The song reached No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 38 in the United Kingdom, and No. 19 in Latvia. It also topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for four weeks.
The band re-released the song in the United Kingdom in 1999. The re-released version did much better, reaching No. 13.
The song is highlighted by a harmonica performance by Steven Tyler at the beginning, as well as a strong bass rhythm throughout the song, and a mix of acoustic guitars and jangling electric guitars throughout the verses.
Many of the lines in the verses start with the word "pink" (e.g. "Pink it's my new obsession ", "Pink it's not even a question", "Pink on the lips of your lover"). The song is also highly suggestive, in that the origin of the fascination with pink stems from the admiration of a woman's reproductive organs, particularly the inner side of the outer lips – the "pink in the middle" – and also the man's penis – "I wanna wrap you in rubber" and "my favorite crayon".
The music video for the song used CGI to morph characters' faces to other bodies. A variety of random characters mixed in with band members moving towards the camera, morphing into different characters in the process (e.g., Joe Perry as a centaur, Brad Whitford as a little boy, Steven Tyler as a skeleton, and a boy dressed as the Easter Bunny). It was directed by Doug Nichol.
The video starts with Tyler playing the harmonica, followed by Perry cleaning his face thinking he's using a mirror, Whitford putting his sunglasses on, dressing as a race car driver, Tom Hamilton shows his closeup and Joey Kramer walking forward until the viewer sees a closeup of him. Tyler sings the first verse, morphed as a boy dressed as the Easter Bunny. While he is singing the first verse, random people appear: a woman dressed as a biker, a woman dressed in a blue jumpsuit begins to unzip her jumpsuit, a shirtless man wearing red parachute pants dancing, an elderly woman showing her flexible strength and an elderly woman dancing randomly.
As the song reaches its end of the first verse, Tyler is now morphed in a woman's body interspersed by a female ballroom dancer, a shaved-head woman wearing a lock around her neck followed by Tyler morphed as a tattooed lady, followed by the ballroom dancer smiling, a marilynesque woman walking for no reason, a black-wearing lady. Tyler appears unmorphed in the beginning of the chorus followed by a strongman's chest testing the strength, a blonde-haired woman wearing a 1940s style clothes and sporting plaits (possibly representing Pippi Longstocking).
Perry plays the guitar, wearing a white suit, followed by a sumo wrestler walking. Tyler later morphs into a golden-covered skeleton wearing a top hat, followed by a trance dancer, a female dancer dancing until the viewer sees a closeup of the black-wearing lady, followed by the trance dancer. A dwarf walks later followed by a gothic man, an Aborigine and a beauty pageant queen with some parts of her mascara running down her face. The dwarf walks out and a couple wearing 1950s-style black and white clothing have their dance followed by Hamilton morphed as the sumo wrestler.
The song begins its second verse, as a woman wearing just underwear dancing, followed by Tyler morphed as a bodybuilder, with the underwear-wearing woman dancing and a tattooed woman sporting turquoise hair (possibly Julia Gnuse) walking. Then, a shirtless young man dances randomly followed by a shirtless man holding the dwarf and the strongman walking. Later, a naked woman painted blue and green does a pirouette (In the censored version, she is only shown in from the waist down).
The chorus resumes, with a man donning a large beard (inspired by ZZ Top) walking. Perry now wearing a black suit inspired by his early years with Aerosmith playing the guitar. Then Hamilton morphed as the flexible woman stands up singing his backing vocals, a cape-wearing man appears dancing and a set of female twins dance. Whitford (morphed as an older woman wearing black on the top and white in the bottom) sings his backing vocals, followed by Hamilton and then a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty does a pirouette with Kramer (morphed as a dog wiggling his tongue) expresses himself with her.
Then as the bridge begins, the parachute pants-wearing runs, followed by the jumpsuit-wearing woman. Perry, now morphed as a centaur does a guitar solo interspersed by the tattooed woman and the Aborigine running, followed by the black-wearing woman and the trance dancer. When Tyler ends the bridge, the people stop walking.
As the song reaches the climax, Tyler sings followed by a closeup of the ballroom dancer licking her lips. Then the female biker sings, followed by the tattooed woman. Later the underwear woman sings, followed by the trance dancer. Then Kramer morphed as a topless woman covering the breasts (replaced by a bikini in the censored version) sings his backing vocals, followed by Whitford morphed as the parachute pants-wearing. The gothic man morphed as Perry plays the guitar. Then a belly dancer dances and Tyler walks singing his vocals with Perry's backing vocals. (In the censored version, after the belly dancer finished dancing, Tyler and Perry, now morphed as a two headed Perry sings) L
Later the jumpsuit wearing woman exposes her breast which Tyler becomes stunned which the woman covers it. (In the censored version, the scene is shortened by two seconds) Hamilton morphed as the 1940s-style woman sings his last vocals, followed by Kramer morphed as the cape-wearing man and Whitford morphed as a young boy. Then the random people show their close-up. As the song finishes, Tyler shows his close-up by making a funny face, smiles and bows out as the video finishes.
Two versions of the music video exist. There are noticeable differences in each version. In the uncensored version, for example, there is a woman dressed in a blue jumpsuit walking towards the camera. For a brief second, the top, unzipped portion of the jumpsuit is pulled away, revealing her right breast. There is another instance where a woman's breasts are briefly fully revealed when a woman, painted blue and green, does a pirouette.
The uncensored version caused minor controversy and MTV asked Nichol to censor the video for daytime airings. As a result, the edited version censored the pirouette scene. The clean version also shows Tyler and Perry presented as a two-headed man and only the coverup portion of the breast reveal scene (above) is present.
The 1997 release cover art had the Aerosmith logo drawn as if it were by a child, in a pink background. In the 1999 re-release, the cover art features the Aerosmith logo and eight stills from the music video.
The song is a fan favorite and a live gem, and remains one of the only songs from Nine Lives consistently played on Aerosmith tours to this day, along with "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)".
A different version of the song, The South Beach Re-Mix, was included on the career-spanning compilation O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits.
Japanese edition of the "Pink" single from 'Nine Lives' features six tracks: three mixes of "Pink" (Album Version, The South Beach Mix & Live from the Howard Stern Radio Show), plus live versions of "Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)" & "Walk This Way" recorded in March 1997. As well, there is a techno remix of "Falling in Love (Is Hard On The Knees)" titled Moby Fucked Remix.
It is a bonus playable song in the video game Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, and the only track of Nine Lives present in the game. In the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of this game, the word "high" (in "Pink gets me high as a kite") is removed.
The song won the band their fourth and most recent Grammy award in 1999 for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Additionally, the video won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 1998.