[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Aerosmith's “I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing”
History: “I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing” is from 1998's Armageddon, a movie that was basically Armageddon for your eyeballs. So I guess that it makes sense that this song is Armageddon for your ear holes.
(But for real, let's not pretend like we all weren't thisclose to crying when Ben Affleck was screaming at Bruce Willis at the end of the movie after he tricked him into letting him take his spot on the asteroid.)
(Oh, also, if you managed to watch this movie and fail to make an “I have been drilling holes in the Earth for 30 years and have never, NEVER, missed a depth that I have aimed for” sex joke, well then aren't you just special.)
Atmospherics: Orchestratic tomfoolery; like if they sold emotions in a box at Target; like if someone said, “I want it to sound like what a really corny wedding would sound like in, like, the poor part of heaven where all of the angels are sort of dirty looking and just generally unkempt. Can you do that?” And someone else was like, “I can do exactly that, yes.”
Scientific Analysis: Aerosmith is, in no uncertain terms, among the more important rock bands of all time. Their career has spanned more than 1,400 years, back to the Mesozoic era when the dinocrocs and supergators roamed the supercontinent Pangaea. (I'm not certain how many inaccuracies are in this sentence, I just know it's more than a few.) But with that girth comes gout, and that's probably the best way to describe “I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing.”
The song is tragic misgiving, a souless (and successful, obvs) marketization of Steven Tyler's rocker howl. Musicians sell out, sure, that's cool, but Aerosmith going from “Dream On” (or even “Amazing”) to “I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing” is only slightly less egregious than Abraham Lincoln going from freeing slaves to fighting vampires. It's just too big of a jump not to shake science's Yeah Fucking Right barometer.
Maybe a more practical example: My five-year-old sons are to the age now where all they want to do is run and fight and just do potentially deadly shit all day (they spent a bulk of Monday afternoon racing down the stairs in pillowcases). When we wrestle, when we fight on the bed, there are a litany of power moves they're expecting: Schmitty High (where I try to remove their heads from their shoulders with a vicious pillow swat aimed at their temples), Schmitty Low (same move, except aimed at the ankles), The Face Rearranger (where they're whipped 1,000 mph towards the bed from my shoulders face first), The Backbreaker (you know the one), The Razor's Edge (word to Razor Ramon, you monkeys) and The Basket of Death (see diagram below).
If I hedge on any one of those, if they're even just a hair less intense than they're used to, they call bullshit. They start whining and pouting and making my whole goddamn life miserable. Aerosmith needed a kid around to tell them that this shit wasn't the move to make. To tell them that this song possessed zero teeth and even less gumption. To tell them it was a compromise that would nearly unwind their good will with the Rock Gods. To tell them it was the opposite of why they made the band. Instead, all Liv Tyler wanted to do those was let Ben Affleck bounce animal crackers off her navel.
(I) RT if you've seen Armageddon more than four times.
(II) What's the worst Ben Affleck movie of all? It has to be Daredevil, right? I mean, he was a blind guy, but his super power was that he could see like a dolphin sees, yeah? So his superpower was just him being a normal human? God damn you, Ben, you beautiful bastard.
(III) I think it's fun to picture God in heaven making Steven Tyler. “Yo, hey, come here. Hey, check out what I did with his mouth. Haha. Crazy, huh. Bet me I won't leave it like this. Bet me I won't.”
(IV) Tiny 5-year-olds have spines like spaghetti. They can take all kinds of punishment. Or, at least I hope so. …Fuck, they can, right?