Last Child

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"Last Child"
Aerosmith-Last-Child-347790.jpg
Single by Aerosmith
from the album Rocks
B-side "Combination"
Released May 27, 1976
Format Record
Recorded 1976
Genre Funk rock[1]
Length 3:26
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Steven Tyler, Brad Whitford
Producer(s) Jack Douglas
Aerosmith singles chronology
"Dream On"
(1976)
"Last Child"
(1976)
"Home Tonight"
(1976)

"Dream On"
(1976)
"Last Child"
(1976)
"Home Tonight"
(1976)

"Last Child" is a song by American rock band Aerosmith. It was written by Steven Tyler and Brad Whitford and released as the first single from the album Rocks in 1976. It peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, one of a string of hits for the band in the mid-1970s.

Structure[edit]

The song is one of Brad Whitford's best-known contributions to the band. "Brad wrote, 'Take me back to sweet Tallahassee, home sweet home…'" recalled Tyler. "Whatever he put into 'Last Child', that's his moment. He can take that, and that's his, forever."[2]

Live, Whitford plays a variation of the guitar solo as heard on the original recording. The song opens like a slow song, with careful playing of the guitar and Tyler's dreamy lyrics. After 22 seconds, it abruptly changes to a hard rocking, bluesy song, complete with a boogie background and two-guitar interplay between Whitford and Joe Perry, with Whitford playing the low notes of the riff on the verse and Perry playing funk chords higher up the neck.

Legacy[edit]

Long after its release, "Last Child" enjoys regular airplay on rock radio and is regularly rotated into Aerosmith's concert setlist, even on their latest tour. In concert, it is often Whitford's feature spot, in which Tyler introduces him with something like "Brad Whitford, what do you got to show for yourself?" or "What do you got up your sleeve?" Whitford often does a little bit of an intro before playing the opening notes to the song.

Although it was often assumed that the guitar solo as heard on the studio recording was played by Joe Perry, it was originally rumored to have been played by an uncited (hired) guitarist. During his appearance as a guest on That Metal Show in 2012, Whitford stated that he actually wrote and performed the solo himself.

"Last Child" has been rereleased on compilations including Aerosmith's Greatest Hits, O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, and Devil's Got a New Disguise as well as live collections including Live! Bootleg, Classics Live II, and A Little South of Sanity.

The song is one of Aerosmith's most funk-based tracks, modeled after the band The Meters.

Other appearances[edit]

Mickey Thomas, Earl Slick, Nathan East and Steve Ferrone covered the song for the Aerosmith tribute album Not the Same Old Song and Dance (Eagle Records, 1999).

A cover version of this song appears in the game Guitar Hero II. The cover is based on the live version from A Little South of Sanity.

In other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "Brad Whitford – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Sharp, Ken: "Country roads"; Classic Rock #227, September 2016, p41