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 singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.25 UK, 0.25 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 143.02 video, 538.75 streaming
Click on award for more details.
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 dum when gangster 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
Last updated 7/16/2022.