Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, with the nickname “the Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”. Their blues-based hard rock style, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists over the years. They were often compared to the Rolling Stones due to the similarities between Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger but their music more closely resembles Led Zeppelin.
Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970 by guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with vocalist/pianist/harmonicist Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano. This was the original line-up of Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano left the band and was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band soon started to form a following in Boston.
After two years of solid touring, they signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of gold and platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by Get Your Wings in 1974. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars. Two additional albums (Draw the Line and Night in the Ruts) followed in 1977 and 1979, respectively.
Their first five albums have since attained multi-platinum status. Throughout the 1970s, the band toured relentlessly (mainly in the USA) and charted a dozen Hot 100 singles. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular heavy rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. However, drug and alcohol abuse and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which led to the departure of Joe Perry in 1979. Brad Whitford followed in 1981. They were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. The band continued but their popularity waned between 1980 and 1984, releasing the album Rock in a Hard Place, which was certified gold but failed to reach their former glories.
When Joe Perry and Brad Whitford returned to Aerosmith in 1984 the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records and embarked on a comeback tour (the “Back in the Saddle” tour). Aerosmith recorded Done with Mirrors (1985), which won critical praise from some quarters but failed to achieve commercial expectations. It was not until the band’s collaboration with rap group Run–D.M.C. in 1986, and the 1987 multi-platinum release Permanent Vacation, that they regained and eclipsed the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989), Get a Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997), and embarked on their most extensive concert tours to date. The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in history. Additional albums followed in 2001, 2004, and 2012. Since 2001, the band has toured every year, except 2008. After 46 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music, but is contemplating a farewell tour, in 2017 and come to a close around 2021 (by which time most of the band will be over 70 years old).
Aerosmith’s legacy 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. With 25 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, and 12 multi-platinum albums, they hold the record for the most total certifications by an American band and are tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American band. Aerosmith has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.In 2013, the band’s principal songwriters, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.