Dream On

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Song Review by Greg Prato

When Aerosmith first started in Boston during the early '70s, the band was known first and foremost as a fierce, rocking band. But when their self-titled debut was issued in 1973 on Columbia, the song that garnered the most attention was an uncharacteristically gentle and reflective ballad, "Dream On." The song was written by singer Steven Tyler, who worked out the song's structure on a piano in bassist Tom Hamilton's bedroom (the entire band lived together in a loft in the early days), waking up the bassist each time. While the song has been a rock radio favorite since its initial release, it wasn't until the song was re-released as a single in 1976 (at the height of U.S. Aero-mania) that the song scaled the charts, hitting the Top Ten. Guitarist Joe Perry has voiced that he was not entirely fond of the track -- that he felt that instead of doing ballads, the hard rockin' quintet should do slow blues numbers. But "Dream On" has also proven to be an incredibly influential composition in the rock world -- it opened the floodgates for such future power ballads as Nazareth's "Love Hurts," Kiss' "Beth," and Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Aerosmith 1973 Columbia 4:27
Aerosmith's Greatest Hits 1980 Columbia 4:27
No Image 1987 CBS / Fox
Pandora's Box 1991 Legacy / Aerosmith / Columbia 4:27
No Image 1993
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution 5:43
No Image 1994 Sony Music Distribution 4:50
No Image 1994 Columbia 4:24
Pandora's Toys 1995 Sony Music Distribution 4:26
Aerosmith/Get Your Wings/Toys in the Attic [1998] 1998 Legacy / Aerosmith 4:27
Kuschelrock Special Edition 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Pop Music: The Modern Era 1976-1999 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:26
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:26
Millennium of Pop 2000
Various Artists
Import 3:22
Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology 2001 Geffen 4:53
Aerosmith's Greatest Hits 1973-1988/Classics Live! 2001 Sony Music Distribution 4:47
O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits 2002 Columbia 4:25
The Collection: Aerosmith/Get Your Wings/Toys in the Attic [2004 Long Box] 2004 Legacy / Columbia 4:27
Gold 2005 Geffen 4:53
The Broadcast Archives 2008 The Broadcast Archive 4:53
Tough Love: The Best of the Ballads 2011 Geffen 4:24
The Essential Aerosmith 2011 Columbia / Legacy / Sony Legacy 4:25
Icon 2012 Geffen 4:24
Bad Boys From Boston 2018 Hobo 4:29
No Image
Various Artists
Stadium Rockers
Various Artists
Universal 4:51
Study Rock
Various Artists
Universal 4:52
Vinyl Essential Pressings
Various Artists
Universal 4:50