The 20 Greatest Aerosmith Songs of All Time

I was thinking about reviewing the new Aerosmith album, Music From Another Dimension!, then thought a bit more and realized, Why bother? Life's too short to spend thinkin' about stuff like that.

Aerosmith used to be one of the truly great American hard-rock bands--the only one that could touch Blue Oyster Cult in the '70s--but now their specialty seems to be lame-ass power ballads. And don't get me started on the first single, "Legendary Child". It's clear to me that, in 2012, Aerosmith has lost the will to rock.

The worst thing is that I was expecting something special this time around. When I interviewed him a couple years ago Joe Perry led me to believe that the band would be getting back to its winning way of making albums '70s-style. That they were reuniting with producer Jack Douglas--who'd worked on such killer discs as Get Yours Wings and Rocks--locking themselves in a room, and composing the music themselves.

But guess what? My old hero Joe gave me a bum steer. The list of hired-gun, hit-seeking songwriters who contributed to Music From Another Dimension! includes Marti Frederiksen, Russ Irwin, Jim Vallance, Marco Moir, Jesse Kramer, Desmond Child, and Diane Warren. No wonder it doesn't sound like the Aerosmith of old.

I'll admit that there are a couple of Perry-penned tracks--"Oh Yeah" and "Freedom Fighter"--that hint at the band's former ragged glory. But then you've got to sit through the supreme nauseation of "What Could Have Been Love" and "Can't Stop Lovin' You" and "We All Fall Down" and "Another Last Goodbye" and it's like: "Holy crap, how hurtin' can this get?!"

But instead of slagging the new disc for another nanosecond I've decided to take a more positive approach and put together my list of the 20 Greatest Aerosmith Songs of All Time. You'll see that the vast majority were written by the band members themselves, usually Perry and frontman Steven Tyler. There was the odd contribution from outside the group, however, and at this time I'd like to thank the aforementioned Vallance for whatever he did to make "Magic Touch" so freakin' awesome.

Maybe not every hired-gun songwriter wrecks the party after all.

"Make It" (Tyler, from Aerosmith, 1973)

"Dream On" (Tyler, Aerosmith)

"Mama Kin" (Tyler, Aerosmith)

"Same Old Song and Dance" (Tyler/Perry, from Get Your Wings, 1974)

"Spaced" (Tyler/Perry, Get Your Wings)

"S.O.S. (Too Bad)" (Tyler, Get Your Wings)

"Seasons of Wither" (Tyler, Get Your Wings)

"Sweet Emotion" (Tyler/Hamilton, from Toys in the Attic, 1975)

"No More No More" (Tyler/Perry, Toys in the Attic

"Back in the Saddle" (Tyler/Perry, from Rocks, 1976)

"Sick as a Dog" (Tyler/Hamillton, Rocks)

"Lick and a Promise" (Perry/Tyler), Rocks

"Draw the Line" (Tyler/Perry, from Draw the Line, 1977)

"The Hand That Feeds (Tyler/Whitford/Hamilton/Kramer/Jack Douglas, Draw the Line

"Sight for Sore Eyes" (Tyler/Perry/Douglas/David Johansen, Draw the Line)

"Lightning Strikes" (Richard Supa, from Rock in a Hard Place, 1982)

"Bitches Brew" (Tyler/Crespo, Rock in a Hard Place)

"Let the Music do the Talking" (Perry, from Done With Mirrors, 1985)

"My Fist Your Face" (Tyler/Perry, from Done With Mirrors)

"Magic Touch" (Tyler/Perry/Jim Vallance, from Permanent Vacation, 1987)

You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.

Comments (19) Add New Comment
Tim
What about Ragdoll?
14
15
Rating: -1
You forgot...
No Walk this Way? No Last Child?
21
22
Rating: -1
Steve Newton
hey, I wanted to keep it to The 20 Greatest, peeps. It was hard enough not putting "Rats in the Cellar" on there
18
18
Rating: 0
A. MacInnis
Hey, nice to see "Lightning Strikes" there - kind of a dark horse, but a song I was fond of in the day... been awhile. And then there's:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29jeUXj8g0Y
Rating: -102
Steve Newton
yep, "Coney Island" almost made the list too, Big A. But I already had the similar-sounding "Sight for Sore Eyes" on there
12
21
Rating: -9
robert p
c'mon Steve ...Toys in the Attic ...
26
21
Rating: +5
rp
nothing from Pump? and Rats has to be there
16
16
Rating: 0
Carl Spackler
Nice work Newt!

No.1 Last Child

No.2 Chip Away the Stone (Live)

No. 3 Toys in Attic

You oughta do a list of their 20 worst songs as well. Man they sucked once they got off drugs.
26
21
Rating: +5
Steve Newton
instead of a list of their 20 worst songs I could just type out the track list from Just Push Play I suppose
16
20
Rating: -4
John Lucas
I think there's a strong case to be made that getting off drugs had less to do with it than coming to Vancouver to record their albums did. But I can't make that argument without speaking ill of the dead (and a local hero to boot), so I won't. But someone else is welcome to!
15
13
Rating: +2
Steve Newton
apart from that whole "Amazing/Crazy/Crying" Alicia Silverstone-driven power-ballad debacle, the band made some decent music in Vancouver; more than just "Magic Touch". You've got your "Janie's Got a Gun", "Rag Doll", "Monkey On My Back", etc. It just wasn't Top 20 material. (It wasn't until 1997's Nine Lives that Aerosmith really started to stink up the joint.)
24
16
Rating: +8
yougottabecrazy@hotmail.com
You like Blue Oyster Cult? Pfft... (Yeah I own a couple albums) But what... Aerosmith the only one who could touch `em?!? WTF!?! AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO, THE ROLLING STONES, RUSH and last but not least PINK FLOYD, etc, etc!!! THEY WERE THE ONE'S THAT NO ONE COULD TOUCH!!! Blue Oyster Cult? Pfft... One hit wonder's with Don't Fear The Reaper... That's it!!! Aerosmith, the only band that could touch `em? Pfft...
17
20
Rating: -3
Steve Newton
dude, last time I looked Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Rush, and Pink Floyd weren't "American hard-rock bands". Pfft yourself.
18
14
Rating: +4
cnt
Blue Oyster Cult shits all over Aerosmith and you know it. "Secret Treaties", nuff said.
18
25
Rating: -7
Steve Newton
cnt: B.O.C.'s self-titled debut album and the followup Tyranny and Mutation were just as strong as Secret Treaties
20
22
Rating: -2
cnt
Totally Steve, their Black and White era is outstanding, even if it is non-commercial as 'yougottabecrazy' pointed out. But being commercial doesn't imply being better at all.
16
16
Rating: 0
Steve Newton
that's right, cnt (without the u). If "being commercial" meant "being better" the new Aerosmith album would rule instead of suck
17
19
Rating: -2
Ed Banger
Come on Steve - we all know Aerosmith's greatest hits would only cover a 45 single - Walk this Way on the A-side and Sweet Emotions on the flip. The Toxic Twins look like drag queens these days - never a fan.
19
16
Rating: +3
Bruno Madsen
The best album Aerosmith ever made was 'Honkin' on Bobo'. A lot of there old stuff is great but you can't beat the old blues classics and they do a magnificent job on them.
13
16
Rating: -3
Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.