Occasionally referred to as “the Bad Boys from Boston,” Aerosmith is truly a rock band with a sound and image to boast. The blues-based glam squad has released 15 studio albums since their debut in 1973, though fans would say it’s unfortunate that the band hasn’t shared any new music since 2012 (Music from Another Dimension!). With badass rock icon Steven Tyler as frontman and a music favorite, let’s take a look back at the top five greatest songs from Aerosmith.
Written by Steven Tyler and Aerosmith rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, it was released in 1976 as the first single from the band’s fourth studio album Rocks. It is famously one of Whitford’s greatest musical contributions to the group as a songwriter. The lyrics are based on the situation of the band during that time, mainly regarding their extensive time spent on the road.
In 1973, upon release of this dark and poetic ballad, the charts welcomed this track at number 59. It even reached number six several years later in 1975. It was first played live at the Shaboo Inn in Mansfield, Connecticut. The lyrics, “Sing with me / sing for the years / Sing for the laughter/sing for the tears / Sing with me,” will remain a staple amongst Aerosmith fans abound.
“Walk This Way”
Interestingly, “Walk This Way” was not an immediate success upon its 1975 release. It is the single to have been released from Toys in the Attic, following “Sweet Emotion.” The songs backstory is simple: it’s about a promiscuous cheerleader who shows a young high school boy the grounds of… well, you get it.
“(Dude) Looks Like a Lady”
Serving as the band’s comeback track in 1987, it marks as a commendable release considering their 1978 cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” was a total flop. “(Dude) Looks Like a Lady” earned two MTV Video Music Award nominations in 1988, but did not continue on for the win. It did, however, win four Grammys in the 90s, and was featured in the comedy-drama family film Mrs. Doubtfire.
“Janie’s Got a Gun”
A song about childhood sexual abuse sure is a heavy concept to take on, but Aerosmith pulled it out tastefully, at best, in this 1989 track. Off the band’s tenth studio album Pump, Steven Tyler famously told Rolling Stone about the track that he got inspiration for the song from a Time magazine article regarding deaths by handguns.