Readers' Poll: 10 Best Aerosmith Albums - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: 10 Best Aerosmith Albums

Read all about “Toys in the Attic,” “Pump” and eight of your other favorites

steven tyler joe perry aerosmith perform

Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

Aerosmith are gearing up for a long tour that kicks off in Istanbul on May 14th. They head over to America for a run of outdoor and arena dates with special guest Slash in July. Their last album was 2012's Music From Another Dimension, but don't expect to hear all that much from that one: It pretty much disappeared without a trace and the group is still pretty sore about that. "The head of the label left three weeks before the record came out," Joe Perry recently told Rolling Stone. "The whole promotion thing got screwed up." Adds Steven Tyler: "How refreshing after 10 years to get fucked by your label again. God, I missed that." Thankfully, they have plenty of other albums to draw from. We asked our readers to vote for their favorite Aerosmith albums. Click through to see the results. 

aerosmith Permanent Vacation

Courtesy of Geffen Records

6. ‘Permanent Vacation’

Aerosmith wrote all the songs on Done With Mirrors by themselves, but when it came time for a follow-up record they worked with outside songwriters like Desmond Child and Holly Knight. It worked better than anyone could have imagined. Songs like "Rag Doll," "Angel" and "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" — all written with the help of outsiders — were absolute smashes. MTV put their videos into heavy rotation and kids that were barely out of diapers when "Walk This Way" first hit were rushing to basketball arenas to see Aerosmith live. It was one of the most remarkable comebacks in rock history, though some hardcore fans thought the new songs were cheesy. Still, for every one old song they lost they gained about 50 new ones. 

aerosmith Get a Grip

Courtesy of Geffen Records

5. ‘Get a Grip ‘

In 1993, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Whitney Houston ruled the world. A 1970s group like Aerosmith had absolutely no business finding a place in that landscape — let alone crafting hits that dominated radio and MTV for months on end — but that's exactly what happened. They once again turned to outside songwriters to create hits like "Crazy," "Amazing," "Livin' on the Edge" and "Cryin'" and they tapped a completely unknown Alicia Silverstone to star in a trio of videos. Teens all across America fell madly in love with the young beauty and Get a Grip sold by the millions. Aerosmith were more than 20 years into their career at this point, but this was the commercial peak. 

aerosmith Pump

Courtesy of Geffen Records

4. ‘Pump’

Aerosmith were on top of the world when they began work on Pump in early 1989. When the decade began the group was down two members and playing clubs while Steven Tyler struggled to control his horrific drug addiction. They were now back together again and, somehow, one of the biggest names in rock. Working with outside songwriters helped propel Permanent Vacation up the charts, so it made perfect sense to repeat the formula. Desmond Child helped with "F.I.N.E" and Jim Vallance c0-wrote "Young Lust." But this time around, the biggest hits — including "Janie's Got a Gun" and "Love in an Elevator" — were written without any help. The group was getting better at penning sleek, radio-friendly tunes. Many huge rock groups of the late 1980s melted into dust when the 1990s began, but somehow Aerosmith just got bigger. 

aerosmith Get Your Wings

Courtesy of Columbia Records

3. ‘Get Your Wings’

Relentless touring had turned Aerosmith into a first-rate live band when it came time to record their second album in late 1973, but they had yet to release a breakout single. That didn't change with Get Your Wings, but the record is still a vital leap forward for the band. It's their first effort with producer Jack Douglas, a man they'd return to time and time again as the decades wore on. It also features some of their most enduring songs, such as "Lord of the Thighs" and "Same Old Song and Dance." Once the group blew up with Toys in the Attic in 1975, many fans went back and discovered the genius of Get Your Wings

aerosmith Rocks

Courtesy of Columbia Records

2. ‘Rocks’

Aerosmith were at a creative peak when they recorded 1976's Rocks. Toys in the Attic finally showed the world this was a band worth taking seriously, but they wanted to prove they had more to offer. This was before drugs and ego took over, and they poured all their energies into crafting an absolute monster of an album. It doesn't relent from the opening notes of "Back in the Saddle" through "Home Tonight." It's the perfect marriage of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, but still something very original. They'd never again craft another album quite this perfect. 

aerosmith toys in the attic

Courtesy of Columbia Records

1. ‘Toys in the Attic’

Much like their Columbia labelmate Bruce Springsteen that same year, Aerosmith's 1975 LP Toys in the Attic was the group's third record, and a crucial make-it-or-break-it release. They had a cult following and an amazing live show by this point, but it was time for them to craft a masterpiece so the whole world would get to join the party. They pulled it off in a huge way by writing "Sweet Emotion," "Toys in the Attic" and "Walk This Way." Radio embraced "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way" in a huge way, finally bringing Aerosmith on to big stages around the world. It's hard to imagine what would have happened to Aerosmith had they not pulled this record off. 

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