Walk This Way
|"Walk This Way"|
|Single by Aerosmith|
|from the album Toys in the Attic|
|B-side||"Round and Round" or "Uncle Salty"
"Uncle Salty" (re-release)
|Released||August 28, 1975 (original)
November 5, 1976 (re-release)
|Format||Vinyl record (7")|
Record Plant Studios
(New York City, New York)
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Aerosmith singles chronology|
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"Walk This Way" is a song by American hard rock group Aerosmith. Written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the song was originally released as the second single from the 1975 album Toys in the Attic. It peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1977, part of a string of successful hit singles for the band in the 1970s. In addition to being one of the songs that helped break Aerosmith into the mainstream in the 1970s, it also helped revitalize their career in the 1980s when it was covered by rappers Run–D.M.C. on their 1986 album Raising Hell. This cover was a touchstone for the new musical sub-genre of rap rock, or the melding of rock and hip hop. It became an international hit and won both groups a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap - Single in 1987.
- 1 Song information
- 2 Legacy
- 3 Run–D.M.C. version
- 4 Later collaborations
- 5 Awards and accolades
- 6 Trivia
- 7 The String Cheese Incident version
- 8 Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud version
- 9 Other cover versions
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The song's lyrics were inspired by the "Walk this way" joke from the Mel Brooks film, Young Frankenstein, which the band saw during a break from recording their third album, Toys in the Attic. Previously, the song had music but no lyrics.
The song starts out with the famous two measure drum beat intro by Joey Kramer, followed by the equally famous guitar riff by Perry. The song proceeds with the main riff, played by Perry and Brad Whitford on guitar with Tom Hamilton on bass.
The lyrics, which tell the story of a high school boy losing his virginity, are sung quite fast by Tyler, with heavy emphasis being placed on the rhyming lyrics (e.g., "so I took a big chance at the high school dance"). This rap-style delivery may explain why the song worked so well as a hip hop song when it was covered eleven years later.
Between the elaborately detailed verses, the chorus primarily consists of a repetition of "Walk this way, talk this way". In collaborations, the other singer often says "talk this way" every alternate line of the chorus. Live in concert, Tyler often has the audience, combined with members of the band, sing "talk this way". There is also a lengthy guitar solo at the end of the song, and in concert, Tyler will often harmonize his voice to mimic the sounds of the guitar.
In the Run–D.M.C. cover, a turntable and drum machine are added in to reflect the additional hip hop influence on the record. Both the original Aerosmith version and the Run–D.M.C. cover (featuring Tyler and Perry) appear on various Aerosmith compilations as well as Run-DMC albums.
While the Run–D.M.C. cover is nearly identical to the original version, the Girls Aloud/Sugababes cover has a few changes tweaked into the song; the additional line "Walk this way, you wanna talk this way" is added, the vocoder is added, the lyrics are moved around, and the beat is slightly sped up and realized on a drum machine to add a further dance-pop feel to the song.
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||7|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||10|
Year end chart
|End of year chart (1977)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||90|
"Walk This Way" was one of two hit singles by the band to hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1970s, the other one being a re-release of "Dream On". "Walk This Way", though, helped Toys in the Attic to be the bestselling Aerosmith album, and one of the most critically acclaimed. Aerosmith's version of "Walk This Way" often competes with "Sweet Emotion" and "Dream On" for the title of Aerosmith's signature song, being one of the band's most important, influential, and recognizable songs. The band rarely omits it from their concert setlist, still performing their classic version of the song to this day. The song has also long been a staple of rock radio, garnering regular airplay on mainstream rock, classic rock, and album-oriented rock radio stations. In 2009, it was named the eighth greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
|"Walk This Way"|
|Single by Run–D.M.C. featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry|
|from the album Raising Hell|
|Released||July 4, 1986|
|Genre||Rap rock, hard rock|
|Length||5:17 (album version)
3:38 (single version)
|Certification||Gold (RIAA, CRIA)|
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
In 1986, the hip hop group Run–D.M.C. performed a cover of "Walk This Way" with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry guesting on vocals and guitars. While working on Raising Hell, Rick Rubin pulled out Toys in the Attic (an album they freestyled over) and explained who Aerosmith were. While Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels had no idea who Aerosmith were at that time, Rubin suggested remaking the song. Neither Simmons nor McDaniels liked the idea, though Jam Master Jay was open to it. Later, however, Run–D.M.C. covered the song. D.M.C. called it "a beautiful thing" in a trailer for Guitar Hero.
The 1986 version of the song is often credited as helping break hip hop music into mainstream pop music as it was the first hip hop song to hit the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the remake demonstrated how elements of hip hop music can be part of rock and pop songs, harking back to the DJing of Afrika Bambaataa, who would mix in tracks by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Grand Funk Railroad among the more usual funk breaks. It also briefly samples the opening drum intro of the original in a middle section of the song. This version of "Walk This Way" charted higher on the Hot 100 than the original version, peaking at number 4. It was also one of the first big hip hop singles in the UK, reaching a peak of number 8 there.
The landmark collaboration catapulted Run–D.M.C. into mainstream stardom and would influence hip hop music for years to come. The song paved the way for other pop acts to introduce elements of hip hop into their music. It pioneered the trend of rhymed/sung collaborations that is so present on American Radio from the late 1990s and 2000s to the present. The collaboration also introduced a fusion of rock and hip hop, later known as rap rock, to a wide audience for the first time.
The song also marked a major comeback for Aerosmith, as it had been largely out of mainstream pop culture for several years while recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, and its 1985 comeback album Done with Mirrors flopped. Aerosmith followed up "Walk This Way" with a string of multi-platinum albums and Top 40 hits, starting with the album Permanent Vacation and single "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" in 1987. In 2008, "Walk This Way" was ranked number 4 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop". This version of the song is currently ranked as the 88th greatest song of all time, as well as the best song of 1986, by Acclaimed Music.
The 1986 music video for "Walk This Way" symbolically placed Aerosmith and Run–D.M.C. in a musical duel in neighboring studios before Tyler literally breaks through the wall that separates them. The video then segues to the bands' joint performance on stage. The highly popular video was the first hip hop hybrid video ever played in heavy rotation on MTV and is regarded as a classic of the medium. The video was directed by Jon Small and filmed at the Park Theater in Union City, New Jersey. The theater has remained largely unchanged since the video was filmed. Visitors may notice two holes in the ceiling toward the front of the stage where a light fixture was meant to be installed for the shoot. The guitar that Perry is playing is a Guild X-100 Bladerunner.
Aside from Tyler and Perry, none of the other rock musicians in the video are the Aerosmith members; instead, they were played by Roger Lane, J. D. Malo, and Matt Stelutto—respectively rhythm guitarist, bassist, and drummer of the largely unknown hair metal outfit Smashed Gladys. According to VH1's Pop Up Video, Run–D.M.C. couldn't afford to use the entire Aerosmith band, just Tyler and Perry. As only Tyler and Perry had traveled to record the cover with Run–D.M.C., they were the only real Aerosmith members to appear in the video.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||9|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||26|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||6|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||6|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||13|
|Irish Singles Chart||12|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||2|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||2|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||1|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||9|
|UK (Official Charts Company)||8|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||4|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||6|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||13|
|U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles||8|
Year end chart
|End of year chart (1986)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||89|
On September 9, 1999, Kid Rock joined Run–D.M.C. and Aerosmith for an updated rendition of "Walk This Way" at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. In 2002, Kid Rock and Run–D.M.C. (as separate acts) opened for Aerosmith on the first leg of the Girls of Summer Tour. Each night, at the end of Aerosmith's set, Kid Rock and Run–D.M.C. would join Aerosmith for an encore collaborative performance of "Walk This Way".
At the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show in January 2001, performers *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly joined Aerosmith onstage for an encore performance of "Walk This Way" with Britney Spears and members of *NSYNC singing different parts of the second verse, Mary J. Blige adding background harmony, and Nelly performing a rap towards the end of the song.
Also, Fergie joined Aerosmith once on television to duet with Steven Tyler to sing "Walk This Way".
Tyler has also performed the song with Carrie Underwood on two occasions.
Awards and accolades
- The song won both groups a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap - Single in 1987.
- The song "Walk This Way" is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.
- Rolling Stone ranked the original version of "Walk This Way" at number 346 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The version by Run–D.M.C. is ranked at number 293.
- In 2000, "VH1: 100 Greatest Rock Songs" included "Walk This Way" at number 35.
- In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 23 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
- In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked the original version of "Walk This Way" at number 34 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.
- In 2009, VH1's "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs" included "Walk This Way" at number 8.
- VH1 ranked the version by Run–D.M.C. at number 4 on VH1 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs.
- In 1993, "Rolling Stone: The Top 100 Music Videos" included "Walk This Way" (with Run–D.M.C.) at number 11.
- In 1999, "MTV: 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made" included "Walk This Way" (with Run–D.M.C.) at number 5.
- In 2001, "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos" included "Walk This Way" (with Run–D.M.C.) at number 11.
- In 2007, "Fuse: 25 Greatest Music Videos" included "Walk This Way (with Run–D.M.C.) at number 24.
- Both the Run–D.M.C. version and the original version of the song are featured in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.
- Aerosmith's autobiography is named Walk This Way.
- Aerosmith's fan club, Aero Force One, sells doormats printed with the phrase "Walk This Way".
- The music video for "Walk This Way" was parodied in the music video for Lil Jon's "Get Low Remix" and Lil Wayne's "Shooter".
- The famous opening drum beat, or beat resembling such part, is actually looped in one section of the Adam Sandler film Big Daddy, during the scene where he is throwing sticks toward the roller bladers.
- When Aerosmith guest-performed on the hit animated-series The Simpsons in Flaming Moe's, they performed "Walk This Way", featuring side vocals from Moe Szyslak the bartender (voiced by Hank Azaria).
- The radio edit is featured in the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World.
- The Aerosmith/Run–D.M.C. remake version of the song is included in Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX 3.
- In Boston's Fun Food Factory there is a sign telling you where the line starts saying "'Walk This Way' says Mr Tyler".
- This song is referenced in another more recent song by Aerosmith, "Just Push Play".
- The tag line for the video game Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is Walk This Way.
- The Run–D.M.C. version is included on the soundtrack to the 2008 film Sex and the City: The Movie.
- In the horror movie The Lost Boys a group of people are dancing around a bonfire with "Walk This Way" playing.
- In the Konami Wii video game Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's: Wheelie Breakers a version of the riff can be heard on menu screens
- In the 2011 movie The Smurfs, using the Run–D.M.C. version, with the lyrics modified by the Smurfs.
- A version by Lil' P-Nut featuring Haunted by Heroes with modified lyrics aired on Cartoon Network, parodying/copying the Run–D.M.C. video, at least the beginning.
- In the 1987 movie China Girl, the Run–D.M.C. version is featured in a nightclub scene where the character Tye (played by Sari Chang) is changing clothes in the ladies restroom.
- In The Simpsons episode "The Ned-liest Catch", this very page is referenced when Homer Simpson asks guest star Joey Kramer, "Is Wikipedia correct when it says "Walk This Way" was inspired by Young Frankenstein?"
"Slice of Heaven" by Dave Dobbyn feat. Herbs
|New Zealand Singles Chart (Run–D.M.C. version)
November 26, 1986
"Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent" by Gwen Guthrie
The String Cheese Incident version
|"Walk This Way"|
|Single by The String Cheese Incident|
|from the album A String Cheese Incident|
|Released||May 31, 1997|
|Producer||The String Cheese Incident|
|The String Cheese Incident singles chronology|
In 1997, The String Cheese Incident covered the song on their live album A String Cheese Incident. Although faithful to the intro and main riff, this version is heavily bluegrass-influenced. After the release it was released in a compilation album. This cover is a crossover between bluegrass and rock.
- Walk This Way 4:46
- Little Hands 8:16
- Rhythm of the Road 6:08
- San Jose 8:53
Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud version
|"Walk This Way"|
|Single by Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud|
|B-side||"Sound of the Underground" (2012 Mix)|
|Released||12 March 2007|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Genre||Pop rock, dance-pop|
In 2007, British girl groups Girls Aloud and Sugababes recorded a cover of "Walk This Way" as the official Comic Relief charity single. Their version was produced by American producer Dallas Austin, making it Girls Aloud's first single not to be produced by Xenomania. The track charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, giving Girls Aloud their third number 1 and Sugababes their fifth.
The music video was a comic re-enactment of the Run–D.M.C. video. "Walk This Way" was promoted through numerous live appearances and has been included on tours by both Girls Aloud and Sugababes. Contemporary music critics criticised the cover version, but supported the single due to its fundraising nature.
Background and release
The idea of a Girls Aloud and Sugababes collaboration came from Comic Relief co-founder and trustee Richard Curtis. Several songs were possibilities, including Blur's "Girls & Boys" and Candi Staton's "You Got the Love", which was Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts' idea and favourite choice. "Walk This Way" is notably the first Girls Aloud single to date not to feature production from Brian Higgins and Xenomania, who have also worked with Sugababes. Girls Aloud and Sugababes launched the charity appeal on January 31. Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud said, "It's a fantastic song and hopefully will raise tons of money for people living in really difficult situations here and in Africa." It was also available as a digital download.
"Walk This Way" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 1 on March 18, 2007 ― for the week ending date March 24, 2007. The following week, the single dropped to number 2; it was dethroned by another Comic Relief single, "I'm Gonna Roll (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers with Peter Kay and Matt Lucas. In its third week on the chart, "Walk This Way" dropped twelve places out of the top ten, placing itself at number 14.
The music video premiered on The Box on February 2, 2007, and was shown on Channel 4's Popworld the following day. It was recorded over three days – Sugababes on the first, Cheryl Cole, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh on the second, and Nadine Coyle and Sarah Harding on the third and final day. The premise of the video was a comic re-enactment of the Run-D.M.C. video, with Girls Aloud as the rockers and Sugababes as Run–D.M.C. At the end of the video Davina McCall, Lily Cole, Ewen Macintosh, Jocelyn Jee Esien, Ruby Wax, Graham Norton, Stephen Mangan, Oliver Chris, and Natalie Cassidy also appear, with red noses being thrown at the two groups at the end.
"Walk This Way" was performed by Girls Aloud and Sugababes for the first time on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy on March 10, 2007. They performed the song on Comic Relief's Red Nose Day 2007 telethon on March 16. Girls Aloud performed "Walk This Way" without Sugababes on 2007's The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour. The following year, they performed the song in a medley with "Wake Me Up" on the Tangled Up Tour. Sugababes performed "Walk This Way" without Girls Aloud on 2007's Overloaded: The Singles Tour.
Track listing and formats
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Walk This Way".
- UK CD single (Polydor/Island / 1724331)
- "Walk This Way" - 2:52
- "Walk This Way" [Yoad Mix] - 3:01
- "Walk This Way" [video] - 3:07
- Behind the Scenes Footage [video] - 3:15
- UK Digital Copy (Polydor/Island / 1724332)
- "Walk This Way" - 2:52
- Sound of the Underground (2012 version) - 3:33
Credits and personnel
- Engineer: Rick Shepherd, Graham Archer (assistant recording)
- Keyboards: Brian Higgins, Tim Powell
- Mixing: Jeremy Wheatley, Richard Edgeler (assistant)
- Production: Dallas Austin
- Vocals: Girls Aloud, Sugababes
|European Hot 100 Singles||8|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||1|
Other cover versions
- Fee Waybill, Steve Lukather, Tim Bogert and Tommy Aldridge covered the song for the Aerosmith tribute album Not the Same Old Song and Dance (Eagle Records, 1999).
- A small part of the song was commonly played live by Metallica and Godsmack
- In 1987, Sesame Street featured a style parody of the Run–D.M.C. version called "Healthy Food", performed by Cookie Monster (who wore the fedora and gold cables similar to the group)
- In 2001, a Eurodance remix of the song was recorded for Dancemania Speed 6 under the name "Up to Eleven"
- In 2002, the song was covered by Sum 41 with Nelly, Ja Rule, and DJ Clue
- In 2004, the song was covered by Macy Gray; her version was initially available only by download, but was later released on Gray's 2004 greatest hits compilation, The Very Best of Macy Gray
- The song has also been covered by "rockgrass" band Hayseed Dixie on their 2002 album A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love
- Hank Williams Jr. played its main riff on the Rowdy Frynds Tour, available in the boxed set "The Bocephus Box 1979-1992" on disc 3
- German musician Sasha covered the song as his Canadian Alter Ego Dick Brave on the album Dick This!
- During his My World Tour Justin Bieber covered this song as a medley.
- In 2010, it was confirmed that UK singer Melanie C will release her cover version of the song in late 2010.
- In July 2010, David Garrett, a German-American classical violinist, released an album with Australian singer-songwriter and former guitar player for Michael Jackson, Orianthi. On this album, known as Rock Symphonies, Garrett and Orianthi covered "Walk This Way".
- Spice Girls sampled the backing track when performing Wannabe as part of a medley during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
- Chester Bennington & Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park covered this song during their Camp Freddy appearance in 2012. 
- Toys in the Attic 1993 Remastered Liner Notes
- "Walk their way | Aerosmith News". AeroForceOne. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- Rodman, Sarah (Aug 30, 2002). "Walk their way; Boston's Aerosmith opens up for VH1's `Behind the Music'". Boston Herald. pp. Scene section page 3. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "Walk this way in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Aerosmith awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1977". Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Run-D.M.C. biography on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 10 July 2013. "Run-D.M.C.'s fusion of rock and rap broke into the mainstream with their third album, 1986's Raising Hell. The album was preceded by the Top Ten R&B single "My Adidas," which set the stage for the group's biggest hit single, a cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way.""
- Cheryl Lynette Keyes (2004). University of Illinois Press, ed. Rap Music And Street Consciousness. p. 80. ISBN 978-0252072017. "Raising Hell (...) success was attributed to the extensive fusion of hard rock with rap, as best illustrated with [Run–D.M.C.]'s remake of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way.""
- "Acclaimed Music Top 3000 songs". May 27, 2009.
- This was published in Brazilian rock magazine Roadie Crew, issue 100 (May 2007), in its entry for Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic (in which "Walk This Way" was first released), mentioning the video for the Run–D.M.C./Aerosmith joint version.
- Danyel Smith, ed. (1986). Billboard 22 nov. 1986. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Run DMC – Walk This Way – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Run DMC – Walk This Way" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Walk this way in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Walk this way in French Chart" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Run-D.M.C."
- "Run DMC - Walk This Way". Charts.de. Media Control.
- "Walk this way in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 2nd result when searching "Walk this way"
- "The best-selling singles of 1986 in Italy". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 17 June 2013.
66. Walk this way - Run DMC & Aerosmith [#12, 1986/87]
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Run DMC search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Run DMC – Walk This Way" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Run DMC – Walk This Way". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Run DMC – Walk This Way". VG-lista.
- "Run DMC – Walk This Way – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "1986 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 27th September 1986". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Run-D.M.C. awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1986". Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "500 songs that shaped rock and roll" 
- "'Walk This Way' Makes 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Gavin Edwards. Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
- Robinson, Peter (2009). "Walk This Way". The Singles Boxset (Booklet). London, England: Fascination Records. p. 35.
- "Girl groups get red noses rolling". BBC News. BBC. January 31, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Sugababes Vs Girls Aloud - Walk This Way (CD, Single, Enh)". Discogs. Zink Media. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Comic Relief tune takes top spot". CBBC Newsround. BBC. March 18, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Comic Relief song strolls to top of charts". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. March 18, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Comic Relief tune in top spot". CBBC Newsround. BBC. March 25, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Proclaimers hang on to top spot". BBC News. BBC. April 1, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- European Hot 100 "European Hot 100 - Week of March 31, 2007". Billboard. Nielsen Company. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
- "24, 2007/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
- International Media Rights
- Walk This Way (Aerosmith Cover) 2012 - Camp Freddy feat. Chester Bennington & Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park (Live)