With a career now spanning nearly a half-a-century, complete with its its fair share of victories, defeats, and improbable comebacks, Aerosmith have undoubtedly staked their claim as perhaps America’s greatest hard rock band.

Formed in Boston in the early 1970s by charismatic frontman Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer, Aerosmith were amazingly dismissed by critics as either Rolling Stones or New York Dolls clones early on in their career.

But the quintet quickly proved these haters wrong with a string of classic albums that soon transformed them into arena-headlining superstars in the ‘70s, who went on to influence a whole new generation of hair metal bands in the ‘80s – most notably Guns n’ Roses.

Of course, by then, Aerosmith had nearly self-destructed due to rampant drug abuse and a brief splintering of their eternal fivesome, only to bounce back and compete toe-to-toe with their glam metal acolytes, few of whom went on to enjoy as much success as Tyler, Perry and company did throughout the 1990s.

Aerosmith’s recording and touring schedule would finally slow down in the third millennium (though not before they scored their first No. 1 single with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” from the Armageddon movie soundtrack), and increasing dissention within their ranks (including Steven Tyler’s recent solo career) suggests the end may well be near.

But you should never bet against the notorious “Toxic Twins,” and neither will we, as evidenced by the gallery above of Aerosmith studio albums ranked from weakest to strongest.

DMC Tells the Real Story of Aerosmith / Run D.M.C. 'Walk This Way' Collaboration