Aerosmith have a long history of hit-making, with a winning streak of Top 40 singles spanning four decades, from 1975's "Sweet Emotion" to 2001's "Jaded." Most of those songs were written by members of the band, but they've also reached outside for material from the likes of pop composer Diane Warren. She provided Music From Another Dimension! with "We All Fall Down," another tortured, romantic ballad sung by Steven Tyler: "I will catch you / Never let you go / I won't let you go through it alone."
The band has a notable history with Warren, who wrote their massive 1998 pop hit "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," the climactic tearjerker from the movie Armageddon, which co-starred Tyler's actress daughter, Liv. It was Aerosmith's first Number One pop hit. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
Based in Los Angeles, Warren has written pop hits for vocalists as varied as Elton John, Celine Dion, Faith Hill and Gloria Estefan. The traditionally hard-rocking Aerosmith somehow fit into that company, and she offered "We All Fall Down" to the reunited Boston band. "I think she has some kind of intuition," says guitarist Brad Whitford. "She just knew that it was perfect for Steven to sing."
Guitarist Joe Perry also heard Warren's early demo of the song and played it for his wife, Billie. "She started to cry when she heard it," Perry says now."That's when I brought it around again: 'Steven, remember this one?' It was just one of those Diane Warren songs. It carried its weight. It was just great."
Tyler compares the song's dramatic pacing to a rock single he remembers from high school, 1967's "Come on Down to My Boat" by Every Mother's Son. "The chorus goes 'We . . . all . . . fall . . . down.' That's monumental in any song. When you do a song and all of a sudden just the drums are there?" says Tyler, who initially sang the tune over piano before the band added their parts. "That's magic in songs. So when I heard that, I knew it was just weird enough for us to pull off."
Listen to "We All Fall Down":