Artist Spotlight: Steven Tyler

From time to time, I get asked questions in the realm of my favorite singers, bands, and genres of music. Those are great questions, but the problem is that I really have too many to name!

This is why you haven’t seen any top 5 or 10 lists on singers or bands from me. Honestly, if I had to choose, I would need at least a top 25 list. It’s really that hard for me to keep my mind together and to narrow down true standouts from all of my favorites. Compare it to choosing your favorite child…. sure, that’s a bit of a stretch with this category, but:
1. I don’t have any children yet.
2. Music is my passion, something that I truly admire in many aspects.

So, instead, I’m going to start doing a special Artist Spotlight at least once a month to showcase my favorite performers in the music industry. And what better way to start things off than to talk about one of rock and roll’s wildest party animals, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

When I started listening to Aerosmith, I was 12 or 13 at the time. My fascination for music was more casual because even though I was raised on classic rock, I didn’t have a singer truly trance or fascinate me quite yet. Behold, my first instance of this!

Now, a decade later, I can analyze my fascinations that really hooked me into one of my favorite vocalists of all time. The first thing to really point out is Steven Tyler’s energy. It’s like I said before: at the time, I had listened to a lot of quality classic rock bands, but this was the first instance of mine where the frontman truly separated himself in the best way possible.

Even with the studio recordings of Aerosmith, I could hear a difference in tone, style, and vocal flexibility compared to other singers, which really hooked me in. By the time I started listening to Aerosmith’s live material, I could see that identity that was forged in those recordings, but it was enhanced even more with Tyler’s passion and drive in concerts, especially in the band’s 70s heyday.

Imagine being a child and being exposed to the wildness of an Aerosmith concert…. I would be jealous of you because I have never been to an Aerosmith concert. The only way I was able to see their live footage at the time (I didn’t know about YouTube until around the beginning of 2007) was through a compilation videotape  known as Aerosmith: Video Scrapbook. This not only featured live performances, but also snippets of interviews and music videos that I hadn’t seen before. Why am I bringing this up? It was here that I learned about Steven Tyler’s character on and off the stage. I saw a Jekkyl and Hyde-like personality: calm, cool and collected offstage, and a wild vocal banshee onstage that moved around like a ferocious tornado.

By seeing this, it helped me learn that I shouldn’t try to be similar to everyone else, that there was no real ‘normal’ category to label yourself into. Otherwise, you’re just fooling yourself into being held back from your true passion in life. We all need that craziness,  that quirkiness, or even as simple as that personality to separate ourselves, otherwise we’d all just have the depth of a piece of paper.

Anyway, I’m getting offtrack right now, back to Steven Tyler. Vocalwise, what do I like about him?
Is it the Rolling Stones-ish influence on his delivery? Yes.
Is it the channeling of blues and r&b singers in his vocal prowess? Yes.
Is it the energetic live performances? Definitely.
And finally, does it all come together in the best way? Without a doubt.

All of these combined result in a pretty dynamic, hellishly crazy (but in a good way) frontman who could carry a performance all on his own if he wanted to! Steven Tyler goes down in my book as one of my favorite performers of all-time, but what about Aerosmith as a whole? That’s a tale for another day! Thank you all for reading, keep rocking out, and blast Rocks or Toys In The Attic for me, both really amazing albums!



One thought on “Artist Spotlight: Steven Tyler”

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