Bon Jovi's 5 best songs!
For more than three decades American band Bon Jovi has been one of the biggest names of the world rock scene! Since the beginning of their creative activity and till today this famous band has given more than three thousand concerts in 50 countries of the world, playing their amazing, and most importantly - filled with a special life philosophy - for more than 35 million listeners! And should we talk about the success of their albums, each of which is a rock masterpiece? Such works of the band as Slippery When Wet and Cross Road, or The Best Of Bon Jovi are among the 100 best-selling albums of all time. And hits like "Livin' on a Prayer" and "It's My Life" have contributed to that. Today we take a look back at five of Bon Jovi's most distinctive songs that will probably be played forever!
Jon Bon Jovi: "Songs like 'It's My Life' or 'Livin' on a Prayer' have one, but very beautiful trait: they are close to each of us - even if the listener doesn't understand their language at all...".
The driving track "Runaway" was the first single to be released by the now fully formed Bon Jovi band.
The single was released in 1983, but a demo tape was made by Jon Bon Jovi a year earlier. Just in those times - in 1982, just John Bon Jovi was working for his cousin Tony Bon Jovi in his New York studio Power Station. After listening to his brother's recordings, Tony thought it would be a good idea to record "Runaway" with professional studio musicians. So, the following musicians took part in the process of creating the famous track: Tim Pearce - guitar, Roy Bittan - keyboards, Frankie Laroca - drums, Hugh MacDonald - bass guitar, and Dave Sabo - a close friend of Bongiovi, who played guitar parts.
When the work was ready, Ray Willard, the assistant sound engineer at the studio, gave the track to the DJ at WAPP, a station that was famous for promoting local, little-known musicians who had no label contracts. As a result, "Runaway" was so well liked by listeners that it became the number one New York song at the contest and was included in the station's promoted compilation.
For more than two decades, this track was the only single from the band's first two albums, and its performance became a permanent tradition at every concert. However, after the blinding success of Bon Jovi, the guys started to perform this song less often at their live shows. However, the musicians have repeatedly admitted that "Runaway" is their favourite song, which became a new starting point... And they are sincerely proud of their work.
"Bed of Roses"
Jon Bon Jovi composed this amazing piece while in a hotel room of a Los Angeles hotel in a state of severe hangover. To write the composition, the musician asked to drag into his room... A wedding piano! Insanely beautiful and melodic, containing drawn-out guitar riffs and soft piano playing, as well as the singer's high emotional vocals, "Bed of Roses" was a very personal song for John, reflecting the many problems surrounding the musician at the time...
In the words "...While my mistress is calling me to be the centre of her attention again..." - by "mistress" John means the music industry and the live stage. The musician refers to the media as the "spotlight". He calls music his "mistress" insinuating that it is something very exciting to him, but perhaps not helpful.
The aforementioned lyric was inspired by watching the film The Doors. Bon Jovi later explained:
"It's a remarkable film... When I woke up the day after seeing it, I thought about its impact for a very long time. There was a special philosophy emanating from it."
As a result, the romantic ballad became a resounding hit all over the world. With it, the band showed the public a completely new, more mature sound, incomparable to the early 80s.
"You Give Love a Bad Name"
This single was the lead single from Bon Jovi's most commercially successful album Slippery When Wet. But it went far beyond that. "You Give Love a Bad Name" became the first strong hit in Bon Jovi's history! Almost immediately after its release, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming a number one hit in the United States!
Curiously enough, the track might not have made it into Bon Jovi's songbook at all. It was originally intended for another band - Loverboy. However, after recording the demo version, the guys came to a unanimous decision to keep the hit for themselves. And rightly so!
Derek Shulman and Polygram Records, with whom the guys were signed at the time, decided to engage Desmond Child to write songs for the new album. The choice was obvious, as Shulman knew that the key to the band's success would be powerful choruses, and Child was an incomparable master of them. "You Give Love a Bad Name" was written on the very first day. A few weeks later, Child, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora created "Livin' on a Prayer".
Desmond Child later recalled:
"It was a magical collaboration, the spark between us ran right away!"
"You Give Love a Bad Name" was released in July 1986, as a standalone single. The track was a precursor to the killer album, which was released exactly one month later.
"Livin' On a Prayer"
Having conquered the world charts with the song "You Give Love a Bad Name", the band continued their triumphant march to the top of fame. Livin' On a Prayer" was the next killer track to hit the planet.
The composition unfolds before us the story of a working-class couple in love, who long for, but cannot get a coveted place under the sun... The romantic, and most importantly, very close to many people, song immediately captivated young Americans, because most of them personally faced similar problems... Jon Bon Jovi, who had first-hand knowledge of money difficulties, performed "Livin' On a Prayer" as sincerely and heartfelt as possible, which was appreciated by the audience. Here is what the authors of the hit, Desmond Child, later shared:
"I think for each of us there's something autobiographical in this song... For John, it's his relationship with Dorothy, who they've been dating since they were in high school. For me, it's my relationship. I was dating the girl I started my first band with, Desmond Child & Rouge. Her name was Maria Vidal. I remember sitting at home 24 hours a day writing songs, and she was working as a waitress in a place called Once Upon a Stove...".
"I think this song is the most interesting one, if only because it was the first time we used specific characters. And it came out very sincere... All that surrounded us at that time was constant travelling and women. So I guess those things were the main theme for our songs. But we decided to try to create something unique, social, and we introduced two characters - Tommy and Gina. They're basically a young working couple who can barely make ends meet. Just like my parents... Back then this song could have been about anyone, Tommy and Gina could have been the embodiment of almost every person in the world. All couples, without exception, overcome various difficulties in life, and often with great difficulty. But it can't be helped, we all have to struggle. That's why this song was very uplifting".
Curiously, the characters of "Livin' On a Prayer" - Tommy and Gina - are also mentioned in the band's next hit...
"It's My Life"
At the beginning of the noughties, the already cult band Bon Jovi released their seventh studio album under the name Crush. And with this release, the members finally broke the five-year pause after the release of These Days (1995). The lead single is the acclaimed and much-loved song "It's My Life". The track skyrocketed to the top of the world's top charts and became a real anthem for the American band's multimillion fans!
Richie Sambora on the song:
"THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST INSPIRING AND UPLIFTING SONGS. I LEARNT AN INTERESTING THING ABOUT IT NOT SO LONG AGO: IT IS EQUALLY LIKED BY GIRLS AND GUYS, YOUNG AND OLD, FROM SCHOOL AGE TO OLD AGE. EVERYONE LOVES IT AND UNDERSTANDS THE ESSENCE OF IT, FEELS GOOD WHEN LISTENING TO IT... IT'S GREAT THAT ONE SONG CAN FIND A PLACE IN EVERYONE'S HEART...".
This track gave fans of Bon Jovi's work a new encounter with Tommy and Gina, the characters from "Livin' On a Prayer".
"I thought I was writing about myself, about my life and the place I occupy in it. And I was very surprised when I realised that every person perceives the phrase "This is my life" as if the song is completely about their destiny! It's amazing, but everyone - teenagers, old people, schoolchildren and mechanics - all feel a reflection of themselves in it. "This is my life, I'm in control of it" - we all feel that way at times...," Bon Jovi shared.
Upon its release, "It's My Life" was voted Best Song of the Year.