Get Your Wings

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Get Your Wings
Aerosmith - Get Your Wings.JPG
Studio album by Aerosmith
Released March 1, 1974 (1974-03-01)
Recorded December 17, 1973 – January 14, 1974
Studio The Record Plant, New York City
Genre
Length 38:04
Label Columbia
Producer Jack Douglas, Ray Colcord, Bob Ezrin
Aerosmith chronology
Aerosmith
(1973)
Get Your Wings
(1974)
Toys in the Attic
(1975)
Singles from Get Your Wings
  1. "Same Old Song and Dance"
    Released: March 19, 1974
  2. "Train Kept A-Rollin'"
    Released: October 24, 1974
  3. "S.O.S. (Too Bad)"
    Released: 1974

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 produced 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.[1]

Background[edit]

In 1973, Aerosmith released its debut album to little fanfare. As guitarist Joe Perry recalled 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."[2] The band had been somewhat nervous recording their first album, with vocalist Steven Tyler going so far to alter his singing voice, and they had very little chemistry with producer Adrian Barber. The band moved into an apartment in Brookline and began intensive rehearsals in a dungeon-like basement of a store called Drummer's Image on Newbury Street.[3] 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. According to Perry, Columbia had wanted the band to work with Bob Ezrin, who was also a producer with Alice Cooper. It was Ezrin who introduced the band to Douglas, and for "all practical purposes, Jack became our producer. Ezrin might have shown up three or four times, but only to make suggestions, like bringing in additional musicians to augment our sound."[4]

Recording and composition[edit]

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, "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?'"[5]

One of the most famous tracks is a cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'", made famous by one of Aerosmith's favorite bands, the Yardbirds. According to Douglas, the crowd noise at the end of the track was taken from a "wild track" from The Concert for Bangladesh, which he had worked on.[6] The single version omits the echo and crowd noise. Notable for its start/stop groove, the song became their signature show-stopper, and still ends concerts today. In 1997, drummer Joey Kramer explained to Alan Di Perna of Guitar World that its 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."[7]

In 1997, Perry told Aerosmith biographer Stephen Davis:

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.[8]

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."[9] Tyler plays the piano on "Lord of the Thighs", whose opening beat is similar to the one Kramer would tap out a year later in "Walk This Way". He stated that the 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".[6]

The original lyric for "Same Old Song and Dance" – 'Got you with the cocaine, found with your gun' – was altered for the single version to 'You shady looking loser, you played with my gun'.

The closing "Pandora's Box" was written by 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."[10] According to Douglas, the clarinet at the start of the track is a union engineer playing "I'm in the Mood for Love".[6]

In 2014 Perry reflected, "We all put in endless hours, fueled by whatever substances were available...I knew the album, in spite of a few bright spots, still didn't capture the power of the band. We were better than the record we were making. And yet I didn't know how to get there. I didn't know how to get from good to great.[11]

"On the second album," Tyler noted, "the songs found my voice. I realised that it's not about having a beautiful voice and hitting all the notes; it's about attitude."[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[13]
Blender4/5 stars[14]
Robert ChristgauB−[15]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal10/10[16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[17]

Contemporary reviews were mostly positive. In his article for Rolling Stone, Charley Walters praised the LP, writing that "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."[18] Billboard reviewer called Aerosmith music "derivative", but added that their "tough and nasty rock'n'roll vision" could be successful with the help of the right producers.[19] Music critic Robert Christgau found the band "inheritors" of Grand Funk in dumbness, but considered them "loud and cunning enough to provide a real treat" for the public of such music and apparently in possession of a sense of humor as exemplified in "Lord of the Thighs".[15]

In a modern review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine declared 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."[13] Ben Mitchell of Blender had the same impression and wrote that Aerosmith locked into their "trademark dirty funk" and "firmly established their simple lyrical blueprint: smut and high times" on this album.[14] Canadian critic Martin Popoff praised the album and called it a "rich, inspired and consistently entertaining rock 'n' roller, a record much more intelligent than much metal to this point in time".[16]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Same Old Song and Dance"Steven Tyler, Joe Perry3:53
2."Lord of the Thighs"Tyler4:14
3."Spaced"Tyler, Perry4:21
4."Woman of the World"Tyler, Don Solomon5:49
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."S.O.S. (Too Bad)"Tyler2:51
6."Train Kept A-Rollin'"Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, Lois Mann5:33
7."Seasons of Wither"Tyler5:38
8."Pandora's Box"Tyler, Joey Kramer5:43

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard 200 (US)[22] 74

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
US RIAA 2001 3x Platinum (+ 3,000,000)[1]
Canada CRIA 1979 Platinum (+ 100,000)[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "RIAA Gold & Platinum Database: search for Aerosmith". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 181.
  3. ^ Perry & Ritz 2014, p. 130.
  4. ^ Perry & Ritz 2014, p. 131.
  5. ^ Davis & Aerosmith 1997, pp. 212-213.
  6. ^ a b c Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 217.
  7. ^ Di Perna, Alan (March 1997). "Aerosmith". Guitar World. Vol. 17 no. 3.
  8. ^ Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 213.
  9. ^ Tyler & Dalton 2011, p. 114.
  10. ^ Davis & Aerosmith 1997, p. 215.
  11. ^ Perry & Ritz 2014, p. 132.
  12. ^ Brannigan, Paul (September 2013). "Aerosmith". Classic Rock. No. 188. p. 56.
  13. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Aerosmith - Get Your Wings review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Mitchell, Ben. "Backcatalog: Aerosmith - Get Your Wings". Blender. Archived from the original on October 26, 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Get Your Wings". Robert Christgau.
  16. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (October 2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-1894959025.
  17. ^ "Aerosmith Album Guide". Rolling Stone. 2004. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  18. ^ Walters, Charley (June 6, 1974). "Get Your Wings - Aerosmith". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  19. ^ "Aerosmith - Get Your Wings". Superseventies.com. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  20. ^ a b Molenda, Michael (December 14, 2017). "Who Really Played Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rollin'" Guitar Solos?". Guitar World. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Official Dick Wagner Website". wagnermusic.com.
  22. ^ "Aerosmith Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  23. ^ "Music Canada Gold & Platinum: search for Aerosmith". Music Canada. Retrieved July 30, 2018.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Get Your Wings at MusicBrainz (list of releases)