Dream On (Aerosmith song)

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"Dream On"
1976 UK promotional single
Single by Aerosmith
from the album Aerosmith
ReleasedJune 27, 1973 (1973-06-27)[1]
Format7-inch single
RecordedIntermedia Studios, Boston, 1972[2]
GenreHard rock, blues rock
Length3:25 (single version)
4:26 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Steven Tyler
Producer(s)Adrian Barber[1]
Aerosmith singles chronology
"Mama Kin"
"Dream On"
"Same Old Song and Dance"
Audio sample
"Dream On"
Music video
"Dream On" (audio)
"Dream On" (official live video)
on YouTube

"Dream On" is a power ballad by Aerosmith from their 1973 debut album, Aerosmith.[3] 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).[citation needed] The song also received immediate heavy airplay 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[4] The song is also famous for its building climax to showcase Tyler's trademark screams.

Single track listings[edit]

7" 45 RPM[edit]

Side one
  1. "Dream On"
Side two
  1. "Somebody"

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).


  1. "Dream On"
  2. "Dream On" [Live]
  3. "Walk This Way"

Chart performance[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Silver 250,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Live performances[edit]

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.

Music video[edit]

A coinciding video directed by Marty Callner was also created at the MTV 10th anniversary special performance with the orchestra.


Appearances on other albums[edit]

The song has appeared on almost every Aerosmith greatest hits and live compilation, including:

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,[9] it is also ranked #173 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Cover versions[edit]

Live cover performances[edit]

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 The Voice coaches – united on Sunday's Season 11 premiere for a rendition of the song, in a performance dedicated to former contestant Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed in June following an Orlando concert.[13][full citation needed]


In other media[edit]

  • "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.[14]
  • "Dream On" was used on a promotional advertisement for CNN's documentary on the 1970s entitled The Seventies.[15]
  • "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.[16]
  • "Dream On" was used on a promotional advertisement for Walmart, aired during 2016 Rio Olympics.[17]
  • ”Dream On” was the closing theme for the movie Miracle (2004 film).


  1. ^ a b Greatest Hits (CD liner). Aerosmith. United States: Columbia Records. 1993 [1980]. CK 57367.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Pandora's Box (CD liner). Aerosmith. United States: Columbia Records. 2002 [1991]. C3K 86567.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Aerosmith | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates, Ringtones, and Lyrics | MTV". MTV. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  4. ^ a b Song Facts – Dream On by Aerosmith, viewed May 24th 2017
  5. ^ "The Emancipation of Steven Tyler", Rolling Stone, May 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 - 1976". Archived from the original on 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  7. ^ "Top 200 Singles of '76". Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Danny Gokey tries to rock, but simply 'Dreams On'. Archived May 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Newsday.com
  11. ^ Danny Gokey's 'Dream On' Screech. YouTube.com
  12. ^ Danny lands the 'Get Out of Jail Free' card for his abysmal Aerosmith cover EW.com
  13. ^ Reed, Ryan; Rolling Stone; August 22, 2016.
  14. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  15. ^ Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman (producers) (2015-05-19). The Seventies: Dream On (Television advertisement). CNN.
  16. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  17. ^ "Walmart's new Olympics ad highlights American job creator".