Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Aerosmith Deep Cuts – Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Aerosmith Deep Cuts

See what song managed to top ‘Rats in the Cellar,’ ‘Big Ten Inch Record’ and ‘Uncle Salty’

While nothing is definite at the moment, it seems quite likely that Aerosmith will be launching a farewell tour next year. They’re one of the few bands from their generation still touring with the complete classic lineup, and they want to end it all while everyone is still standing. Joe Perry’s health scare earlier this week was a terrifying reminder of how quickly that can change, but thankfully he seems to be okay. Any farewell tour is likely to feature a lot of hits, but Aerosmith also digs out a handful of rare songs each night to please the hardcores. We asked our readers to select their favorite Aerosmith deep cuts. Here are the results. 

Aerosmith Best Deep cut songs Joe Perry Steven Tyler performing

“Kings and Queens”

Long before power ballads became practically a contractual requirement for all hard rock bands, Aerosmith recorded "Kings and Queens" for 1977's Draw the Line. The lyrics focus on the high cost of religious extremism in the days of kings, queens, lords, maidens and vikings. It was the second Draw the Line single, and it peaked at Number 70 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song sat dormant for years, though it was a regular on the group's 2014 tour. 

Aerosmith Best Deep cut songs Joe Perry Steven Tyler performing

“Sick as a Dog”

"Sick as a Dog" is a real outlier in the Aerosmith catalog in that it features bassist Tom Hamilton on guitar and Joe Perry on bass, at least until the very end when Steven Tyler took over. The 1976 song was cut live and since Hamilton wrote the tune, they let him play guitar. That put Perry on bass, but he somehow had to switch over to guitar to play a solo at the end. Not wanting to disrupt the live feel, the group simply waited until a slow part near the end when Perry quietly handed off the bass to his singer and picked up the guitar. It's so seamless on the recording that it's impossible to notice. They haven't played it live since 2002, though in concert everyone sticks to their normal instruments. 

Aerosmith Best Deep cut songs Joe Perry Steven Tyler performing

‘Rats in the Cellar’

The world of Aerosmith was a pretty chaotic place when the Rocks sessions came about in early 1976, and Steven Tyler wanted to reflect that in the lyrics to "Rats in the Cellar." "Things were coming apart," the singer wrote in his memoir Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, "Sanity was scurrying south, caution was flung to the winds, and little by little the chaos was permanently moving in." The music was an intentional callback to the wild energy of "Toys in the Attic," and it quickly became a live showstopper even though it was never a single. 

Aerosmith Best Deep cut songs Joe Perry Steven Tyler performing

“Uncle Salty”

Fourteen years before Steven Tyler wrote "Janie's Got a Gun," a song about a young girl that gets revenge on her sexually abusive father, the singer contributed the thematically-similar "Uncle Salty" to Toys in the Attic. It focuses more on the tragic aftermath of the abuse and how it led to a sad life of prostitution. "Now she's doing any for money and a penny," he sings. "A sailor with a penny or two or three/Hers is the cunning for men who come a-running." They haven't played it in concert since 2009. 

Aerosmith Best Deep cut songs Joe Perry Steven Tyler performing

“Nobody’s Fault”

Aerosmith didn't release "Nobody's Fault" as a single when it came out in 1976, and with "Back in the Saddle" and "Last Child" all over the radio nobody, but the true fans were talking about it. The band hasn't played it a single time since 2003. But there's a reason why everyone from Slash to James Hetfield to even Kurt Cobain cited it as as one of Aerosmith's finest tunes. The group has never sounded this heavy or mighty. This is Aerosmith at their absolute peak, before drugs and in-fighting started eating away at their core. 

Aerosmith Best Deep cut songs Joe Perry Steven Tyler performing

“Seasons of Wither”

Aerosmith were still a young, struggling rock band in the winter of 1973 when Steven Tyler was holed up in a house he shared with drummer Joey Kramer in Needham, Massachusetts. Faced with a big tax bill he couldn't afford and bummed about the frigid weather, he headed into the basement and wrote a sad song. "I took a few Tuinals and a few Seconals," he said, "and I scooped up this guitar Joey gave me, this Dumpster guitar, and I lit some incense and wrote 'Seasons of Wither.'" The gorgeous ballad appears near the end of Get Your Wings, right after their cover of "Train Kept-A Rollin'." "Dream On" remains their most famous ballad (and one of the most famous ballads in rock history), but if radio had embraced "Seasons of Wither" back in the 1970s, it's easy to imagine it being equally beloved.