The Sound Cafe
'Aerosmith – 1971: The Road Starts Hear' Digital Debut In Celebration Of Bands 50th Anniversary
Photo Credit: Zack Whitford
In the first of many announcements celebrating the 50th anniversary of the four-time GRAMMY® winning and Diamond-certified rock legends Aerosmith, one of their earliest recordings, Aerosmith – 1971: The Road Starts Hear, will make its CD and digital debut on April 8. This rare recording from 1971 was recently discovered in Aerosmith’s Vindaloo Vaults and was originally only available as a limited-edition cassette and vinyl release for Record Store Day in 2021. The heavily sought-after RSD release quickly sold out and debuted on the Billboard 200, hitting No. 2 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart, No. 12 on the Top Rock Albums chart, No. 13 on the Vinyl Albums chart, and No. 19 on the Top Album Sales chart.
Aerosmith – 1971: The Road Starts Hear 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. 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 is one of the few bands to chart with the same song 5 decades later, 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.
Listen to the fiery, early rehearsal version of the song “Somebody,” below.
The landmark early recording was made with Joe Perry’s Wollensak reel-to-reel tape machine in 1971 by Mark Lehman who owned the infamous van and became Aerosmith’s one-man road crew, either in the band’s Boston rehearsal room in front of a few select friends, or at a rehearsal the band did 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 with Columbia Records and two years before their self-titled major label debut was released that helped catapult the band to one of the biggest rock acts of all time. The album release was produced by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Steve Berkowitz.
Celebrating their 50th anniversary, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Aerosmith have sold more than 150 million albums around the world, produced genre-defining music videos such as "Amazing," "Crazy," "Janie's Got A Gun," "Livin' on the Edge," and "Love in an Elevator," and launched extravagant record- shattering global tours, most recently with their smash hit Las Vegas residency. The band has broken numerous boundaries, including becoming the first rock band with a massive commercially successful hip-hop collaboration with Run DMC on "Walk This Way" and the first hard rock band to appear during a Super Bowl Halftime Show with their 2001 performance, and in 1999, Aerosmith became the first band to have their own themed attraction at Disney World in Florida and later Paris with the launch of the Rock 'N' Roller coaster starring Aerosmith.