Steven Tyler of Aerosmith turns 70

In 2013, Aerosmith’s principal songwriters, Tyler and Perry, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Steven Tyler in the middle
I own two greatest hits albums by Aerosmith. The first collection, unimaginatively called Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits, came out in 1980, and never got above #53 on the Billboard album charts. But it was a steady product, with over 10 million copies sold. I really like it.

The second, Big Ones, came out in 1994, and contains all those 1980s hits, many of which left me cold. It got to #6, and has sold more than four million copies.

Steven Tyler is the lead singer of Aerosmith. He was raised by a classical musician and a secretary, and began his musical career as a drummer in bands as early as 1964.

Meanwhile, guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton started in a band called the Jam Band, eventually operating out of Boston. They met Joey Kramer, a drummer from Yonkers, NY, who dropped out of Berklee College of Music to join the Jam Band.

“Kramer knew Tyler and had always hoped to play in a band with him.” After the Jam Band and Tyler’s band Chain Reaction played the same gig in 1970, Tyler “wanted to combine the two bands” but “only if he could be frontman and lead vocalist,” which was agreed upon.

Rhythm guitarist Ray Tabano joined what was by then called Aerosmith, but was replaced by Ray Whitford, another Berklee dropout. The band had a “temporary” change of personnel from July 1979 to April 1984, but has otherwise stayed the same.

What really relaunched their career were two things: Tyler and Perry appearing on Run–D.M.C.’s cover of Walk This Way, “a track blending rock and roll with hip hop”; and Tyler getting sober.

Steven Tyler has a famous actress daughter, Liv, who thought Todd Rundgrun was her dad early on.

“Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records in the United States alone… The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100… They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001… In 2013, the band’s principal songwriters, Tyler and Perry, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.”

Listen to:

Dream On – #59 in 1973, but a longer version went to #6 in 1976, a song “inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for being one of the most influential songs in the development of rock”

Sweet Emotion, #36 in 1975

Walk This Way, #10 in 1977

Walk This Way – Run- D.M.C., #4 pop, #8 R&B in 1986

Steven Tyler turns 70 on March 26

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