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"Walk This Way" is a song by American hard rock group Aerosmith. It was written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. It was originally released as the second single from their 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 resurrect their career and revolutionized the new hybrid sub-musical genre of "rock and rap", or the molding of rock and hip hop music when it was covered by rappers Run-D.M.C. in 1986 on their album Raising Hell. It became an international hit and won both groups a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap - Single in 1987.
The song was also covered by the UK girl groups Sugababes and Girls Aloud as the official Comic Relief single in 2007. In 2010 it was confirmed that UK singer Melanie C will release her cover version of the song in late 2010.
The song starts out with the famous two measure drum beat intro by Joey Kramer, followed up the equally famous guitar riff by Joe Perry. The song then goes into the verse, with a steady drum beat and bassline by Tom Hamilton forming as the backbeat, with dueling guitars by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. Though not verified, it is believed by some that an uncredited guitarist contributed to the song, including the solos.
The lyrics, which tell the story of a high school boy losing his virginity, are sung quite fast by Steven 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 rap song when it was covered 11 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, Steven 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, Steven Tyler will often harmonize his voice to mimic the sounds of the guitar.
In the Run-D.M.C. cover, the turntable is added in to reflect the additional hip hop influence on the record.
While the Run-DMC cover is nearly identical to the original version of the song, 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 to add a further dance pop influence to the song.
Both versions of the song (the original Aerosmith version and the second Run-DMC cover featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry) appear on various Aerosmith compilations as well as Run-DMC albums.
"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 almost never 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 8th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
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