Artist Spotlight: Aerosmith
by Justin Farrar | November 6, 2012
There's something so grungy and bar-rock about Aerosmith that it's easy to underestimate their towering stature in pop-music history. To begin with, the bad boys from Beantown are one of Mother Earth's 20 biggest-selling artists of all time (sandwiched next to the likes of U2, Billy Joel and Phil Collins). When you narrow that market to the United States, they climb into the Top 15. In fact, according to most sales figures, America has purchased more records from Aerosmith than from the Stones -- kind of insane, right? Related to this number is the fact that they've moved more units than any other American rock band ever; this includes both The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
The enormity of that success wouldn't have been possible without the band's improbable revival in the late '80s, when their collaboration with Run-D.M.C. on the pioneering rap-rock fusion "Walk This Way" led to the comeback blockbuster Permanent Vacation, which led to even more platinum blockbusters: Pump, Get a Grip, Nine Lives. Plus, all those power-ballad videos starring a young Alicia Silverstone; those were on MTV, like, constantly back in the '90s. Then, after all that, came "Jaded" and Super Bowl XXXV, during which just about every set of eyes in the country witnessed the timelessly wild Steven Tyler romp wth Britney, 'NSYNC and Mary J. Blige.
Of course, none of what transpired in the '80s, '90s and '00s would ever have happened were it not for the group's '70s legacy. Back then, they were one of the most ferocious (and funkiest) bands on the planet. In addition to utterly classic jams like "Sweet Emotion," "Back in the Saddle" and "Dream On," they unleashed a string of albums -- including the 1-2-3 punch of Toys in the Attic, Rocks and Draw the Line -- that to this day represent some of the very best hard rock ever produced.
So yeah, Aerosmith rule, people. Here's a complete guide to their indomitable catalog.