The general consensus seems to be that Aerosmith were at something of a creative peak in the mid 70s and would never again to reach the such lofty heights again, regardless of their later commercial success. Now this is a bit simplistic for me, as in their post-Run-D.M.C. days, they’ve released some of the finest slices of pop-rock of the late 80s and early 90s. So what if they resort to hired help on the writing? It worked for them and they achieved success on a truly global scale which they never did before they ‘sold out’ (face facts folks, try as they might they never quite cracked Europe in the 70s).
Rocks is generally seen as the band’s definitive release and the album that still defines everything great about Aerosmith in the 1970s. It’s certainly their most straight-ahead rock album and boasting tracks like “Back in the Saddle” and “Last Child”, it’s not without its highlights. This is what Aerosmith did best – big rocking guitars, screeched / howled vocals and egos barely obscured by a blizzard of white powder.
While Rocks may lack the diversity and subtlety of its predecessor, Toys in the Attic, it actually does exactly what its title suggests and if you’re looking for Aerosmith at their hardest rocking, then this is the album for you.
After a half hour of rocking, Rocks closes with one of its best tracks, one of their best early power ballads, and one of their less well-known tunes, “Home Tonight”.
As early Aerosmith albums go, this should certainly be on your shopping list, but if you’re looking for more than a straight forward rock album, you may be disappointed.