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Albums Of The Week: Aerosmith | 1971: The Road Starts Hear

This long-lost early recording captures the Boston rockers on the cusp of greatness.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Aerosmith’s 1971: The Road Starts Hear is a landmark early recording made with Joe Perry’s Wollensak reel-to-reel tape machine, either in the band’s Boston rehearsal room for a few select friends, or during a soundcheck for an early show. All that is certain is that the tape captures a young, hungry rock band one year before being discovered and signing to Columbia Records and two years before their self-titled major label debut helped catapult them into one of the biggest rock acts of all time.

The album features the original and current members of Aerosmith: Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford. With seven extraordinary tracks, this historic document showcases the early, unbridled talent of the future Hall of Fame members including a nascent version of Dream On, which they would later record and release on their 1973 eponymous major label debut. Aerosmith are one of the few bands to chart with the same song five decades apart — the song was a hit in 1973, reaching No. 59 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and re-entered the charts in 2020 at No. 4 on the Hard Rock Streaming Songs chart.

Other tracks include early recordings of gems such as Somebody, Movin’ Out, Walkin’ The Dog, and Mama Kin, all of which would also later be recorded for their landmark debut. The Road Starts Hear also features Reefer Head Woman, which would later be recorded for their 1979 album Night In The Ruts, and the track Major Barbara, a song that would be featured on their 1986 release Classics Live.

The album release was produced by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Steve Berkowitz. The packaging includes previously unseen archived photos, images of the original tape box, and liner notes written by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, with new interviews and comments from the band about this long-forgotten recording.”