Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band." Their style, rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, glam, and rhythm and blues, which has inspired many subsequent rock artists. The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. By 1971, Brad Whitford had replaced Tabano, and the band began developing a following in Boston. Their first gig under the name Aerosmith was at Mendon Nipmuc High School.
After a gig at Max's Kansas City, they signed a deal with Columbia Records and released a string of multi-platinum albums on the label, beginning with their eponymous 1973 debut album (their song "No Surprize" describes this series of events). In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the "Blue Army."
Drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981 respectively; Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay replaced them. The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, releasing a lone album - Rock in a Hard Place - which went gold but failed to match their previous successes.
Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records, but it wasn't until the band sobered up and did a groundbreaking crossover duet with rap group Run DMC of their old song, "Walk This Way," that things began to turn around; the success of the song catapulted Aerosmith back into the limelight, and it helped rocket rap music into the American mainstream in the process. The band released Permanent Vacation in 1987, which helped solidify their comeback, and all throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, they scored several hits and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989), Get a Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997). Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock 'n' roll history. After 38 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music.
Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold 150 million albums worldwide, including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine #1 Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and in 2005 they were ranked #57 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
The band also starred in two video game thus far: the Midway mounted-gun game Revolution X, and a Guitar Hero game with their namesake. Apparently, they have made more money off Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than they have off any of their albums.
The band ran into more problems in the late 2000s. Tensions arose as Tyler took time out to treatment for painkiller addiction and surgery as well as blindsiding the other members by becoming a judge on American Idol. With Tyler & Perry at loggerheads things got to the point where it was reported the band were looking for a new singer, however the band patched things up and completed a combined South America/Asia tour in late 2011.
- Aerosmith (1973)
- Get Your Wings (1974)
- Toys in the Attic (1975)
- Rocks (1976)
- Draw the Line (1977)
- Night in the Ruts (1979)
- Rock in a Hard Place (1982)
- Done with Mirrors (1985)
- Permanent Vacation (1987)
- Pump (1989)
- Get a Grip (1993)
- Nine Lives (1997)
- Just Push Play (2001)
- Honkin' on Bobo (2004)
- Music from Another Dimension (2012)
Aerosmith's most famous songs include:
- "Dream On"
- "Mama Kin"
- "Same Old Song And Dance"
- "Uncle Salty"
- "Train Kept A Rollin'"
- "Toys in the Attic"
- "Rats in the Cellar"
- "Sweet Emotion"
- "Walk This Way"
- "Back In The Saddle"
- "Last Child"
- "Come Together"
- "Dude Looks Like a Lady"
- "Rag Doll"
- "Love In An Elevator"
- "Janie's Got A Gun"
- "Livin' On The Edge"
- "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing"
- "Just Push Play"
- Beautiful Dreamer: "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" is about this.
- Break the Cutie: What happens in the song Janie's Got a Gun. Poor Janie.
- Broken Record: The liner notes for "Round and Round" lists the ending as (x1,000,000). See also the climax of "Livin' On The Edge."
- Cover Album: "Honkin' on Bobo", in which they cover old blues songs.
- Darker and Edgier: Aerosmith's second album, "Get Your Wings", sounds considerably darker lyrically than their debut. (This could also be interpreted as Hotter and Sexier, since the edginess is mostly sexual in nature.)
- Defrosting Ice Queen: "Chip Away the Stone"
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Trope Namer. The song itself was a Shout-Out/friendly Take That to Motley Crue's Vince Neil.
- Eat the Rich: The song "Eat The Rich," of course.
- Elevator Going Down: "Love in a Elevator". Again, Trope Namer.
- Epic Rocking: Clocking in at least five minutes, from their 1997 album Nine Lives alone, is Hole In My Soul (6:10), Taste of India (5:53), Full Circle (5:00), Ain't That A Bitch (5:25), and Fallen Angels with a rather astounding, for Aerosmith, eight minutes and sixteen seconds.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: "Monkey on my Back".
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Critical Mass", from their 1977 album Draw the Line.
- Fun with Acronyms: "F.I.N.E." (yes, the asterisk is part of the title)
- Greatest Hits Album: Several
- I'm a Humanitarian: "Eat the Rich". Though the lyrics make it a little hard to tell if that's really what it's about.
- Intercourse with You: Many, many songs, most notably "Walk this Way" and "Love in an Elevator".
- Love Hurts: "Falling In Love (Is Hard On the Knees)".
- Marilyn Maneuver: The cover of the Just Push Play album depicts a FemBot in a dress doing this.
- Metal Scream: Steve is an expert in this.
- Motor Mouth: The verses of "Walk This Way".
- Murder Ballad: "Janie's Got A Gun"
- New Sound Album: Permanent Vacation saw the band employing outside songwriters for the first time and switching to the slicker, poppier, MTV-ready sound that would distinguish their later-period work.
- Power Ballad: Quite a few, including "Dream On", "Crazy" and "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing".
- Precision F-Strike: A few songs. "Feedin' that fuckin' monkey on my back!"
- The Rabbit Died: Invoked in "Sweet Emotion":
You're telling her things but your girlfriend lied
- Rape and Revenge: "Janie's Got A Gun"
- Rockstar Song: "Make It" and "Mama Kin" off their Self-Titled Album, "No More No More" off Toys In The Attic, "Lick and a Promise" off Rocks. "Sweet Emotion" has shades of this too.
- Scatting: Steven does this sometimes.
- Self-Deprecation: In "Falling in Love (is Hard on the Knees)", Steven Tyler pokes fun at himself with the line "don't need no lip; I got enough of my own", referencing his infamously massive mouth and big lips.
- In a similar vein, the caricatures of the band on the cover of Draw the Line could also count.
- Spiritual Successor: "Rats In The Cellar" (a song from the Rocks album) was conceived as something of a mirrored version of the previous albums eponymous track Toys In The Attic.
- Spoonerism: The album Night in the Ruts.
- Textless Album Cover: Draw the Line.
- This Trope Is Bleep: The last chorus of "Just Push Play" has "Just push play! Fuckin' A! Just push play! They're gonna *bleep* it anyway", with an actual bleep obscuring the word bleep, while "fuck" is left uncensored. This becomes amusing in radio broadcasts of the song, when BOTH are bleeped.
- Title-Only Chorus: "Dude Looks Like a Lady"
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: "Dude Looks Like A Lady": "say, love would be nice/ she's a love in disguise/ she had the body of a Venus/ Lord, imagine my surprise!"
- Unusual Euphemism: From "Love In An Elevator": "I'll show you how to fax in the mailroom, honey/And have you home by five!" In fact, they ADORE this trope in their faster songs...
- Wrong Name Outburst: Mentioned in the song "Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)": "I was believer when you told me that you loved me/ And then you called me someone else's name."
- Iconic Logo
- Long Runner Lineup: The classic lineup.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: Joe Perry.
- Skunk Stripe: Joe Perry now has it.
- The Pete Best: Ray Tabano was the guitarist for a while before being replaced by Brad Whitford in 1971, before the band hit it big.
- Putting the Band Back Together: In 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford decided to return. The rest is history.
Music Video Tropes
- Axes At School: In the video for "Livin' On The Edge", a high school kid gets into a fight with another guy in the cafeteria and reaches into his backpack apparently for a handgun he brought but instead he takes out a sandwich.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: The "Crazy" video features Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler in Catholic schoolgirl uniforms at the beginning, until they shed those uniforms for something more revealing.
- Concept Video: "Janie's Got A Gun", "Livin' On The Edge", the "Crazy", "Cryin'", "Amazing" trilogy, "Hole in My Soul", and "Jaded".
- Delinquents: In the video for "Livin' On The Edge".
- Digital Head Swap: In the "Pink" video the band member's faces are put on various random people's bodies.
- Hand or Object Underwear: In the opening shot of the "Livin' On The Edge" video features Steven Tyler naked and covering himself with just his hand. It's also made to look like the right half of his body has been unzipped and then a green man pop out from inside him.
- Hospital Hottie: Pamela Anderson has a cameo as one in the "Blind Man" video, who gives a spongebath to a teenage boy which causes his head to aslpode.
- Hot for Teacher: Also in the "Livin' On The Edge" video, several male kids show interest in their sexy teacher. The end of the video reveals that it's actually a guy in drag.
- Hot Men At Work: The tractor driver in the "Crazy" video, who catches the attention of Silverstone and Tyler when they drive past him.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Among the people who are "shagging in the elevator" in the "Love In An Elevator" video are a huge man and a female midget.
- Ms. Fanservice: Alicia Silverstone for three music videos ("Crazy", "Amazing" and "Cryin'"). Liv Tyler was another Ms. Fanservice in the "Crazy" video. Though is seems weird that Steven Tyler put his own daughter in a music video as fanservice, she was actually chosen for the video before the casting director knew her father was in the band.
- Performance Video: "Rag Doll", "Love In An Elevator", "The Other Side", "Blind Man", and "What It Takes".
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: It's heavily implied that the two girls in the "Crazy" video are this.
- Surreal Music Video: "Pink" and "Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)". "Livin' On The Edge" is mostly a Concept Video but it also has some surreal imagery as part of the footage of the band performing.
- Talky Bookend: The "Love In An Elevator" video opens with scene of the band walking through a department store and running into a hot employee coming out of the elevator: "Second floor, hardware, children's wear, ladies' lingerie. Oh, good morning Mr. Tyler... going down?"
- That dialogue also appears on the album version of the song as the sub-track "Going Down".
- Video Full of Film Clips: "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" for Armageddon.