Tonight (February 23rd) on the world famous Classic Album at Midnight on Radio Nova we’re playing Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic.
The album is presented in full with no commercials or interruptions.
Formed in Boston in 1970 when two local bands combined their talents into one, Aerosmith’s lineup settled as Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums) and Brad Whitford (guitar).
After gaining local fame in Boston through their live shows, Aerosmith became the first and only band to ever pay to play at the famed New York venue of Max’s Kansas City. Their investment paid off as the gig was attended by Columbia Records President Clive Davis, who signed them to a deal in 1972 and released their self-titled debut album in January of the following year. The album struggled on release but eventually sold over two million records when the band hit the mainstream in later years. More successful was their second album, 1974’s Get Your Wings, the band’s first multi-platinum seller.
It was their third album, 1975’s Toys in the Attic, which propelled Aerosmith to international stardom.
Producer Jack Douglas, who had worked with Aerosmith on Get Your Wings, claims the band had evolved significantly between albums, honing their musicianship on a lengthy tour.
Joe Perry claimed that the first two albums had consisted of songs they had been playing live since the band’s inception, whereas Toys in the Attic saw Aerosmith begin with a fresh slate.
The Toys in the Attic sessions would produce some of Aerosmith’s most popular songs. Walk This Way is arguably the band’s anthem and was influenced by New Orleans rhythm and blues. The song’s title was inspired by the band having watched the Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein. Its lyrics, about a high school boy losing his virginity, were reportedly written on the walls of the Record Plant studio by Steven Tyler, who had written the song the night before only to leave it in a cab.
Sweet Emotion features one of Aerosmith’s most famous licks and is reportedly inspired by the tensions between Joe Perry’s wife and the rest of the band.
For You See Me Crying, producer Douglas paired the band with a symphony orchestra. The bawdy Big Ten-Inch Record is a cover of a raucous R&B track by Bullmoose Jackson.
Toys in the Attic features nine tracks. On Side A are Toys in the Attic; Uncle Salty; Adam’s Apple; Walk This Way; and Big ten Inch Record. On Side B are Sweet Emotion; No More No More; Round and Round; and You See Me Crying.
Toys in the Attic was released on April 8th, 1975. It peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard chart and was the 15th highest selling album of 1976 in the US. Walk This Way was a Top 10 hit and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2019. In 1986 the song became a hit once again when Tyler and Perry collaborated with rappers Run DMC for a “rap-rock” version of the song.
The album would become the biggest selling album of Aerosmith’s career, with over eight million copies sold in the US alone. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes both the title track and Walk This Way on its list of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. Rolling Stone places Toys in the Attic at number 228 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Walk this way and we’ll treat you to some sweet emotions when the clock strikes midnight on Radio Nova.