Like some American cartoon version of the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith burned brightest at the beginning of their careers. From 1973-1976, they produced 4 great hard rock albums. From that point on they have produced the occasional good song, but since their reunion in 1985, it’s mostly been a sad excuse for their past. Sure Love in an Elevator or that Michael Bay soundtrack song made them a lot of money and got a lot of old dudes some young strange, but it is nowhere close to their 4 year peak.
1. Sweet Emotion
One of the best hard rock songs of all-time. The guitar riffs on this are ridiculous and at the 3:30 mark you hear Perry’s greatest solo.
2. Nobody’s Fault
Swirling dark and heavy music, this one totally rocks. Great wah wah solo.
3. Back in the Saddle
Driving shuffle with Steven Tyler offering up his best screaming vocals.
4. Mama Kin
The first album I owned was Aerosmith’s debut. I received from my uncle for Xmas. I was 8. This sounded like none of my Dionne Warwicke and Dave Clark 5 records. Great driving blues, with the perfect touch of funk.
5. Walk this Way
I totally understand if you think this is the band’s greatest song. It probably is, but between the original and the Run DMC collaboration, I’ve heard it a few too many times. From the initial drum beat, it’s a totally original song.
6. Dream On
Just like Walk this Way, this one is knocked down a few notches because of constant airplay. I think it’s far superior to Stairway of Heaven. Like Stairway, Dream On is the protype for so many hard rock bands writing a ballad to sell more records. Unfortunately they don’t come close to being this good.
7. Round and Round
For those that don’t think that Aerosmith never really rocked hard, listen to this cut. It’s like Steven Tyler fronting Black Sabbath.
8. Lord of Your Thighs
The best song off of Get Your Wings, it features a great Joey Kramer funky drummer beat, while Tyler does one of his best talk/sing/boasts. I mean, how can you argue with the chorus. Check out the Breeders great cover of this one.
9. Last Child
This is a great example of how original sounding this band was. I have no idea how you even construct something this insane, but Steven’s uses his falsetto to it’s peak here.
10. Lightning Strikes
Most fans slag all over the Rock in a Hard Place, since Perry wasn’t with the band on it, but I think it’s the last good record the band ever recorded. This Lou Christie cover shows off Tyler willing the band to excellence.
11. No Suprise
It’s a coin-flip for me on if Toys in the Attic or Rocks (where this song came from) is the group’s best record. This one features Tyler on one of his classic rants. The guy can sing in tune faster than almost anyone.
12. Toys in the Attic
More great swirling guitar song, with one of the few where the band offers up backup vocals to benefit the tune.
13. Uncle Salty
Another Toys in the Attic offering. Some of my favorite Perry/Whitford guitar work.
14. Sick as a Dog
This one is has all the Aerosmith formula. Twin guitar sing along with Tyler, as he whines his angry complaints of love gone wrong.
15. Walkin’ the Dog
Off their debut, you hear how the equal influences of the Stones and Zeppelin.
16. Make It
This one shows them at their most psychedelic.
Another excellent one from Rock and a Hard Place. Tyler never sounded better than he did on this Jack Douglas produced offering.
18. Rats in the Cellar
A full-out raver, with even a harmonica.
19. Kings and Queens
The music is a bit off, but Tyler sings his balls off and elevates it.
20. Bitches Brew
Offered up in a world of 80’s hair metal bands, the musical depth of this one blows most of them away.
NOTE: Quite possibly my least favorite successful Beatles song is Come Together. Aerosmith version is much better than the original, but I still don’t love it.