I still remember the day when I was 3 years old. My parents were having work done at our house and the workers had music playing as they worked. The words shook me and stuck in my head to this day. “Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, darling you give love a bad name!” Bon Jovi- Slippery When Wet is that album for me. Looking back on that record, it still holds its own amongst the great albums of that era. Slippery is one of the quintessential albums of the 80’s and of all time selling an astounding 28 million copies worldwide and counting. Some of the most memorable songs in rock music come from that album; “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “You Give Love A Bad Name,” and of course the anthem “Livin’ On A Prayer.” There is way more to the album than just those hits.
The first track which kicks it all off, “Let It Rock” is a statement that the boys from Jersey are here to take names and rock your ears to the core. “You Give Love A Bad Name” continues the excitement. I still remember seeing the video on MTV (when MTV actually played music videos), thinking to myself wow this is great. “Livin’ On A Prayer” is probably the most popular song and more that likely can be found on 4 out of 5 people’s ipods in this day and age. Track 4 “Social Disease” is full of tongue in cheek lyrics probably written about one of the bands many trips to the strip clubs in Vancouver (where they recorded the album), yet it’s got a great riff and drum beat (compliments to Tico Torres) to rock to. The next track begins in epic fashion and has such a great ambience to it provided by David Bryan’s keyboard playing. “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” the best “power ballad” (in my opinion at least) rips and roars like there is no tomorrow. The lyrical content is heartfelt and honest. The guitar playing is sultry and bombastic. There is nothing about this song that doesn’t rock. “Raise Your Hands” steps it up a notch after slowing it down for a bit. This song has all the elements of 80’s metal at it’s best. “Without Love” is a more upbeat ballad that tells a great love story. “I’d Die For You” is signature Bon Jovi. “Never Say Goodbye” is another very personal journal entry from Jon. Though this song isn’t a sappy love song, instead it’s one that reminisces of great times and the hope of more to come. The closing track “Wild In The Streets” ends the album where it began, rocking your face off!!
Bon Jovi has been rocking audiences the world over continuously for close to 30 years. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide and rocked all those faces. Their last album “The Circle” debuted at number 1 on the billboard charts when it was released in 2009. Not only that but they are one of the top concert draws in the world to this day. They were my first concert ever back in 1989 when they were on the “New Jersey” tour when Skid Row (yes that Skid Row) opened up for them, along with the late great Sam Kinison as the MC of the evening.
Thanks to Bon Jovi for getting me into music and helping me to discover all the other great bands the world has to offer! And a special thank you to my parents for taking me music shopping when I was a young lad!