Wednesday, April 8, 2015

toys in the attic

Aerosmith left the things that are real behind and turned out some sleazy blues and backstage boogie with the sweet emotion of a little kiss (like this).  The band had developed a devoted following in Boston with their first two albums 'Aerosmith' and 'Get Your Wings'; but it was with their third album that they would finally break into the mainstream.  Guitarist Joe Perry looks back:   "Basically the first two records that we did were records made up of songs that we had been playing in clubs up to that point. But Toys' was the first record where we had to write everything pretty, much from scratch. And also, we had to do it after having been on the road for awhile. And, though we were still playing a lot of gigs, we took a couple months off to make this record. So this was our first real studio record. And we would write a lot of the material in the studio. So we'd rehearse them and then go into the studio in the morning with a couple of guitar riffs, and we'd build all these songs out of them... We had an idea of what songs were working for us live at that point, and so we kind of had an idea of what direction we wanted the songs to go in. We knew we wanted to play some up-tempo songs, some shuffle songs and some blues rock. But though we knew what kind of songs we wanted, we didn't really know how it was going to turn out. We had a different kind of pressure on us to make this record and how to make it. But Jack really helped us a lot in that department. He really became the sixth member of the band and taught us how to do it."

The sessions for 'Toys in the Attic' took place at The Record Plant in New York and were produced by Jack Douglas and  Ray Colcord;   and engineered  by Jay Messina with assistance from Rod O'Brien, Corky Stasiak, and Dave Thoener.  Doug Sax handled mastering and Vic Anesini on mastering engineering.  The album features  Steven Tyler on lead vocals, percussion on "Sweet Emotion", harmonica, and piano on "You See Me Crying";    Joe Perry on guitar, backing vocals, and talkbox on "Sweet Emotion";   Brad Whitford on guitar;   Tom Hamilton on bass and guitar on Uncle Salty;   and  Joey Kramer on drums;   with  Scott Cushnie on piano on "Big Ten Inch Record", and "No More No More";  and  Jay Messina on bass marimba on "Sweet Emotion".  

Jay Messina reveals:    "It took approximately two months, from start to finish. Some of those days were 16 hours or more. It was recorded at Record Plant Studios, in New York City. We worked in Studio A and C. ... My basic concept and approach was to capture the energy of Aerosmith. This was done with a combination of room mikes, and pressing 'record' when the moment seemed right. Getting the right moment on tape is far more important than any recording techniques I may have used."

'Toys in the Attic' became a breakthrough success for the band, going to number seventy-nine in Australia, eleven in the US, and seven in Canada, selling over eight million copies in the US alone.

"Sweet Emotion" went to number fifty-six in Canada and thirty-six in the US.

Sweet emotion
Sweet emotion

You talk about things that nobody cares
You're wearing out things that nobody wears
You're calling my name but I gotta make clear
I can't say baby where I'll be in a year

Yeah yeah yeah yeah

When some sweet hog mama with a face like a gent
Said my get up and go must've got up and went
Well I got good news, she's a real good liar
'Cause the backstage boogie set your pants on fire

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Sweet emotion
Sweet emotion

When I pulled into town in a police car
Your daddy said I took it just a little too far
You're telling me things but your girlfriend lied
You can't catch me 'cause the rabbit done died
Yes it did

You stand in the front just a shakin' your ass
I'll take you backstage, you can drink from my glass
Your telling me things I can sure understand
'Cause a month on the road an' I'll be eating from your hand

"Walk This Way"  didn't chart until it was re-released two years later, going to eighty-five in Australia and the UK, ten in the US, and number seven in Canada.    Tyler says;    "The song started at a soundcheck at HRC in Honolulu. It was a real rhythmical thing. Our drummer Joey Kramer played with a funk band, and was always pushing James Brown. He brought funk to the table. And Joe picked up on it and brought that 'Walk This Way' lick. The groove kind of lent itself to rap. It kind of pissed me off at first that they weren't following the lyrics, but they were following the rhythm. But I would scat, and then write the lyrics in after. I wrote them on the hallway wall. They were so rhythmical that I didn't have a melody line to follow so it was more [sings] "backstreet lover, going under cover." I didn't really know too much about hip-hop at the time. I remember the time: you would get cassettes from DJs, great people, mostly downtown. I'd love to say, 'I knew what rap was, hell yeah.' But that's horseshit."

'Toys in the Attic' 

full album:  

Side one
00:00 "Toys in the Attic"   Steven Tyler, Joe Perry 3:07
03:03 "Uncle Salty"   Tyler, Tom Hamilton 4:09
07:13 "Adam's Apple"   Tyler 4:33
11:47 "Walk This Way"   Tyler, Perry 3:41
15:28 "Big Ten Inch Record"   Fred Weismantel 2:16
Side two
17:43 "Sweet Emotion"   Tyler, Hamilton 4:34
22:18 "No More No More"   Tyler, Perry 4:34
26:52 "Round and Round"   Tyler, Brad Whitford 5:03
31:56 "You See Me Crying"   Tyler, Darren Solomon 5:12

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