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 Record Plant, New York City
Genre
Length 38:04
Label Columbia
Producer Ray Colcord, Jack Douglas, Bob Ezrin
Aerosmith chronology
Aerosmith
(1973)Aerosmith1973
Get Your Wings
(1974)
Toys in the Attic
(1975)Toys in the Attic1975
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

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."[2] 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. 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 had produced Alice Cooper, and 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

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?'"[2]

One of the album's most famous tracks 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.[2] 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.[2]

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."[5] 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 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."[2] 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."[2] According to Douglas, the clarinet at the start of the track is a union engineer playing "I'm in the Mood for Love".[2]

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.[6]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[7]
Billboard (favorable)[8]
Blender 4/5 stars[9]
Robert Christgau B−[10]
Rolling Stone (average)[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[12]

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."[11] 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."[7]

Track listing

Side one

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Same Old Song and Dance" Steven Tyler, Joe Perry 3:53
2. "Lord of the Thighs" Tyler 4:14
3. "Spaced" Tyler, Perry 4:21
4. "Woman of the World" Tyler, Don Solomon 5:49

Side two

No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" Tyler 2:51
6. "Train Kept A-Rollin'" Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, Lois Mann 5:33
7. "Seasons of Wither" Tyler 5:38
8. "Pandora's Box" Tyler, Joey Kramer 5:43
Total length: 38:04

Personnel

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (1974) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 74[14]

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[15] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References

  1. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum Database: search for Aerosmith". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Davis, Stephen; Aerosmith (1997). Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-380-97594-5. 
  3. ^ Perry, Joe & Ritz, David 2014, p. 130.
  4. ^ Perry, Joe & Ritz, David 2014, p. 131.
  5. ^ Tyler, Steven; Dalton, David (May 3, 2011). Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: The Autobiography. New York City, New York: Ecco Press. ISBN 978-0061767890. 
  6. ^ Perry, Joe & Ritz, David 2014, p. 132.
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Aerosmith - Get Your Wings review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Aerosmith - Get Your Wings". Superseventies.com. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Mitchell, Ben. "Backcatalog: Aerosmith - Get Your Wings". Blender. Archived from the original on October 26, 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Get Your Wings". Robert Christgau. 
  11. ^ a b Walters, Charley (June 6, 1974). "Get Your Wings - Aerosmith". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Aerosmith Album Guide". Rolling Stone. 2004. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Official Dick Wagner Website". wagnermusic.com. 
  14. ^ "Get Your Wings Billboard Albums". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Aerosmith – Get Your Wings". Music Canada. 
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Aerosmith – Get Your Wings". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links

Get Your Wings at MusicBrainz (list of releases)

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