Wednesday, June 27, 1973

Aerosmith released “Dream On” - for the first time

Last updated 2/10/2021.

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 (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, 333.0 streaming

Awards: (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

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, June 15, 1973

Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On”: Even Jack Black Can’t Deny Its Charms

Originally posted June 15, 2011.

On June 15, 1973, Marvin Gaye released what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls “the unabashedly erotic ‘Let’s Get It On’.” It topped the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts in the U.S. and ranks as one of the top 1000 songs of the 20th century according to Dave’s Music Database.

However, as a testament to Gaye’s phenomenal catalog, it is often overshadowed by his definitive version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and his politically poignant “What’s Going On.” Both songs are featured in the book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999. When it comes to sensuality and sexual explicitness, “Sexual Healing” steals some of the thunder from “Let’s Get It On” because it marked a comeback for Gaye before he was tragically shot by his father.

All three songs are named in the Rock Hall’s list of Top 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll and sit alongside “Let’s Get It On” on the DMDB top 1000 song list. Competing with such bona fide classics can be a daunting task.

According to Wikipedia, Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer on the song, had originally conceived it with a religious theme. It then became a political song before evolving into what Rolling Stone called “a masterpiece of erotic persuasion” in naming it one of the top 500 songs of all time. In 2008, Billboard magazine produced a list of its Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. It called “Let’s Get It On,” which came in at #32, “one of the greatest sexual liberation anthems of all time.”

Just this week, I watched High Fidelity again. John Cusack’s character runs a record store, giving him access to more obscure music than the general population. Nonetheless, he and his girlfriend proclaim “Let’s Get It On” as their song. When Cusack hosts a party at the movie’s conclusion, he is understandably nervous about letting co-worker Jack Black to perform, convinced he’ll offend everyone. After all, Black had mercilessly berated a customer earlier in the movie for asking for Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Instead, Black surprises Cusack with a soulful version of “Let’s Get It On,” proving that even the most cynical music fans can’t deny what Gaye called the “aphrodisiac power” RS of the song.

For more information, check out Marvin Gaye’s entry in the DMDB music makers’ encyclopedia and the DMDB page for the Let’s Get It On album. Gaye is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He ranks in the top 100 of all time as both a singer and songwriter according to Dave’s Music Database.