Aerosmith

Rattlesnake Shake

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One of Aerosmith's earliest bootleg LPs was Rattlesnake Shake, which finds the hard rockers performing for a small audience at Counterpart Studios in New York in 1974. At that point, Aerosmith enjoyed a small following but had yet to become huge -- its commercial breakthrough, Toys in the Attic, was still a year away, and the band only had two albums out: 1973's Aerosmith and 1974's Get Your Wings. Songs from those two albums are the main focus of Aerosmith's set, which includes gritty performances of such early gems as "One Way Street," "Make It," "Mama Kin," and "Dream On." Steven Tyler and Joe Perry never made a secret of their love of soul music and the blues, so it isn't surprising that Aerosmith puts so much energy into "Train Kept A-Rollin'" and Rufus Thomas' "Walking the Dog." Unfortunately, an exact recording date isn't provided by Ruthless Rhymes -- which sounds like the name of a hip-hop label, although the 1970s bootlegger pre-dated the rise of hip-hop. But the LP's sound quality and Aerosmith's set are both excellent, making Rattlesnake Shake a piece of vinyl that fans were glad to acquire when it surfaced in the 1970s.