Last year, I did a five-month series called Trick Tuesday, in which I discussed every Cheap Trick album in depth, one a week. Picking that band as a subject was easy: they're my favorite band in the history of the rock and the roll. In many ways, that entire series was just as much about me as it was Cheap Trick; theirs was the music I truly grew up with and to, and any discussion of their work was sure to be rife with autobiographical details for me. The entire thing was great fun; writing it was a blast, and I got to correspond with a bunch of nice folks along the way. Since its conclusion, I've been looking to cast a different band in a similar series. This morning, as I was contemplating the fact that Valentine's Day is only a couple of weeks away, a subject that should have been obvious months ago loudly announced itself.
Often in this blog, I've mentioned Rhea, my darling fiancée/life-partner-in-crime. Aerosmith are her Cheap Trick, the band that turned her from a music listener to a music fan, the band to whom she always comes home. Why not then, as we head towards Valentine's Day, take on the large and varied catalog of my favorite's favorites? With Steven Tyler currently plastered all over the media, and with increasingly true-sounding rumors of a new album on the horizon, this seems like a perfect time to make Aerosmith the subject of my second album-by-album series.
To give you a feel for where I'm coming from with this, I'm a fan - and was long before I met Rhea. I began delving into the Aerosmith catalog around the same time as I was discovering Cheap Trick, which means my early-to-mid teens. In many ways, their '70s catalog is the perfect hormonal match for a budding young rocker at that painfully adolescent age: ballsy, sleazy, and offering carnal knowledge by proxy to even the shyest of teen-dorks. I ate it all right up then, and it remains dazzling all these years later.
You'll notice that I qualified my comments in that last paragraph with "their '70s catalog". In many ways, there are really two Aerosmiths: the rock band that existed from their inception through 1985's Done with Mirrors, and the pop band that has set up an enormously successful shop ever since then. From the very phrasing of that sentence, it's probably obvious that my allegiance largely lies with the band's earlier material. My tastes are just much more "Rats in the Cellar" than "Cryin'", and that's true of both Aerosmith and rock 'n' roll in general. So I'm admitting my prejudices clearly before we even begin this thing, but I'm also honestly looking forward to giving their later stuff a fresh listen for this series. You never know what you'll hear with the benefit of hindsight that you may have missed at the time, and you never know what might just plain sound better to your ears at 37 than it did at 27 or 17.
And with that, I'll cut this intro short before I get too far ahead of myself. That's AeroTuesday, every Tuesday here on Turned on Its Ear, starting tomorrow. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to drape some scarves from my keyboard in anticipation.