Wednesday, June 27, 1973

Aerosmith released “Dream On” - for the first time

Dream On


Writer(s): Steven Tyler (see lyrics here)

Released: June 27, 1973

First Charted: October 6, 1973

Peak: 6 US, 6 CB, 6 HR, 1 CL, 10 CN, 72 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.25 UK, 0.25 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 143.02 video, 1083.25 streaming


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About the Song:

“Dream On” was a power ballad from Aerosmith’s 1973 self-titled debut album. The song is “famous for its building climax to showcase [leader singer Steven] Tyler’s trademark screams.” WK He began writing it in his late teens and “was still at it in Aerosmith’s early days, pounding a piano in the basement of the group’s living quarters.” RS500 He worked on the song off and on for about six years before completing it with the help of the rest of the band. SF He said it was originally just a little sonnet which he never thought would end up as a real song. SF

Legend has it that Tyler finished the song on a keyboard he bought with money he found in a suitcase outside of where the band was staying. Tyler didn’t tell his bandmates he took the money and played dumb when gangsters came looking for it. SF

The song is, in Tyler’s words, “about the hunger to be somebody. Dream until your dreams come true.” SF Guitarist Joe Perry told Classic Rock magazine that he didn’t like the song because “back in those days you made your mark playing live. And to me rock ‘n’ roll’s all about energy and putting on a show. Those were the things that attracted me…but ‘Dream On’ was a ballad. I didn’t really appreciate the musicality of it until later.” SF He realized “if you wanted a top forty hit, the ballad was the way to go.” SF

When released as the band’s first single in 1973, “Dream On” stalled at #59 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the song was re-released at the end of 1975 after the band found top 40 success with “Sweet Emotion.” The song hit the top ten in its second run at the charts. In 2003, rap singer Eminem revived the song again when he sampled it on his top 20 hit “Sing for the Moment.” Perry played guitar on the track and Tyler’s vocals were sampled. SF


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Last updated 4/10/2024.

Friday, June 22, 1973

David Bowie “Life on Mars?” released

Life on Mars?

David Bowie

Writer(s): David Bowie (see lyrics here)

Released: December 17, 1971 (as album cut on Hunky Dory)

Released: June 22, 1973 (as a single)

First Charted: June 30, 1973

Peak: 2 CL, 2 CO, 3 UK, 67 AU, 5 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 0.7 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 62.6 video, 305.22 streaming


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About the Song:

David Bowie’s “savvy self-promotion combined with his great gift for melody and lyrical imagery” LW made him rock music’s most celebrated chameleon. He demonstrated a “fascination with space figures frequently in his early career,” LW most famously with the alien persona of Ziggy Stardust in 1972.

Leading up to that, however, were the #1 hit “Space Oddity,” which was released in 1969 to coincide with the historic moon landing, and “Life on Mars?,” a song originally featured on Bowie’s 1971 Hunky Dory album. He wrote the glam rock ballad as a parody of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” WK

The lyrics are “about a girl who goes to a cinema to escape reality.” WK “Sailors fighting in the dance hall; Mickey Mouse’s grown-up cow; a god-awful small affair – all make their appearances to render this one of Bowie’s most enigmatic set of lyrics. No matter, though, because he chose to bless such nonsense verse with one of his greatest tunes.” XFM

“The tenderness of the piano playing on ‘Life on Mars?,’ with its big build towards the chorus, is testament to his all round musical abilities.” LW It is an example of the “real substance behind his many styles.” LW “Its cinematic sweep and the vignettes of action that play across the screen give it a Hollywood glamour regardless.” DT


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First posted 2/14/2024.

Saturday, June 9, 1973

Lou Reed “Satellite of Love” charted

Satellite of Love

Lou Reed

Writer(s): Lou Reed (see lyrics here)

Released: February 1973

First Charted: June 9, 1973

Peak: 119 US, 16 CL, 16 CO, 10 UK, 3 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.7 video, 48.73 streaming


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About the Song:

“Satellite of Love” was released as the second single from Lou Reed’s 1972 Transformer album. It didn’t match the success of previous single “Walk on the Wild Side,” reaching only #119 on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart, but became a concert staple and fan favorite. In 2004, a re-release of the song went to #10 in the UK.

The song is about a man witnessing a televised satellite launch and contemplating what Reed called feelings of “the worst kind of jealousy about his unfaithful girlfriend.” WK Reed composed the song in 1970 while still a member of the Velvet Underground. Their version is more uptempo, has some lyrical differences, and does not include the piano line that dominates the version Reed released in 1972.

The Velvet Underground recorded the song in the summer of 1970 during sessions for their Loaded album. However, it didn’t make the cut and wasn’t released until the 1995 Velvet Underground box set Peel Slowly and See and later the 1997 reissue of Loaded, known as Fully Loaded.

The version Reed recorded as a solo artist for the Transformer album included background vocals from David Bowie, who produced the album with Mick Ronson. Reed said of Bowie, “He has a melodic sense that’s just well above anyone else in rock & roll. Most people could not sing some of his melodies…There’s a part at the very end [of ‘Satellite of Love’] where his voice goes all the way up. It’s fabulous.” WK

The Eurythmics, Morrissey, Porno for Pyros, and U2 are among the acts to have recorded the song. Beck performed the song at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Lou Reed in 2015.


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First posted 7/23/2022.