Being raised by a mother who lived through the 80s has its effects on you. My mother has imparted a lot of wisdom on me through the years. She has taught me how to quote “An Officer and a Gentleman” (her favorite movie) and taught me about the wonderful world of 80s hair metal. My mother’s favorite band is Bon Jovi. I know, they are dorky and rock critics hate them. I can’t hate the band that I was raised on, though. Once you fall in love with Jon, Richie, Tico, and David you don’t go back. So, you can about imagine how excited my mom and I were last week when the boys announced a new album and world tour in 2013. In celebration of new material I thought I would compile a list of amazing Bon Jovi songs that people don’t know. You won’t find “Livin’ On a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” here.
Album- Bon Jovi
I’m going all the way back to the first album for this one. It’s a typical song about a toxic rock n’ roll relationship he needs to breakout of. There’s lots of loud 80s drums and high pitched guitar screeches, which means it’s hair metal gold.
“This Ain’t a Love Song”
Album- These Days
It was a single off the “These Days” album, but I don’t think that many people remember it. It has very clever wording, because this song is definitely not a love song.
“Two Story Town”
“Crush” is known as the album that gave us “It’s My Life,” but there a lot of hidden gems on this album that have been overlooked. This is a good example of one. Jon Bon sings “It’s just the same old sites and the same old sounds. I’m going to take my car and drive out of this two story town.” This song pretty much sums up my high school years.
“If I was Your Mother”
Album- Keep The Faith
This song is creepy. Actually really creepy. It’s about being able to spend time with a girl if you were her mother (awkward). It has a killer chorus, though. The guitar solos are a lot more aggressive than other Bon Jovi songs. Most of their songs are happy, but they really show off their dark side in this one. Take that critics.
“Whole Lot of Leavin'”
Album- Lost Highway
Oh, the country album. When I was a sophomore in high school (scary that this album came out that long ago or that I’m that old) a friend and I were discussing “Lost Highway” when my English teacher came into the conversation and told us that this is not a country album. It sounds the same as all their other stuff. Well, Erl you are right. It’s not that country, but this song is a good example of how Bon Jovi meets country and pop in the middle.
“Blood On Blood”
Album- New Jersey
This song tells the story of Jon and some of his childhood friends promising to be brothers forever and how they eventually lost track of each other. A classic Tommy and Gina story telling method. There’s also a lot of 80s keyboard in this one.
“Let It Rock”
Album- Slippery When Wet
The opening epic to Bon Jovi’s hit “Slippery When Wet” has a lot of stadium style keyboard sounds and chanting. It’s one of those songs that summarizes what hair metal was all about in 1986.
Album- Slippery When Wet
This song is actually one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs. Aside from the weird sex noises in the beginning it’s a clever commentary on love. “You can’t hide when infections starts because love is a social disease.” I think that notion can still be applied today.
Album- The Circle
Their last album “The Circle” had a lot of observations on what’s happening to our society. Pulling yourself out of a bad situation is one of the bands favorite things to write about and this is a good example of it. It has some great violin solos, too.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Ok, technically they didn’t write this one, so let’s take a moment to that Paul Simon. Jon and Richie did a beautiful cover of it that seriously brings me to tears every time I hear it. Check it out.