Livin' On The Edge

Album: Get A Grip (1993)
Charted: 19 18


  • This song talks about how the world is a crazy place, but people remain stuck in their routines and refuse to change. According to the Aerosmith autobiography Walk This Way, the song was inspired by the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which took place after the white police officers accused of beating the black motorist Rodney King were acquitted.
  • Joe Perry and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith wrote this song with Mark Hudson, who has had one of the more intriguing careers in the entertainment industry. Hudson was a teen idol in the '70s, starring with his brothers on a kids TV show called the Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show. The Hudson Brothers charted three times with songs they wrote, including "So You Are A Star," which became their biggest hit.

    In the '80s, Mark hooked up with the producer Phil Ramone and did songwriting and production work in addition to some acting roles (he was on a short-lived TV show with Geena Davis called Sara). Mark got the gig as bandleader on Joan Rivers' late night TV show in 1989, and continued working on the program after it morphed into The Arsenio Hall Show.

    When Aerosmith started writing for the Get A Grip album, their record company sherpa John Kalodner set up a session with Hudson, which is where they wrote this song. Kalodner was a proponent of outside songwriters, which he felt was key to keeping the band's sound fresh. Other songwriters who wrote with Perry and Tyler on the album include Jim Vallance, Lenny Kravitz and Desmond Child.
  • According to Steven Tyler, those three big drum hits that you hear near the end of this song were made with the bass drum he stole from Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, New York, where he was in the marching band. Tyler was kicked out of the school after an undercover cop posing as a student busted him for drug possession. He walked off with the drum after his band played the Roosevelt senior prom.
  • This won the Grammy award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal - the band performed the song at the 1994 ceremony. It was just Aerosmith's second Grammy - they won the same award in 1991 for "Janie's Got A Gun."
  • The lyric, "If you can judge a wise man by the color of his skin then mister, you're a better man than I" comes from the song "You're a Better Man Than I" by The Yardbirds. Aerosmith recorded The Yardbirds' "Train Kept-a Rollin'" in 1974. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Edward Furlong, who starred in the movies Terminator 2 and American History X is in the music video. The clip was directed by Marty Callner, who made most of the band's videos. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marcus - Garland, TX
  • Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of this song called "Livin' in the Fridge," which is about food left in the refrigerator too long. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cliff - Burkesville, KY
  • After this song was played at a Donald Trump rally in West Virginia on August 21, 2018, Aerosmith sent a cease and desist letter to the President, on the grounds that it implied their endorsement. The group took similar legal action in 2015 when the Trump campaign used "Dream On" at rallies.
  • This was used in a 2018 commercial for the Google Pixel 3 trumpeting its Group Selfie Cam feature, which keeps the subject in the frame of the photo, not "on the edge."
  • In 2020, Aerosmith performed this at the Grammy Awards before joining Run-D.M.C. for their classic collaboration "Walk This Way."

Comments: 7

  • Jeannie from Florida"You're a better man than I" is originally from the poem "Gunga Din" by Rudyard Kipling. It's been quoted many times in songs and literature, but The Yardbirds didn't invent it.
  • Tom from Robesonia, PaThis was written in response to the outcome of the Rodney King Trial and the riots.
  • Judy from Enid, OkThis song is flipping sweet!
  • Jason from Denver, CoIf I read it correctly,the big bass drum you hear after the pause in the song was from a bass drum Steven Tyler stole from the high school Aerosmith played their first gig ever. Something like that. Read Walk This Way the Aerosmith autobiography.
  • Evil Joe from Suffragette City, CoThis is my favourite Aerosmith song.
  • Malcolm from Ibbenbüren, GermanyThis is a classic party song to watch the folks wobble then freeze when they think it's over then beat the drums.Try it at about Midnight.Andy
  • Linda from OudenaardeActor Edward Furlong who played John Connor in Terminator 2 featured in the video for this song.
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