80s ALBUM FILLERS OR POTENTIAL SINGLES: PART 4: BON JOVI

This is a new series, I will listen to all the 80s albums released by the decade’s artists and judge the songs that were not singles (in the UK) from an album.  I will give my opinion whether the remaining songs were just fillers or could have been singles.  How many singles I can find will determine the final rating of how good the album is as a whole.  Below 49% = Poor/50-64% = Average/65-79% = Very Good/80-100% = Excellent.  There will be a different artist each blog.  I am a big fan of all the artists I review in this series, so I have to think hard if the song would wow the chart public, even if they are my favourite songs!

PART 4: BON JOVI
Members – Jon Bon Jovi (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar/Acoustic Guitar) /Richie Sambora (Lead Guitar/Talk Box/Backing Vocals) /David Bryan (Keyboards/Piano/Backing Vocals) /Alec John Such (Bass/Backing Vocals) /Tico Torres (Drums/Percussion).
Other Members – Previous – Dave Sabo (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals).
Later – Hugh McDonald (Bass/Backing Vocals) /Bobby Bandiera (Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals) /Phil X (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) /Rich Scanella (Drums/Percussion) /Lorenza Ponce (Viola/Backing Vocals).
BON JOVI (#71) (1984) –
Tracks
Runaway/Roulette/She Don’t Know Me/Shot Through The Heart/Love Lies/Breakout/Burning For Love/Come Back/Get Ready.
Singles
None.
Potential Singles
Runaway – From the first keyboard intro and usual Rock riffs it hits the mark as hit, and has a catchy chorus as well.
Roulette – Typical early 80s Rock, vocal harmonies on the chorus, pounding drums, screeching guitar matched with Jon’s powerful lead.
She Don’t Know Me – One of my favourites, more Pop Rock similar to Heart with Jon replacing the Wilson sisters vocal.
Shot Through The Heart – The chorus makes this a hit and the great guitar solo around 2 and a half minutes!
Love Lies – An 80s rock ballad, personally I think they are the best in Bon Jovi’s repertoire.
Fillers
Breakout (5 minutes of “whoa whoa” and usual Rock guitars, not great lyrically.  A miss for me)/Burning For Love (Apparently a single in Japan, nothing special, definite filler!).
FINAL ALBUM RATING
Very good album! 7 singles from 9 tracks.  77.7/100.

7800° FAHRENHEIT (#28) (1985) –
Tracks
In And Out Of Love/The Price Of Love/Only Lonely/King Of The Mountain/Silent Night/Tokyo Road/The Hardest Part Of The Night/Always Run To You/(I Don’t Wanna) Fall To The Fire/Secret Dreams.
Singles
The Hardest Part Of The Night (#68).
Potential Singles
In And Out Of Love – A real rocker with repetitive chorus, maybe not the band’s best lyrically but it’s sure to get you singing along  rocking, playing your air guitars!
King Of The Mountain – Similar to Aerosmith, shouting verses, chanting chorus, thumping Rock backing, pure hit!
Silent Night – Classic Bon Jovi ballad, emotive lyrics with lilting keyboard led backing, with gentle guitars and percussion, a delight.
Tokyo Road – Another of my favourite rockier tracks, a real foot stomper that starts off gently with a Japanese spoken lyric then explodes to life.
Fillers
The Price Of Love (Doesn’t really work for me, repeated lines over a disjointed backing, and no outstanding chorus)/Only Lonely (Unremarkable in all departments, not one of my favourites)/Always Run To You (Always sounded like a demo to me, like it needed that extra kick somewhere)/(I Don’t Wanna Fall) To The Fire (Not great, average pop rock, similar to early INXS before they were found the right blend)/Secret Dreams (Again similar to Heart but nothing to hit the senses).
FINAL ALBUM RATING
Average album! 5 singles from 10 tracks.  50/100.

SLIPPERY WHEN WET (#6) (1986) –
Tracks
Let It Rock/You Give Love A Bad Name/Livin’ On A Prayer/Social Disease/Wanted Dead Or Alive/Raise Your Hands/Without Love/I’d Die For You/Never Say Goodbye/Wild In The Streets.
Singles
You Give Love A Bad Name (#14)/Livin’ On A Prayer (#4)/Wanted Dead Or Alive (#13)/Never Say Goodbye (#21).
Potential Singles
Let It Rock – The opening track with it’s church organ opening then an explosion of screeching guitars, thumping drums and anthemic chorus aved the way for the new Bon Jovi sound.
Raise Your Hands – Not a special song but audience participation is guaranteed with the chorus!
Without Love – Half rocker/half ballad, nice lyrics in the “Never Say Goodbye” vein, emotion provoking.
Wild In The Streets – Bon Jovi turn party rockers, proper sing-a-long and bouncy enthusiasm in abundance!
Fillers
Social Disease (I like this but I think the lack of a real catchy chorus would stop it being a hit)/I’d Die For You (A little too similar to “Shot Through The Heart” without the memorable chorus).
FINAL ALBUM RATING
Excellent album!  8 singles from 10 tracks.  80/100.

NEW JERSEY (#1) (1988) –
Tracks
Lay Your Hands On Me/Bad Medicine/Born To Be My Baby/Living In Sin/Blood On Blood/Homebound Train/Wild Is The Wind/Ride Cowboy Ride/Stick To Your Guns/I’ll Be There For You/99 In The Shade/Love For Sale.
Singles
Bad Medicine (#17)/Born To Be My Baby (#22)/I’ll Be There For You (#18)/Lay Your Hands On Me (#18)/Living In Sin (#35).
Potential Singles
Blood On Blood – The music reminds me a little of “Wild In The Streets” and maybe why its a hit for me, a rousing chorus, keyboard led backing and best to be played loud!
Stick To Your Guns – A cowboy theme that did work, a pseudo message under a western theme to keep to your principles, great song and forerunner to the Young Guns movie tracks?
99 In The Shade – Another Bon Jovi party sing-a-long, catchy chorus, great Rock backing.
Love For Sale – Love this, one of my favourites, a bluesy Acoustic ditty complete with harmonica parts, makes you imagine sittin’ on the porch in a USA ranch just chillin’!
Fillers
Homebound Train (A cowboy style rock out that didn’t work apart from the few seconds of guitar at the end!)/Wild Is The Wind (Maybe a small nudge to Jon’s Young Guns soundtrack, a good movie theme)/Ride Cowboy Ride (Blues demo style track, maybe would be better giving a produced style!)/
FINAL ALBUM RATING
Very good album!  9 singles from 12 tracks.  75/100.

My favourite 80s Bon Jovi tracks?
Top 20 in no particular order –
1   Livin’ On A Prayer
2   You Give Love A Bad Name
3   Never Say Goodbye
4   Runaway
5   Wanted Dead Or Alive
6   Bad Medicine
7   Born To Be My Baby
8   I’ll Be There For You
9   Roulette
10 She Don’t Know Me
11 Shot Through The Heart
12 King Of The Mountain
13 In And Out Of Love
14 Silent Night
15 Tokyo Road
16  Love For Sale
17 Wild In The Streets
18 Let It Rock
19 Without Love
20 Blood On Blood
Check back for another 80’s artist review 🙂
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