Category Archives: Lionel Richie

Rocks In The Attic #50: Aerosmith – ‘Rocks’ (1976)

Rocks In The Attic #50: Aerosmith - ‘Rocks’ (1976)Seeing as this is the 50th entry in this particular blog, I thought I’d cover an album I really, really love – and one that lends its name to (half of) the blog’s title. Looking back, I regret not doing something similar for the silver posting at #25, which was taken by Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down. Oh dear – perhaps subconsciously I like Lionel Richie solo albums more than I give myself credit for.

Rocks is Aerosmith’s fourth studio album and the creative peak of their classic 70s period. This is the album that was heard by a young Slash and turned him onto rock music, essentially giving birth to Guns ‘N Roses. Of this album, and its predecessor Toys In The Attic, I probably prefer the earlier album as it has a little more light on it. That’s not to say Rocks is a dark album – it’s just darker than Toys… and is very no-nonsense.

Credit also has to be given to the producer, Jack Douglas – now practically a sixth member of the band. The production specifically on the opening track Back In The Saddle is fantastic, building up to a release with sound effects perfectly complimenting the lyrics to conjure up a dusty saloon in the old west.

It’s all the rage these days for bands to play their classic albums in their entirety. I guess this maybe started with Pink Floyd playing Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety on their Pulse tour. I read somewhere that back in 2009, Aerosmith played Rocks from start to finish as the centrepiece of their live show – after giving Toys… the same treatment went down well with the fans. Now normally I’d love to see the band play either of these albums in full, but I’m not really sure I want the 21st century version of Aerosmith spoiling my love of these two great albums.

I used to love Blondie, but seeing them live at Glastonbury in 1999 really turned me off them, and it took me a very long time to start appreciating them again. I have an almost religious love for the Toys… and Rocks albums and I wouldn’t want that to be destroyed. Sometimes nostalgia should be left in its box.

Hit: Last Child

Hidden Gem: Combination

Rocks In The Attic #25: Lionel Richie – ‘Can’t Slow Down’ (1983)

Rocks In The Attic #25: Lionel Richie - ‘Can’t Slow Down’ (1983)I’m not sure why I have this – I think it may have something I pilfered from my parent’s collection when I was starting to listen to vinyl in a big way. For years it remained on my shelf, unlistened to, and then I noticed it had a song – Running With The Night – that featured on the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I’m glad I finally listened to it, as the rest of the album isn’t half-bad.

Bookended by his big US #1 solo hits – All Night Long (All Night) and Hello – the album is his second solo output after leaving The Commodores, and is full of hits. Each of the five singles taken from the album charted in the US Top 10 – not a bad start for somebody described by one critic as ‘the black Barry Manilow’.

My good friend Roger used to use a ticket stub from a Lionel Richie concert as a bookmark, mainly as a conversation starter to meet girls on the train during his commute to work. Apparently it worked most of the time.

Hit: Hello

Hidden Gem: Running With The Night