Aerosmith turned out to be the American response to the British Rolling Stones in the 1970s. A little harder, even more drugs, big hits. That could not go well for long and the band fell apart. In the 1980s, however, she made a glorious comeback that they have been holding up steadily ever since. What are the ten best songs of these survivors?
10. Love in an Elevator
The comeback of Aerosmith in the eighties was continued with the album Pump, which was recorded quickly and sounds nice and loose. “Love in an Elevator” was the catchy first single from the album. Naturally, singer Steve Tyler was happy to say that the song was based on a true experience.
9. Back in the Saddle
The Rocks album from 1976 is a nice raw version of Aerosmith that is very appreciated by many fans. “Back in the Saddle” is one of their hardest singles with filthy riffs. These riffs made a big impression on a young generation of musicians who later Guns’ n Roses and Metallica The song has been one of the band’s live favorites for years. At first it is a song about sex, but later it would become a symbol for their comeback. That is why their return in 1984 was named Back in the Saddle Tour.
8. Livin’ on the Edge
“Livin” on the Edge “is an original power ballad from 1993. Aerosmith is best known for its festive texts, but sometimes they want to address a social problem. “Livin” on the Edge “was mainly inspired by the Los Angeles riots of the year before. The song is typically driven by a pumping rhythm in combination with a whiffing riff, which makes it a very effective live song.
7. Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
The first comeback album Done With Mirrors was a commercial disappointment. Thanks to the surprising collaboration with Run DMC, Aerosmith suddenly became popular again. The band made smart use of the moment and recorded the album Permanent Vacation. The catchy “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”, with its nagging chorus, became a big hit. The inspiration for the text is often sought by glam rockers Mötley Crüe, who, according to Tyler, called each other ‘dude’ all the time and who really liked make-up.
Now it’s hard to imagine that “Crazy” was the seventh and last single of the 1994 album Get a Grip. The ballad has become a real rock classic. The song itself forms a compelling portrait of a free woman who drives the singer into madness. But just as important was the video clip that would become one of the most popular of all time. Alicia Silverstone, who had previously played in clips from the band, is now assisted by the actress Liv Tyler, the daughter of singer Steve.
5. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
The father-daughter connection returned in a different way with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. This was one of the three songs from Aerosmith for the soundtrack of Armageddon (1998). Liv Tyler plays a leading role in this popular disaster film. The ballad perfectly matched the atmosphere of the film and grew to become their first American number 1 hit.
4. Sweet Emotion
Aerosmith broke through in 1975 with the Toys in the Attic album. The single “Sweet Emotion” was an important factor in this success. The song revolves around a hypnotic bass line over which Tyler repeatedly sings the title. The use of the talk box, an effect pedal that distorts the voice, is very striking. Also don’t forget the riffs of Joe Tyler that were subsequently played by millions of guitarists.
3. Mama Kin
The debut single “Mama Kin” from 1973 is a rocker with a great drive. It has always remained in the band’s repertoire. Anyone listening to the original version will be amazed that Steve Tyler sounds like a completely different singer. Tyler found his natural voice annoying and tried to sing differently on the debut. Countless covers of “Mama Kin” have been made, but the best is undoubtedly Guns’ n Roses, Aerosmith’s most important students. In 1992 both bands played the song live during a concert in Paris.
2. Dream On
One of the best, if not the best, power ballads of all time. Still, “Dream On”, which is on the debut album from 1973, was not a big hit at first. Only when the band broke through three years later did it suddenly advance to the top 10. As is the case with a power ballad, the beginning is calm with an accompanying piano. The song is slowly built up until Tyler shouts the title in an unforgettable way. Often imitated, but never surpassed.
1. Walk This Way
“Walk This Way” started with a funky instrumental basis. For the recordings of Toys in the Attic, Tyler had difficulty finishing the lyrics after he had forgotten a first version in a taxi. He eventually found a way to make the text as rhythmic as the music, with the rhyming words bouncing in a unique way. “Walk This Way” was the band’s second top 10 hit in the seventies. But that’s half the story. In the mid-1980s, hip-hop group Run DMC decided to make a cover, which was an adventurous move at the time. In the rhythmic way of singing they heard a primitive way of raping that they could simply imitate. Aerosmith was asked to participate and the rest is history. The video clip, in which both groups initially compete with each other with the sound volume, proved a resounding success. “Walk This Way” became an international hit. In general, it is seen as the breakthrough of hip hop to a larger audience.