The song’s lyrics suggest a man who is seduced by a female (“She said, ‘can I see you later and love you just a little more?’”), in the workplace (“She said, ‘I’ll show you how to fax in the mail room, honey, and have you home by five’”), which he doesn’t seem to mind (“I kinda hope we get stuck, nobody gets out alive”).
Steven Tyler claims the songs lyrics were inspired by an experience he had at a hotel, in which he was making out with a girl in the elevator and they started having sex as the doors opened; “It felt like a lifetime waiting for those doors to close,” quipped Tyler. Indeed one of the song’s lines appears to directly relate to this experience: “Lovin’ it up when I hit the ground.”
Preceding the song is a 16-second dialogue titled “Going Down” spoken by a female department store clerk who says “Second floor, hardware, children’s wear, lady’s lingerie. Oh, good morning Mr. Tyler…going down?”, followed by a suggestive snicker by Steven Tyler.
The lyrics come at rapid-fire pace which Steven Tyler sings in almost perfect sync with the guitars in the song. In addition, the choruses are quite frequent throughout the song, most especially near the end of the song.
Also notable is the two-minute-long guitar solo in the middle of the song, broken up only by short echoing phrases like “going down” and “Love in…”. According to Bruce Fairbairn this guitar solo was supposed to be the end of the song but it was moved to the middle in mixing. Also notable are Joey Kramer’s drum beats which denote the change in guitarists playing the lead solo; both Joe Perry and Brad Whitford play high-caliber guitar solos in the song.
The song is featured in the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort, and at the Walt Disney Studios park in France. It was re-recorded as “Love in a roller-coaster”.
It’s also featured in Musak form, in Revolution X, by Midway Games, which features Aerosmith as themselves.
The video for the song, considered by many to be a definitive music video for Aerosmith, starts off with the band walking up to a department store elevator, and an attractive female Brandi Brandt (wife of Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx) says “2nd floor…hardware, children’s wear, lady’s lingerie. Oh, good morning Mr. Tyler, going down?” Steven Tyler enters the elevator and the song starts.
The video flashes back and forth between the band performing live and scenes from the department store.
The scenes in the department store and elevator include Brad Whitford being hypnotized by fake department store models turning into real ones when he’s not looking, Joey Kramer dressed up like a woman, Joe Perry and his wife (both topless) kissing in the elevator, Steven Tyler kissing the female department store clerk, and Tom Hamilton playing his bass grooves, in addition to the odd performances of other random characters, including a butcher, a fat lady, midgets, the Tin Man and Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, and a male model.
At the end of the song, all the band members gather around the microphone to sing “Love in an Elevator…lovin’ it up when I’m going down”. And then it flashes back to a scene in which the elevator doors close.
The song has consistently been a staple in the band’s setlist on almost every tour they have performed since the song’s release. It is a fan favorite and is well-known among mainstream audiences. Additionally, it allows for fan interaction due to the repeated chant of “whoa, yeah” throughout the song, which the band encourages the audience to sing.
Also, in concert, Steven Tyler often changes the lyrics to more controversial and profanity-laden ones. On a version of the song featured on the live album A Little South of Sanity, culled from the band’s tours in the 1990s, one can hear Steven Tyler say “lick your funky ass” instead of “kiss your sassafrass”.
The song received a Grammy award nomination in 1990 for “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal”, but lost out to supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys.
On the animated television show American Dad, Stan tells his son Steve that he needs an experience that will help him sing The American National Anthem just like Steven Tyler did for “Love In An Elevator”. He goes on to explain that Tyler had lived in an elevator for a whole summer. Steve than tries to correct him, but Stan tells him that Steven Tyler is a rock star so he could afford a nice elevator that he probably got laid in a lot and it was summer time.
Edited by Timitzi on 23 Dec 2009, 16:22
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