A Rare Snapshot of College Radio in the ’70s Part 2: Aerosmith

A few years ago, I struck vinyl gold while living in Dallas, TX. A friend of mine from Good Records, Chris Penn aka DJ Cee Pee, put together two boxes of hand-picked metal records for me. He had just picked up several hundred used records from a Dallas college radio station as they were throwing them out and going digital. 

Although many of the classic albums included had some pretty good wear going on with the sleeves, the actual vinyl was in excellent condition. It was a vast selection of ’70s and ’80s metal, a gift from the vinyl gods above.

Back in the ’70s, college radio stations would put notes on the front of each record with comments from other DJs at the station along with a description of the band. Reading these notes today can be quite entertaining, as you’re about to see.

Here are two gems from Aerosmith, along with the original notes and comments from the DJs themselves.

A Brief History: Toys In The Attic is the third album by Aerosmith, released in April 1975 by Columbia Records. The album is their second-most commercially successful studio LP, with eight million copies sold in the US. Steven Tyler claims that his original idea for the album cover was a teddy bear sitting in the attic with its wrist cut and stuffing spread across the floor.

The album was ranked #228 on Rolling Stone‘s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album’s title track is part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Here are the actual notes from the station DJs. Date first aired: 7/12/75

Comments: “Third hard-core album from new breed of hard rockers. Worth a listen to, especially to compare with vintage (Butterfly, Cream, Black Sabbath).

Check out the song descriptions in the photo above, including: “Walk This Way” – “Funky rocker. Maybe even a disco tune” and “Round and Round” – “The Led Zeppelin style perfected.”

Brief History: Rocks is the third fourth album from American hard rock band Aerosmith released on May 3rd, 1976. It was ranked #176 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It has greatly influenced many people in the hard rock and heavy metal community, including Guns N’ Roses (Slash said this is the album that made him want to play guitar!) 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.

Again, here are the actual notes from the station DJs. Date First Aired: 6/28/76

Comments/ Special Stuff:  “Aerosmith is out with their third one, and the other two are also high on the charts, which is some kind of record, outside the Beatles. Lots of DB’s here, and pure energized rock that shakes you.”

Check out the descriptions of each of the songs in the photo above, which included comparing “Last Child” to Abbey Road and calls “Nobody’s Fault” a Zeppelin rip off.

Are you an Aerosmith fan? What would you have written on these LPs as a college DJ?

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Jason Miller
Jason Miller

Jason Miller is a leading digital B2B marketer, who’s held senior roles at LinkedIn, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign. Before entering the B2B space, he spent ten years at Sony, developing and executing marketing campaigns around the biggest names in music. He is a prolific keynote speaker, digital marketing instructor at UC Berkeley, and best-selling author. Also an accomplished rock concert photographer, his work appears in books, magazines, and album covers.

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