The second track on Aerosmith‘s Music From Another Dimension! was written by guitarist Joe Perry back at his Boneyard Studio in suburban Boston. “Oh Yeah” began in a funkier groove than the churning, straight-ahead rocker it would later become, and Tyler wasn’t sold on it at first. He did know he wanted to sing the lyrics himself: “I would die for you baby/ I cry for you baby . . . Won’t ya please give me some of your love?”
By the time album sessions began in Los Angeles, Perry brought it to the band and said, “Let’s do it double-time and make it rock,” he recalls, and singer Steven Tyler kept telling him how much he liked the lyrics. “It didn’t knock me out, but in the meantime Steven kept saying, ‘It’s really good this way.’ Then we’d add more, and it got better and better.” Producer Jack Douglas suggested that Perry and Tyler sing it as a duet, and then the guitarist’s wife, Billie, weighed in.
“Finally, my wife said, ‘Why don’t you let Steven sing the lead on it?'” says Perry now with a grin. “But that’s my song, I like it, I want to sing it! She said, ‘Let Steven sing it.’ She really put her foot down.”
The final version of the track opens with a churning, Stones-y riff, but quickly sounds like no one but Aerosmith, with a strutting beat from Joey Kramer, Tyler’s raspy snarl and guitars that unfurl with a wicked snap. A trio of female backup singers and a brass section add warmth and sass. Fans have heard “Oh Yeah” live as one of the few new tunes previewed by the band on tour this year.
“When I heard the song, with the beat that was on it, and the simplicity of the lyrics, I thought it was a rock single,” says Tyler. “It could start the show off. I was so moved by that beat. I heard Joe singing it and I thought, if it’s going to be a single I gotta be singing it. I go, ‘Joe, you got to let me sing this.’ I actually got angry at him. I’m singing that! Too bad.”