Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic: #538 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic

So why is Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Part of me wants to say that the first time I became aware of Aerosmith as a kid was by way of hearing songs like the outstanding “Dream On,” from the band’s self-titled debut album from 1973, and “Sweet Emotion” off of Toys in the Attic on Long Island classic rock radio.

But it was seeing the “Walk This Way” video on MTV, as part of the band’s collaboration with Run D.M.C. in 1986, that fully put the lads from Boston on my radar.

Only a few short years later, Aerosmith headlined the first “real” live rock concert that I ever attended, with Skid Row opening (as part of the tour for the Pump album). From that point forward I had maximum respect for Aerosmith.

Their live performance was electric, and Steven Tyler was an absolute acrobat on stage, doing literal flips to the delight of the audience. They had also perfected performing in arenas by then, flashing the flood lights on the audience to get the entire crowd to sing along to well known choruses.  

Revisiting “Sweet Emotion,” the best song on Toys in the Attic, I’m struck by how Led Zeppelin-esque Joe Perry’s guitar work is while he still carves out a unique sound that leans into a dirtier blues boogie sound that welds perfectly with Tyler’s sexed up hard rock front man style.

It’s so cool too how Steven Tyler owns the softer sections of the song – which begins with the song’s chorus, interestingly enough – before Perry’s guitar absolutely dominates the verses.

I’ve listened to R.E.M.’s cover of the title track, “Toys in the Attic,” off of Dead Letter Office, so many times over the years that it’s almost jarring to head back to Aerosmith’s original. But it’s a great hard rocker. On this one, it’s the vocal harmonizing on the repeated section right before the chorus that really differentiates Aerosmith from so many also ran rock bands coming out of the 1970s.

Voices scream
Nothing’s seen
Real’s a dream

“You See Me Crying” is a fine power ballad, and points to the sound in some respects that the band would become best known for in recent decades.

Some stats & info about Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Hard Rock, Boston Bands, Album Rock, Arena Rock, Heavy Metal
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Toys in the Attic released? 1975
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #538 out of 1,000

Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

You talk about things that nobody cares, wearing out things that nobody wears. You’re calling my name but I gotta make clear, I can’t say baby where I’ll be in a year.

What’s the most interesting thing about Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic that most people don’t know?

Toys in the Attic was recorded in just two weeks. Despite the limited amount of time, the album captured the raw energy and musicianship of the band, and the quick recording process also added to the album’s spontaneous and high-octane sound.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.