Walk This Way

“So I took a big chance
at the high school dance, with a lady who was ready to play…It wasn’t me she was foolin’, ’cause she knew what was she was doin’, when she told me how to walk this way.”

What do you get when you cross an up-and-coming rap trio with a washed-up hard rock group?

Only one of the most groundbreaking singles in the history of music.

Are we exaggerating? Not one bit. Gather ’round children, and you shall hear a story about the rise of rap, the resurrection of Aerosmith, and the birth of the mash-up.

In the early 80s Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay tripped on the Aerosmith album Toys in the Attic while searching for beats and riffs they could sample. By the time 1985 rolled around, and the fellas were working on their third studio album, their producer Rick Rubin noticed Toys laying around and suggested they do a cover version of “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. Since Aerosmith’s most recent album had completely tanked, Tyler and Perry were more than willing to sign up.

And BOOM! “Walk This Way” (and Aerosmith) was reborn.

And BANG! Run-DMC was on their way.

And POW! the Billboard Hot 100 finally had its first hip-hop song land in the top 5.

Before the smoke cleared, the Run-DMC version of “Walk This Way” would peak at #4 in the charts in September 1986, spending 16 weeks in the Hot 100. Incidentally it also charted better than Aerosmith’s original version, which went as high as #10 in 1977.

While mash-ups didn’t start with “Walk This Way” (we’d be tempted to credit Blondie’s #1 hit “Rapture” with that feat), it certainly kept the ball rolling in a big way, and it introduced us 80s kids to the perfect fusion of rap and hard rock.

“Well just gimme a kiss!”

We ♥ Walk This Way.

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~ by weheart80s on May 16, 2017.

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