Top 10 Bon Jovi Songs

Bon Jovi Songs

Photo: By Rosana Prada (originally posted to Flickr as Bon Jovi) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bon Jovi was one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. The 1980s have often been referred to as the Big ’80s, or more specifically the big hair band ’80s. Although Bon Jovi fully participated in the big hair band aspect of the 1980s, their music presented rock and roll fans with far more substance and artistic merit than most of the other bands they were foolishly labeled with. The multi-octave voice of Jon Bon Jovi the slick guitar work of Richie Sambora, the layered 80’s midi keyboard sound of David Bryan, the great drum groove work of Tico Torres and the blistering bass lines of Alec John Such created a sound that millions of fans fell in love with. Here are ten Bon Jovi Songs that we feel represent the best material the band ever recorded.

# 10 – We Got It Goin’ On (Lost Highway)

With a little funk country flair, Bon Jovi’s “We Got It Goin’ On,” opens the Top 10 Bon Jovi Songs list. The song was released on the band’s 2007 Lost Highway album. The record was released on the Island Nashville label. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora Kenny Alphin and John Rich. There were four singles released from the album. The song “We Got it Going On,” was never released as a single. We think they made a mistake not releasing “We Got it Going On,” as a single because it’s the best Bon Jovi song on the album.

# 9 – Because We Can

Bon Jovi’s twelfth album was released in 2013. The albums first single “Because We Can,”  was a welcome addition to the band’s catalog. Forget the critics that knocked the song, they have no idea what it takes to craft music that shows artistic growth and yet still maintains the elements of a band that has attracted millions of fans over a thirty-year career. The song was a showcase for all that has made Bon Jovi one of the most enjoyable and fun bands in rock and roll. Uplifting melodies, superior musicianship, personal identifiable lyrics, and a modern groove that just fell in place made this a sure-fire bet to make the top 10.

# 8 – It’s My Life

How could you know love this song? As an ode to the old Animals song title, Bon Jovi’s “It’s My life,” breathes the spirit of rock and roll rebellion. In these days of hip hop and rap taking all the credit for their seditious nature, it great to still have bands like Bon Jovi to show where it all began.

# 7 – Never Say Goodbye

The first three  songs on this Top 10 Bon Jovi Songs list all hailed from Bon Jovi’s later career years in the 2000’s. However the remainder of the list will be defined by the music of Bon Jovi’s initial run. The 1980s’ were the time period when Bon Jovi could do no wrong. The band fit perfectly in with the times and were a distinct representation of the 80’s culture.  Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye,” had that 80′ teen soundtrack feel. The weeping ballad, the full blown production, and broken hearted lyrics. The song could have fit easily on the soundtrack to any of those fun 80’s rat pack films.

# 6 – Wanted Dead or Alive

Well, speaking of soundtracks. Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” was released on the Slippery When Wet album in 1987. Although the song was not written for a specific film, Bon Jovi has been quoted as saying the song was inspired by the heroes and villains of the Wild West he and his fellow band mates grew up watching in 1960s and 70s western movies.  Nonetheless, “Wanted Dead or Alive,” has appeared on many movie soundtracks including Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, and Wild Hogs. It was also featured in an episode of The Sopranos. The song’s distinctive guitar licks and production stood out from the rest of the Bon Jovi catalog at the time.

# 5 – Bad Medicine

“Bad Medicine becomes the first of the Bon Jovi anthems that so many fans grew up listening to as part of the soundtrack to their lives. The song first appeared on the band’s 1988 album, New Jersey. It was the lead-off single on the album. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and legendary 80’s songwriter Desmond Child, who has probably penned more pop-rock hits in the past thirty years than any other top 40 songwriters. The opening of the video featured the late great Sam Kinison in a cameo.

# 4 – Runaway

Bon Jovi first hit opened with a keyboard introduction that defined the early 80’s rock sound. However, once the impact of Sambora’s guitar hit the tape, it wouldn’t be long until the sound of Bon Jovi’s voice convinced listeners that this band was something special. Their debut album was released in January of 1984. Bon Jovi’s “Runaway,” would become the band’s first single of their career.

# 3 – I’d Die For You

David Bryan’s keyboard work played a big role on the Slippery When Wet album. On the song” I’d Die For You,” Bryan’s piano playing and keyboard work ignites the intro and first verse. Bryan’s keyboard skills set up a killer chorus that echoed the stylistic minor key romantic sound behind some of Bon Jovi’s best work. It was a style that seemed heavily influenced by the music of Bruce Springsteen. Yet it was masked by Bon Jovi’s tenor and Richie Sambora’s 80’s metal guitar solos. The bleeding heart romanticism and passionate vocals of Jon Bon Jovi made “I’d Die for You” one of the most heartfelt Bon Jovi songs in the band’s fabulous catalog.

# 2 – Always

The 1980s’ were the decade of the power ballad. However, Bon Jovi’s epic powerhouse ballad “Always,” was not released until the year 1994. The song was issued on the Crossroads album. It was released as a single and had tremendous success on music radio and sales charts. The song charted as high as No. 4 on the Billboard Top 100 music charts. It sold over one million copies in the United States and a few million more worldwide. So far, it is the band’s biggest selling single. Bon Jovi released multiple ballads throughout their career. However, “Always,” stands as the most loved ballad they have recorded since their debut album in 1984.

# 1 – Tie ! Living on A Prayer /You Give Love a Bad Name

We just couldn’t do it. We tried choosing between the two songs. We banged our heads against the wall. We ate a couple of extra pizzas, and a few bags of Doritos, and drank a case of Diet Pepsi. After we were done, we still could not chooses between these two great Bon Jovi songs. We made phone calls, we hit the street and polled more people than the GOP.  In the end, we decided the only way to go was to call it a TIE.

Both songs just simply defined the classic Bon Jovi sound of the 1980s. “You Give Love a Bad Name,” was released on their 1986 Slippery When Wet LP. The song became the band’s first number one hit as it sailed to the top of the Billboard charts landing at Number One. “Living on a Prayer,” was issued as the second single from the Slippery When Wet LP. In stunning fashion, the song also flew all the way to the top of the Billboard charts giving the band two number-one singles in a row. Both songs were just as successful as each other on the charts. So it just can’t be done. All we can do is sit back, listen, and celebrate, the music of one kicking New Jersey band.

The Top 10 Bon Jovi Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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