Why Aerosmith’s “Rag Doll” is Considered a Weird Song

Why Aerosmith’s “Rag Doll” is Considered a Weird Song | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Aerosmith live in 2014 - Aerosmith / Youtube

There are moments when classic rock bands blend musicality and weirdness. Though it may not be the lifeblood of classic rock itself, this unusual choice of creating music makes one’s creativity stand out from the others. Even Boston rockers Aerosmith rode that wave.

Aerosmith’s guitarist Joe Perry wrote a memoir titled Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, which was released in 2014. Inside, Perry explained that “Rag Doll” “was born out of another collaboration.” “Steven [Tyler], [songwriter Jim] Vallance, and I had the song written except for the title.” Right then, Holly Knight, Spider’s singer, was the one who coined its title.

“Again, we willingly shared credit evenly, not only because Holly earned it, but because the machine was humming along so efficiently,” Perry wrote. “If you had something to do with the writing of the song, it was split evenly. That took the pressure off any credit disputes and let the creativity flow. And since the band would ultimately play the song, no matter how it started, it always ended up sounding like Aerosmith.” Like any popular Aerosmith song, the lyrics talk about sex with its title referring to women as nothing but “rag dolls.” Moreover, its riff and arrangement were quite bizarre; lucky for them it became a prominent song upon its release, thanks to MTV, who constantly circulated its music video on television.

The song’s MV was directed by Marty Callner, who also helmed the band’s groundbreaking MTV-played videos for “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” and “Angel.” During their 1988 tour, the band filmed the music video for “Rag Doll” in New Orleans.

Check out “Rag Doll” below.