Aerosmith – Rocks (1976; 2011 import reissue)

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by Beverly Paterson

There’s a new 35th anniversary edition import of this classic Aerosmith recording by Sony Japan? Has it really been 35 years since Rocks was released?

Wow, it seems like yesterday when I first feasted my ears on the suitably titled Rocks, which marked Aerosmith’s fourth album in just three short years. During that time, the Boston group steadily progressed from being a glorified Rolling Stones meet the New York Dolls type band (and I do mean that as high praise) to establishing their own special identity.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: As Steven Tyler confirmed rumors that there will be a new album, and then took a violent spill that left him missing two front teeth, we dove into our old Aerosmith albums.]

At the hour Rocks hit the bins, Aerosmith was at the top of their game, tickling folks black and blue with their chugging hard rock anthems that forged refreshing roads. A tad less melodic and a few pounds heavier than the band’s prior albums (Aerosmith, Get Your Wings, and Toys in the Attic, in case you are not hip to their catalog), the record emits a rather dark, disturbing and doomy ambience.

To be sure, the songs do rock and creep deep inside the brain cells and refuse to leave moments after hearing them, but a sense of cryptic chaos administers the event. Lead singer Steven Tyler’s rubbery vocals mumble and rumble with mystery, and the band is hungry, so hungry, it appears as if they are singing for their supper. These guys are wired! Loud, sleazy and erupting with power and venom, you can almost taste whatever chemical substances the band was inhaling when they created the record.

For good reason, some folks consider Rocks to be Aerosmith’s best album.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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