Song of the Day: Dream On by Aerosmith

in Asgard . by *megatruh

Dream On” is a power ballad by Aerosmith from their 1973 debut album, Aerosmith. Written by lead singer Steven Tyler, this song became their first major hit and classic rock radio staple. Released in June 1973, it peaked at number 59 nationally but hit big in the band’s native Boston, where it was the number 1 single of the year on the less commercial top 40 station, WBZ-FM, number 5 for the year on highly rated Top 40 WRKO-AM and number 16 on heritage Top 40 WMEX-AM. The chorus of the song was famously sampled in the 2002 song Sing for the Moment by rapper Eminem on the Eminem Show album.


Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
Is books, written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these feelings come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on

Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away


“Dream On” was first played live in Mansfield, Connecticut at the Shaboo Inn. In a 2011 interview, Steven 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.

Steven 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.

Regarding the meaning of this song, Tyler explained: “It’s about the hunger to be somebody: Dream until your dreams come true.” He added, “This song sums up the s–t you put up with when you’re in a new band. Most of the critics panned our first album, and said we were ripping off the Stones. That’s a good barometer of my anger at the press, which I still have. ‘Dream On’ came of me playing the piano when I was about 17 or 18, and I didn’t know anything about writing a song. It was just this little sonnet that I started playing one day. I never thought that it would end up being a real song.”

This was the song that saved Aerosmith from being dropped by their label. Aerosmith was the band’s first album, and it sold poorly, mainly because their record company didn’t promote it – Columbia records was focused on Bruce Springsteen’s first album (released just a week earlier) at the time. Aerosmith was in danger of being dropped, but their management convinced Columbia to release “Dream On” as a single, and it showed promise, reaching #59 in the US. This single version was a different, more radio-friendly edit than the album version of the song, and it did well in the Boston area, especially on the powerhouse AM station WRKO. Columbia kept the band, and they became one of their biggest acts.

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry didn’t like this song. He explained to Classic Rock magazine in 2002: “Back in those days you made your mark playing live. And to me rock ‘n’ roll’s all about energy and putting on a show. Those were the things that attracted me to rock ‘n’ roll, but ‘Dream On’ was a ballad. I didn’t really appreciate the musicality of it until later, but I did know it was a great song, so we put it in our set. We also knew that if you played straight rock ‘n’ roll you didn’t get played on the radio and, if you wanted a top forty hit, the ballad was the way to go. I don’t know if we really played it much live, in those days if you only had half an hour to make your mark, you didn’t play slow songs. So it wasn’t until after it became a single that we really started playing it.” (This interview is available at Rock’s Backpages.)

In Bruce Pollock’s interview with Steven Tyler, he talked about bringing the song to the band and what happened when it became more than just a piano piece. Said Tyler: “Never in a million years did I think I’d take it to guitar. When I transposed it to guitar Joe played the right fingers and Brad played the left hand on guitar. Sitting there working it out on guitar and piano I got a little melodramatic. The song was so good it brought a tear to my eye.”

The song “Dream On” is part of the 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.

On February 25, 2013, Massachusetts State Representative James Cantwell (D) of Marshfield and Massachusetts State Representative Josh S. Cutler (D) of Duxbury drafted a bill to name “Dream On” the Official State Rock song of Massachusetts.

Cover versions

  • 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 (Eagle Records, 1999). Additional guitars were by the album’s producers Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet.
  • Danny Gokey sang this song on American Idol Season 8 in 2009 during the Top 4 round. He received negative reviews from the judges, and was also mocked in many media outlets for an long, ear-splitting scream at the end of the song.
  • The song was sampled by American rapper Eminem for his song “Sing for the Moment”, from his 2002 album The Eminem Show. Joe Perryplayed the guitar solo on the track and Steven Tyler also sang the chorus for the track and Eminem said “sing”, “sing with me” and “come on” in the chorus.
  • “Dream On” was covered by the American rock band Train on an episode of the MTV show, Icon that was dedicated to Aerosmith.
  • The song was re-made by Andru Donalds as the cover song for his album of the same name.
  • “Dream On” was covered by The Mission on their album Children.
  • “Dream On” was also 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 dramaWindfall.
  • Michael Angelo Batio also made an instrumental cover of this song in his album Hands Without Shadows.
  • blessthefall covered “Dream On” on the compilation cover album Punk Goes Classic Rock, which is part of the Punk Goes… series.
  • The song was remixed by Immortal Technique on his song “Angels & Demons”, on his album The Martyr.
  • In 2011, Reece Mastin, X Factor Australia winner, covered this song for his eponymous album.
  • American post-grunge band Cold covered this song which later appeared on their fifth album Superfiction as bonus track.
  • Instrumental jazz cover on this song was performed by Alex Skolnick Trio on their album Goodbye to Romance: Standards for a New Generation in 2002.
  • Amanda Brown sang this song in the live playoffs of season 3 of The Voice U.S..
  • Greg X. Volz formerly of Petra covered this song on the album “Come Out Fighting” in 1988
  • Andy Mac Unfraidh performed the song during the live shows of second series of The Voice of Ireland.
  • 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 other media

  • This song was parodied in the opening sketch of Saturday Night Live, “Rock for Michael” on October 9, 1993.
  • This song was also used in ESPN SportsCenter’s “Images of the Century”, a video montage about memorable moments in sports history from the 20th century. The video montage was played at the end of the final installment of SportsCenter in 1999.
  • The song made an appearance as the closing theme to the Disney movie Miracle, as well as the trailer for Miracle.
  • A live, orchestrated version of “Dream On” was also used in the movie Last Action Hero.
  • It was used in the opening cut scene for the Tecmo video game Dead or Alive Ultimate (Dead or Alive 2 Disc Only).
  • It was used in a video tribute to Ken Griffey, Jr. in his return to Seattle on June 22, 2007.
  • A re-recorded version of the song appears in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It was one of the four songs that Aerosmith re-recorded for the game. It also appears in the demo for the game.
    • Before Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was released, the song appeared as free downloadable content for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock to promote the release of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. The song was available from February 16, 2008 to February 18, 2008.
  • “Dream On” appeared in Episode 49 of Cold Case, sung as Detective Rush witnessed the victim and his then-girlfriend as they were at the time of his death, driving into the distance in a vintage car.
  • “Dream On” was played on HBO’s Countdown for the Oscar De La Hoya-Stephen Forbes fight in May 2008.
  • “Dream On” is the title and featured song in Episode 19 of the Fox show Glee, performed by Matthew Morrison and guest star Neil Patrick Harris in their audition for the stage musical Les Misérables.
  • “Dream On” also appeared in the movie trailer of Argo which was released in fall 2012.
  • “Dream On” also appeared in the movie trailer of DreamWorks’ Turbo which was released July 17, 2013.


Origin Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal
Years active 1970 – present
Labels Columbia, Geffen
Associated acts The Joe Perry Project, The Jam Band,The Jimmy Crespo Project,Whitford/St. Holmes, The Strangeurs/Chain Reaction
Members Steven Tyler
Tom Hamilton
Joey Kramer
Joe Perry
Brad Whitford
Past members Ray Tabano
Jimmy Crespo
Rick Dufay

via [wikipedia][songfacts]

image by megatruh

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