Living On A Prayer (1986) - Bon Jovi-All About the Song

    “And this Tommy and Gina can be anyone! Everyone goes through difficult life stages, but only faith in each other can lead you to the desired result ... "

    The story of one song - "Living On A Prayer" from the legendary Bon Jovi

    "Living On A Prayer" is a legendary hit by Bon Jovi from their third album, Slippery When Wet! The authors of the song are considered to be three friends: Jon Bon Jovi himself, guitarist Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child. "Living On A Prayer" was released as a single in 1986: the track instantly captivated the audience of listeners - moreover, of various ages and musical preferences! It was a big hit on both pop and rock radio, and the music video for it was heavily played on MTV! Even decades later, this composition does not stop getting into various world charts and ratings of the best songs ... What is the secret of the success of the hit of the 80s? Let's find out!

    Background and background

    Bonjovi group. Photo: Koh Hasebe
    Bonjovi group. Photo: Koh Hasebe

    The most interesting and at the same time sad thing is that this hit could never have happened! The original version of this song (which today can be found on the 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong compilation) was rejected by Bon Jovi... However, Richie Sambora saved the day by convincing the bandleader that it was a great recording that just needed a bit of reworking. And they, fortunately, reworked it!

    The history of the famous hit originates in the New York apartment of Child, a famous American musician, songwriter and producer: it was there that Sambora, Bon Jovi and guest Desmond Child composed an insightful story about Tommy and Gina, which did not leave any listener indifferent ... Later, Child will say:

    “Each of us made this song autobiographical in our own way ... For me, it’s about me and Maria Vidal, my first girlfriend, with whom we founded Desmond Child & Rouge: I remember how I sat at home all day long and composed songs, and she worked as a waitress, so that we could live for ... For John, the song personifies his relationship with Dorothy, which began in school ... "

    The lyrical meaning of the composition ...

    Bon Jovi group
    Bon Jovi group

    "Living On A Prayer" tells the touching story of a couple in love - Tommy and Gina: both from the working class, both dream of a better life ... But, as is often the case in real life, our heroes are forced to somehow make ends meet ... Song becomes even more insightful, given that her plot is inspired by real events ... It is noteworthy, but Gina was inspired by Child's first girlfriend: the heroine of the song got her name because of Maria's resemblance to the Italian actress and photographer Gina Lollobrigida.

    “This song tells the story of Tommy and Gina, two teenagers who face life's adversity, but never stop believing in a brighter future... Their great love and ambition helps them get through it all. And these characters really personify real people, as well as their destinies, based on real events ... ”Bon Jovi notes. The Bon Jovi leader also added that the song was written during the Reagan era... The video for "Living On A Prayer" was filmed in California at the Grand Olympic Auditorium. At the end of the song, Bon Jovi literally soars above the crowd ...

    This song became an instant hit. It remains so to this day… Moreover, “Living On A Prayer” is loved by everyone: children and old people, women and men… But what is the secret of success? One of the songwriters, Richie Sambora, shares his insights:

    “I think it’s all about the message, meaning, plot that is close to each person ... This is a very sincere song, and what it sings about is familiar to a lot of people ... This is our first song in which we used real characters ... Tommy and Gina they remind me of my parents: they were also hard workers, and sometimes we hardly had enough money ... And everyone can be these Tommy and Gina! Everyone goes through difficult life stages, but only faith in each other can lead you to the desired result ... "

    Richie Sambora
    Richie Sambora

    Release and worldwide success!

    "Living On A Prayer" was released as a single at the end of 1986: the track instantly attracted the attention of the general public, and very soon became the leader of seven countries! Subsequently, the song about Tommy and Gina became an integral part of Bon Jovi's live performances. Already in the new century, this hit has entered many prestigious lists, such as VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s" or All Time's "Greatest Rock Hits". Later, "Living On A Prayer" became available for download: for example, as of November 2014, almost 3.5 million digital copies were sold in the United States alone ... And this after so many years from the date of release ... Today, "Living On A Prayer is often cited as one of the key tracks in music history.

    Interesting facts

    Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi
    Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi
    • "Living On A Prayer" is not the only song with Tommy and Gina! So beloved by many heroes will appear in "It's My Life" in 2000 ...
    • After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bon Jovi performed an acoustic version of "Living On A Prayer", and a year later the famous composition was performed at the closing of the Olympic Games.
    • In the fall of 2013, the hit of the 80s again conquered the Billboard Hot 100: the inspiring track confidently reached the 25th line of the chart ...

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