Kings and Queens

Album: Draw The Line (1977)
Charted: 70

Songfacts®:

  • Aerosmith go medieval on this track, where Steven Tyler sings about a time of lords and maidens, imagining he was there in a past life. With the chorus line, "Kings and queens and guillotines," and lots of brutal imagery, it's not a glamorous look at this era, as he focuses on the capricious violence and wars that were common at this time.
  • The band was heavy into drugs and rather dysfunctional when they recorded the Draw The Line album with producer Jack Douglas, who managed to pull the thing together. A byproduct of this dysfunction was more input from guitarist Brad Whitford, bass player Tom Hamilton, and drummer Joey Kramer, since Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were less of a presence.

    Whitford, Hamilton and Kramer wrote the music for this track with Douglas, and Tyler added the lyrics later on - it's one of the few Aerosmith songs written while Joe Perry was in the band with no input from the guitarist. In our interview with Brad Whitford, he explained: "It probably would have ended up sounding different if they [Tyler and Perry] were there, but we were able to stretch out a little bit and hit a chord with that tune. We had the basis of it, and when Steven heard it, it really appealed to him and he came up with those great lyrics. It was just one of those things."
  • This was released as the second single (following the title track) from the band's fifth album Draw The Line.
  • According to Brad Whitford, this was one of the hardest Aerosmith songs to adapt for live performance. The band doesn't play it very often, but will occasionally surprise fans by getting it out of the attic.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 18, 1978, Aerosmith were one of the ten acts to perform at the 'Cal Jam II' concert at the Ontario Motor Speedway outside of Los Angeles, California, an estimated 350,000 fans were in attendance...
    At the time Aerosmith's "Kings and Queens" was at #74 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, two weeks later it would peak at #70 {for 2 weeks}, and the second week it was at #70 was also it's fifth and final week on the Top 100...
    It reached #77 on the Canadian RPM Singles chart...
    Between 1973 and 2012 the Boston-based quintet had thirty-one records on the Top 100 chart, eight make the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing", and it debut on the Top 100 at #1 on October 30th, 1998, it remained in the top spot for four weeks...
    "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" was featured in the movie 'Armageddon'* and was nominated for the Academy Award for 'Best Original Song', the Oscar went to "When You Believe" from the film 'The Prince of Egypt'...?
    * Liv Tyler, Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler's daughter, played the part of Grace Stamper in 'Armageddon".
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