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"Rag Doll"
Single by Aerosmith
from the album Permanent Vacation
B-side "St. John"
Released 1988
Format Cassette, CD, Record
Recorded 1987
Genre Hard rock
Length 04:24
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Jim Vallance, Holly Knight
Producer Bruce Fairbairn
Aerosmith singles chronology
"Rag Doll"
"Love in an Elevator"
Alternate cover

"Rag Doll" is a song by American hard rock band Aerosmith. It is from the 1987 album Permanent Vacation. It was released as the final single from the album in 1988. It was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Jim Vallance, and Holly Knight.


Song origin

The song's lyrics were primarily written by Tyler and Vallance, Perry originating the guitar riff, and Vallance writing the bass line. The song was originally titled "Rag Time" but John Kalodner didn't like that, so Holly Knight was called in to help change that lyric. She suggested "Rag Doll", which was actually another title Steven and Jim thought of, but Holly ended up getting credits just for two words. Steven was horrified about this and often complained to his manager.

Chart performance

It peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, #12 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and #42 on the UK charts.

Song structure

The song is notable for drummer Joey Kramer's 1-2-1-2 lead beat in the beginning of the song, saxophones, and Joe Perry's slide guitar.

The music on the radio single differed from the album version in having a more urgent, driving beat, fueled by Tom Hamilton's bass, and slightly different sax notes. This version had an earlier fadeout, omitting the classic one featuring the sax solo and Tyler's scat singing. The video (see below) is based on the album version of the song.

Music video

The video flashes back and forth between an Aerosmith concert at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, TN and the band down on the streets of New Orleans. In the closing moments Steven Tyler is driving down Hamilton Street in Johnson City in an old Shelby Cobra.




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