“I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”: The Story Behind the Armageddon Song

TF1 is rebroadcasting the disaster film this evening at 9:10 p.m. With its unmissable Aerosmith hit.

“And I don’t want to miss a thing…” In 1998, Michael Bay brings out the big guns with a blockbuster featuring Bruce Willis as the ultimate savior of humanity. Co-signed by JJ Abrams, the synopsis ofArmageddon evokes a giant asteroid, the size of Texas, which threatens to crash into Earth. The only chance to prevent the end of the world: send a team of astronauts to this monster, dig a well and blow it up before impact. For this suicide mission, NASA finally hires oil drillers led by Bruce Willis. At his side, we find in particular Owen Wilson And Ben Affleck. Will they manage to fulfill their mission and return home to their loved ones?

Bruce Willis was very generous with the Armageddon team

If the film had such an impact on pop culture upon its release, it is also thanks to its music, and in particular the song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” performed by the legendary rock band Aerosmith. The first notes played are enough to recognize the hit of an entire generation. A song so sentimental that it is essential to any good self-respecting wedding playlist.

Before you can (re)listen to it this evening on television, we reveal three anecdotes about it.

A family matter

Although it is difficult today to imagine another artist performing this song, originally, Aerosmith was far from being the first choice for production. Instead, Céline Dion (who had just recorded “My heart Will Go On”) and the British group U2 (who had just released their album Pop).

But while Liv Tyler is chosen to play Grace Stamper, the girlfriend of Ben Affleck, and the daughter of Bruce Willis, the production sees the opportunity to have Aerosmith in the project. How ? Because Liv Tyler is the singer's daughter, Steven Tyler. After the daughter, now the father is involved.

At that time, the group had already been playing for almost thirty years. They had just released their twelfth album, Nine Lives with the single “Pink”. Since the 80s, the group has experienced a renaissance partly due to the re-recording of their song “Walk This Way” with the rap group RUN-DMC.

A power ballad inspired by Barbara Streisand and James Brolin

Since the 70s, a style of song has been a hit: power ballads. Famous for hard rock and punctuated by a frenzied guitar riff, these songs evoke love as much as loss, joy as well as sadness. It's about speaking with emotion, but with energy. Aerosmith, like many other rock groups, are fans of this style and it is therefore quite natural that they made “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” one of power ballads the most famous.

But before they could get their hands on it, the song found itself in the hands of Diane Warren. Lyricist for Cher and Céline Dion, Warren admitted to being inspired by the actor's relationship James Brolin (Doctor Marcus Welby, Amityville: The House of the Devil) and the singer Barbra Streisand. One day in 1997, Warren came across an interview where the actressA star Is Born returned to a sentence said by her partner. A passage that she also recounted in her autobiography My name is Barbra :

“We were cuddled together (…) and I'm about to fall asleep and that's when he says to me 'I don't want to fall asleep because otherwise I'll miss you.'

Since then, the couple has been married and Diane Warren had a flash of genius: writing a song evoking the desire to stay awake so as not to lose a single moment with her other half. The chorus goes like this: “Don't wanna close my eyes, I don't wanna fall asleep, 'cause I'd miss you baby, and I don't wanna miss a thing”. Translation : “I don’t want to close my eyes, I don’t want to fall asleep, because you would miss it my love, and I don’t want to miss a single moment.”

The lyricist wrote the lyrics and played the song on the piano. Interviewed by Performing Songwritershe remembered her meeting with Steven Tyler:

“I remember being at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, sitting at the piano with him, teaching him the song. I had chills running through my body hearing the music come to life through his voice.”

With a powerful and unique voice, Tyler gave the song all its depth. But at first, Joey Kramer, the drummer, was not convinced:

“I knew it was a hit, but I didn't really like the song. I didn't think it fit us. When I first heard it, it was just a demo on one-voice piano, it was quite difficult to imagine being able to add the Aerosmith touch to it and make it something that looked like us, but we did it. playing as a band, from the moment we started playing like a real band, it became an Aerosmith song.”

“I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” became the property of the group and could evoke the father-daughter relationship between the actress and the singer. Especially since at the end of the clip that accompanies the song, Liv Tyler cries while watching the video of her father, Steven Tyler, on the monitor. From Liv Tyler/Ben Affleck, to Liv Tyler/Bruce Willis, to Liv Tyler/Steven Tyler.

A first time for Aerosmith!

Despite the success of the American group and their large number of hits, with this soundtrack they managed to reach the top of the charts in many countries, especially in the United States. “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” is the only Aerosmith track to reach this position in their home country. In France, he settled for eighth place…

It is also the first time that the group has been nominated for an Oscar for best original song. But in 1999, it was the flagship piece of Prince of Egypt, “When You Believe”by Stephen Schwartz, who won the statuette.

Armageddon is rebroadcast this Tuesday June 11 at 9:10 p.m. on TF1.

Armageddon, a film more personal than it seems for Michael Bay


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