Aerosmith grew to popularity in the 1970s when bassist Tom Hamilton and guitarist Joe Perry got together with guitarist Ray Tabano, drummer Joey Kramer, and lead vocalist Steven Tyler. Their music was known for incorporating a number of styles that were gripping rock musicians at the time, and their overall style as a conglomeration of glam rock, heavy metal, pop music, and blues. They took elements of style from each of these genres and managed to make them their own in a way that would eventually grow to influence bands such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Guns n’ Roses.
Despite the band’s legendary popularity, they did not have what could be called a meteoric rise. Their lineup changed before they reached anything close to mainstream success, with Tabano being replaced by Brad Whitford in 1971. In 1973 and 1974, they released a self-titled debut album and then a second album entitled Get Your Wings. However, it was their third and fourth albums, Toys in the Attic and Rocks, that began to establish the band as mainstream sensations over the next two years. These two albums contained hits such as “Walk This Way,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Back in the Saddle,” “Last Child,” and “Nobody’s Fault.”
The popularity of these songs, especially Top 40 hits such as “Back in the Saddle” and “Last Child” on Rocks, generated increased interest in their first two albums. Upon review of these records, listeners rediscovered now-classic hits such as “Same Old Song and Dance” and “Dream On.” Their most popular songs were known for their unique balance of blues vibes with aggressively primal rock instrumentals. They were also known for their howling vocal style, especially prevalent in songs such as “Dream On” and “Walk This Way.”
Of all American-born rock bands to grace the stage, Aerosmith has outsold them all. They have sold well over 150 million albums internationally, nearly half of which have been sold domestically. Just over two dozen of their albums have gone gold (more than any other American band), with one and a half dozen going platinum. A dozen have even gone multi-platinum. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are both in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2001 the band as a whole entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In short, their contributions to the music industry have been vastly rewarded, and their hit music continues to inspire songwriters and musicians today who long to live up to the classic rock of the 1970s.
Although Aerosmith briefly broke up at the end of the 1970s, it was only a few years before they got back together. They released albums on and off, every few years from 1982 to 2004. This began the longest period of time they would ever go without releasing an album, after which they would release Music from Another Dimension! in 2012. The album contained new material, which again was written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. The release of this album demonstrated that the band was still able to write and perform with the same talent and dedication they had shown in their earlier years, further cementing them as legends of American music.
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