June 1973: Aerosmith Releases First Single, "Dream On"

NEWPORT, RI - 1973: L-R Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith perform live in 1973 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)
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(Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)

The seeds of Aerosmith song, "Dream On," were planted in singer Steven Tyler's head when he was just a toddler. His father, a Julliard-training musician, would play piano with a three-year-old Steven laying underneath it. “That’s where I got that ‘Dream On’ chord-age,” he shared in his autobiography, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

RELATED: April 1975: Aerosmith Blows Up with "Toys in the Attic"

Years later, Tyler would put the song together for real: "The music for 'Dream On' was originally written on a Steinway upright piano in the living room of Trow-Rico Lodge in Sunapee, maybe four years before Aerosmith even started," he revealed in the Aerosmith memoir, Walk This Way. "I was seventeen or eighteen ... It was just this little thing I was playing, and I never dreamed it would end up as a real song or anything ... It's about dreaming until your dreams come true."

When the scrappy young Boston band released their self-titled debut album in January 1973, the one and only single from the LP arrived on June 27, 1973: "Dream On." A smash hit in the band's hometown, an edit of the song had a bit of a chart run, peaking at #59 on the Hot 100 that year.

After Toys in the Attic proved to be the band's breakout album in 1975, Columbia went back and reissued "Dream On" as a single towards the end of the year, servicing radio stations with both the full-length album version, and the abbreviated edit. With rock and now pop radio spinning the tune, "Dream On" soared all the way to #6 for the week of April 10, 1976. The #1 song in America that week: Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady."

Today, "Dream On" is renowned as Aerosmith's signature song, and is a staple on classic rock radio stations across the country. It's been used in countless TV shows and movies, not to mention a few commercials, including this Super Bowl spot for Skittles.


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