Calm down, perverts -- I stuck Aerosmith's Rocks disc in the car.
Rocks was released in 1976, which means Aerosmith were still drinking, drugging and, not incidentally, making great hard rock records. This album is a classic. "Back in the Saddle" proves that Steven Tyler might not be a technically brilliant singer, but he can shriek with the best of them -- check out those last few "riding HIIIIIGHs." Joe Perry's first solo composition "Combination" has always been a favorite of mine; when I was a kid, I didn't catch all the drug references, but that's why it's fun to revisit old favorites once you've put a few extra miles on your chassis.
But Brad Whitford is the MVP of this disc. His two contributions -- "Last Child" and "Nobody's Fault" -- showcase Aerosmith's accessibility and on "Nobody's Fault," their sense of menace.
Listening to Rocks demonstrates how far the band has fallen. Sobriety's a wonderful thing, I guess, but for Aerosmith, it came at the price of their musical balls. The gauche punchline is that the dreck they've churned out since 1987 has been their most commercially successful material, proving that the American record-buying public, generally speaking, has no taste, rewarding the group for turning into a grotesque parody of themselves.