Why Are Classic Rock Songs Being Sped Up on TikTok?
For social media users right now, it's no secret that a sped-up version of Aerosmith's "Dream On" has become a viral sensation on TikTok, where the accelerated rock sample often crops up in meme videos.
But it's not the first time a classic radio hit has been sped up to then achieve wide success on the platform, as Classic Rock recently pointed out. Have you heard any others recently? They aren't too hard to find.
One prime example is what's known as the "TikTok Oh No Song," a hugely viral audio sample that's actually from 2005's "Streets Favorite" by the hip-hop artist Capone. It first became a meme in 2020.
But its viral hook of "Oh no / Oh no/ Oh no, no, no, no, no" is taken from the '60s hit "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" by The Shangri-Las, then sped up. Coincidentally, the song was later covered by Aerosmith.
What's Up With Sped-Up Songs on TikTok?
So what's up with the viral trend on TikTok of sped-up classic rock songs? We may never know the full truth, other than it's ultimately entertaining.
Do you hear these sped-up rock songs when you're scrolling through TikTok? If so, do you ever think about the source of the original recording?
On TikTok, "Dream On" initially saw something of a revival last year when a user paired the regular recording of the song with a video game meme wherein a character from God of War: Ragnarok dramatically jumps off a cloudy peak from on high.
But it was reportedly the TikTok user @0wenmcintosh who first posted the sped-up version of "Dream On," which then spread around the app like wildfire. Currently, @0wenmcintosh's clip has 3 million views, and the audio has been used in 50,000 other videos.
Sped-up rock versions aren't limited to the above. Punk group The Cramps made a specifically sped-up version of 1981's "Goo Goo Muck" for Netflix's Wednesday.
Of course, sped-up music was a thing before TikTok, but artists and labels now seem to be embracing this trend, as TikTok’s Global Music Program Manager Clive Rozario has explained. "This is what we've seen in response to the fan demand," he recently said.
Ghost's Viral TikTok Song Gets Slowed Down
Then again, there's also a recent instance where a rock song was slowed down to wide appeal on TikTok. That's the treatment that got wide use with Ghost's "Mary on a Cross," the theatrically heavy band's song that went viral on TikTok in its original form last year.
In that case, the viral popularity from TikTok moved the band to make a music video for the song and officially release the TikTok-spurred version.
A No. 6 hit for Aerosmith in 1976, "Dream On" was the band's breakthrough single. Last year, the Steven Tyler-led band canceled concerts due to Tyler's health.
Listen to all of the original songs below.