Aerosmith – One of the Greatest Rock ‘n Roll Bands of All Time

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Aerosmith is a successful hard rock group out of Boston, MA. The group had 21 Top 40 hits from 1975 – 2001, 8 reached the top 10. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”was there only number 1 hit (4 weeks). They did however have 9 Mainstream Rock #1 hits.

Current band members include Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (lead guitar, backing vocals), Brad Whitford (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), and Joey Kramer (drums). Former members include Ray Tabano (guitar), Jimmy Crespo (guitar, backing vocals), and Rick Dufay (guitar). The band was inducted into theRock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Steven Tyler’s daughter is actress Liv Tyler. He is also a judge on “American Idol”.

Aerosmith’s biggest hits include:

  • Dream On
  • Walk This Way
  • Angel
  • Love In An Elevator
  • Janie’s Got A Gun
  • What It Takes
  • Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
  • Jaded
  • Pink
  • Cryin’
  • Livin’ On The Edge
  • The Other Side
  • Devils Got A New Disguise
  • Sweet Emotion
  • Same Old Song & Dance
  • Home Tonight
  • Kings & Queens
  • Draw The Line
  • Chip Away The Stone
  • Remember (Walking In The Sand)
  • Baby, Please Don’t Go
  • Girls Of Summer
  • Just Push Play
  • Taste Of India
  • Blind Man
  • Shut Up And Dance
  • Amazing
  • Eat The Rich
  • Monkey On My Back
  • Back In The Saddle
  • Magic Touch
  • Fly Away From Here
  • Last Child
  • Fever
  • Nine Lives

Aerosmith’s Formation and Early Days

During the 1970s Aerosmith became one of the emerging rock superstars, fronted by the ever-charismatic Steven Tyler. Steven Tyler’s band, Chain Reaction, and another group, the Jam Band, which consisted of Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer, crossed paths when they played at the same gig. Tyler instantly connected with the Jam Band’s musical style, and proposed that the two groups join together.

In 1970 they formed Aerosmith and began to play in small clubs around Massachusetts. They quickly became popular playing in the local circuit and secured a deal with Columbia Records in 1972.

The band released their self-titled debut album the following year which peaked at #166 on the Bilboard 200 album charts. Get Your Wings was released in 1974. Although there were no major chart toppers from this album, titles such as “Same Old Song and Dance”, “Train Kept A-Rollin'” and “S.O.S. (Too Bad)” were among the favorites of Aerosmith’s hardcore fans.

During the 1970s Aerosmith became one of the emerging rock superstars, fronted by the ever-charismatic Steven Tyler. Steven Tyler’s band, Chain Reaction, and another group, the Jam Band, which consisted of Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer, crossed paths when they played at the same gig. Tyler instantly connected with the Jam Band’s musical style, and proposed that the two groups join together.

In 1970 they formed Aerosmith and began to play in small clubs around Massachusetts. They quickly became popular playing in the local circuit and secured a deal with Columbia Records in 1972.

The band released their self-titled debut album the following year which peaked at #166 on the Bilboard 200 album charts. Get Your Wings was released in 1974. Although there were no major chart toppers from this album, titles such as “Same Old Song and Dance”, “Train Kept A-Rollin'” and “S.O.S. (Too Bad)” were among the favorites of Aerosmith’s hardcore fans.

Band Members

The band’s key members are:

Steven Tyler: Born on March 26, 1948, in Manhattan, New York, Steven Tyler is the lead vocalist and plays harmonica and piano. Known for his high-energy performances and wide vocal range, Tyler is the face of the band. He co-writes many of the band’s hits and is also known for his distinctive style and charismatic persona.

Joe Perry: Born on September 10, 1950, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Joe Perry is the lead guitarist and occasional vocalist. He co-founded Aerosmith with Tyler. Perry is known for his raw, blues-influenced guitar playing and has been a pivotal part of creating the band’s signature sound. He has also released solo work and collaborated with other artists.

Tom Hamilton: Born on December 31, 1951, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Tom Hamilton is the bassist. He co-founded the band and has been a constant presence throughout its history. Hamilton is credited with writing or co-writing several Aerosmith songs, including the hit “Sweet Emotion.”

Joey Kramer: Born on June 21, 1950, in The Bronx, New York, Joey Kramer is the drummer. He is known for his solid and inventive drumming style, which forms the backbone of Aerosmith’s sound. Kramer is also responsible for coming up with the band’s name.

Brad Whitford: Born on February 23, 1952, in Winchester, Massachusetts, Brad Whitford is the rhythm guitarist. He joined the band in 1971 and has been an integral part of its sound, contributing significantly to the band’s musical arrangements.

Together, these musicians created a unique blend of rock and roll that has stood the test of time. Their chemistry and talent have produced numerous hits and have earned them a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Aerosmith’s legacy in rock music is marked by their blues-infused hard rock style, memorable performances, and a string of successful albums and singles.

Breakthrough Success

Aerosmith’s third album, Toys In The Attic (1975), was their first big break. The album sold about 8 million copies in the U.S. alone. More importantly, critics and fans finally recognized Aerosmith’s signature style. The album was highlighted by a hard-driving rock single “Walk This Way”, which went to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.Aerosmith’s next album, Rocks, generated hits such as “Last Child” (at #21), “Home Tonight” (#71), and “Back in the Saddle” (#38). As the album was released the band embarked on a hectic schedule playing to sold out stadiums and rock festivals.

Rocks was so highly regarded by critics and fans alike, that it even made it to Rolling Stones’ “500 Great Albums” list. In fact, the album was one of the biggest influences to future rock stars such as Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, and Metallica.Aerosmith produced other hit albums during the 70s, such as, Draw The Line and album Live! Bootleg which captured the band’s raw vigor during their Draw The Linetour. Night In The Ruts was Aerosmith’s sixth studio album, released in 1980. Despite its poor performance compared to the band’s earlier releases, it managed to reach platinum status several years later.  Aerosmith surely has a lot of notable rock ‘n roll songs. But have you ever wondered what the first ever rock ‘n roll song is? You can find out more about this in our article about The First Rock ‘n Roll Song.

Ending Their Drug Habits and Returning to More Success

Although the two founding members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, left the band to pursue other musical interests for a few years, they returned in 1984, to kick off the much anticipated Back In The Saddle Tour. Aerosmith quickly returned to the recording studio, releasing Classics Live II.
The band signed on with Geffen Records and produced Done With Mirrors.Although the album failed to reach platinum status, it still managed to draw the attention of it’s huge fan base and paved the way for its 1986 hit, “Walk this Way.” The single performed with hip-hop group Run D.M.C. reached #4 on the Hot 100 singles chart and paved the way for Aerosmith’s revival.
Unfortunately, the band’s recurring drug problems proved to be a stumbling block for Aerosmith and any aspirations for success. Their manager, Tim Collins, believed that if Tyler and the other members did not get treated for their drug problems, the band’s future would be in jeopardy. Tyler committed to and successfully completed a drug rehab program. Other band members followed suit, and after a couple of years were completely drug free and ready to focus on their next project.

Aerosmith’s next album was Permanent Vacation, released in 1987. It generated several Top 20 singles such as “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)”, “Rag Doll” and the #3 hit “Angel”. Permanent Vacation sold five million copies, kicking off the band’s next season of success.1989 would prove to be another banner year for Aerosmith, with Pumpˆ generating three Top Ten singles: “What It Takes” (at #9), “Janie’s Got A Gun” (at #4), and “Love In An Elevator” (at #5). Pump sold seven million copies and went multi-platinum.Aerosmith finished their contract with Geffen, producing two albums, Get a Grip and The Big Ones. Although the Get a Grip received mixed reviews, it nevertheless got a thundering commercial reception, selling over seven million copies. It yielded popular singles such as “Amazing” and “Crazy”. The Big Ones sold 4 million copies in the US and 8 million units in Canada.

A New Era for Aerosmith

Aerosmith began a new era in their career when they signed a contract with Columbia Records/Sony Music. Although Nine Lives started slow, its long staying power on the charts pushed the album to double platinum. It’s single, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” became the theme song for sci-fi/disaster film Armageddon which starred Tyler’s daughter, actress Liv Tyler. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for four weeks. “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” became the band’s only number one song to date.

In 2001 their 13th studio album Just Push Play was released and yielded another Top Ten hit, “Jaded”. At the time the album was in circulation, Aerosmith were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Aerosmith made good on its long time promise to fans in 2004 when it releasedHonkin’ On Bobo. The album featured the group’s blues-driven rock roots. It peaked at #5 on the US 200 album charts.

Aerosmith saw more tours awaiting them including the major Aerosmith World Tour in 2007. It was the band’s second world tour and brought them for the first time to countries such as India, Latvia, and the United Arab Emirates.

American Idol Logo

Steve Tyler Judge on the American Idol and Band Members’ Other Projects

Over the next few years, Aerosmith band members ventured out into other projects. Joe Perry collaborated with the Guitar Hero‘s game developers to create the music video game, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It was first released in June 2008 to mixed reviews. Nevertheless, it sold more than half a million copies and earned $25 million in sales. In 2010, Steven Tyler joined American Idol as one of the judges for the hit reality-based TV talent show.

Despite the busy schedules with band members working on independent projects, Aerosmith made the time to write and record. In 2012, they released another album,Music from Another Dimension!

One of America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Bands

Aerosmith has achieved numerous milestones and accomplishments throughout their career. Here are their top 10 achievements:

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction: Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, a testament to their significant impact on rock music.
  2. Multi-Platinum Albums: The band has numerous multi-platinum albums, including classics like “Toys in the Attic” (1975) and “Rocks” (1976), which solidified their status in rock history.
  3. Grammy Awards: Aerosmith has won several Grammy Awards, mostly in the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group category, for songs like “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “Livin’ on the Edge,” and “Crazy.”
  4. Iconic Music Videos: Their music videos, particularly for songs like “Crazy,” “Cryin’,” and “Janie’s Got a Gun,” are iconic, winning multiple awards and helping to define the MTV era.
  5. Global Record Sales: The band has sold over 150 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
  6. Enduring Hits: Aerosmith is known for timeless hits like “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” which continue to receive substantial radio play and have entered popular culture.
  7. Successful Comeback: After a decline in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Aerosmith made a remarkable comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, rare for rock bands of their era.
  8. Influencing Generations of Musicians: Aerosmith has influenced countless rock bands and musicians across various genres with their style and longevity in the music industry.
  9. Major Tours and Live Performances: Known for their electrifying live performances, Aerosmith has embarked on numerous successful world tours, playing to millions of fans worldwide.
  10. Cultural Impact: Beyond music, Aerosmith’s influence extends to fashion, video games (like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith), and appearances in films and TV shows, cementing their status as cultural icons.

Aerosmith’s 40 year career boasts 30 albums and 45 singles. They have performed in almost 2,000 sold-out concerts in over 40 countries and have had scores of albums that have gone gold, platinum, and multi-platinum. All in all, Aerosmith has sold over 150 million albums world wide.

The hard-working, hard-rockin’ legends have come a long way from being just “The Bad Boys from Boston” to “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”.

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