The Aerosmith album Steven Tyler felt was immortal

Steven Tyler

All a musician can ask for is to create something that will last beyond their lifetime. Even if time and trends change, these records are typically the standouts that will become eternal later on. They never fade and continue to impact future generations of musicians. Although Aerosmith can claim a handful of bulletproof tracks in their history, Steven Tyler claims that one of their 1970s albums will be remembered long after he is gone.

When working on the band’s first few albums, Aerosmith seemed destined to be a footnote in rock history. As much as the group could play lowdown and gritty blues rock on their first few albums, most of their promotion was pushed to the sidelines. Columbia Records focused on working with a local upstart from New Jersey named Bruce Springsteen.

When the band did receive the attention they believed they deserved, it was not necessarily in a positive light. When the group released recordings like Get Your Wings, most of its reviewers had the same criticisms every time. They believed that the band was too similar to groups like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones from the same era.

Instead of attempting to silence critics, Tyler emphasized the band’s abilities. He collaborated with Joe Perry to create incredible licks such as ‘Same Old Song and Dance‘ and the world’s first power ballad, ‘Dream On‘. Although no one expected anything innovative from the group, their road dog mentality propelled them to tremendous success. This followed the release of their third album, Toys In The Attic.

Produced by future Cheap Trick and John Lennon producer Jack Douglas, the band made their claim as one of the world’s top rock groups. They mixed blues sound with hard rock bombast on songs like the title track and ‘Sweet Emotion‘. Outside of their normal rock and roll credentials, songs like ‘Walk This Way‘ showed them channeling a funkier groove. The concluding single ‘You See Me Crying‘ demonstrated their proclivity for creating sorrowful ballads.

Steven Tyler said that Toys in the Attic was the one Aerosmith album when everything clicked. He told Louder, “I was the kid who put my initials in the rock ’cause I wanted the aliens to know I was there”. It’s a statement about longevity; the album will be played long after you’re gone. Our records would be up there in the attic, along with the things you treasured and never wanted to forget. To me, Aerosmith was becoming that.”

Aerosmith would not stop after creating their first significant masterpiece. Going into the studio a few years later, the album Rocks saw them become even heavier. They played songs that toyed with that Led Zeppelin bombast even more on tracks like ‘Nobody’s Fault’ and ‘Rats in the Cellar.’

Tyler wasn’t wrong about how they influenced future generations. Artists like Slash learned most of his best licks by mimicking the sounds of Toys in the Attic. Aerosmith faced criticism for lacking originality in their early work. However, their particular blend of grief and blues is unlikely to date anytime soon.

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