Draw the Line



by TheNovster USER (2 Reviews)
June 7th, 2009 | 12 replies

Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aerosmith's premier recording at the peak of their drug years when they were still a cohesive whole. Excessive and loud, Draw the Line is exactly the kind of album you'd except from a bunch of guys who could finally afford all their vices.

After the success of Rocks and Toys in the Attic, Aerosmith was riding high, literally. They took some time off and returned to the studio in 1977, releasing Draw the Line.

Make no mistake, this is an Aerosmith album, which is wonderfully evident as soon as the record starts spinning. Draw the Line is a delicious slice of sleaze with a guitar riff that rumbles and roars like some kind of deranged beast while Steven Tyler screeches cocaine blues. The next track, I Wanna Know Why, is more reserved, but holds a distinct boogy. It seems like the band wants to be having a good time, but that there just isn't anything fun going on; Tyler sings of fame and misfortune behind the shuffle. The next track, Critical Mass, is an abnormality, and features a great bassline from Tom Hamilton, backwards guitars, harmonica solo's, doubletracked guitars and some bizarre storytelling from Tyler. The song is completely overblown, but it works, and is easily one of my favorite tracks.

From there we get into the meat and potatoes of the album, starting with Get It Up, where Joe Perry slides and chops manically at his guitar, while Tyler laments not being able to get it up along with chipmunk backing vocals. The chorus is immediately catchy, maybe the most catchy on the CD. Next up is Bright Light Fright, a track that apparently all the members of Aerosmith hated, but Joe Perry insisted on including. Needless to say, it's the weakest track on the album. From there we bite into Kings and Queens, a bit of a deviation, to say the least from typical Aerosmith sleaze-rock. It's a rather melancholy, heavy number, with low guitars and ominous lyrics. The picked guitars play well into the song, and the guitar solo's are killer. The Hand That Feeds is a bit of a throwaway track, not really notable in any way whatsoever, it sounds like an Aerosmith song, that's about all your can say. There's a neat little solo bit near the end, though.

Rounding out the end is Sight For Sore Eyes, which is one of the stronger tracks, featuring an undeniable boogie and a cool, mid-song solo. Finally, Milk Cow Blues, continuing the blues-cover trend, finishes the album off. Milk Cow is actually probably one of the best tracks on the album, sporting several great solo's and a bouncy riff, along with some fun harmonica work.

Draw the Line isn't a bad CD, but it's decidedly average by Aerosmith standards. The guitar is often low in the mix, drowned out by the bass, and the riffs are much less inspired and less technical than anything on Rocks and Toys in the Attic. The whole production is very insular, but Aerosmith was in their own little world at the time, so it fits. Through the haze of excess, they managed to pull off another big hit, but you can hear them falling apart at the seams. They throw a few curveballs, and there are some amusing diversions, but despite their best efforts it comes off sounding abrasive and unfocused, despite it's merits.

user ratings (316)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 7th 2009


'The Hand That Feeds'
come on Trent Reznor

June 7th 2009


I have an aerosmith greatest hits thing although i don't think that it has any songs off this. im thinking that if i would go for my first aerosmith album it would be toys in the attic amirite?

i don't know if you want any critiques for the review but i thought it was alright. it reads a lot like a track by track in that you say..'this song is first, then this comes next..' i don't mind that format but i know a lot of people here do. keep up the good work and keep trying to get better. thats what i do.

June 7th 2009


You're a good writer but I'd change up the format. Separate each track description into its own paragraph, otherwise it gets grating after a little while of reading and doesn't allow as much speculation as it would if they were separated.

June 7th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the quick critique's guys! Yeah, I wrote this one at about 1 in the morning, so in retrospect I could have added a lot more to it, but I was tired. I'll polish it up after I get back from work tonight. And Skishua71, I'd recommend Toys in the Attic or Rocks, but dont forget about Get Your Wings, which is their second album, a great CD in it's own right.

June 7th 2009


Skishua get all their albums, Aerosmith are sick

July 28th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

songs like draw the line and kings and queens are not only the most notable tracks but very few really good songs on here the rest is OK in my opinion not quite as special as toys and the first 2 albums per say.

September 10th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

They are all over the place on this, maybe they were at the height of their drug abuse. It's a bit of a mess - loose, chaotic and naive sounding. I think that's why I like it though.

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January 31st 2013


"It seems like the band wants to be having a good time, but that there just isn't anything fun going on. . ." It's true for the whole album.

Contributing Reviewer
September 1st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know why, but I used to think this was the worst Aerosmith album of the 70s. Listening back to it now I realize it's actually just as good as "Rocks" or "Toys in the attic". I mean, it's got quite a lot of accessible music. The title track is catchy as hell and the heavy, bluesy feel of 'I wanna know why' and 'Critical mass' makes it all the more fun and exciting for a fan of Hard Rock to listen to. Plus 'KIngs and queens' is an absolute beauty of a track, right up there with 'Dream on' and 'You see me crying# in my opinion.

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October 27th 2015


Hearing for the second time so far, obviously not as great as Toys In The Attic or Rocks but I can at least applaud the guys for trying to sound even if just a little different. A somewhat disjointed album, but that's probably why I enjoy it a bit.

January 13th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

Underrated album

August 28th 2020


that breakdown "chug" in Kings & Queens is so sick, incredibly underrated song

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