January 5th, 1973 made a rather large mark in rock ‘n’ roll history. The date might not have been the one that launched Aerosmith into complete stardom, but it did reveal to the world what the rockers from Boston, Massachusetts were all about.
It was exactly 50 years ago from today when Aerosmith released their very first record. The self-titled album came three years after the band formed in 1970 with the lineup of vocalist Steven Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry, rhythm guitarist Ray Tabano (who would be replaced by Brad Whitford the next year), bassist Tom Hamilton, and drummer Joey Kramer. Most of the members had never even been in a studio before they recorded Aerosmith at Intermedia Studios in Boston.
With the help of producer Adrian Barber, Aerosmith created their debut album under the influence of 1960s British blues bands, which is obvious in the music. The record is most notable for its raw nature and how different Steven Tyler sounds from the band’s albums that would follow. Tyler has admitted to feeling nervous during the recording and tried to emulate his favorite blues singers instead of finding his own voice, which he definitely would find soon. However, listeners would likely never realize Tyler’s insecurities especially with his powerful cries heard in the biggest hit from the album (and biggest hit of their career) Dream On.
The LP only reached No. 166 on the Billboard chart when it was released, but the extravagant single Dream On, which would eventually become a classic rock staple, made it up to No. 59. Although Aerosmith wasn’t considered a success at first, the album ended up reaching No. 21 on the charts when it was re-released in 1976 after the band did reach the peak of their fame.
Aerosmith was a record that took time for fans to realize its significance. With songs like Dream On, Mama Kin, and Walkin’ the Dog, it was a hard record to ignore for too long. The album proved that Aerosmith was just about to begin a whirlwind of a journey showcasing their eccentric style of blues-rock to the world.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Aerosmith by watching Aerosmith perform Dream On live on The Midnight Special in 1974 here: