Aerosmith - Rocks

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Posted on Mon, 09/29/2014 - 5:45pm
by John MacMillan

Member since: Tue, 01/07/2014

Release Type

Studio Album

Release Year


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Album Overview

Rocks is the fourth album by American rock band Aerosmith, released on May 3, 1976. AllMusic described Rocks as having "captured Aerosmith at their most raw and rocking". Rocks was ranked #176 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It has greatly influenced many hard rock and heavy metal artists, including Guns N' Roses and Metallica. The album was a commercial success, charting three singles on the Billboard Hot 100, two of which reached the Top 40 ("Back in the Saddle" and "Last Child"). The album was one of the first albums to ship platinum when it was released. The album has since gone quadruple platinum.


1Back In The Saddle4:40

Bass [Six-string]: Joe Perry

2Last Child3:27

Banjo: Paul Prestopino
Written-By: Brad Whitford
Written-By: Steven Tyler

3Rats In The Cellar4:02

Written-By: Joe Perry

5Sick As A Dog4:25

Electric Bass: Joe Perry
Electric Bass: Steven Tyler
Guitar, Backing Vocals: Tom Hamilton
Written-By: Steven Tyler
Written-By: Tom Hamilton

6Nobody's Fault4:40

Written-By: Brad Whitford
Written-By: Steven Tyler

7Get The Lead Out3:42
8Lick And Promise3:04
9Home Tonight3:15

Backing Vocals: Joey Kramer
Steel Guitar [Lap]: Joe Perry
Written-By: Steven Tyler

Song information

"Back in the Saddle"

The song features Joe Perry playing a six-string bass, and was released as a single on March 22, 1977. The song was covered by former Skid Row-vocalist Sebastian Bach on his 2007 album Angel Down, as a duet with Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose.

"Last Child"

A blues and funk infused tune, "Last Child" was written by lead singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Brad Whitford, and includes many double entendre lyrics from Tyler. The song remains a favorite among many Aerosmith fans. It is said that Brad Whitford created the riff after listening to The Meters, and that the band wrote the rest in the studio. Live, Whitford plays lead guitar on the song. "Last Child" was also included in the video game Guitar Hero II. The song was released as a single on May 27, 1976, and features Paul Prestopino playing banjo.

"Rats in the Cellar"

Tom Hamilton describes the song's writing process as, "taking this thing The Yardbirds created, and making it balls to the wall". It was conceived as a counterpart to Toys in the Attic, and is inspired by the death of the band's drug dealer. The song was released as a promo single for the album.


This song features Joe Perry on co-lead vocals with Steven Tyler. The song is about drugs and the danger of affording them.

"Sick as a Dog"

"Sick as a Dog" is the only song on Rocks that features Tom Hamilton playing a guitar instead of an electric bass, and features both Joe Perry (during the main part of the song) and Steven Tyler (during the ending guitar solo) on electric bass. According to an interview with Tom Hamilton, during recording Perry handed the bass over to Tyler at a pause near the end of the song, so that Perry could switch over to lead guitar.

"Nobody's Fault"

With "Back in the Saddle", "Nobody's Fault" (regarded as the heaviest song on the album), is one of former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash's favorite Aerosmith songs, as well as that of Metallica leader James Hetfield. Thrash metal band Testament covered this song on their 1988 album, The New Order, as well as L.A. Guns contributing a cover of the song for their 2004 covers album Rips the Covers Off. Mötley Crüe vocalist Vince Neil covered this song on his 2010 solo album Tattoos & Tequila.

This song is an important contribution to the band's catalogue by Brad Whitford, who cites it as his favorite Aerosmith song. Joey Kramer has also cited "Nobody's Fault" as his favorite Aerosmith song (along with "Lord of the Thighs). It has also been said that the song is about earthquakes.

"Lick and a Promise"

"Lick and a Promise" is a song about "going out there and putting on a great show." The Stone Temple Pilots were joined onstage in 1996 by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, performing the song along with "Sweet Emotion".

"Home Tonight"

This song features Joe Perry on a lap steel guitar as a lead guitar and his Les Paul for the rhythm guitar, and has drummer Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton, and producer/arranger Jack Douglas performing backing vocals.


  • Slash says that Rocks was the album that inspired him to learn guitar.
  • Rocks was one of Kurt Cobain's favorite albums, as he listed in his Journals.
  • In 2003, the album was ranked number 176 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
  • Mötley Crüe songwriter and bassist Nikki Sixx refers to it frequently in his book The Heroin Diaries.
  • Metallica leader James Hetfield has identified Rocks, as well as Aerosmith, to have been important influences in his music, stating that Aerosmith was the reason why he wanted to learn guitar.

Media appearances

  • The song "Last Child" is a playable song in the video game Guitar Hero II.
  • Also released as a 4-channel quadraphonic mix.
  • "Back in the Saddle", "Nobody's Fault", "Rats in the Cellar" and "Combination" are playable songs on Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. "Back in the Saddle" is the only playable song from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith that appears in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits.
  • Professional wrestler Chris Benoit used "Back in the Saddle" as his entrance theme in Extreme Championship Wrestling from 1994 to 1995.
  • "Back in the Saddle" was featured in the movies Shanghai Noon, Red and The Fighter.


Greg Prato of AllMusic said that the best songs on Rocks were "Back in the Saddle" and "Last Child", and compared the Joe Perry composition, "Combination", to a Rolling Stones song. He also said the album was more "raw" than Toys in the Attic, and thought overall Rocks was better than its predecessor. Ben Mitchell of Blender magazine, said that the group members' drug-use actually helped Rocks, and he also called the album "raw." In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said that with Rocks Aerosmith was doing a good job of imitating Led Zeppelin, and that after Rocks the band began to lose steam.



Tom Hamilton – bass, guitar on "Sick as a Dog"
Joey Kramer – drums, percussion
Joe Perry – guitars, backing vocals, six-string bass on "Back in the Saddle," electric bass on "Sick as a Dog"
Steven Tyler – lead vocals, keyboards, electric bass on "Sick as a Dog"
Brad Whitford – guitars
Paul Prestopino – banjo on "Last Child"


Engineer: Jay Messina
Producer: Jack Douglas
Producer, Arranged By: Aerosmith
Written-By: Joe Perry
Written-By: Steven Tyler


"Dedicated to the memories of Anthony D. Perry and Herb Spar"



Rocks (Aerosmith album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from -