After the debut album being a dud and all the touring, the band wasted no time going in to the studio for their second album, ‘Get Your Wing’. This time around at the boards was famed producer Jack Douglas who was introduced to the band by the one and only Bob Ezrin, who the label wanted to produce the album. Jack worked out well and would go on to have a long relationship with the band and deliver some of their best albums.
The band had extensive preproduction work and extensive rehearsals, the band entered the studio The Record Plant in New York City on December 17, 1973 and by January 14, 1974, they were done. The album would come out on March 15, 1974 and would go only to #74 on the Billboard Charts. All 3 singles flopped and not one of them charted. If they thought the first album was a dud, this one didn’t fare any better. But don’t feel bad, once the band broke, this album has since sold over 3 million copies and is certified Triple Platinum. It all worked out in the end.
But what makes this album successful on its own is that the band found their voice. They found their sound and they would find rock stardom. Bandmates Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer found themselves and were set to take over the world…okay, that is a little dramatic, but you know what I mean.
The lead off song and single is the classic, “Same Old Song and Dance” which was built off a riff by Joe Perry. The song’s blues vibe was filled with dueling guitars by Perry and Whitford, however, the guitar solo was done by Dick Wagner from Alice Cooper’s Band and he did some work for Kiss as well (uncredited of course). The upbeat song was also filled with a pretty cool horn section full of saxophones, trumpet and a trombone thanks the help of Michael and Randy Brecker, Stan Bronstein and Jon Pearson. Steven Tyler’s vocal delivery was slick and yet gritty and with that blues edge the band is so know to do. It is a solid opening track.
Then we go in to the cool ass song, “Lord of the Thighs”, which a result of the creepy, nasty place the band was recording. Full of pimps and hookers, inspiration was had by Tyler to create this dark masterpiece filled with so many innuendos and double entendres to make a grown man blush. Kramer lays down a nice groove with his drum beats which is quite funky at times. Tyler’s vocals are deep, bluesy and deliver the intensity needed for this darker track. All around great song.
“Spaced” is one of the songs I was most unfamiliar with as it is a little underwhelming although still somewhat enjoyable. It lacks the grit and punch of the other tracks and does feel like filler. It is missing an edge. Maybe it is because if has keyboards from Ray Colcord…I’m not blaming him at all. The keyboard just adds to the lack of luster to the song.
The final track on Side One dates back to the 60’s and Tyler’s earlier band The Strangeurs. “Woman of the World” was written by Steven and Don Solomon. The song has a similar start like “Lord of the Thighs” but ends up going its own way. Perry handles the lead guitar work on this one which sounds a little too pushed back in the mix and need to be more front and center but that is not on him. The ending is what sets this one apart with a cool ass jam session, you get a harmonica solo from Tyler mixed in between the guitar duo of Perry and Whitford, you can’t beat that combo.
Side Two kicks off with “S.O.S. (Too Bad)” with the S.O.S. standing for Same Old Shit. This Tyler penned song is a full on sleaze fest and I love the rawness and blues overtones. It is hard rock with some grit and a killer solo by Mr. Brad Whitford. Tyler’s vocals are perfect when he is bluesing it up and his performance as a bad ass school boy is perfect. The nastier the better is my rule and this is nastiness at its finest.
The next track is the only cover on the album. “Train Kept a Rollin'” was made famous by the Yardbirds (which is a cover as well), but Aerosmith took this song and made it their own so much so that they close out shows with it. The song is originally by Tiny Bradshaw way back in 1951. Aerosmith brought it to the modern times and made it nastier then the last track. One thing I have learned in researching this song is that the two absolutely brilliant guitar solos were not done by the band. The first solo was by Steve Hunter and the second solo was by Dick Wagner. The song also sounds live which adds to the raw sound but those crowd noises were added and actually from the George Harrison’s ‘Concert for Bangladesh. But who cares, it all sounds so great.
The band goes back to a much darker vibe with “Seasons of Wither” and opens with a blowing wind and an acoustic guitar and both sound so ominous and eerie. Not only does Tyler take on the vocals, he also handles the acoustic guitar duties and equally impressive is the bass groove set by Tom Hamilton who doesn’t get enough credit. I love the pacing and deliver of every note and Tyler might be giving his finest performance on the whole album. And Whitford’s solo is something to talk about as well as that last note goes on forever adding to the dark tone of the song. Totally brilliant track!
The album ends with the song “Pandora’s Box” which is rock and soul at the same time. The album starts off similar so nice to end in that same fashion. You can hear the Motown influences, the blues, the rock and it all ties nicely together. I love the saxophones in the mix as it adds to the vibe of the song. All around cool track.
- Same Old Song And Dance – Keeper
- Lord of the Thighs – Keeper
- Spaced – Delete
- Woman of the World – Keeper
- S.O.S. (Too Bad) – Keeper
- Train Kept a Rollin’ – Keeper
- Season of the Wither – Keeper
- Pandora’s Box – Keeper
The Track Score is 7 out of 8 Tracks or 88% and although the album didn’t sell well or do much of anything, it doesn’t take away from the greatness that is on this album. The band were starting to hone in on who they were and I think they found it. Their songwriting was improving, their playing and Steven was finally relaxing and giving us his real voice which he didn’t do on the debut. This was the album that paved the to greater things for the band. Jack Douglas was a great producer to hone in this wild kids and get them to deliver what the debut lacked and that was solid production and heart. And now that I think about it, the album title “Get Your Wings” is just that. The band got their wings and have now learned to fly. I get it the title now. The band found that here. My Overall Score is 4.25 out of 5.0 Stars. Well, 4.5 was too much and a 4.0 didn’t seem like enough. Until the next album, thanks for stopping by and reading.
UP NEXT: ‘TOYS IN THE ATTIC’ (1975)
THE AEROSMITH COLLECTION SERIES:
- ‘Aerosmith’ (1973)
- ‘Get Your Wings’ (1974)