Aerosmith Top-25 Songs
Here’s where we dig deep into our bag of tricks and try to rank the top-25 Aerosmith songs of all-time. Not an easy task to do. Sit back and let us know how we did. Did your favorites make the cut?
Aerosmith Top 25
25. Amazing– A personal song as the writers Steven Tyler and Richie Supa tell their story about how they fought their way through drug addiction and climbing back to the top. Don Henley sings background vocals. The song peaked at #24 on the Billboard charts.
24. Joanie’s Butterfly– One of only two songs on our list that Joe Perry does not play on. Jimmy Crespo wrote the riff and actually plays the song in instrumental form like he wrote it in his more recent shows. Steven Tyler added the lyrics from a dream he once had that adds to the song’s mystique. Perhaps the band’s most underrated gem in their entire catalog.
23. Train Kept A Rollin’– First recorded by blues artist Tony Bradshaw in 1951, the song was popularized by The Yardbirds. Led Zeppelin frequently opened their concerts with the song in their early days. Has been a consistent song in many Aerosmith set lists over the years mainly as the show closer. On rare occasions the band has opened their shows with the song as well.
22. Rats In The Cellar-Tyler called it the answer to Toys In The Attic tongue in cheek. Another song from Rocks that oozes with energy and found its way into the bands sets frequently throughout their career. Cited as one the Aerosmith’s best deep cuts by Rolling Stone.
21. Jaded– From Just Push Play, Jaded remains Aerosmith’s last top 10 to date peaking at #7 on the singles chart. Written by Tyler and Marti Frederiksen, the band performed it at the halftime show for Superbowl XXXV. Many say the band sold out on this one but had it not been for Jaded, Just Push Play would not have been propelled to platinum status and would remain more of a distant memory.
20. Toys In The Attic– The song that kicks off the album of the same name has always been a fan favorite. Toys was groundbreaking in that the album was made entirely from scratch unlike their first two. It’s powerful guitars and energy clearly show a band firing on all cylinders. The song still finds its way to the bands sets even til this day.
19. Kings And Queens– The 2nd single from Draw The Line. It appeared on Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits album. The fan favorite is one of the toughest songs for the band to adapt to playing live. The band resurrected the song for its summer U.S. tour in 2014. Anyone who has seen this one live know how much of a rare treat it is.
18. Draw The Line– Although it did not reach the top-40 the song was included on the band’s first Greatest Hits album released in 1980. A powerful Tyler/Perry composition that is one of only four from Draw The Line.
17. Back In The Saddle– There is no coincidence that this powerful track kicks off the epic Rocks. The song has opened many a show for the boys over the years. The song was also used for the name of the tour when the original lineup got back together in 1984.
16. Walk This Way– Known for breaking Aerosmith into the mainstream …twice. The second single from Toys In The Attic did not chart when first released, it wasn’t until it was re-issued in 1977 that it charted and peaked at #10 on the singles chart. In 1986 hip hop group Run-D.M.C. recorded a version of the song along with Tyler and Perry. They recorded a video and the song is often cited as helping to break hip hop into the mainstream as it peaked at #4 beating Aerosmith’s own version.
15. Janie’s Got A Gun– When Steven Tyler got the idea to try something new and write a song about a social issue, he tackled a big one. The controversial topic of incest & child abuse took him nine months to express in song. The story of a father raping his daughter and her subsequent revenge with a handgun elicited some compromise with A&R exec. John Kalodner on the graphic nature of some of the lyrics. Kalodner indicated in the Aerosmith: Making of Pump video that it could be Tyler’s masterpiece and arguably may very well be. The song brought Aerosmith their first Grammy, MTV VMA award and peaked on the US Billboard charts at #4.
14. S.O.S. (Too Bad)– Written by Tyler the song is one the bands first fast gritty rockers that still occasionally finds its way into the bands recent sets. Taken from the bands second album Get Your Wings, it was released as the third single although it never charted. S.O.S. meaning same old shit.
13. Lightning Strikes– Although Joe Perry did not play on this song from Rock In A Hard Place, he considers it a fantastic song. He liked it so much the band would go on to play it very frequently from 1984 up until 1990. Oddly enough the band hasn’t played it since. Brad Whitford did play on it before he left the band in 1981. The song was written by Tyler, Crespo and sometime Aerosmith collaborator Richie Supa.
12. Chip Away The Stone– Another Tyler/Supa composition which has an odd history. Originally recorded in the studio in 1978, the studio version of the song never appeared on an Aerosmith album until Gems released in 1978. The song was played live and appears on the band’s classic Live Bootleg release. Most diehards prefer the live version which is rawer and simply put has more balls than the studio recording.
11. What It Takes– One of the standouts from Pump, What It Takes became the third song from the album to hit the top-10 peaking at #9.
10. Season Of Wither– According to Perry who generally is not a fan of ballads, considers this song the best ballad Tyler ever wrote. That is saying a lot considering “Dream On” was the band that helped put this band on the map. The song was written on an old guitar that was found in the trash, giving it a unique sound and helped to shape the song.
9. You See Me Crying– The song is classic Aerosmith, in my estimation the bands best ballad. While a shortened version was released as a single it failed to chart. The song has only been performed live once at Jones Beach as Tyler decided to sing it for his daughter Liv who was in attendance. An interesting note was when the band were at a get-together at Boston DJ Mark Parenteau’s apartment in the mid-80’s he spun some older Aerosmith songs, when this song came on Tyler loved it so much he wanted to cover it, not realizing it was his own voice and band. That was a wakeup call that was a stepping stone to try and get the band to sober up.
8. Mama Kin– The song Tyler had so much faith in he had “Ma Kin” tattooed on his left bicep. The song is still played in concert these days. One of three songs that the band has played throughout their live career from the debut. The song was performed in their infamous Max’s Kansas City show in which Clive Davis signed the band after seeing them.
7. I Wanna Know Why– The song was a constant in the bands sets from 1977-80. It is very hard to believe this song which is a great live song has not been played live since 1980. One of the gems from the much-maligned Draw The Line. One of only three songs that Tyler and Perry wrote together for the album. Considering what was going on with the band at the time this is just an absolutely fantastic song.
6. Come Together– Many would say this is the greatest Beatles cover ever. Tyler and Company give this song a facelift and an edge that makes the original version by the Beatles pale by comparison. The song was recorded for the Sgt Pepper Soundtrack which has gained a cult following over the years. The movie itself was a box office disaster as it was lambasted by almost every critic known to mankind.
5. Sweet Emotion– The song became the bands first top-40 hit. Written by Tyler and bassist Tom Hamilton, the song remains one of the big 3 Aerosmith songs along with “Dream On” and “Walk This Way”. It would be impossible to go to an Aerosmith concert and not hear this song performed. Perry plays the talk box which is one of the most famous uses of the instrument in popular music.
4. Cryin’– A power ballad written by Tyler/Perry along with Taylor Rhodes. Rhodes would go on to write a few other Smith songs such as “Blind Man” and “Full Circle” from the Nine Lives album. Peaking at #12 the song was the highest charting of the seven singles released from Get A Grip. Still an integral part of the bands live set generally played as one of the first few songs of each show.
3. Sick As A Dog– Another stellar song from powerhouse album Rocks. The song was written by Tyler and bassist Tom Hamilton. An interesting note on this recording of this song finds Hamilton on rhythm guitar, Perry on bass for the first half, guitar on the last part with Tyler taking over the bass from Perry all in one take by producer Jack Douglas.
2. No More No More– By the time Steven Tyler was faced with writing songs for Toys In The Attic the frustrations of his history of rising to fame and playing on the road lay heavy on his mind. The band suggested he write a song about what he knew best… that very history. No More No More runs the gamut of his experiences, from his early years lying under his father’s piano listening to him play, to the boredom of hotels and groupies while chasing his dream. Tyler has called this song “my diary”. Although never a single, the song continues to be a fan favorite deep track and the band continues to play it at their live shows with Tyler sometimes introducing it as “No More, No Mother-F**king More.”
1. Dream On– The song that first put Aerosmith on the map as well as the radio. Even after hearing the song so many times over the years, it still remains one that is hard to get sick of. A true gem. The song is played at every show although on one extremely rare occasion on their last visit to town in 2006 they skipped it for one reason or another.