Thursday, October 01, 2015

Songoftheday 10/1/15 - Cruised into a bar on the shore her picture on the door, she a long lost love at first bite...


"Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" - Aerosmith
from the album Permanent Vacation (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #14 (four weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day comes from the bluesy hard rock band Aerosmith, who came together in Boston at the beginning of the 70s, fronted by lead singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry. With bass player Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer, and rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, they released their self-titled debut album in 1973. With an atmospheric epic anchoring the record, "Dream On", became their first chart hit, peaking at #59 on the Hot 100 pop chart, but was massively popular in the Northeast. With their third album, Toys In The Attic, the boys scored their first top-40 pop single in 1975 with "Sweet Emotion". After that success, two re-released songs, "Dream On" and then "Walk This Way" from Toys, both went top-10 in 1976, and Aerosmith went from being Stones knockoffs to American rock standard-bearers. They were selling albums by the truckload, with all seven of their releases including a live set selling over a million copies. The band even landed an appearance on the cinematic trainwreck reading of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton.  However, the usual tripe of drugs and alcohol were taking a heavy toll on the band, eventually causing so much strife to have Perry leave after their final 70s album Night in the Ruts, and Whitford a couple years thereafter (joining Perry for The Joe Perry Project. Neither act were as big as the group intact were, with no top-40 pop radio play since their Sgt Pepper cover of "Come Together".

Speaking of coming together, the members of Aerosmith put aside their beefs and reunited in 1984 for a tour and a new recording deal, which started off modestly in 1985 modestly with the Done With Mirrors album (still a top-40 album effort, nonetheless). Changes were necessary, especially with the band's drug issues (especially Tyler's), and after rehab for the lot, they were ready for their true comeback.

Their ninth studio effort Permanent Vacation was released in 1987, with a set of songs mostly co-written by Tyler or Perry but also mostly aided by "song doctors" like Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams) and Holly Knight (Pat Benatar). The first single from the record, "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)", though, veered heavily into parody territory with its transphobic theme (especially seemingly directed towards the "hair bands" like Poison, Ratt, and Def Leppard that had taken over the rock airwaves). Written by Tyler and Perry along with Bon Jovi go-to guy Desmond Child, "Dude" was their first big break on MTV. The video, though, had all actual females writhing around, with a couple of split-second shots of the androgynous Tyler in a pink dress drag...


"Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" became Aerosmith's first top-40 pop hit in America in nine years, reaching the top-20 in December of 1987. The song along scored them their first top-10 single on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks radio chart at #4. Internationally, the record went to #10 in Ireland, and #22 in Canada, but missed the top-40 in the UK at #45 the first time out (it was re-released in 1990 and went to #20 in Britain).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the band performing the song live in New York...


...and in 1988 for the MTV Music Awards...


fast forward to the band at Woodstock 1994...


...and collaborating with Shakira onstage in 2007...


...and finally from their world tour that same year...


Up tomorrow: Samoan-American family have a simple demand.

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