Writers: Steven Tyler and Joe Perry
Producers: Jack Douglas and Aerosmith
Recorded: February 3, 1976, at the Wherehouse in Waltham, Massachusetts
|Players:||Steven Tyler — vocals, keyboards
Joe Perry — guitar, vocals, six-string bass
Brad Whitford — guitar
Tom Hamilton — bass
Joey Kramer — drums
|Album:||Rocks (Columbia, 1976)|
The lead-off track on the Rocks album, “Back In The Saddle” reached Number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Rocks album sold more than three million copies and peaked at Number Three on the Billboard 200–Aerosmith's highest charting album until “Get A Grip” hit Number One in 1993.
In the liner notes to the Pandora's Box compilation, lead guitarist Joe Perry says “Back In The Saddle” is “the kind of riff and instrumentation that falls outside the normal formula of a rock song. I wrote it on a six string bass. It was one of those songs that really opened things up for us.”
In Walk This Way: The Autobiography Of Aerosmith, Rocks producer Jack Douglas says the band recorded “Back in The Saddle” “to have this larger-than-life vibe, to bring the band right into the middle of the kid's head when he put on his (head)phones in his bedroom late at night.”
The lyrics were the last part of the song to develop, Douglas remembers, after he said to lead singer Steven Tyler, “I wish we could use this saddle image as a way of saying, 'Here's another album, folks, and we're gonna rock out and I've really got my spurs on.' Steven went into the stairwell for two hours and came back with reams of paper with ideas on them, and we cut the vocals.”
Tyler's opening scream was recorded with a shotgun microphone placed about ten inches from his mouth, forcing him to belt out the opening line.
To get the whip sound at the end of the song, the group discovered the sound of a regular bullwhip wasn't fat enough. So the group used a 30-foot microphone cord that Tyler swirled in the middle of six microphones placed around the studio. Aerosmith used a cap gun for the cracking sound.
Tyler taped tambourines and bells to his boots and stomped on a wooden board “to get the Western feel we wanted.”