Get Your Wings is the second studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released March 1, 1974. The album is the first to feature production from Jack Douglas, who would go on to produce the band's next four albums. Three singles were released from the album, but none of them made the pop charts.
The album has been released in stereo and quadraphonic, and certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
In 1973, Aerosmith released its debut album to little fanfare. As guitarist Joe Perry recalls in the 1997 band memoir Walk This Way, "There was no nothing at all: no press, no radio, no airplay, no reviews, no interviews, no party. Instead the album got ignored and there was a lot of anger and flipping out." The band had been quite nervous recording their first album, with vocalist Steven Tyler going so far to alter his singing voice, and they had little chemistry with producer Adrian Barber. By the time they began recording Get Your Wings, however, Jack Douglas had agreed to work with the band, beginning a long and successful studio collaboration.
Get Your Wings was recorded at the Record Plant in New York City between December 1973 and January 1974. Jay Messina engineered the sessions. Douglas later recalled, "So, to the best of my memory, the preproduction work for Get Your Wings started in the back of a restaurant that was like a Mob hangout in the North End. I commuted there from the Copley Plaza Hotel and they started to play me the songs they had for their new album. My attitude was: 'What can I do to make them sound like themselves?'"
The album's most famous track is the cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'", which had been made famous by the Yardbirds, one of Aerosmith's favorite bands. According to Douglas, the crowd noise at the end of the track was taken from a "wild track" from The Concert for Bangladesh, which the producer had worked on. The single version doesn't contain the echo and crowd noise. The song is notable for its start/stop groove, and became their signature, show-stopping song, and is still used to end concerts today. It appears in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Rock Band video games. In 1997, drummer Joey Kramer explained to Alan Di Perna of Guitar World that this unique rhythmic feel originated "probably just from jamming on it at soundcheck and experimenting with putting a James Brown kind of beat behind it. I played with a lot of R&B-type groups before joining Aerosmith." In the same interview, Perry stated that "Train" was the one song "we all had in common when we came together." In 1997, Perry spoke to Aerosmith biographer Stephen Davis about the origins of some of the tunes:
The tracks were the stuff we'd been working on at our apartment on Beacon Street in the summer of '73. I wrote the riff to "Same Old Song and Dance" one night in the front room and Steven just started to sing along. "Spaced" happened the same way in the studio, with a lot of input from Jack. "S.O.S." meant "Same Old Shit" and came from the rehearsals at the Drummer's Image... "Lord of the Thighs" and "Seasons of Wither" were Steven's songs. Of all the ballads Aerosmith has done, "Wither" was the one I liked best.
In his autobiography, Tyler writes that "Seasons of Wither" had been "germinating in my head for a long time, but the other more sinister tracks, like 'Lord of the Thighs', came from the seedy area where we recorded the album. 'Lord of the Thighs' was about a pimp and the wildlife out on the street." Tyler also plays the piano on "Lord of the Thighs". Kramer's opening beat is very similar to the one he would tap out a year later in "Walk This Way". The song can be heard on Liberty Rock Radio in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned video game. Tyler has stated that then title was a pun on the famous William Golding novel Lord of the Flies, and "the critics hated us for this. We weren't supposed to be smart enough to use literary references." The original lyric for "Same Old Song and Dance", 'Got you with the cocaine, found with your gun', was altered for the single version, was changed to 'You shady looking loser, you played with my gun'. The song became a live staple and appears in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The album's closing track, "Pandora's Box", was written by drummer Joey Kramer, who recalled in 1997, "the summer before, we'd rented a farmhouse in East Thetford, Vermont, while we were rehearsing in New Hampshire, and that's where I wrote the melody of 'Pandora's Box.' Steven wrote the lines about women's liberation, a big new issue in those times." According to Douglas, the clarinet at the start of the track is a union engineer playing "I'm in the Mood for Love".
In his original Rolling Stone review, Charley Walters praised the LP, writing, "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."AllMusic declares that Get Your Wings was when Aerosmith "shed much of their influences and developed their own trademark sound, it's where they turned into songwriters, it's where Steven Tyler unveiled his signature obsessions with sex and sleaze...they're doing their bloozy bluster better and bolder, which is what turns this sophomore effort into their first classic."