REVIEW: Aerosmith – Get Your Wings (1974)

GET YOUR WINGS_0001AEROSMITH – Get Your Wings (1974 Columbia, 1993 Sony remaster)

Only the year after dropping their debut, Aerosmith cranked out another collection of solid bluesy rock tunes, but this time with better production! With Bob Ezrin overseeing the project, Aerosmith made the fateful hookup with Jack Douglas. Although the band had bigger hits under Bruce Fairbairn in the 80’s, Aerosmith made their best albums with Jack Douglas in the 70’s.

Get Your Wings really sounds like the Aerosmith we now know and love. The first album wasn’t all the way there yet. Get Your Wings sounds like my kinda Aerosmith. Surely, the opener “Same Old Song and Dance” is familiar to millions. Horn laden and funky, “Same Old Song and Dance” hits all the Aero-bases.

As a piano player, Steven Tyler usually keeps in simple and rhythmic, and “Lord of the Thighs” is the perfect example of that kind of Tyler piano part. It’s a menacing song, right in the pocket, also boasting some of Joe Perry’s more memorable solos.

One of my favourite songs, and one of the least-known is the sci-fi tale “Spaced”. This is a story about the “last man to survive”. It’s an ambitious tune for Aerosmith, and boasts a number of catchy parts. Another seldom heard track is “Woman of the World” which is also pretty cool. I like the acoustic intro and the smoking Joe Perry licks. “S.O.S. (Too Bad)” is a full-speed-ahead Aerosmith blast of adrenaline, a definite classic. These tracks boast a high level of musical depth and satisfying chops.

Aerosmith covered the legendary Yardbirds song “Train Kept a Rollin'” and managed to make it their own. When it picks up steam at the end, better hold on tight. This song may enduce whiplash. You get to cool down as it fades into the acoustic classic “Seasons of Wither”. As far as I’m concerned, “Seasons of Wither” is almost as brilliant as “Dream On”. It’s that good. It also takes advantage of the fuller production that Jack Douglas brought to the table.*

Although “Seasons of Wither” would have been a fine side closer, a coda is tacked on in the funky “Pandora’s Box”. Double and triple entendres, a rock solid rhythm section, and those soon-to-be-trademark Aerosmith horns n’ piano — what more do you need? While it does feel oddly sequenced, “Pandora’s Box” is every bit as classic as anything else on the album.

Get Your Wings showed significant growth from the band’s debut. Their trajectory had yet to peak…even better things were ahead.

4/5 stars

* I noticed in the photos in the CD booklet, this album was once available in Quad!  Oh, to have a quad version of “Seasons of Wither”!

AEROSMITH BOX OF FIRE review series:

BOX OF FIRE THUMBDisc 1: Aerosmith (1973)
Disc 2: Get Your Wings (1974)

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27 comments

  1. I’ve always loved the logo on this album two, with the little tonsils in the ‘A’. I also love that they’ve played tracks from the first 4 albums pretty much every tour since each of the albums came out. Just goes to show how strong the material is.

    Back on topic: a much stronger effort than the first album. But they’re still ying/yang for me. Part of the same bluesy, rock ‘n’ roll Aerosmith. There’s an earthiness to the first 2 albums that is unique in their catalogue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I call it the “furry A” logo and I love it too. This is the one I want on a T-shirt.

      I can’t say I think one album is superior to the other. I like the equally. This is a problem I ran across with the first 4-5 ‘Smith albums. Too close to call, a lot of them!

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  2. I’m a huge 70’s Aerosmith fan, they were the band that got me into rock ‘n’ roll. Glad to see you reviewing their albums. Fully agreed with Seasons of Wither being almost as good as Dream On, fantastic winter-ish atmosphere on that one. The whole album is indeed a step in the right direction, it gives the feeling of the band finding their own sound, getting their own wings. They would truly start flying and reach for the heights on the next album.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome, glad to see I’ve chosen a series that connects with some people!

      In the 70’s bands had a chance to grow from album to album. These ‘Smith discs are the proof.

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  3. Wasn’t this the album supposedly Steve Hunter was playing uncredited solos on a few tracks? Could be wrong but I though I had read that. Yeah this album is the blue print for what would follow….lyrically Tyler is figuring it all out here and it’s amazing how crafty he was at doing this while being somewhat out of it…
    Good job buckaroo !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice write-up. I’ve never heard either of the first two ‘Smith LPs, just the hits off ’em. I have wanted this one for ages though.

    I have a theory that ‘Train kept a’rolling’ isn’t really about public transport …

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  5. Much better than the debut, even though I still think the sonics of the album leaves a bit to be desired, but they’re getting there. And Seasons Of Wither can very well be Aerosmith’s best slow piece ever. I’d give this album 6/10.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Getting there! I really would love to hear that Quad version. Seasons of Wither in Quad would be amazing. I doubt you’ll see a reissue with a Quad mix like Deep Purple do…but you never know.

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  6. My favorite Aerosmith album. BTW – those aren’t “tonsils” on that logo, that there is your garden variety clitoris, and the A is a furry…well, you get the picture! My first concert in 74 was Aerosmith at a local community college. We snuck in early and heard them doing their sound check and the song “Woman of the World” has been one of my favorites ever since!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woah! Hey Jim! Never noticed that before…colour me embarrassed! I see it now…I’ll never be able to see it any other way now!

      Hearing Aerosmith at soundcheck in 1974 sounds like the kind of thing you tell your grandchildren about!

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