Toys in the Attic (album)

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Toys in the Attic
Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic.jpg
Studio album by Aerosmith
Released April 8, 1975
Recorded January – March 1975 at The Record Plant
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 37:08
Label Columbia
Producer Jack Douglas
Aerosmith chronology
Get Your Wings
Toys in the Attic
Singles from Toys in the Attic
  1. "Sweet Emotion"
    Released: May 19, 1975[1]
  2. "Walk This Way"
    Released: August 28, 1975[1]
  3. "You See Me Crying" / "Toys in the Attic"
    Released: November 1975
Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" from Toys in the Attic

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Toys in the Attic is the third studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released in April 1975[2] by Columbia Records. Its first single release, "Sweet Emotion", was released a month later on May 19 and "Walk This Way" was later released on August 28 in the same year.[1] The album is their most commercially successful studio LP in the US, with eight million copies sold, according to the RIAA.[3]

Steven Tyler said that his original idea for the album cover was a teddy bear sitting in the attic with its wrist cut and stuffing spread across the floor. They decided, in the end, to put all of the animals in instead.[4]

The album was ranked #229 on Rolling Stone‍ '​s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[5] "Walk This Way" and the album's title track are part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.[6]


For Aerosmith's previous album, 1974's Get Your Wings, the band began working with record producer Jack Douglas, who co-produced the album with Ray Colcord. In the liner notes to the 1993 reissue of Greatest Hits it was said by an unnamed member of the group that they "nailed" the album.[1]

At the beginning of 1975 the band started working at The Record Plant in New York City for the album that became Toys in the Attic. The sessions for Toys were produced by Douglas without Colcord - the album was engineered by Jay Messina with assistant engineers Rod O'Brien, Corky Stasiak and Dave Thoener. The songs for Toys were recorded with a Spectrasonics mixing board and a 16-track tape recorder.[7] By this point, Aerosmith had fully matured as a band and Steven Tyler made sex the primary focus of his songwriting on the album.

When Toys in the Attic was released in April 1975,[2] it eventually made #11 on the Billboard 200, a full 63 positions higher than Get Your Wings.[8] The single release of "Sweet Emotion" became a minor hit on the Billboard Hot 100 reaching #36 in 1975 and "Walk This Way" reached #10 on the Hot 100 in 1977.[9] The album also introduced to contemporary audiences a rock n' roll cover of "Big Ten Inch Record," which was originally an old R&B song recorded by Bull Moose Jackson in 1952. Rather than produce a rock reimagining, Aerosmith's cover largely stays true to the original song, down to its jazz-style instrumentation.

The album would gain renewed attention in 1986, eleven years after its release, when the hip-hop group Run DMC covered "Walk This Way", which helped revive Aerosmith's then-flagging career as well as propel rap music to the mainstream.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[10]
Blender 5/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau (B+)[12]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[14]

For his review of Toys in the Attic for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the album's style a mix of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones riffs, and said it was filled with songs about sex with a different style than there ever was before.[10] Greg Kot called the album a landmark of hard rock.[14] For the Blender magazine review, Ben Mitchell called Toys in the Attic cocaine-influenced and mentions the songs "Toys in the Attic", "Walk This Way", and "Sweet Emotion" as "standout tracks".[11]

Aerosmith make reference to the album and its lyrics in the song "Legendary Child". The line "But we traded them toys for other joys" refers to the title of the album and their struggles with addiction. It may also be referring to the title track of the same name. The line "I took a chance at the high school dance never knowing wrong from right" references lyrics from the songs "Walk This Way" and "Adam's Apple" respectively.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Toys in the Attic"   Steven Tyler, Joe Perry 3:07
2. "Uncle Salty"   Tyler, Tom Hamilton 4:09
3. "Adam's Apple"   Tyler 4:33
4. "Walk This Way"   Tyler, Perry 3:41
5. "Big Ten Inch Record"   Fred Weismantel 2:16
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sweet Emotion"   Tyler, Hamilton 4:34
2. "No More No More"   Tyler, Perry 4:34
3. "Round and Round"   Tyler, Brad Whitford 5:03
4. "You See Me Crying"   Tyler, Don Solomon 5:12
Total length:


Per liner notes[7]

Cover versions[edit]

R.E.M. covered the song "Toys in the Attic" released in 1986 as a B-side to "Fall on Me". It is available on Dead Letter Office, as well as the 1993 reissue of Lifes Rich Pageant.

"Sweet Emotion" has been covered by Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon, The Answer, Warrant and Ratt.

"No More No More" was covered by Velvet Revolver.

"Toys in the Attic" was recorded by Metal Church on Masterpeace.

Run-D.M.C. covered "Walk This Way" in 1986. It features Steven Tyler on co-lead vocals and Joe Perry on guitar.

Sum 41 along with rappers Ja Rule and Nelly did a cover of "Walk This Way" in 2002.

Rose Hill Drive covered the album in its entirety during their 2007-08 New Year's Eve concert.

"Walk This Way" was covered by jam/bluegrass band The String Cheese Incident on their 1997 self-titled live album A String Cheese Incident.

"Sweet Emotion" was covered by ska band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones on their EP Where'd You Go?.

Mr. Blotto covered the album in its entirety on July 23, 2011, during their 12th Blottopia at Vasa Park, South Elgin, Il.


Chart (1975) Peak position
US Billboard 200[8] 11
Canada RPM 100 Albums[15] 7
Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Sweet Emotion" The Billboard Hot 100 36
"Walk This Way" The Billboard Hot 100 10
1991 "Sweet Emotion" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 36


Organization Level Date
RIAA – U.S.[3] Gold August 11, 1975
Platinum November 21, 1986
4× Platinum
5× Platinum December 21, 1988
6× Platinum October 28, 1994
8× Platinum June 4, 2002
CRIA – Canada Gold April 1, 1977
Platinum December 1, 1978


  1. ^ a b c d Greatest Hits (CD insert). Aerosmith. U.S.A.: Columbia Records. 1993 [1980]. CK 57367. 
  2. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Toys in the Attic - Aerosmith > Overview". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "RIAA Gold and Platinum Database". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Cool Aerosmith info". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Toys in the Attic - 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Jann S. Wenner. April 5, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame top 500 songs". Archived from the original on 2007-05-24. 
  7. ^ a b Toys in the Attic (CD insert). Aerosmith. U.S.A.: Columbia Records. 1993 [1975]. CK 57362. 
  8. ^ a b "Aerosmith - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Aerosmith - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Toys in the Attic - Aerosmith > Review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Mitchell, Ben. "Toys in the Attic". Alpha Media Group. Retrieved November 13, 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Robert Christgau Review of Aerosmith". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  13. ^ Fletcher, Gordon (1975-07-31). "Toys In The Attic". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  14. ^ a b Kot, Greg. "Aerosmith - Album Guide". Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ "RPM top albums 1975". Retrieved April 25, 2011. 

External links[edit]