Friday Mixtape: Old School Aerosmith Effin' Rocks!
by Justin Farrar | September 16, 2011
As a general rule here at Rhapsody HQ, our editors encourage us to transform our creative juices into raging rapids when concocting these Friday Mixtapes. They would've been thrilled to pickles had I pitched, say, any one of the following:
(1) Ten songs to crank when baking a loaf of cheddar-flavored San Francisco sourdough
(2) The ultimate soundtrack for changing my newborn's diapers in an airport restroom packed with Shriners from Dayton, Ohio
(3) Gloomy tunes that remind me of the 100 days I spent quarantined with pertussis in the eighth grade
I mention this only because I feel as if I need to apologize for the mundane theme behind this week's Friday Mixtape, Old School Aerosmith Effin Rocks! There are two good reasons for my decision, however. First off, and this point cannot be overstated, Aerosmith has finally made their entire discography available to Rhapsody for streaming. We now offer nearly everything, from Rocks to Nine Lives, Toys in the Attic to Big Ones, Rock in a Hard Place to Get Your Wings. For classic-rock nerds like me, this is huge. Who knows, maybe I'll finally purchase that 1978 Firebird I've always wanted and retrofit its stereo to play Rhapsody? As Wooderson once declared, "We're talking some f*ckin' muscle."
The second point revolves around a specific period in Aerosmith's history, the group's pre-comeback period: 1972 to '85. Though they dropped a couple clunkers during this stretch (though I contend the perpetually underrated Done With Mirrors is far better than both Permanent Vacation and Pump), the band produced some of the very best rock in the genre's history. In particular, the stretch between Toys in the Attic and Night in the Ruts is mind blowing -- still. The band crafted a muscular, dense and slyly psychedelic brand of boogie-metal that owed as much to Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac and Funkadelic and as it did to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Aerosmith might've been bar-rock lunkheads from Boston, but during this period they were damn near peerless when it came to real-deal groove research.