Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 10:00 am
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
U.S.: CD | MP3
UK: CD | MP3
Recorded April – August 1986
Released August 18, 1986 (U.S.)
Remember when Bon Jovi was good? Before the “˜90s and “˜00s when they honked up the orangey residue of Bounce, the wretch of Have A Nice Day, and the bile of Crush, Bon Jovi was the rock band to listen to. Their output in the “˜80s was rarely surpassed and many of those tracks still hold up as classic arena rock tunes. Bon Jovi albums from the “˜80s were very good, but Slippery When Wet in particular had King Midas’ shiny fingerprints all over it.
By the end of 1985 Bon Jovi had released two albums. Despite being unremarkable and containing slightly more filler than killer, Bon Jovi and 7800Â° Fahrenheit sold pretty well. On August 18, 1986, Slippery When Wet was released in the U.S. and Bon Jovi’s popularity exploded.
Written almost entirely by lead singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora, it contains songs that Bon Jovi fans still demand to hear live. Tracks that even people who (claim to) hate the band’s music know. “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Livin’ On A Prayer” were co-written by KISS co-writer Desmond Child. It would not be a true Bon Jovi album without a love-song or a tale of a broken heart and Slippery When Wet is no different with the resplendent “Never Say Goodbye.” These were tracks fit for an arena with huge choruses ripe for audience participation. Thanks to Slippery When Wet, in a short space of time Bon Jovi was headlining arenas before 1986 was out.
The album begins with “Let It Rock” which starts with a held grunt by Sambora’s guitar, laying room for David Bryan‘s chilling carnival organ boogie. The song quickly builds to a chorus chant of “˜let it rock, let it roll’ and the album agrees to do so.
What should not be underestimated is the partnership between drummer Tico Torres and bassist Alec John Such. This is one truly great rhythm section that just will not quit. Torres is rarely flashy and keeps the power and precision throughout the album ticking over. Similarly, Such keeps the tune ticking over, allowing Sambora to wail to his heart’s content. (It is no coincidence that after Such left following the Keep The Faith album, things started to slide for the band.)
According to lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, one of the working titles for the album was “Guns N’ Roses.” Being at the time a self-confessed useless “˜A&R guy’, JBJ probably thought a name like that would never befit something popular in the world of rock.
The original boobilicious cover was deemed too saucy — a pert young lady whose tiny t-shirt emblazoned with the album title is fit to burst — and so it was changed to the far less sexy and far more condensationy cover you see above.
Slippery When Wet is the album that made Bon Jovi into the huge band it continues to be today. It continues to spark interest in fans old and new and its songs create defining moments at the band’s live shows. It was one of the first albums I ever listened to and one I will never get tired of hearing.
1 – Let It Rock
2 – You Give Love A Bad Name
3 – Livin’ On A Prayer
4 – Social Disease
5 – Wanted Dead Or Alive
6 – Raise Your Hands
7 – Without Love
8 – I’d Die For You
9 – Never Say Goodbye
10 – Wild In The Streets