It's been 43 years today since Boston's Aerosmith changed the face of rock with their fourth studio album Rocks, released on this day through Columbia Records. It became a major inspiration for several iconic bands who'd later make their mark on rock history, and remains a legendary part of the group's back catalogue.

Aerosmith - RocksAerosmith - Rocks

Co-produced by Jack Douglas, who has also worked alongside the likes of Patti Smith, Blue Öyster Cult and the New York Dolls, Rocks saw the band at the height of their rock 'n' roll lifestyle, enmeshed in a whirlwind of drugs and general hedonism. They were also at their most raw and unapologetic with themes of sex, fear and addiction among other things spread right across the record.

It was their highest charting record in the US until 1993's number one Get A Grip, and while they had previously released three albums, it was Rocks that really put Aerosmith on the map as one of the most formidable rock bands out there. Despite this, none of the singles - Last Child, Home Tonight, Rats in the Cellar and Back in the Saddle - had much commercial impact. Though it was Side 2/Track 2 entitled Nobody's Fault that became one of Aerosmith's all time favourites, with frontman Steven Tyler calling it "one of the highlights of [his] creative career".

Following the album, the band embarked on their first major world tour, performing 93 shows across North America, Europe and Asia where they were supported by the likes of Jeff Beck, Bob Seger, REO Speedwagon, Rush and Nazareth.

Rocks influenced many hard rock bands, most notably Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Nirvana. In fact, Slash has cited Rocks as the album which inspired him to learn guitar - and for that we will, of course, be eternally grateful to guitarist Joe Perry.