Unless you’ve been completely tuned out of the music world throughout your life, you’ve probably come across Aerosmith at some point or another.
As one of the most popular rock bands of all time, frontman Steven Tyler and his band of Boston-bred rockers first catapulted to fame in 1973 with the release of their debut album, Aerosmith. Since then, the band has gone on to release hit after hit, and are now well and truly a household name.
While you’ve probably heard of one or two Aerosmith hits, the band has plenty of incredible songs to discover across their discography. We’ve pulled together the top 10 Aerosmith songs, according to fan listens on Google Play.
1. Dream On
Dream On appeared on Aerosmith’s 1973 debut album, Aerosmith. It was the band’s first major hit, and peaked at #59 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
According to Steven Tyler, this is the only song on Aerosmith’s first album that features his real voice, as at the time, he was insecure about his sound. For other songs on the album, he tried to sing lower – closer to the way soul artists would sing their classic ballads.
2. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
If you’ve only heard one Aerosmith song, this is probably it. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing shot to global fame after appearing in the 1998 film Armageddon, which stars Ben Affleck, Bruce WIllis and Steven Tyler’s daughter, actress Liv Tyler.
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing was written by American songwriter Diane Warren, who also wrote Faith Hill’s classic There You’ll Be and Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. The inspiration came from Warren watching a Barbara Walters interview, where James Brolin said he missed Barbara Streisand when she was asleep. Warren wrote the words “I don’t want to miss a thing” and later turned it into Aerosmith’s only song to hit number one in the U.S.
3. Sweet Emotion
A hit single from the album Toys in the Attic, Sweet Emotion was released on May 19, 1975. It peaked at #36 on the Billboard Top 100, becoming a breakthrough single for the band. In fact, the single was so successful that the band re-released Dream On after the fact. The song, which originally charted at #59 in 1973, made it all the way up to #6 upon its second release, making it the highest chart performance for the band during the 1970’s.
Crazy was the final single from Aerosmith’s hugely popular album Get a Grip, which the band released in 1993. It peaked at #17 on the US billboard charts, but what the song is perhaps more famous for is its music video.
Directed by Marty Callner and heavily featured on MTV, the Crazy music video became one of the most requested videos of 1994. The video features Alicia Silverstone, who appeared in many of the band’s other videos, and is the career debut of Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv Tyler, who was a teenager at the time.
Crazy wasn’t the only hit from Aerosmith’s 1993 album. Cryin’ was released from the same Get a Grip album in 1993, and peaked at #12 on the Billboard charts. Often seen as a metaphor for Steven Tyler’s substance abuse, Cryin’ is about a relationship that seemed great at first but then turned sour.
While the song was a hit in the U.S., its appeal extended far beyond American shores. Cryin’ became one of Aerosmith’s most successful hits in Europe, topping the charts in Norway, reaching #3 in Iceland, Portugal and Sweden, and #17 on the UK Singles Chart.
6. Walk This Way
Walk This Way was originally released as the second single from the 1975 album Toys in the Attic. It peaked at #10 on the Billboard top 100, which made it one of Aerosmith’s biggest hits in the 1970’s. Beyond the charts, the song also found new life in the 1980s when it was covered by popular hip-hop group Run-D.M.C.
7. Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
This Aerosmith hit was one of four singles released from the 1987 album, Permanent Vacation, and climbed to #14 on the Billboard Top 100.
But while the song’s title is iconic now, it wasn’t meant to be: the song was originally called Cruisin’ For a Lady, which was about a male with an effeminate appearance. In his book Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler explains the inspiration behind the title: “One day we met Mötley Crüe, and they’re all going, ‘Dude!’ Dude this and Dude that, everything was Dude. ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’ came out of that session.”
8. Rag Doll
The final single from the album Permanent Vacation, Rag Doll was released in 1988 and is best known for drummer Joey Kramer’s memorable 1-2-1-2 lead beat. The song was originally called Rag Time – a title inspired by the New Orleans feel to the music – but Geffen Records guru John Kalodner hated the title, and flew hit songwriter Holly Knight to Vancouver to work on the song. She came up with the idea to change the title, received a songwriting credit for her efforts, and the rest is history.
9. Janie’s Got a Gun
One of the best songs from Aerosmith’s ‘80s comeback, Janie’s Got a Gun is the second single released from Aersmith’s 1989 album Pump and was wildly successful, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1990. However, it wasn’t just a chart-topper – the band won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song.
The video is about a girl killing her father, and the subsequent crime scene. One of the most cinematic videos to appear on MTV, the music video was directed by David Fincher, who would later go on to direct the movies Se7en, The Social Network and Gone Girl.
10. Livin’ on the Edge
Livin’ on the Edge was the first single from the 1993 album Get a Grip and was Aerosmith’s most successful single on the chart, reaching #18 on the Billboard charts, and topping the Billboard Album Rock Tracks.
In the band’s autobiography, Steven Tyler says the song was inspired by the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The book also mentions that the song features the sound of a bass drum he stole from his high school; four loud beats are heard from that drum in a pause between the final verse and chorus.