what can I say about this era of the Aerosmith story, and this particular recording, other than that it sounds now as good as it did way back then. And while Walk This Way, Toys in the Attic, & Sweet Emotion are the big hits from this (and have been covered by everyone from REM, Tommy Shaw, Tracii Guns, and Run DMC to the much more obscure Wolfie, and the Butchers, among others) and are excellent, they should not obscure the power of such less acknowledged rockers as Uncle Salty (featuring some tasteful guitar playing courtesy of Joe Perry and the underrated Brad Whitford) and Adam’s Apple, in which Steven Tyler shows what a 70s rock god he was. Other songs here are fine. For example, No More No More has that kind of Rolling Stones boogie sound that Aerosmith do very well. Round and Round is very heavy, and kind of anticipates ths early 90s grunge era (a link one can hear through later bands like Die Kreuzen, Mother Love Bone, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, etc). You See Me Crying is what a power ballad should be. And their delivery of the cover song here, Big Ten Inch Record, is still funny, albeit it an adolescent sort of way.Kudos also to the solid, non flashy rhythm section of Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton for their playing throughout.
It’s no wonder that Aerosmith were so beloved, by Wayne and Garth, by the characters in the film Dazed and Confused, and by the kids in my high school and neigborhood, not to mention by me. Listening to this 70s hard rock classic brings out my inner 15 year old.
Diverse, Fun, Edge filled and sharp yet smooth, “Toys” was a superb rock record of it’s day and still I feel, is one of the best overall albums that the band ever released.
With a band that has now spanned 3 decades and split the end and beginning of two centuries, Their younger fans may not even be aware of their early recordings, nor care. Before playing at superbowls and being on the radio 24/7/365, Aerosmith was a raw, powerful rock band whose infectious music grabbed the torch from earlier rock bands of it’s generation, put it out, then relit it with an all out inferno. It was not about the hair, the boots, or the cosmetics…what made this band was strong songwriting, excellent guitar structured songs, and heavy drums. Aerosmith’s lineup is strong, and that made their music even stronger.
THE ALBUM: Toys has the snarling pompous rockers “Walk this Way” and “Toys in the attic”. Now add the late teen/early 20’s anthem of “Sweet Emotion” with the lyrics that grab you by the shirt collar to say “You talk about things that nobody cares/ You’re wearing out things that nobody wears/You calling my name but I gotta make clear…I can’t say baby where I’ll be in a year”. The guitars of Joe Perry have their own world opened up to us with the highs and lows of “No more no more” and “Big Ten Inch Record”. Rounding out the nine song album is the powerful and sad sounding ballad “you see my crying” that features some great piano playing. If you haven’t listened to older Aerosmith, this is as good an album as any to start with!