The Day Aerosmith Got A Grip

(Gibson) On this day in 1993, Aerosmith released the album Get a Grip, which became their first album to debut at #1. It went on to sell 7 million copies in a two-year timespan in the United States alone and sold 20 million copies worldwide as well as winning the band two Grammy awards. Gibson takes a look back: The early '90s weren't the easiest time for established rock bands. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Seattle's grunge scene had forged an alt-rock revolution on the radio, which left many of the '80s biggest groups in the dust. It seemed that bands had to alter their sound drastically or face the consequences of being gasp! unpopular.

Although Aerosmith had come to prominence way back in the mid-'70s, they had a huge resurgence in the late '80s with the albums Pump and Permanent Vacation and blockbuster singles "Angel," "Love in an Elevator" and "Janie's Got a Gun." But Pump had come out in 1989, a couple of years before Nirvana dethroned Michael Jackson on the album charts. After Aerosmith had a couple of multi-platinum successes, there was some uncertainty regarding how fans would receive the next album Get a Grip, which would be released on this day in 1993.

Aerosmith wrote and recorded the album throughout 1992, and it seemed their (and record label Geffen's) main goal was to have as many hits on the record as possible. To optimize their chances, a bunch of collaborators were brought in to work with the band and write with frontman Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry.

The collaborators ranged from Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades (who co-wrote "Shut Up and Dance") to Mark Hudson (who helped pen "Livin' on the Edge") to Lenny Kravitz (who co-wrote and played on "Line Up"). Tyler's longtime friend Richard Supa co-wrote "Amazing," Nashville-based songwriter Taylor Rhoades worked on "Cryin'" and all-star writer/producer Desmond Child assisted on "Crazy."It wasn't a completely new approach (other writers had a hand in past hits), but the amount of collaborators was significant. In the end, only two of Get a Grip's 14 tracks were credited solely to Aerosmith members.

The approach was an unqualified success. Not only was the album their first to peak at #1 on the Billboard album charts, Get a Grip also became Aerosmith's biggest global smash going platinum seven times over in the U.S. by the end on 1995. To this day, it remains the band's best-selling album worldwide.

It's no wonder Aerosmith ruled the radio and video airwaves for about a year and a half after Get a Grip was released. Half of the album's tracks were put out as singles and all of them charted in one way or another. In fact, four of them peaked at #25 or higher on Billboard's Hot 100 as they dominated pop and rock radio. Between '93 and '94, it was near-impossible to tune in and not hear an Aerosmith song from "Livin' on the Edge" to "Cryin'" to "Amazing" to "Crazy." more on this story

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Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

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