It’s interesting how things play out sometimes. Take Aerosmith. Here’s a band that since its beginnings in 1970 has gone on to iconic standing, selling more than 150 million records and becoming the biggest selling American rock band of all time—and yet it took them 28 years to score their first number-one single on the Billboard Top 100 chart.
The song was “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” from the Armegeddon movie soundtrack. The year was 1998. And the hit couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
Already an established band, Aerosmith had avoided “has-been” status already once in the early 1990s with a resurgence of popularity with their album Get a Grip, but 1997’s Nine Lives hadn’t done quite so well, and the band was facing an ebb in album and ticket sales. Iconic songwriter Diane Warren had penned the power ballad “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” and it was originally planned to have U2 record it for the Armegeddon film; but when frontman Steve Tyler’s daughter Liv Tyler was cast in the starring role of the film, it seemed a natural fit for Aerosmith to record it. (The music video includes clips from the film, including appearances by Liv Tyler herself.)
Armegeddon became the top-selling film of 1998. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and stayed there for a month. The song went Platinum and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. And Aerosmith’s popularity was revived.
While they’ve charted several times since, Aerosmith has never topped the Billboard Hot 100 since that one time in 1998. But many people credit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” with extending Aerosmith’s run and introducing them to a whole new generation of fans.
By the way…it was 16 years ago today that “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” first topped the charts. Here’s the song: enjoy.