Best Popular Song: Cryin'

By Glenn

I agree, as we all do, that Dude Looks Like a Lady is the worst popular song of all time. However, just like Curt Schilling, this curve ball I'm about to throw is that another Aerosmith song "Cryin'" is actually the BEST.

In my case I'm going to focus less on the lyrics and more on the music video itself (linked above) as to why this song is the best. This is both because I feel the video cuts through all the bullshit monotony of our everyday lives and the relationships we struggle so hard to maintain and also because I can't read so I don't know what the lyrics are.

Here's the video again in case you missed it the first time:

Shot 1: Alicia Silverstone standing on a cliff with cars passing under her. The 405? The 5? No idea. All I know is that I was on the freeways of the Los Angeles metro area recently and the cars go fast!! Really fast!!!!

Shot 2: Steven Tyler walking around in some fucked up Kabuki face paint. He kind of looks like the WCW wrestler Sting but much more like Brandon Lee from the Crow. Hopefully he won't suffer the same fate.

Shot 2.5: Joe Perry playing guitar.

Shot 3: Some guy getting it ON with Alicia and even putting his hand dangerously close to her chest. A moment later we see that he has half a heart tattooed on his hand and she has the other half of the heart tattooed right above her left breast. I'm willing to guess that this is where the modern obsession came from for young people to get tattoos.

Fun fact: Alicia Silverstone punches two guys in this video. If the roles were reversed and it was a man punching two women people would be up in arms. As it is, no one is up in arms. It's almost as if men are statistically and biologically more violent than women and to see a woman be violent towards them is an aberration.

Steven Tyler talks about the thin line between pleasure and pain. I bet you didn't know Aerosmith and the Marquis de Sade had so much in common. Upon further examination of their catalog, it appears that much of Aerosmith's later work - "Nine Lives" and beyond - draws heavily from French writers of the early 19th century. One track off of their 2004 album "Honkin' on Bobo" actually chronicles the day to day happenings of the French Revolution in a brief yet comprehensive song called "The Grind."

The only fault I can find in the Cryin' video involves the scene where a tall, handsome stranger smiles at Alicia before stealing her backpack. [The tall stranger never caught my eye in 1993 but fifteen years later I can see what I never could have known back then: he plays one of the characters on Lost. I know that's not interesting to anyone reading this, but I gave myself a genuine pat on the back for recognizing him from only a brief, unclear shot.] Once he steals the backpack, instead of the requisite guitar solo we get a harmonica solo from Tyler. You ain't a-Bob Dylan, Steve, so don't even try. And while she's kicking him to take her bag back there's a really cool but brief drum solo from Joey Kramer the drummer that they don't even show him playing! That just made me mad.

The video ends with Alicia Silverstone standing on the ledge we saw her at in the first shot. She calls her boyfriend on her cell phone (in 1993?) to come to her and once he does she jumps off instead of letting him bring her back to safety. The REAL part of this video that always used to make me mad in 1993 (when - let's be honest, being told I had to go to bed at 9:00pm on a school night would make me equally furious) was that you can clearly see her jumping off the ledge with nothing attached. Multiple shots from multiple angles showing that yes this girl is really going to kill herself to punish her boyfriend. Then just when Steven Tyler is scatting and you think she's going to hit the freeway and die it's revealed she had a bungee cord on the whole time. It was invisible until she jumped and then it became visible and saved her. She gives her boyfriend the middle finger but it's nothing like the middle finger I'm giving you right now as I type this.

Anyway, partially for the reasons I have explained here but in reality much more for reasons I could never explain this is the greatest popular song of all time! If Sirius radio could beat regular radio out of business I wish they would make a channel that just played this song. And I wish they made another, additional channel that played the hits you remember from the 80s.


  1. I am surprised you didn't mention the body piercing. While the protagonist does get tattooed in the video, she also gets a naval ring. And, there might actually be a legitimate claim that this video played a small part in the advent of the body piercing plague that beset the population in the early nineties until drugs and AZT therapy helped curb the negative effects even as the infection rate steadily rose. If you watch closely at the end, you will see that the bungee cord is actually attached to her belly-button.

    I have always hated this song and Aerosmith. When I first began my discovery of music, Aerosmith was the antithesis of the Southern California Gangsta Rap which was my first music of preference. And as it happens Aerosmith is still the antithesis to my preferred type of music - good. However, I am now willing to admit that Cryin' is the greatest pop song of all time. WTG GCR!

  2. I agree with Bub on several points. 1) My first love affair with music was rap. The first cassette I ever paid for with my "own" money was The Chronic. The first cassettes I ever owned were a Run DMC tape and Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff's masterwork (and I don't throw that word around like it's a softball at a lesbian convention) He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper. The first CDs I ever bough were Green Day's Dookie, Megadeth's Euthanasia and Aerosmith's Big Ones.

    I took a brief hiatus from hip hop, but one needs to look no further than my page (linked to on the sidebar) to see that I listen to hip hop as much as I listen to music made by homosexuals and hipsters (is there a difference?). Maybe that's a future article.

    Cryin' leaves me doing one thing: cryin'. Cryin' because music is so bad that Cryin' is the best song ever written. Cryin' because all the scarves tied to mic stands in the world and kabuki paint on Steven Tyler's face can't feed the AIDS infected children of the world. Cryin' because gas prices are lowering (in the US) but food prices remain as high as ever.

  3. euthanasia&spell=1

    I love that somebody came to this site through googling Megadeth's Euthanasia in Canada.

  4. NO SHOTS OF THE DRUMMER?????!!!!!

    This was one of my pet peeves when I was learning to play drums in junior high and watching VH1, MTV, and ZTV (a defunct Christian music channel.)

  5. "She gives her boyfriend the middle finger but it's nothing like the middle finger I'm giving you right now as I type this."



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