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Single by Aerosmith
from the album Get a Grip
B-side "Head First"
Released 1993
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded 1993
Genre Blues-rock
Length 5:08
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Taylor Rhodes
Producer Bruce Fairbairn
Certification Gold
Aerosmith singles chronology

"Cryin'" is a song by American hard rock band Aerosmith. It was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Taylor Rhodes. It was released in the summer of 1993 as the fourth single from the hugely successful album Get a Grip.



The song can be credited also as the song that really broke Get a Grip into the mainstream. The song had a long chart-life, spending 20 weeks in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 (the most for any Aerosmith single). It peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart (where it remained for six weeks), and #17 in the UK.

Lyrical interpretation

The song tells the story of a relationship gone bad between a man and a woman ("I was cryin' when I met you, now I'm tryin' to forget you") and how "love is sweet misery". Some have interpreted the description of a roller coaster relationship as a metaphor for Steven Tyler's drug use. [1]

Song structure

The song begins with a bluesy guitar-oriented intro. It then becomes stripped down during the first verse, before going into a heavier arrangement for the first chorus. The song picks up in even more steam during the second verse before mellowing out during the third verse. The chorus repeats several times throughout the song.

The song is also highlighted by the clear guitar parts of Brad Whitford and Joe Perry, who each play guitar solos on the song. There is also a notable harmonica solo by Steven Tyler towards the end of the song before the last refrain of the chorus.

A strong rhythm section is provided by bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer, as well as synthesizers.

The song samples the famous chord progression from Pachelbel's Canon.

Music video

A screenshot of Alicia Silverstone's character getting a navel piercing in the music video for "Cryin'".

The music video for the song features the first appearance of Alicia Silverstone in the band's videos, as well as the band performing in the Central Congregational Church in Fall River, Massachusetts as well as Steven Tyler's daughter Liv.[2] The song flashes back and forth between the band and Alicia Silverstone, who plays a teen who has a falling out with her boyfriend (played by Stephen Dorff) after catching him cheating. She tries to kiss him but he pushes her away, she shoves him out of the car leaving him in the dust. She begins a phase of rebellion and individuality and gets a navel piercing, which has largely been credited as introducing navel piercing to mainstream culture.[3] After having her purse stolen by another young man (played by then-unknown Josh Holloway of Lost), she chases him down and knocks him to the ground. The video then cuts to her standing on the edge of an overpass bridge, contemplating jumping. Her ex-boyfriend arrives on the scene, along with numerous police officers, encouraging her to come down from the overpass. She jumps, but a rope - which appears to be attached to her navel piercing - is revealed, arresting her fall and leaving her dangling over the freeway, laughing at Dorff's character. The video ends with the dangling Silverstone looking up at Dorff and giving him the finger.

The video was a smash success on MTV, becoming one of the most requested videos in 1993, and earning the band several awards at the Video Music Awards.



The song was the most successful single from Get a Grip and has consistently been a staple on rock radio stations, and even seeing considerable airplay on Top 40/pop stations.

The song has always been a concert staple for Aerosmith, for nearly every tour they have done since the Get a Grip Tour in 1993.

The song has also been featured on several compilations (Big Ones, O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits) and live albums (A Little South of Sanity).

Steven Tyler and Christina Milian sang and performed the song in the film Be Cool.

File sharing lawsuit

"Cryin'" was one of the 24 songs, for which the first file-sharing copyright infringement lawsuit brought by major record labels to be tried to a jury. Jammie Thomas, single mother of four, was found liable in a 2007 trial for downloading the 24 songs from Kazaa and ordered to pay $222,000 ($9,250/song) in damages. In a second trial, in 2009, a jury again found against Thomas, this time awarding $1,920,000 ($80,000/song) in damages.


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