When I first started to listen to Aerosmith – about twenty years before I would actually get chance to listen to this debut by the Stones – I could never quite figure out the severity of the comparisons of the two bands. Yes, Tyler and Perry and are a carbon copy of Jagger and Richards – they even have a moniker, the Toxic Twins, to rival Jagger and Richards as the Glimmer Twins, but apart from that I couldn’t really see what else there was.
Arguably – and of course this is purely subjective – Steven Tyler is a superior vocalist to Mick Jagger; and perhaps less arguably, Perry can run rings around Richards on the guitar (which isn’t exactly that shaming on the part of Keith who is more of a rhythm guitarist anyway). The Stones frontmen are better songwriters of course (well, some of the time), so apart from looks and a general Stones-ey feeling from Aerosmith’s brand of rock n’ roll, I could never quite understand what else (like there had to be something else!) there was.
After finally getting to hear the Stones’ debut earlier this year – the answer is obvious. Rather than doing their best to avoid the Stones comparisons, Aerosmith very stupidly decided to cover the same song to close their debut album – Rufus Thomas’ Walking The Dog – that the Stones had closed their debut album just nine years earlier!
Both versions are fantastic – as is the original – and each band does the song a little differently, but you think somebody might have mentioned that this wasn’t too hot an idea when they were putting Aerosmith’s album together.
This Stones debut is fantastic – with about double the energy the Beatles had managed to pull together for their debut the previous year – and alongside the eleven covers on here (only one song is a Jagger/Richards original), I love their version of Chuck Berry’s Carol – which reminds me of this hilarious version of Keith getting to play the song with his hero.
Hit: Route 66
Hidden Gem: Carol