Writers: Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Desmond Child
Producer: Bruce Fairbairn
Recorded: March-May 1987 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Released: August 1987
|Players:||Steven Tyler – vocals
Joe Perry — guitar
Brad Whitford — guitar
Tom Hamilton — bass
Joey Kramer — drums
The Marguerita Horns — Tom Keenlyside, Ian Putz, Bob Rogers, Henry Christian, and Bruce Fairbairn
|Album:||Permanent Vacation (Geffen, 1987)|
Though Aerosmith had enjoyed a revival the previous year by guesting on rap group Run-D.M.C.‘s remake of its hit “Walk This Way,” “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” was Aerosmith’s own first top 40 hit in nine years, peaking at Number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1987.
“Dude” was Aerosmith’s first U.K. hit as well, hitting Number 45 on the British chart.
The song also signaled a commercial comeback for the group, which from the late ’70s to the mid-’80s was beset with internal conflicts, drug addictions, and management problems.
“Dude” is one of the first songs Aerosmith principals Steven Tyler and Joe Perry wrote with Desmond Child, who had worked with Bon Jovi and Kiss and was suggested to the group by Geffen Records executive John Kalodner. Tyler remembers, “I told (Kalodner) if he knew someone I could write lyrics with and have as much fun as when I’m writing songs with Joe Perry, then please bring ‘em in.”
“Dude” was picked as the first single from the album by David Geffen himself. The video for the song, directed by Marty Callner, became one of the most popular and provocative aired by MTV.
The Permanent Vacation album was the first recorded by the group after a stay at the Caron Foundation Treatment Center in eastern Pennsylvania.
The album was originally started in February 1987 with producer Rick Rubin, who didn’t have time to finish it, but his sessions did yield an early take of “Dude.”
The album’s original title was Monkey House.
Permanent Vacation launched Aerosmith’s career revival in earnest, reaching Number 11 on the Billboard 200 and selling more than five million copies.
The album also hit Number 37 on the U.K. chart, its highest showing overseas to date.