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Get Your Wings
Aerosmith

Columbia 32847
Released: April 1974
Chart Peak: #74
Weeks Charted: 86
Certified Double Platinum: 11/21/86

Tom HamiltonJoey KramerBrad WhitfordJoe PerrySteven TylerMaintaining an agile balance between Yardbirds- and Who-styled rock and Seventies heavy metal, Aerosmith's second album surges with pent-up fury yet avoids the excesses to which many of their peers succumb. The music of the five-member group contains the vital elements of economy and control -- no ill-advised solo extravaganzas. The snarling chords of guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford tautly propel each number, jibing neatly with the rawness of singer Steven Tyler, whose discipline is evident no matter how he shrieks, growls, or spits out the lyrics.

Throughout Get Your Wings the group consistently integrates their influences into their own approach. On "Spaced," Whitford unleases a barrage a Townshend-inspired chords, by now an Aerosmith trademark, while the choppy rhythm and horn work of "Pandora's Box" are a hard-rock interpretation of soul, suggesting the Stones. "Seasons Of Wither" is a surprising change of pace, a haunting arrangement that creates a rough-hewn prettiness. The group's dynamics are expert, deftly blending the hard and soft interludes. Perry makes exceptional use of feedback at the end, while Tyler's restraint reveals a Led Zeppelin influence.

Aerosmith - Get Your Wings
Original album advertising art.
Click image for larger view.
"Train Kept A Rollin'," a reworking of the Yardbirds' classic, is a master demonstration of their style. Their new arrangement begins by retaining the feel of the earlier work, only to cleverly segue into what sounds like a live take, although it was recorded in the studio. They then execute a near-duplication of the Yardbirds' performance that stands remarkably well on its own. That cut proves they've absorbed yet varied the styles of their mentors, creating their own in the process. They think 1966 and play 1974 -- something which a lot of groups would like to boast.

- Charley Walters, Rolling Stone, 6-6-74.

Bonus Reviews!

Derivative they may be, but this is one band whose tough and nasty rock'n'roll vision could well score, given the added punch of Jack Douglas and Ray Colcor's production. Leader Steve Tyler spits his vocals with studied vengeance, and guitars, and rhythm section work throughout, pass the heavy metal acid test. Try the raw reworking of "Train Kept A Rollin'," crackling along behind a Yardbirds arrangement; or the dark, layered momentum of "Seasons Of Wither." Bad taste awards may follow for "Lord of the Thighs," a male supremacist paean that should horrify most ladies.

- Billboard, 1974.

These prognathous New Englanders are musicianly (all things are relative) inheritors of the Grand Funk principle: if a band is going to be dumb, it might as well be American dumb. Here they're loud and cunning enough to provide a real treat for the hearing-impaired, at least on side one. Have a sense of humor about themselves, too, assuming "Lord of the Thighs" is intended as a joke. With dumb bands it's always hard to tell. B-

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Aerosmith took the Yardbirds classic "Train Kept a Rollin'" and made it their own with Steven Tyler's blistering vocals and Joe Perry's ace guitar work. * * * *

- Donna DiChario, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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