July 4, 2022

In The Quantity Ones, I’m reviewing each single #1 single within the historical past of the Billboard Sizzling 100, beginning with the chart’s starting, in 1958, and dealing my approach up into the current.

Hollywood is a humorous place. Each every so often, for causes that stay baffling to outsiders, two completely different film studios will try and launch two big-budget tasks that come out across the identical time and share the identical fundamental premise. Generally, that’s not a coincidence. Generally, it occurs for corporate-espionage causes, as when Jeffrey Katzenberg launched Dreamworks’ animation studio and instantly set about ripping off all of the Disney cartoons that had been in improvement underneath his supervision, which is why we received Antz and A Bug’s Life so shut collectively. Generally, although, it simply occurs. In these circumstances, the world picks a winner.

In the summertime of 1998, two main studios constructed tentpole summer time spectacles across the query of what may occur if a huge asteroid threatened to crash into the planet and finish all earthly life. Possibly this mirrored a number of folks’s makes an attempt to precise or money in on pre-Y2K tensions. Possibly this was merely the one approach that individuals might suppose to make a worldwide spectacle even larger than the one in Independence Day, the largest hit of 1996.

The primary of these giant-asteroid dramas was Mimi Leder’s Deep Affect, a shaggy and uneven movie that no less than tried to deliver some gravitas to the looming eradication of humanity. The second was Michael Bay’s Armageddon, which made an extinction-level occasion appear to be a hyperactive beer industrial. Armageddon had American flags outlined in opposition to blue skies, indie-film all-stars taking part in broad-stereotype characters, Bruce Willis wisecracks, and a final-sacrifice scene that did nearly nothing to earn the tragic weight that the film tried to provide it. Armageddon additionally had Aerosmith. Guess which film received.

Deep Affect got here out a few months earlier than Armageddon and did strong enterprise. Armageddon then got here alongside and smashed by way of Deep Affect like a flaming space-rock by way of Grand Central Terminal. Michael Bay’s film took in additional than a half-billion {dollars} worldwide; on a worldwide scale, it was the yr’s highest-grossing movie. (On the home field workplace, Armageddon needed to accept #2 on the year-end record. By some miracle, Saving Personal Ryan, one other film wherein a boomer icon sacrifices himself to save lots of one of many Good Will Searching guys, simply barely eked out the win.) Earlier than Armageddon, Ben Affleck had been thought of an indie-film darling. After Armageddon, he was one thing else. Armageddon earned Michael Bay sufficient latitude to make Pearl Harbor, one of many worst-conceived blockbuster makes an attempt in residing reminiscence. And Armageddon lastly took Aerosmith, one of many oldest establishments in American arena-rock, to the highest of the Sizzling 100 for the primary and solely time.

By the point they reached #1, Aerosmith had been a band for almost 30 years, and their comeback had lasted an entire lot longer than their preliminary run of success. Aerosmith began in 1970, when two regional bands mainly united into one. Steven Tyler, a New York native who’d largely grown up in Yonkers, was the drummer and backup singer for a band recognized first because the Strangeurs after which as Chain Response. Joe Perry, in the meantime, got here from Massachusetts and led a gaggle referred to as the Jam Band. After the 2 teams performed a present collectively in New Hampshire, Tyler advised that members of the 2 bands ought to be a part of forces. Everybody agreed, and the newly fashioned Aerosmith moved to Boston and began taking part in membership gigs.

As soon as Aerosmith had a gradual lineup and a administration state of affairs, they paid somebody to get booked on the New York membership Max’s Kansas Metropolis. Clive Davis caught their present and signed the band to Columbia. Their first two albums did negligible enterprise. Their first single, the 1973 energy ballad “Dream On,” solely made it to #59, and their subsequent three singles missed the Sizzling 100 completely. In 1975, although, Aerosmith launched Toys In The Attic, the album that lastly made the case that they might be a dumber, extra American model of the Rolling Stones. Toys In The Attic ultimately went platinum 9 instances over. Within the wake of its success, Columbia reissued the “Dream On” single, and it turned Aerosmith’s first top-10 hit, peaking at #6. (It’s a ten.)

Toys In The Attic turned Aerosmith into arena-level headliners. The Toys single “Stroll This Manner” didn’t chart at first, however Columbia repeated the trick of reissuing the only in 1976, and it made it to #10. (It’s an 8.) The band’s subsequent two albums, Rocks and Draw The Line, didn’t fairly do Toys In The Attic numbers, however they had been nonetheless big. Throughout that period, although, Aerosmith had been legendarily zonked-out get together monsters, and drug-driven inner tensions nearly ended the band for good.

Joe Perry left Aerosmith after a backstage combat with Steven Tyler in 1979, and fellow guitarist Brad Whitford additionally left the band quickly after. Perry launched a brand new band, the Joe Perry Venture, and Aerosmith saved going. Each bands languished. Aerosmith’s two albums with out Perry struggled to go gold, and the Joe Perry Venture by no means received previous the membership degree. In 1984, Perry and Whitford each rejoined Aerosmith, however the band members nonetheless had severe drug points, and their original-lineup reunion album Accomplished With Mirrors didn’t do a lot better than the stuff they launched with out Joe Perry. As an alternative, it took a fluke one-off collaboration to return Aerosmith to the limelight.

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By 1986, Run-DMC had grow to be the largest rap group in America, partly by pitching themselves to suburban rock followers with singles like “Rock Field” and “King Of Rock.” The group’s producer Rick Rubin, a suburban rock fan himself, heard Run and DMC freestyling over the opening drum break from “Stroll This Manner” and hit on the thought of teaming them up with Aerosmith, who had been determined sufficient to say sure to absolutely anything. To me, the Run-DMC/Aerosmith model of “Stroll This Manner” is awkward and gimmicky, nevertheless it was apparently the proper of awkward and gimmicky. The video performed consistently on MTV, and the sight of Steven Tyler smashing by way of a rehearsal-space wall together with his mic stand turned a visible image for the collision of genres. The brand new “Stroll This Manner” peaked at #4, changing into the primary rap single ever to succeed in the highest 10 on the Sizzling 100. (It’s a 5.)

The success of Run-DMC’s “Stroll This Manner” is an important second within the story of rap music taking up the charts, nevertheless it did an entire lot extra for Aerosmith than it did for Run-DMC. Run-DMC by no means returned to the highest 10 after “Stroll This Manner.” Aerosmith, in contrast, received a brand new supervisor, went by way of rehab, and got here out with the quintuple-platinum 1987 comeback album Everlasting Trip. That success had one thing to do with “Stroll This Manner” granting Aerosmith a brand new visibility, and it additionally had one thing to do with the exploding reputation of glam-metal, a style that Aerosmith arguably helped to invent. Three singles from Everlasting Trip reached the highest 20, and one in all them, the monster ballad “Angel,” turned Aerosmith’s greatest hit but, climbing all the way in which as much as #3. (It’s a 7.)

Aerosmith’s subsequent two albums, 1989’s Pump and 1993’s Get A Grip, did even higher than Everlasting Trip. Each of them went platinum seven instances over. Three singles from Pump reached the highest 10; the largest was “Janie’s Acquired A Gun,” which peaked at #4. (It’s a 5.) The Get A Grip singles didn’t do as nicely on the charts, however I can let you know that these issues didn’t go away MTV rotation for a lengthy time. The movies for that album’s power-ballad troika — “Cryin’,” “Wonderful,” and “Loopy,” all of which sounded roughly similar to at least one one other — turned the teenage actress Alicia Silverstone right into a star. The final of these was the “Loopy” video, which additionally featured Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv, then a 16-year-old mannequin.

For years, Liv Tyler didn’t know she was Steven Tyler’s daughter. Her mom had a quick affair with Tyler within the ’70s, however she was in long-term relationship with Todd Rundgren, a man who’s been on this column a number of instances as a producer and a backup singer. Liv was raised as Liv Rundgren, since Steven was such a strung-out scallywag that Liv’s mom didn’t suppose he’d make an appropriate father. The official story on the “Loopy” video is that Steven didn’t have something to do with casting Liv; she received the gig after showing in a Pantene industrial. That looks like a fairly large coincidence to me — a coincidence as large, perhaps, as Deep Affect and Armageddon popping out in the identical summer time. Given each her age and her parentage, it’s slightly bizarre how the “Loopy” video appears shot with the categorical function of creating folks sexy for Liv Tyler. (The track peaked at #17 — larger than “Wonderful” however decrease than “Cryin’.”)

Aerosmith had moved from Columbia to Geffen earlier than releasing Accomplished With Mirrors. After Get A Grip, they moved again to Columbia, and so they adopted that album with 1997’s 9 Lives, a relative brick that also went double platinum. “Pink,” the largest single from “9 Lives,” peaked at #27, and the entire Aerosmith comeback began to appear to be it was winding down. Liv Tyler, in the meantime, had launched an performing profession that was fairly instantly profitable. In motion pictures like Empire Information and That Factor You Do!, Liv had a successful presence that went past the rock-star nepotism that had introduced her consideration within the first place.

After That Factor You Do!, celebrity producer Jerry Bruckheimer, coming off a string of noisy blockbusters, forged Liv Tyler as Ben Affleck’s love curiosity in Armageddon. He additionally introduced in Diane Warren, a songwriter who’s already been on this column a bunch of instances, to jot down the film’s large, sweeping love track. The earlier yr, Warren had written “How Do I Stay” for the awesomely ridiculous Bruckheimer-produced spectacle Con Air. That track had a messy historical past. Warren had provided it to teenage nation phenom LeAnn Rimes, however Bruckheimer and his group thought Rimes was too younger to correctly promote the track. Trisha Yearwood recorded the model of “How Do I Stay” that truly appeared in Con Air, however Rimes recorded her personal model of the track, too, and the variations from each Rimes and Yearwood got here out on the identical day. The Yearwood take peaked at #23, whereas Rimes’ recording went all the way in which to #2. (It’s a 4.)

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After the entire “How Do I Stay” kerfuffle, Diane Warren anxious that Jerry Bruckheimer may not need to work along with her once more. However Bruckheimer and his music supervisor Kathy Nelson nonetheless believed that Armageddon wanted that Diane Warren contact, and so they had been most likely proper. Armageddon is a cluttered, incoherent, smug film, and it wanted emotional resonance wherever it might get it. Warren wrote “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” after studying one thing that the actor James Brolin had stated about his spouse Barbra Streisand, somebody who’s been on this column a handful of instances. Apparently, Brolin had stated that he didn’t like going to sleep as a result of missed Babs when he was unconscious. Presumably, Brolin didn’t embellish on that good little assertion by yowl-scatting, however that’s poetic license for you.

Aerosmith didn’t usually report songs that the members of the band hadn’t no less than helped to jot down, and Diane Warren didn’t have Aerosmith in thoughts when she wrote “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor.” In Fred Bronson’s Billboard E-book Of No 1 Hits, Warren says, “After I demoed the track, it was very delicate and extra keyboard-based. I assumed, ‘It is a good track for Céline Dion.’” (I guess Diane Warren was mad when she didn’t get that Titanic project.) Aerosmith’s A&R man performed the demo for producer Matt Serletic, who’d gotten his begin producing for quasi-alt-rock bands like Collective Soul and Matchbox 20. (Serletic’s work will seem on this column once more.) When Serletic stated that he appreciated the track, the A&R man informed him that he needed to report it with Aerosmith instantly.

Truthfully, “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” would most likely work higher if it had been a Céline Dion track. There’s one thing terribly compelled and overbearing about Aerosmith’s tackle the track. Very similar to Armageddon itself, “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” pulls out each apparent trick to elicit any sort of emotional response. The very first thing that we hear on the track isn’t Aerosmith; it’s the orchestra behind them — the dramatic woodwind drones and the martial snares. When Steven Tyler begins moaning about staying awake simply to listen to you respiration, he appears like he’s filling the position of power-ballad singer however like he’s by no means even given a half-second’s thought to what the track’s lyrics may imply. He doesn’t sound like he’s singing about anybody else. He appears like he’s singing about himself. Possibly he misses himself when he’s asleep.

Steven Tyler has an interesting, inimitable squawk-honk of a voice, and it may be extraordinarily efficient in the proper state of affairs. There’s a cause, for example, that his scream on the finish of “Dream On” nonetheless raises goosebumps. However “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” isn’t the proper state of affairs. The track’s association permits for not one of the playful riffing that Aerosmith often introduced even to their energy ballads. Tyler has to venture sufficient persona to hold the track, and he can do this, however he can’t do it whereas hitting large notes. The tip of “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor,” when Tyler scraggle-screeches about “dreaming of yeeaaahowww,” is simply downright disagreeable. “I Don’t Miss A Factor” does have a giant, memorable refrain working for it, however that refrain isn’t sufficient to cease me from getting each surly and bored each time I hear the track.

Probably the most memorable “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” cue in Armageddon is without doubt one of the movie’s quieter moments. Ben Affleck, laying within the grass with Liv Tyler, prepares for death-defying area journey and comet destruction by utilizing animal crackers and a Crocodile Hunter impression as instruments for seduction. (As soon as once more, we hear Steven Tyler’s voice whereas his daughter is doing one thing horny onscreen. What the fuck, dude? What’s that?) I truly know the man who wrote that animal-crackers scene. He didn’t get a screenwriter credit score on the film. As an alternative, he was simply one of many many writers introduced in to take a move on the Armageddon script. Plenty of folks made enjoyable of that scene; I used to be most likely one in all them. However that scene’s understated weirdness is an entire lot extra particular and compelling than something within the track itself.

The “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” video went for an entire different sensibility. In between Armageddon clips, it reveals Aerosmith taking part in in entrance of an area shuttle because it will get able to launch. In a single dramatic second, a curtain-drop reveals the orchestra behind them. In one other, the group will get misplaced in a mud storm because the shuttle takes off, which most likely explains why bands don’t usually get booked to play at space-shuttle launches. Dangerous video. Dumb. Boring. The one attention-grabbing issues about it are the band’s abysmal facial-hair decisions — Joe Perry’s bizarre little rat whiskers, Joey Kramer’s proud-of-itself soul patch.

“I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” got here out between Aerosmith albums, and it most likely helped drive the success of the Armageddon soundtrack, which was loaded down with extra forgettable Aerosmith songs and which spent two weeks at #1, in between the Metropolis Of Angels soundtrack and the Beastie Boys’ Hey Nasty. That soundtrack ultimately went quadruple platinum although its second single, Aerosmith’s crappy 9 Lives leftover “What Sort Of Love Are You On,” missed the Sizzling 100 completely. “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” received an Oscar nomination for Greatest Unique Track, however like a dozen different nominated Diane Warren songs, it didn’t win.

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Within the years after “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor,” Aerosmith remained vastly profitable. Solely one in all Aerosmith’s post-Armageddon songs has reached the highest 10. Their sleepily orchestra-drenched 2001 track “Jaded” made it as excessive as #7. (It’s a 3.) Not one of the band’s later albums have bought particularly nicely, however you’ll be able to measure Aerosmith’s success in different methods. In 1999, for example, Aerosmith turned the one rock band ever to get their very own curler coaster at Disney World. In 2001, they performed the Tremendous Bowl Halftime Present with *NYSYNC, Britney Spears, Nelly, and Mary J. Blige, all of whom will ultimately seem on this column. That very same yr, Aerosmith joined the Rock And Roll Corridor Of Fame.

Lately, Aerosmith’s entire historical past has gotten messy once more. Beginning in 2011, Steven Tyler did an extremely bizarre two-year stint as a decide on American Idol, and when he minimize off communication with the remainder of the band, they publicly thought of firing and changing him. In a while, Tyler made a rustic album, and Joe Perry teamed up with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp to type a band referred to as the Hollywood Vampires. No person wished to listen to any of that shit.

Aerosmith ultimately did a faux farewell tour after which a Las Vegas residency. In 2020, because the band received able to be honored on the pre-Grammys MusiCares profit, drummer Joey Kramer sued the remainder of the group, claiming that they wouldn’t let him play with them. Footage of safety guards blocking Kramer from an Aerosmith rehearsal went viral. (A part of the division was most likely political; Kramer is a Trump man, and he was mad about Tyler and Perry hanging out with Obama on Air Drive One.) Ultimately, Aerosmith let Joey Kramer again into the band. Final month, Aerosmith cancelled a bunch of reveals as a result of Steven Tyler was checking again into rehab.

Aerosmith have a protracted legacy as an American hard-rock establishment, and so they’ve received various nice songs of their catalog. “Candy Emotion”? Extra importantly, the second initially of Dazed And Confused the place “Candy Emotion” performs over the studio logos after which the film begins proper when the drums kick in? Fucking superior. So good. (“Candy Emotion” was Aerosmith’s first top-40 hit again in 1975, and it peaked at #36.) However Aerosmith have additionally made greater than their share of bullshit, and “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” undoubtedly belongs within the “bullshit” class. At this level, Aerosmith will not be a purposeful band, and barring some type of unexpected Stranger Issues “Operating Up That Hill” state of affairs, we won’t see them on this column once more. I can sleep simply superb as a result of I received’t miss them.

GRADE: 2/10

BONUS BEATS: In 1998, when Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” was nonetheless on the charts, Mark Chesnutt launched a rustic cowl of the track, and his model topped the Billboard nation chart and crossed over to the Sizzling 100. Right here’s his tackle it:

(“I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” is Mark Chesnutt’s greatest Sizzling 100 hit; it peaked at #17.)

BONUS BONUS BEATS: Right here’s the adenoidal pop-punk cowl of “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” that New Discovered Glory launched in 2000:

(New Discovered Glory’s solely Sizzling 100 single, 2002’s “My Mates Over You,” peaked at #85.)

BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: There’s a scene within the 2002 grossout comedy The Sweetest Factor the place Selma Blair offers a blowjob and in some way will get the man’s dick ring caught in her throat. To assist her get out of that state of affairs, Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate sing “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor.” In a Stereogum interview final yr, Diane Warren stated that The Sweetest Factor director Roger Kumble was “scared” to point out her that scene for approval, however she liked it: “Shit, in fact I feel it’s OK! I want I used to be within the group singing alongside to it.” Diane Warren, endearingly, appears to be a bit weirder than her songs may lead you to count on. Right here’s that scene:

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: Right here’s Juelz Santana rapping about fatherhood over the Heatmakerz’ sped-up “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor” pattern on his 2005 track “Daddy”:

(Juelz Santana’s highest-charting single as lead artist, 2005’s “There It Go (The Whistle Track),” peaked at #6. It’s a 6. As a visitor, Juelz will ultimately seem on this column.)

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: Right here’s the scene from the 2007 movie Blades Of Glory the place Will Ferrell and Jon Heder determine skate to “I Don’t Need To Miss A Factor”:

(Will Ferrell and Jon Heder don’t have any Sizzling 100 singles, however the two of them seem, in dialogue sampled from Blades Of Glory, on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 hit “N***as In Paris,” which peaked at #5. It’s a ten.)

The Quantity Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal The Historical past Of Pop Music is out 11/15 by way of Hachette Books. You may pre-order it right here.