Bon Jovi is an American rock band that has managed to stay relevant in every decade since the 1980s. They have been nominated for or won awards in the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, Echo Awards, Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and the World Music Awards.
The band’s original lineup featured Jon Bon Jovi on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Richie Sambora on lead guitar and backing vocals, Alec John Such on bass guitar and backing vocals, Tico Torres on drums and percussion, and David Bryan on keyboards and backing vocals. Hugh McDonald replaced Such in 1994. Phil X replaced Sambora in 2013.
Narrowing down Bon Jovi’s best works to a list of just 10 was a challenge. There are anthems that will get you on your feet, and lyrics that will make you think. See if your favorite Bon Jovi songs made the Top 10 list.
10) Born to Be My Baby (from the Bon Jovi album New Jersey) – The second single from the Bon Jovi album New Jersey, Born to Be My Baby was released in November 1988. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child. It was the second of five singles to chart in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100, peaking at number 3. The song is also featured on the Bon Jovi’s 2010 Greatest Hits album.
9) Ugly (from the Jon Bon Jovi album Destination Anywhere) – The final single from Jon Bon Jovi’s second solo album, Ugly charted on the Swiss Singles Chart and the Austrian Singles Chart. The song was written by Bon Jovi. A music video is available on the DVD Destination Anywhere: The Film.
8) It’s My Life (from the Bon Jovi album Crush) – The lead singled off Bon Jovi’s seventh studio album Crush, It’s My Life was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Max Martin. The song was a Number 1 hit is Austria, Flanders, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Switzerland. It peaked at Number 33 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. You have to love the lyrical shout out to Frankie – the immortal Frank Sinatra.
7) Living on a Prayer (from the album Slippery When Wet) – Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and hit maker Desmond Child, Living on a Prayer was the second single off the band’s third album, Slippery When Wet. The song was popular on both rock and pop stations, as well as MTV. The song gave the band their first Number 1 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart and their second Number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the top selection in fan-voted lists of the band’s most popular songs.
6) Santa Fe (from the Jon Bon Jovi album Blaze of Glory) – Movie star Emilio Estevez asked Jon Bon Jovi to use his song Wanted Dead or Alive as the theme song for the film Young Guns II. Instead, Jon wrote a complete soundtrack to the movie including a brand-new theme song (Blaze of Glory). One of the songs on that album is Santa Fe which features the best keyboard riff in modern music history. The lyrics also quoted in the 1998 book About a Boy by acclaimed author Nick Hornby.
5) Blaze of Glory (from the Jon Bon Jovi album Blaze of Glory) – The title track to Jon Bon Jovi’s first solo album, Blaze of Glory is a rock anthem that electrified the film Young Guns II. Jon originally wrote the song Blaze of Glory while in New Mexico talking to Emilio Estevez and John Fusco about the film sequel. After Jon played the song on an acoustic guitar for the producers, it was named the theme song of the film. The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Mainstream Rock Charts.
4) Wanted Dead or Alive (from the Bon Jovi album Slippery When Wet) – From the 1986 album Slippery When Wet, Wanted Dead or Alive was the third single released. Written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, the song was inspired by Pete Seger’s Turn the Page. The rock anthem peaked at Number 7 on Billboard Hot 100 and Number 13 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. It is the theme song of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch television program.
3) Runaway (from the Bon Jovi album Bon Jovi) – Jon Bon Jovi wrote and recorded Runaway in 1982 using session musicians. Local radio station WAPP 103.5 FM “The Apple” held a contest to find the best unsigned band. Runaway won the best song contest and became a radio hit. It was the first single off Bon Jovi’s self-titled debut album. In 2010 the song was made available on the video game Rock Band 3. It has also been featured in a MasterCard ad, in the Netflix series Stranger Things, in the Transformers film Bumblebee, and in the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
2) These Days (from the Bon Jovi album These Days) – These Days is the title track to Bon Jovi’s 1995 album of the same name. Produced by Peter Collins, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora, the album is considerably darker than prior works. The song was released as the fourth single off the album. The song features a brilliant piano intro by David Bryan. The lyrics deal with homelessness and the loss of innocence. It features the lyrics “Mama I had to try. Don’t you know all my heroes died and I guess I’d rather die than fade away” – which resonate with my soul.
1) Story of My Life (from the Bon Jovi album Have a Nice Day) – Featuring another brilliant piano intro from David Bryan, Story of My Life is featured on Bon Jovi’s ninth studio album Have a Nice Day. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Falcon. The song, like the album, was produced by John Shanks, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora. Again, this is a deeply personal song in which I relate to the lyrics: “I’m gonna write the melody, that’s gonna make history. And when I paint my masterpiece, I swear I’ll show you first.” I don’t know if I’ll ever create a masterpiece, but when I listen to this song I feel like I can. God knows I try.
Peace. Love. Trust.
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