Certain Songs #1: Aerosmith – “Sweet Emotion”


Album: Toys in the Attic 

Year: 1975

I know that even back in the day, “Walk This Way” was the single that got all of the acclaim, but this is the song that caused 12-year-old me to make Toys in the Attic one of the first albums I ever purchased.

With the bass-driven intro, weird phased-out harmonies and guitar riffs circling back upon themselves on top a sneakily funky beat, it didn’t even matter that the words were basically rock star bullshit.

As a matter of fact, to a 12-year-old boy in 1975, it was a boon that the words were basically rock star bullshit. Steven Tyler has long since become a parody of himself, but it’s clear that he pretty much chose that route from the very first.

But who cares? For at least two albums, Aerosmith was so completely overflowing with musical ideas that the coda to this song – a Top 40 single, remember – is a completely different beast, full of Joey Kramer trying to rip a hole in the fabric of the universe while Joe Perry & Brad Whitford’s guitars barely contain him.

Oh and one more thing: when I first got the album, the difference between the “scary-ass beckoning toys” drawing on the front cover and the plain “chest of inanimate objects” photo on the back always freaked me the fuck out.

“Sweet Emotion”

My Certain Songs Playlist on Spotify

Every “Certain Song” Ever

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