Angel (Aerosmith song)

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Single by Aerosmith
from the album Permanent Vacation
B-side "Girl Keeps Coming Apart"
Released 1988
Format Vinyl, cassette, CD
Recorded 1987
Genre Hard rock, glam metal
Length 5:08
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Steven Tyler and Desmond Child
Producer(s) Bruce Fairbairn
Aerosmith singles chronology
"Hangman Jury"
"Rag Doll"

"Angel" is a power ballad performed by American hard rock band Aerosmith. It was written by lead singer Steven Tyler and professional songwriting collaborator Desmond Child. It was released in 1988 as the third single from the band's massively successful 1987 album Permanent Vacation. It quickly climbed to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] making it the second highest chart performance for any Aerosmith single, behind their #1 smash "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".[1]

Song structure[edit]

The song is in Eb major.[2] It has a power ballad style and incorporates many of the characteristics of rock ballads, including driving electric guitar riffs by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, pianos and violin sounds (from a keyboard), an emotional delivery of lyrics by Steven Tyler, a strong rhythm by bassist Tom Hamilton, and well-placed steady drum beats by Joey Kramer.


End of year chart (1988) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[3] 34

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Angel" focuses primarily on a character played by Steven Tyler who is hypnotized by an intangible angel, presumably his ex-lover.[citation needed] There are also scenes of him playing the piano. The other band members can be seen playing their instruments on city streets, and there is a notable guitar solo by Joe Perry on a rural highway. The video was directed by Marty Callner.[citation needed]

Current status[edit]

Steven Tyler has publicly spoken against the song on numerous occasions. He was quoted saying on a radio interview in 1990 "The song was beautiful. It made me cry. But I heard it so damn much it drove me crazy! It became overplayed and at this point I'm so sick of it I never want to hear that song again".[citation needed] Since the Pump Tour in 1989-1990 the song has become somewhat of a rarity. A live performance appears on the live album A Little South of Sanity, released in 1998.


  1. ^ a b "Billboard singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  2. ^ Stephenson, Ken (2002). What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis, p.92. ISBN 978-0-300-09239-4.
  3. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1988". Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 

External links[edit]