- Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica, percussion)
- Joe Perry (guitar)
- Brad Whitford (rhythm guitar)
- Tom Hamilton (bass)
- Joey Kramer (drums, percussion)
A Brief History:
The rock band Aerosmith formed in Boston in 1970. With hits like “Dream On,” “Walk This Way,” and “Sweet Emotion” they became one of America’s biggest rock bands. After six albums together, the original lineup started to fracture because of in-fighting and drug abuse. They released the tepid Rock in a Hard Place in 1982 without Perry or Whitford and it looked like they might be done as a band.
However, they jumped from Columbia Records to Geffen and found new life. The band reunited for 1985’s Done with Mirrors. The muted reception suggested the band might be done, but then rap group Run-D.M.C. remade the band’s “Walk This Way” into a top-five pop hit and reignited interest in Aerosmith.
Their next three albums were multi-platinum affairs which maintained the classic rock audiences while also finding new fans with younger crowds. Each of these has a dedicated DMDB page (click on links below), but snapshots on this page.
When the group returned to Columbia, Geffen released the Big Ones compilation to celebrate their most commercially successful years. Songs featured on Big Ones are noted below. Following the song title are the writers, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance, and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.
Permanent Vacation (1987):
After Run-D.M.C. brought Aerosmith back in the limelight with their “Walk This Way” cover, the band followed with this album, which produced three top-20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. One of those songs, Angel, became the band’s biggest charting hit to date.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady (Tyler, Perry, Desmond Child) (8/29/87, 14 US, 4 AR, 20 UK, 22 CN, 95 AU)
- Rag Doll (Tyler, Perry, Jim Vallance, Holly Knight) (9/12/87, 17 US, 12 AR, 42 UK, 23 CN)
- Angel (Tyler, Child) (1/30/88, 3 US, 2 AR, 69 UK, 14 CN)
After the success of Permanent Vacation, Aerosmith stormed back even bigger with Pump, an album which gave the band three more top-ten hits and landed them atop the album rock chart for the first time with Love in an Elevator. The band also won their first Grammy – for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group – for the murder-and-abuse-themed Janie’s Got a Gun.
- Love in an Elevator (Tyler, Perry) (9/2/89, 5 US, 1 AR, 13 UK, 13 CN, 33 AU, gold single)
- Janie’s Got a Gun (Tyler, Tom Hamilton) (9/23/89, 4 US, 2 AR, 76 UK, 2 CN, 1 AU)
- What It Takes (Tyler, Perry, Child) (1/13/90, 9 US, 1 AR, 15 CN, 46 CN)
- The Other Side (Tyler, Vallance, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland) (6/16/90, 22 US, 1 AR, 46 UK, 22 CN, 73 AU)
Get a Grip (1993):
While this album failed to generate any top-10 pop hits, it produced seven songs which charted on various charts, including four top-40 pop hits and six top-10 album rock tracks. One of those cuts, Crazy, became the band’s most-watched video on YouTube with over a half billion views.
- Livin’ on the Edge (Tyler, Perry, Mark Hudson) (4/10/93, 18 US, 1 AR, 19 UK)
- Eat the Rich (Tyler, Perry, Vallance) (5/1/93, 5 AR, 34 UK)
- Cryin’ (Tyler, Perry, Taylor Rhodes) (6/5/93, 12 US, 1 AR, 17 UK, gold single)
- Amazing (Tyler, Richard Supa) (10/30/93, 24 US, 3 AR, 57 UK)
- Crazy (Tyler, Perry, Child) (5/21/94, 17 US, UK, 7 AR, 23 UK)
Big Ones (1994):
The Big Ones compilation featured two new songs and one, Deuces Are Wild, which had never been released on an Aerosmith album. That song had been originally considered for 1989’s Pump, but didn’t surface until 1993 when it was released as a track on the various artists collection The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience.
- Deuces Are Wild (Tyler, Vallance) (1/15/94, 14 AR, 25 CN)
- Blind Man (Tyler, Perry, Taylor Rhodes) (11/5/94, 48 US, 3 AR, 5 CN, 76 AU)
- Walk on Water (Tyler, Perry, Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw) (1/28/95, 16 AR)
Notes: A European edition of the album included a live version of “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” In 2004, a special edition of the album was released which included eight cuts from the band’s live 1998 album A Little South of Sanity.