On April 8, the four-time Grammy-winning and diamond-certified rock legends Aerosmith will release Aerosmith – 1971: The Road Starts Hear (UMe), a rare and previously unheard rehearsal from 1971, on CD and digital. The effort 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.
Recently discovered in the Aerosmith vaults, the original tape had not been touched in decades. This historic recording features seven extraordinary tracks showcasing the early, unbridled talent of the future Rock And Roll 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 five 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.
The Road Starts Hear, produced by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Steve Berkowitz, features 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 landmark early recording was made with 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 Road Starts Hear features early recordings of gems such as “Somebody,” “Movin’ Out,” “Walkin’ The Dog,” “Mama Kin” and an early version of Aerosmith’s classic ballad “Dream On,” all of which would later be recorded for their landmark debut. Other tracks include “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.
Aerosmith – 1971: The Road Starts Hear track listing:
01. Intro – Somebody
02. Reefer Head Woman
03. Walkin’ The Dog
01. Movin’ Out
02. Major Barbara
03. Dream On
04. Mama Kin
This post first appeared on Rock Confidential.
Aerosmith’s ‘1971 – The Road Starts Hear’ Set For April Release