Artist and Musician Biographies


Here is Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"

Although the band Aerosmith was formed in 1970 in Boston, it would be five years before they would achieve commercial mainstream success. For the first three years they made a name for themselves playing bars, clubs and college parties in the Boston and New York area before signing a record deal with Columbia. Although the self-titled debut, released in the fall of 1973, included one of their most well known hits, the classic power ballad "Dream On", the album did not do well on the charts.

After building a loyal fan base through relentless touring, the band finally achieved stardom with the 1975 release, "Toys in the Attic." With singles like "Sweet Emotion", and the funky "Walk This Way," Aerosmith had secured their position in rock history as a major Hard Rock band whose more intense work had an influence on Heavy Metal of the 1980's and 1990's.

During the late 1970's and early 1980's, they were one of the most popular hard rock bands in America, stylistically situated between the cool bluesy swagger of the Rolling Stones and campy Glam metal of bands like The New York Dolls. Front man Stephen Tyler (1948) fulfilled the role he was born for as lead singer, while guitarist Joe Perry's (1950) simple, almost brutal blues-based riffs powered their sleek, hard driving rock sound. Tom Hamilton (1946) rounded out the line-up on bass, while Joey Kramer (1950) played drums, and Brad Whitford (1952) became their second guitarist.

But things changed for the worse in the 1980's, as the New Wave of MTV pop bands and 1980's superstars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson dominated the charts, the band's success plummeted. In disarray, Aerosmith nearly collapsed in the mid-1980's due to various drug and alcohol problems, and many critics and fans anticipated their complete demise. However, after cleaning up their act, they made a remarkable comeback in the late 1980's and have produced some of their best work in the 1990's.

After surviving their darkest days, the band resurfaced from the "where are they now?" file to join old-school rappers Run-DMC in the video for their cover of "Walk This Way." The video and song itself signified a momentous change in the course of rock and roll, as well as the emerging styles of Hip-Hop and Rap. "Walk This Way" was a figurative and literal breakthrough for both bands. Following the resurgence of interest in Aerosmith's music, by 1987 they were back in the studio to produce a string of hugely successful albums. They were able to top their previous success with hits like "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Love in an Elevator", and more recently, "Cryin'".

Over the past three decades, Aerosmith turned out some 25 albums, despite the problems that often plagued the band. One aspect of their success was their ability to pull off both ballads and heavy rock, which certainly broadened their appeal and fan base.

Page author: A.E.