Thursday, May 4, 2023

"Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith

Top 10 Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  4118
Date:  11/25/1989
Debut:  85
Peak:  4
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Rock

Pop Bits:  Aerosmith's second album in their late 80s comeback phase, Pump, got an immediate boost when its first single "Love in an Elevator" got to #5 Pop/#1 Rock and went gold. It set the band up for further success and that indeed happened with this next single. It would nearly replicate the results by reaching #4 Pop and #2 Rock. While the single wouldn't go gold, it along with a popular MTV video would certainly help sales of the album. By the time spring of '90 rolled around it would have crossed the triple platinum mark. By the end of the year it would sell another million. This song would earn Aerosmith their very first Grammy. They picked up one for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

ReduxReview:  For a hard/glam rock tune, the subject matter was certainly on the intense side. Apparently Steven Tyler got the title in his head and then later found inspiration via a Time magazine article about handgun deaths along with hearing someone talking about how many parents abuse their kids. Writing lyrics about the sexual abuse of a girl by her father and then her killing him certainly wasn't common fodder for glam tracks, but Tyler dug in and came up with an amazing song. Pair that with a great video and it provided Aerosmith with another major career moment. Everything is pretty much perfect with the track from the lyrics, to the production, to Tyler's delivery. This was the band's best moment of the 80s.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The video for this song was directed by future Oscar nominee David Fincher. The intense video quickly became a favorite on MTV and would go on to receive eight MTV Music Video Award nominations. It would win two - Best Metal/Hard Rock Video and Viewer's Choice. Playing Janie in the video was Kristin Dattilo and the father was portrayed by Nicholas Guest. Lesley Ann Warren was cast as the mother. A few years prior in '83, Warren received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the musical comedy Victor/Victoria.  2) Aerosmith would score a third Pop Top 10 hit from Pump. The power ballad "What It Takes" would get to #9 (#1 Rock). The album would end up selling over seven million copies. Their next album, '93's Get a Grip (#1), would replicate those results. Then '97's Nine Lives would be able to hit #1, but would stop at the double platinum sales mark. Aerosmith would cap of the 90s with a single that would become their biggest hit. The band would record the Diane Warren-penned tune "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" for the '98 sci-fi disaster flick Armageddon. The song was instantly a hit debuting at #1 on the Pop chart and staying there for four weeks. It would be gold seller.


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