Aerosmith leveled up dramatically on their sophomore album, Get Your Wings, and they proved that evolution with the release of lead single "Same Old Song and Dance" on March 19, 1974.

The Boston rockers' self-titled debut arrived with a whimper in January 1973, displaying competent bar-band boogie (and a future mega-hit in "Dream On") but failing to capture the energy of their live show. Columbia Records was close to dropping Aerosmith, but they gave the group another shot, enlisting stalwart Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin to helm Get Your Wings.

Ezrin was less than enthusiastic about Aerosmith ("Bob Ezrin came and saw the band and wrote, 'They're not ready,'" Steven Tyler remembered in his 2011 memoir Dose the Noise in My Head Bother You?) but engineer Jack Douglas saw their potential and took over the production of Get Your Wings. He was tough but perceptive, making several suggestions to tease out the band's swagger and sensuality.

"On 'Same Old Song And Dance,' I told them that we should bring in some horns to bring out their rhythm and blues side," Douglas told MusicRadar. "They definitely had that kind of style and sound already. We got the Brecker Brothers to play on that. The sax solo is Michael Brecker."

READ MORE: Top 20 Aerosmith Songs

Who Played Lead Guitar on 'Same Old Song and Dance'?

Douglas' other major innovation was bringing in session guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter (who had previously worked with Cooper and Lou Reed) to play lead guitar in lieu of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford on certain Get Your Wings songs — most famously "Train Kept a Rollin'" but also "Same Old Song and Dance" and "S.O.S. (Too Bad)," among others. Whitford confirmed to Guitar World in 2023 that Wagner laid down the scorching leads on "Same Old Song and Dance."

"The big challenge for the band was that Joe and Brad were not the guitar players they had in their mind to be," Douglas later said at NAMM. "They wanted to play these solos like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, but they didn't have the technical expertise to do that. I suggested that for a number of tracks we bring in someone else to play the leads.

"They wanted to kill me," Douglas continued. "'What! On our own record. Some of the most important leads on our own record?' I said, 'But no one will ever know. We are not going to announce it. There would be no names on the record.' I brought in Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner. One guy became Brad and one guy became Joe, and they played very important solos across that album. Steven, by the way, was totally with me on this."

Listen to Aerosmith's 'Same Old Song and Dance'

Tyler, for his part, weaved a streetwise tale of debauchery and bad love, with evocative lyrics like "Gotcha with the cocaine they found with your gun / No smooth-face lawyer to get you undone." It was dark fiction informed by real experiences. "We relied on the drugs for recording, touring, partying fucking — anything at all, really," Tyler recalled. "But we already knew there was a dark side to all this, as in the lyrics to 'Same Old Song and Dance.'"

Although "Same Old Song and Dance" failed to scrape the Billboard charts, it became a fan favorite and set list staple for decades to come. Rigorous touring pushed Get Your Wings to gold status within 13 months and set the stage for Aerosmith's rise to stardom with their third album, Toys in the Attic. By that point, Perry and Whitford needed no outside help to bring their visions to life.

Aerosmith Albums Ranked

Any worst-to-best ranking of Aerosmith must deal with two distinct eras: their sleazy '70s work and the slicker, more successful '80s comeback. But which one was better?

Gallery Credit: Ultimate Classic Rock Staff

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