1976 UK promotional single
|Single by Aerosmith|
|from the album Aerosmith|
|Released||June 27, 1973|
|Recorded||Intermedia Studios, Boston, 1972|
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Length||3:25 (single version)|
4:26 (album version)
|Aerosmith singles chronology|
|"Dream On" (audio)|
"Dream On" (official live video)
"Dream On" is a power ballad by Aerosmith from their 1973 debut album, Aerosmith. Written by lead singer Steven Tyler, this song was their first major hit and became a classic rock radio staple. Released in June 1973, it peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 but hit big in the band's native Boston, where it was the number one single of the year on WBZ-FM, number five for the year on WRKO and number 16 on WMEX (AM). The song received immediate heavy airplay too on the former WVBF (FM), often showing up in the #1 position on "The Top Five At Five" in June 1973.
The album version of "Dream On" (4:26, as opposed to the 3:25 1973 45rpm edit) was re-issued in late 1975, debuting at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 10, 1976, breaking into the Top 40 on February 14 and peaking at number 6 on April 10. Columbia Records chose to service Top 40 radio stations with both long and short versions of the song; thus, many 1976 pop radio listeners were exposed to the group's first Top 10 effort through the 45 edit.
"Dream On" was first played live in Mansfield, Connecticut, at the Shaboo Inn. In a 2011 interview, Tyler reminisced about his father, a Juilliard-trained musician. He recalled lying beneath his dad's piano as a three-year-old listening to him play classical music. "That's where I got that Dream On chordage," he said.
Although the song's vocals were originally often performed by the group's drummer Joey Kramer, Tyler says that this was the only song on the band's first album where he used his real voice. He was insecure about how his voice sounded on tape, so for the other songs, he tried to sing a bit lower and sound more like soul artists, such as James Brown. The song is also famous for its building climax to showcase Tyler's trademark screams.
- 1 Single track listings
- 2 Chart performance
- 3 Certifications
- 4 Live performances
- 5 Music video
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Appearances on other albums
- 8 Achievements
- 9 Cover versions
- 10 Sampling
- 11 In other media
- 12 References
Single track listings
7" 45 RPM
- Side one
- "Dream On"
- Side two
The original 1973 issue of this 45 (45894) has a shorter edit of "Dream On" (3:25). Most of the intro has been edited out and the first chorus is replaced with the second chorus. The second issue from 1976 (10278) contains the album version (4:28).
- "Dream On"
- "Dream On" [Live]
- "Walk This Way"
U.S. Billboard Hot 100
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart
Canada RPM Top 100
Canada RPM 100 Year-End Chart
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||250,000|
sales+streaming figures based on certification alone
This section does not cite any sources. (June 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Long a concert staple, the song's piano part has been played live by Tyler. The band has also played "Dream On" with an orchestra on a couple of occasions. One of these performances, conducted by Michael Kamen, was performed live for MTV's 10th Anniversary (in 1991) and included on the soundtrack for the movie Last Action Hero. Additionally, in 2006, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry performed the song live with the Boston Pops Orchestra at their Fourth of July spectacular. On September 19, 2006, Aerosmith dedicated the song to captured Israeli soldier Ehud Goldwasser. On September 22, 2007, at a concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Aerosmith dedicated the song to one of their fans, Monica Massaro, who had been murdered earlier that year. In August 2010, Tyler performed much of the song on a grand piano on top of the "Green Monster" at an Aerosmith concert at Fenway Park in Boston, before the rest of the band joined in to close out the song. On May 25, 2013, Tyler performed a brief rendition of the song live during the finale of the tenth season of American Idol. After the Boston Marathon Attacks, Tyler performed the song at the Boston Strong Concert.
A coinciding video directed by Marty Callner was also created at the MTV 10th anniversary special performance with the orchestra.
- Steven Tyler – vocals, electric harpsichord, mellotron
- Joe Perry – guitar
- Brad Whitford – guitar
- Tom Hamilton – bass guitar
- Joey Kramer – drums
Appearances on other albums
The song has appeared on almost every Aerosmith greatest hits and live compilation, including:
- Live! Bootleg
- Greatest Hits
- Classics Live I
- A Little South of Sanity
- Big Ones (as a bonus track in CD 2)
- Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology
- O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits
- Devil's Got a New Disguise
- Music from the Original Motion Picture "Last Action Hero"
It also appears on both of the band's box sets.
The song "Dream On" is part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list. It is also ranked #173 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
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- In 1988, Greg X. Volz formerly of Petra covered this song on the album Come Out Fighting.
- In 1988, the song was covered by The Mission on their album Children.
- In 1994, Andru Donalds covered the song for his self-titled album.
- In 1999, Ronnie James Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Stu Hamm, Gregg Bissonette and Paul Taylor covered the song for the Aerosmith tribute album Not the Same Old Song and Dance. Additional guitars were by the album's producers Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet.
- In 2002, "Dream On" was covered by Fisher on their Uppers & Downers dual-disc album. The cover version performed by Fisher was featured in the series-finale episode of the NBC drama Windfall.
- In 2002, the main riff and chorus of the song were sampled in the 2002 song "Sing for the Moment" by rapper Eminem.
- In 2002, an instrumental jazz cover of the song by Alex Skolnick Trio was included on their album Goodbye to Romance: Standards for a New Generation.
- In 2005, Michael Angelo Batio included an instrumental cover of this song on his album Hands Without Shadows.
- In 2005, Tori Amos covered the song during her live performance at the B of A Pavilion in Boston, MA. A recording of the song was included on her The Original Bootlegs 6-CD release.
- In 2007, electropop singer-songwriter Kelly Sweet covered the song on her debut album We Are One.
- In 2008, power metal band HolyHell covered the song during their live performance at Magic Circle Festival 2008 in Bad Arolsen, Germany. A recording of the performance was released on Magic Circle Festival 2008 DVD.
- In 2010, metalcore band Blessthefall recorded a cover of the song for the compilation cover album Punk Goes Classic Rock, which is part of the Punk Goes... series.
- In 2010, Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison covered the song as a duet in the TV series Glee.
- In 2011, Reece Mastin, winner of the Australian edition of The X Factor, covered this song for his eponymous album.
- In 2011, American post-grunge band Cold covered this song which later appeared on their fifth album Superfiction as bonus track.
- In 2012, Anastacia covered the song for her fifth studio album It's a Man's World. The song was released as album's lead single, only in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
- In 2013, Martha Wash (of The Weather Girls fame) covered the song for her album Something Good.
- In 2014, American Idol winner of season 13 Caleb Johnson performed the song and released a studio version for the deluxe edition of his album Testify.
- In 2016, Postmodern Jukebox featuring Morgan James covered the song on the PMJ YouTube channel.
Live cover performances
- Danny Gokey sang this song on season 8 of American Idol in 2009 during the Top 4 round. He received negative reviews from the judges, and was also mocked in many media outlets for a long, ear-splitting scream at the end of the song.
- Andy Mac Unfraidh performed the song during the live shows of second series of The Voice of Ireland.
- Amanda Brown sang this song in the live playoffs of season 3 of The Voice.
- "Dream On" was covered by the American rock band Train on an episode of the MTV show Icon, that was dedicated to Aerosmith.
Koryn Hawthorne sang the song in the live Top 6 of season 8 of The Voice. Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys – the latest group of Voice coaches – united on Sunday's Season 11 premiere for an explosive rendition of Aerosmith's 1973 rock epic "Dream On." The singers dedicated their performance to former contestant Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed in June following an Orlando concert, according to Ryan Reed of Rolling Stone, August 22, 2016
- In 2002, the song was sampled by American rapper Eminem for the song "Sing for the Moment", from his 2002 album The Eminem Show. Joe Perry played the guitar solo on the track and Steven Tyler also sang the chorus for the track, with Eminem adding "sing", "sing with me" and "come on" in the refrain as well.
- In 2011, the song was sampled by Immortal Technique on his song "Angels & Demons", on his album The Martyr.
In other media
- "Dream On" was featured in the 2008 video game Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. For this, a re-recording was made not officially published outside of the game.
- "Dream On" was used as the background music for Adobe Systems' 25th anniversary of Photoshop TV spot.
- "Dream On" was used on a promotional advertisement for CNN's documentary on the 1970s entitled The Seventies.
- "Dream On" was used on the introduction montage of Super Bowl 50. The song appears when director Ron Howard pulls actor Kevin Bacon out of the interview about him and numerous celebrities' best Super Bowl memories, and begins to interview players from both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers regarding what it meant to play in the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl. The version of the song is unknown.
- "Dream On" was used on a promotional advertisement for Walmart, aired during 2016 Rio Olympics.
- Greatest Hits (CD liner). Aerosmith. United States: Columbia Records. 1993 . CK 57367.
- Pandora's Box (CD liner). Aerosmith. United States: Columbia Records. 2002 . C3K 86567.
- "Aerosmith | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates, Ringtones, and Lyrics | MTV". MTV. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- Song Facts – Dream On by Aerosmith, viewed May 24th 2017
- "The Emancipation of Steven Tyler," Rolling Stone, May 12, 2011.
- "Billboard Hot 100 - 1976". Archived from the original on 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Top 200 Singles of '76". Retrieved 2016-10-25.
- "British single certifications – Aerosmith – Dream On". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 30, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Dream On in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Danny Gokey tries to rock, but simply 'Dreams On'. Archived May 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Newsday.com
- Danny Gokey's 'Dream On' Screech. YouTube.com
- Danny lands the 'Get Out of Jail Free' card for his abysmal Aerosmith cover EW.com
- "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman (producers) (2015-05-19). The Seventies: Dream On (Television advertisement). CNN.
- "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- "Walmart's new Olympics ad highlights American job creator".