Aerosmith, the most successful US rock band of all time and about as popular as iced tea in the UK, will celebrate 50 years in the music business next year, although authoritative music site Allmusic.com says the band formed in 1970. Either way, it is not bad for a Rolling Stones tribute act.
Universal Music’s acquisition will see all of the Aerosmith back catalogue united under one roof as the record label already holds the rights to the band’s work for Geffen records.
The band’s pre-Geffen albums were: Aerosmith; Get Your Wings; Toys in the Attic; Rocks; Draw the Line; Live Bootleg; Night in the Ruts; and Rock in a Hard Place.
Their heyday was the 70s but like a lot of bands of that ilk their popularity waned in the punk and new wave era with things not helped by the band’s insistence on living the sex and drugs and rock & roll lifestyle to the full.
The 80s saw their place in the adult-orientated rock (AOR) pantheon usurped by the likes of Bon Jovi until the band pulled off an unlikely renaissance with the aid of rap pioneers Runs DMC, who recorded a cover of Aerosmith’s song, “Walk This Way” in 1986.
The video featuring RunDMC and Aerosmith ostensibly performing in rooms separated by a single wall was a staple on MTV in the 80s and helped introduce Aerosmith to a younger audience.
The ownership of the non-Geffen records material will transfer in 2022 at which point Universal plans to ransack the band’s archives and publish previously unreleased material, following a playbook that has seen about ten times as much Jimi Hendrix material released after his death than ever was released under his name during his lifetime.
“It's a win for Aerosmith, UMG and ultimately our fans. Needless to say, we are very excited," said Joe Perry, guitarist and founder member of the band.