When Steven Tyler (Real Name: Steven Victor Tallarico; ex-Chain Reaction/ex-William Pund And The Strageurs; vocals) and Joe Perry (Real Name: Anthony Joseph Perry; ex-Jam Band; guitar) founded Aerosmith their success was probably only a dream, especially for Tyler who was working at an ice cream parlor at the time! The name was one of many they selected as potential titles for their act, one of which was "Hookers". When Brad Whitford (ex-Justin Tyme/ex-Earth Inc./ex-Teapot Dome/ex-Cymbals Of Resistance; guitar; who had been a replacement for the short-term membership of Ray Tabano), Joey Kramer (drums) and Tom Hamilton (bass) joined they relocated to Boston, Massachusetts from Sunapee, New Hampshire. In 1972 they singed to 'Columbia' for a six-figure sum. Their blues-based hard rock later came to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal and rhythm and blues, and inspired many subsequent rock artists.
When their self-titled debut was released the following year, the chatter was all about their Rolling Stones similarity. This chatter was not mere speculation for Aerosmith mimicked the 'Stones in more ways than one; their musical style featured strong American blues influences tailored to a younger audience, as well as Perry and Tyler's partnership closely resembling that of Jagger and Richards; the talk was further propelled by Tyler himself having a striking physical resemblance to Mick Jagger. Tyler and Perry got the nickname as the 'Toxic Twins' because of their decadent behavior with an on-again-off-again friendship during the 1970s as opposed to the cozy friendship shared by Jagger and Richards that was dubbed the 'Glitter Twins'.
An excellent early example of their revved up R&B meets rock sound was their Mamma Kin and the Rufus Thomas cover Walkin' The Dog. But Dream On was their first single to scrape the bottom levels of the U.S. charts.
Get Your Wings, the 1974 album follow up, secured their raunchy style, but it wasn't until Toys In The Attic (1975) that Aerosmith became one of the biggest and sexiest Rock bands in the U.S.A. The album was a big hit making 11 in the U.S. charts on the power of tracks like the funky Walk This Way (later re-done by Rap act Run DMC) and the equally inspirational Sweet Emotion.
While Britain continued to protest with Anarchy In The U.K. and other Punk attitudes, in America, Heavy Metal was re-emerging with Aerosmith's Rocks (1976), an album that saw them reach the peak of their popularity and become a household name. Live! Bootleg (1978) was their first live recording. Draw The Line (1978) and Night In The Ruts (1980), however, failed to live up to their creative capabilities.
The band was further stressed by the Tyler/Perry relationship exceeding the braking point causing Perry to leave and form his own Joe Perry Project with Ralph Norman (vocals), David Hull (bass) and Ronnie Stewart (drums) to release Let The Music Do The Talking (1980), his only to chart at U.S. 47 with I've Got The Rock N' Rolls Again (1981) featuring Charlie Farren on vocals following and Once A Rocker Always A Rocker following in 1984 with a whole new line-up of Mark Bell (vocals), Danny Hargrove (bass) and Joe Pet (drums).
Tyler's problems, however, were further extended by his involvement in a near-fatal car accident. The greatest hits compilation titled simply Greatest Hits came in 1980 to pacify the fans while the band sorted through its problems. In 1981 Whitford and St. Holmes went on their own for a one-off self-titled side album featuring Brad Whitford (guitar/vocals), St. Holmes (ex-Ted Nugent; guitar), David Hewitt (bass) and Steve Pace (drums).
In 1981 Whitford and St. Holmes went on their own for a one-off self-titled side album featuring Brad Whitford (guitar/vocals), St. Holmes (ex-Ted Nugent; guitar), David Hewitt (bass) and Steve Pace (drums).
Rock In A Hard Place (1982) featuring an updated line-up with Jimmy Crepso (ex-Flame; guitar) replacing Perry, and Rick Dufay (guitar) replacing Whitford shortly later, was a relatively uninspiring affair as well. The band chemistry was gone. As an 11th hour decision, Perry and Tyler settled their differences and the original line-up was soon after restored, along with a deal with 'Geffen'.
Done With Mirrors (1985) was their return effort, and their best since their 1970s classic albums. The album,and their career was further boosted by their collaboration with Run DMC and the cover of Aerosmith's classic Walk This Way at a time when the Rock/Rap crossover music was at its popularity and 'Def Jam' (Run DMC's label) was a force to reckon with. Right on cue, Aerosmith cashed in on their discovery by a new generation with the release of Permanent Vacation (1987) featuring it's classic sleaze infused track Dude (Looks Like A Lady). This album followed closely on the heels of the double "best of..." live set Classics Live & Classics Live II (1986). Gems, a studio compilation followed in 1988. T he albums came during the height of the Glam Metal movement, a movement that saw many bands emulating the '70s Glam style, including that founded by Aerosmith. But, Aerosmith was nobody's fool, and as that movement fell by the wayside and those associated with it disappeared into obscurity, Aerosmith moved into the brave new world with their classic '70's raunchy Rock with Pump in 1989. The album finally gave them a top 20 hit in the U.K. with Love In An Elevator. The album featured almost every track making it to radio and 4 of them becoming smash hits. It made 5 in the U.S. but got them a 3 in the U.K.
Livin' On The Edge and Eat The Rich were the memorable tracks on their follow-up Get A Grip in 1993. If one thought their previous effort was their best, then Get A Grip was even bigger by achieving a 1 in the U.S. and a 2 in the U.K. Big Ones (1994) was a long awaited "best-of..." compilation. Nine Lives, their next studio effort in 1997, although a lesser hit it was nonetheless a capable recording by giving them a 1 in the U.S. and a 4 in the U.K.; one of the most memorable tracks being the humorously titled Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees). Their next live compilation would be the 2 CD set A Little South Of Sanity (1998).
Aerosmith would emerge after the millennium marker with Just Push Play in 2001, now more Pop than Metal but nevertheless coming across as confident and solid. Almost as a form of celebration of the mile marker they would release a set of best of compilations starting in 2002 Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology, O Yeah - Ultimate Aerosmith Hits (2002) and Classic Aerosmith (2002).
Honkin' On Bobo (2004) followed.
Problems on the band's 2010 Cocked, Locked, and Ready to Rock Tour arose when Tyler accidentally hit Joe Perry in the head with his microphone stand at a show in Wantagh, New York, then Perry bumping into Tyler at the Toronto, Canada show, causing Tyler to tumble off the stage.
2010 also saw Tyler as a judge on American variety show American Idol.
After the release of Music From Another Dimension in 2012, the band was featured on an episode of US news magazine show 60 Minutes. The show included candid interviews with the band members, interspersed with live performances from the band's 2011 tour. Some of the comments the band members said about each other seemed to re-ignite past tensions in the band. However, on March 22, Joe Perry surprised Steven Tyler by performing "Happy Birthday" for him on US TV variety show American Idol, as an early birthday present for him.
On May 30, 2012, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick performed for Walmart shareholders.
In late April and early May 2013, Aerosmith extended their Global Warming Tour to Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. This marked the band's first performances in Australia in 23 years.
On February 26, 2015, the band premiered the film Aerosmith Rocks Donington in 300 movie theaters across North America; the film video is from the band's 2014 performance at Download Festival at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England.
On June 10, the band embarked on the Blue Army Tour, which sent the band to 17 North American locations through August 7, many of them in smaller venues in secondary markets that the band has either never performed in or hasn't performed in many years. The band also played a one-off show in Moscow on September 5. On the tour, the band played several lesser-known tracks.
After the tour, Tyler completed work on his solo country album and signed a record deal with 'Scott Borchetta's Dot Records' (a division of the 'Big Machine Label Group'), which is expected to be released in 2016.
Joe Perry has worked with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp on the side project Hollywood Vampires, which released their eponymous debut album in September 2015 and performed at the 58th Grammy Awards on February 15, 2016. Brad Whitford re-joined Derek St. Holmes for a handful of tour dates in November 2015 and a new Whitford/St. Holmes album that was made available to fans at their live performances and which is planned for wide release in 2016. Joey Kramer has been actively involved in his "Rockin' & Roastin'" coffee business, which opened a location in Newry, Maine in December 2015.
Now over 30-years old, like the Rolling Stones, there is little doubt that Aerosmith will boast the same longevity in the business.
Footnote: Aerosmith managed to avoid the Grim Reaper in 1977 by refusing the same plane and crew later accepted by Lynyrd Skynyrd; the plane crashed.