In 1984, Bon Jovi
blew onto the music scene like a hurricane. They consisted of Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres, and Alec John Such, who was dismissed from the band in 1994. Twenty-two years later, they are as hot as ever. Just picking the top 10 songs was a challenge.
Bon Jovi, as a group, has released 12 albums: Bon Jovi, 7800Ã?Â° Fahrenheit, Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Keep the Faith, Cross Road, These Days, Crush, One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001, Bounce, This Left Feels Right, and Have a Nice Day. Ordinarily, I would start with their first or second album, but as good as they were, I think the really strong songs started coming through on Slippery When Wet.
In 1986, “You Give Love a Bad Name” was the first single I remember hearing from Slippery When Wet. It was a true rock song. Strong guitar, strong vocals, and all about a love gone bad. You can’t get much more rock and roll than that.
Also from Slippery came “Living on a Prayer”. This song was all about a young couple, Tommy and Gina, and how tough it is just starting out. “Living on a Prayer” has also been released in later years as an accoustic. Tommy and Gina have also been referenced in other songs, and any Bon Jovi fan knows just who they are and in what song they were introduced.
Again, from the Slippery album, came “Never Say Goodbye”. It is a strong ballad, about first love and days gone by. A nostalgic song, you can’t help but kind of miss some of your teenage years when you hear it.
In 1988 came New Jersey. Again, came a strong rock song for the first single. “Bad Medicine” had great vocals, and every instrument they use was highlighted. It is all about a woman who is no good for the man, but that is what he wants and needs.
Also from New Jersey came “I’ll Be There for You”. Best described as a “power ballad”, “I’ll Be There for You” is all about a woman leaving because the man she loves gave her everything, but himself. He tried to buy her, he lavished her with things, but he was never there when she needed him and he is promising he will be if she will stay.
In 1992, my favorite Bon Jovi album, Keep the Faith was released. It was an awesome album and “Keep the Faith” was an awesome first single. It has great music, great lyrics. It is a song letting people know that no matter what you are going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It tells you not to give up. It has a great message.
Another song from Keep the Faith with a great message is “I Believe”. Simply put, it tells the listener than they can accomplish anything if they set their minds to it. It says not to listen to people who would bring you down, but to do what YOU think is right.
Also from Keep the Faith is “In These Arms”. Kind of a cross between a ballad and a rock song, it tells of a man missing a woman who is gone, and telling her what he would do to have her back there with him. Any woman would love to hear those words.
“It’s My Life” comes from Crush that was released in 2000. It is one of the most successful Bon Jovi songs ever. It is a really strong rock song. Great music, great lyrics, and it just feels good to sing along to it. It says, simply, to make the most of your life. You only get one chance!
My new favorite is “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” from Have a Nice Day., which was released in 2005. It has been recorded with and without Jennifer Nettles of the country band Sugarland. It is simply a song about being proud of where you came from, and loving that place. The version with Jennifer Nettles also won a CMT award in 2006 for Best Collaborative Video.
And there you have my picks for the top 10 songs by Bon Jovi. For 22 years I have been a fan and I am looking forward to 22 more.