Sweet Emotion

Sweet Emotion

Infobox Single
Name = Sweet Emotion

Artist = Aerosmith
from Album = Toys in the Attic
B-side = "Uncle Salty"
Released = 1975
Recorded = 1975
Format = Record
Genre = Hard rock
Length = 5:09
Label = Columbia Records
Writer = Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton
Producer = Jack Douglas
Reviews =
Last single = "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" (1974)
This single = "Sweet Emotion" (1975)
Next single = "Walk This Way" (1975)
Misc = Extra musicsample |filename=Aerosmith - Sweet Emotion.ogg |title=Sweet Emotion |format=Ogg
Infobox Song
Name = Sweet Emotion

Artist = Aerosmith
Album = Toys in the Attic
Released = April 8 1975
track_no = 6
Recorded = January - February 1975 at Record Plant Studios, New York
Genre = Hard rock
Length = 4:34
Label = Columbia Records
Writer = Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton
Producer = Jack Douglas
prev = "Big Ten Inch Record"
prev_no = 5
next = "No More No More"
next_no = 7
"Sweet Emotion" is a song by American rock band Aerosmith. It was released in 1975 as the first single from the band's breakthrough smash "Toys in the Attic". The song began a string of pop hits and large-scale mainstream success for the band that would continue for the remainder of the 1970s. The song was written by lead singer Steven Tyler and bassist Tom Hamilton.


"Sweet Emotion" was released as a single in 1975, and peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's breakthrough single and the first Top 40 hit for the band. The day it hit #36 on the U.S. chart, July 19, 1975, Aerosmith was booked at a gig in New York City's Central Park, called the Schaefer Music Festival. The song was so successful that the band decided to ride the heels of success and re-release their first single, "Dream On", which had originally charted at #59 in 1973. The re-released version went on to hit #6, the highest chart performance in the 1970s for the band.

Lyrical interpretation

Many Aerosmith fans believe that Steven Tyler wrote all of the lyrics to the song about the tension and hatred between the band members and Joe Perry's wife. While this is partially true, Steven Tyler himself has said that only some of the lyrics were inspired by Perry's wife. It was stated in Aerosmith's tell-all autobiography "" and in an episode of "Behind the Music" that growing feuds between the band members' wives (including an incident involving "spilt milk") may have helped lead to the band's original lineup dissolving in the early 1980s.

In the film "Be Cool", John Travolta determined that Steven Tyler wrote "Sweet Emotion" because of the emotion he felt as being a father for the first time. This interpretation cannot be true because Tyler's first born, Liv Tyler, was born in 1977, 2 years after the song was written.

Music Video

The video for the re-released version (mentioned in a later section) is said to be based on a phone sex conversation. In the video, it shows a young man under his covers with a magazine which is advertising a phone sex line. The boy and girl talk about each other for a bit, until it goes into a shot of the band performing in someone's basement (This portion of the video was actually recorded in the band's old apartment on 1325 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston) It switches in between Aerosmith performing Sweet Emotion and the phone conversation. At the very end, it is revealed that the sexy woman the young man is talking with is not what he sees her as in his mind. She is shown to be an overweight older woman with a baby living in a poor house.

ong structure

The beginning of the song is a repeating bass riff by Tom Hamilton that continues throughout the rest of the song. There is also usage of a talk-box in the beginning by Joe Perry, which has become one of the more popular and famous uses of the guitar talk box in popular music (Joe Perry can be heard saying the title). Eventually Steven Tyler joins in, saying "Sweet Emotion" slowly, in sync with the talk-box, or vocoder. After that, the song kicks into a more rocking number with dueling guitars, and rapid-fire angry-sounding lyrics by Steven Tyler. The chorus in the song consists of a repeating guitar riff followed by a slow singing of "Sweet Emotion" twice. The band supposedly used a packet of sugar as the percussion instrument for the intro. In live performance this sound is duplicated by Steven Tyler with maracas.

On "Aerosmith's Greatest Hits", the 1980 compilation album, "Sweet Emotion" appears in edited form. The bass solo and vocoder part that opens the song has been cut, and the track begins with the chorus that precedes the first verse. The guitar solo at the end of the song was also excised, and the track concludes with the chorus, which repeats as the song fades out. This same edit was used for the original single release of the song, which was quickly replaced in subsequent pressings with the album version from "Toys in the Attic".

Live in concert

Ever since its inception, the song has been a live staple at Aerosmith concerts, and even to this day, the band almost never omits it from the setlist. Live, this song is Joe Perry's feature solo spot, of late complete with elaborate lights, smoke, theremin, and a variety of guitar tricks, as well as an extended guitar solo. The song is also a feature live spot for Tom Hamilton, as it is one of the more prominent Aerosmith songs featuring an opening bass solo. He often does an extended bass solo before the band goes into the song. In concert, Steven Tyler is also known to substitute racier lyrics such as "I'll be comin' in your hand" instead of "I'll be eatin' from your hand"; has also on occasion replaced "I can't say baby where I'll be in a year" with "I've got the garage but I'll park it in the rear" (a seeming reference to anal sex); and is also known to grab or point to his crotch, during the lyrics "my get up and go". Steven Tyler also often encourages the crowd to chant "yeah...yeah...yeah..." during the repeating guitar riffs preceding the choruses. Aerosmith have also performed the song with 90s rock quartet Stone Temple Pilots.

This song is a rip off of Deep Purple's 1970 release "Speed King", featuring on the album Deep Purple in Rock and on a sigle with Black Night.


The song has been included on almost every Aerosmith compilation and live album, including "Aerosmith's Greatest Hits", "Pandora's Box", "Pandora's Toys", "O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits", "Devil's Got a New Disguise", "Live! Bootleg", "Classics Live I", "A Little South of Sanity", "Greatest Hits 1973–1988" and "Rockin' the Joint".

The song is frequently cited as Aerosmith's signature song, including in the "World Almanac and Book of Facts", and regularly competes with "Dream On" and "Walk This Way" for the title of Aerosmith's "signature song" elsewhere.

It is often included on "greatest song" lists or "greatest rock song" lists, including a ranking of #408 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

It is also featured in the trailer for


The song was re-recorded, and re-released as a single in 1991, in coordination with the release of the band's box set "Pandora's Box". This version of the song was slightly different from the original and the aforementioned video was also released in conjunction. The re-released version reached #36 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #74 in the United Kingdom.

Cultural References

* The song is used as the opening music for the film "Dazed and Confused"
* The song is played over part of the ending credits for the 2004 film "Starsky and Hutch".
* Northern Irish band The Answer covered the song for a free Kerrang! CD of cover versions which was given away with the 6th June 2006 copy of the magazine.
* In an episode of "The Simpsons", Bart eats a cereal called Sweet Emotions with a picture of Steven Tyler on the box and comments that he "didn't know Aerosmith had a cereal".
* The song is played in drama series "Prison Break" in the episode "And Then There Were 7"
* The song is featured on the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
* Part of the main riff in this song is used in the Buckcherry hit, "Crazy Bitch".
* An excerpt from the song is also used in the film "Armageddon", starring Liv Tyler, which also featured the Aerosmith hit "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
* A puzzle on the February 6, 2008 episode of "Wheel of Fortune" was "SWEET EMOTION BY AEROSMITH".
* Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon covered the song on the 2005 album Sixty Six Steps with a folky country tinge to it.
* On the DVD Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!, Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic are jamming this song before singer Kurt Cobain appears, interrupting the song beginning with ""Dive". The jam was during their gig in Rio de Janeiro, 23 January1993
* The song is being played as a master track in the 2008 video game,
* The song plays on the score screen on the Arcade versions of Midway Games' Revolution X, which features Aerosmith, as themselves.


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