If a song released in 1975 is officially downloaded a few million times four decades later, we can safely say that we are dealing with an absolute hit that has stood the test of time. Yes, the famous composition “Sweet Emotion” by the rock band Aerosmith is still very much in demand among modern listeners, so it’s worth talking about the history of its creation.
The song started with a bass guitar riff. Various sources claim that Tom Hamilton composed it during his school days, but the author is not sure about this:
From that short period, everything somehow mixed up. Although it is very likely. Around that time, I sat down and, you know, tuned in to my favorite state of mind. In such cases, I usually do some kind of gymnastic exercises to warm up the joints and muscles. My thoughts go on a journey… and I start to play. If something that I really like comes out, I remember it. So I composed that little piece that is the intro of the song on the bass guitar. From there I have moved on.
Ultimate Classic Rock
Hamilton also talked about sources of inspiration:
…we often listened to a Jeff Beck record called “Rough and Ready”. It was a very cool jazz-funk-rock style. Without learning a single part of it, I wanted to do something that would evoke the feelings that it aroused in me. I took the guitar and wrote some pieces that fit with those bass parts and saved them somewhere in the back of my mind.
Ultimate Classic Rock
Tom first introduced these passages to Tyler while working on the second album, but then they did not impress the Aerosmith frontman. When the group took up the record “Toys in the Attic”, producer Jack Douglas asked the musicians to present their achievements. Tom began to play the riffs that he had previously composed, the others began to play along with him, and the result of improvisation was what later turned out to be the song “Sweet Emotion”.
Again a word to Hamilton:
I smoked a pipe or two and composed the arrangement and the guitar parts. Steven took the intro, reworked it, changed the key, and we used it as a refrain, a resolution to the song. Brad, Joey and I went home. The next time we heard “Sweet Emotion”, it was already recorded on several tracks with vocals, and I was just blown away. I fell in love with what they did to her.
“Walk This Way”
The lyrics to “Sweet Emotion” were written by Tyler. They are clearly talking about the relationship of popular musicians with fans. It is also believed that the text reflects the quarrels between Aerosmith members, often over drugs.
According to the author, he dedicated some lines to Elissa, the girlfriend of guitarist Joe Perry, because it was she who often provoked scandals. They say that Joe himself was sometimes called Mr. Sweet Emotion, which explains the choice of name.
In May 1975, the song was released as a single from the album “Toys in the Attic”. It peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group’s first top 40 hit. Later, the composition was included in almost all official Aerosmith best-of-breeds and live albums.
Rolling Stone magazine included it in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
In 1991, “Sweet Emotion” was re-released in a new version. A video clip was shot for her, in which the main character calls the phone sex service. The video clearly refers viewers to the famous scene from the movie “Risky Business” with Tom Cruise in the title role. In general, we look …
- In the live version of the song, Tyler replaces the maracas with a bag of sugar.
- The phrase about the dead rabbit alludes to the so-called “rabbit test”, which was used to determine pregnancy in the mid-twentieth century.
Sweet Emotion Lyrics by Aerosmith
sweet emotion [2x] Sugary Emotions (2x)
Talk about things and nobody cares
Wearing other things that nobody wears
You’re callin’ my name, but I gotta make it clear
I can’t say, baby, where I’ll be in a year
Some sweat hog mama with a face like a gent
Said my get up and go musta got up & went
Well, I got good news: she’s a real good liar
‘Cause a backstage boogie set your pants on fire
Wearing things that no one wears
You call me by my first name, but I have to make it clear:
I can’t tell baby where I’ll be in a year
One sweaty fat girl with a face like a man
She said that there was no trace of my former agility
Well I’ve got good news, she’s just a liar
‘Cause you got turned on by our backstage boogie Sweet emotion [2x]Sugary emotions (2x) I pulled into town in a police car
Your daddy said I took it just a little too far
You’re tellin’ other things, but your girlfriend lied
You can’t catch me ’cause the rabbit done died
Yes it did
Standin’ in front just shakin’ your ass
I take you backstage you can drink from my glass
I talk about something you can sure understand
‘Cause a month on the road and I’ll be eatin’ from your hand
Your daddy said I took you too far
You tell me something, but your friend lied
You can’t catch me, because the rabbit is dead
Yes it is
You stand in front of the stage and turn your back
I take you backstage where you can drink from my glass
I’m talking about something you can understand
After all, a month will pass on the road, and I will eat from your hands
…when I first heard “Sweet Emotion” with lyrics, I thought, “Wow, this is incredible.”
Hamilton, Ultimate Classic Rock