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1975’s Toys in the Attic broke this Boston group commercially, while the follow-up, 1976’s Rocks, the band’s fourth studio album, cemented Aerosmith’s reputation as the era’s most formidable hard rock band. Not nearly as radio-friendly (Attic had the title track, “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” leading its charge), Rocks came out firing on all cylinders. The hard-charging “Back in the Saddle” opens things brilliantly with guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford working terse, syncopated riffs behind the quick-lipped sass of lead singer Steven Tyler, who plays it funky (“Last Child,” “Rats in the Cellar”), streetwise (“Lick and a Promise”) and sentimental (“Home Tonight”), alluding throughout to the band’s bad habits that would eventually knock them out of commission by the end of the decade. The thick, epic harmonies of “Sick as a Dog,” the nod to the Rolling Stones with Joe Perry’s “Combination” and the quaking metal assault of “Nobody’s Fault” and “Get the Lead Out” provide solid evidence for Aerosmith’s deserved reign as ‘70s rock legends and top festival draws. 


Formed: 1970 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aerosmith were one of the most popular hard rock bands of the '70s, setting the style and sound of hard rock and heavy metal for the next two decades with their raunchy, bluesy swagger. The Boston-based quintet found the middle ground between the menace of the Rolling Stones and the campy, sleazy flamboyance of the New York Dolls, developing a lean, dirty riff-oriented boogie that was loose and swinging and as hard as a diamond. In the meantime, they developed a prototype for power ballads with...
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