Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Formed in 1970, its founding members are Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums), Joe Perry (guitar, vocals) and Brad Whitford (guitar).
The band released their eponymous debut studio album in 1973 featuring the single “Dream On,” which remains one of their most popular songs. Their next four albums made them rock stars across the US and Canada, spawning the hits “Sweet Emotion”, “Last Child”, “Walk This Way”, “Back In The Saddle”, “Draw The Line”, and a cover of “Come Together” for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Soundtrack.
Before the release of their fifth album Draw The Line, the band’s substance abuse began to destroy them. Perry quit after a backstage fight with Tyler in 1979, and Whitfield left two years later. Despite moderate sales, the band’s fifth, sixth and seventh albums were considered flops when compared to the band’s past accomplishments. When Perry and Whitford returned in 1984, their eighth album Done With Mirrors was also deemed unsuccessful despite strong reviews. Doug Herzog (MTV, VH1) recalled:
Aerosmith was done at that point. Their last couple of records had been huge bombs. They had fallen into major drug problems. They were a little bit of a joke.
In 1986, Tyler & Perry were recruited for a collaboration with rap group Run DMC for a groundbreaking hip-hop-meets-rock reworking of “Walk This Way” – an idea of Run DMC’s label head/producer Rick Rubin. The song was a surprise international smash hit, reaching the top 10 in eight countries. This, combined with the band going clean & sober, and allowing help from outside songwriters, led to what’s been called ‘one of the most impressive career comebacks in rock history’ with their ninth album Permanent Vacation. The album spawned three top 20 US hits that also had a moderate impact overseas.
Aerosmith’s next three albums Pump, Get A Grip and Nine Lives would rack up nine more top 40 US hits. And their 1998 Diane Warren-penned chart-topper “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” for the film Armageddon would propel the band even further into worldwide stardom, reaching the top 5 in eight countries.
The band has sold over 150 million albums, won four Grammys and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Aerosmith’s albums in the 2000s have all reached the top 5 in the US, with their thirteenth Just Push Play giving the band its last US top 10 hit “Jaded” in 2001.