Aerosmith: 1971: The Road Begins Listen to the album review

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Originally released as a very limited Record Store Day 2021 edition on cassette and vinyl, this newly discovered demo/rehearsal tape from Aerosmith’s Vindaloo Vaults captures the band in all their raw, budding beauty. They are still two years away from the release of their debut album, but nevertheless exhibit a raw and embryonic talent for cutting seriously smoldering grooves.

A recording seemingly completely forgotten by just about everyone, it’s dirty and grimy with the dust of the years, but still good enough to send shivers down your spine when you hear the first takes of just over half of what would become their self-titled debut album, plus a few releases.

Somebody, movin’ out and Mama Kin are gritty, tight rockers, the latter sounding particularly loose and juicy; Dreammeanwhile, is a real diamond in the rough, albeit wonky, and has a fascinating and different ending; Walk the doghowever, is the best of these future classics, being slower, longer, and meaner than the officially recorded studio version, with Steven Tyler also delivering pleasingly psychedelic wooden flute action.

Among the other songs, versions of Major Barbara would eventually end up on Live Classics and Pandora’s boxwhile Cold Headed Woman has a lot more energy here than the polished version on Night in the ruts. Not so much a lost gem as an unmissable historical curiosity, The road starts here is the sound of a legend in the making, taxiing on the runway, waiting for clearance to take off.

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