Copyright, Music

Creative Accounting = Piracy Losses

There is an excellent post over at the excellent Techdirt that talks about DRM’s in gaming and how it really doesn’t stop people from copying the game, however what it does do is hinder the real paying customers.

The part that got my attention is the comments about the losses due to piracy.  I am one of those people who doesn’t believe the crap the MPAA, RIAA and others spin on losses due to piracy.  If a movie comes out that i really want to watch, i will take my family and pay $80 to watch it.  If a band releases a song or an album that is worth buying, i will buy it.  There are also the bands that i buy before i even listen to a song.  I have a PAY TV subscription, that doesn’t cater for my needs and timetable, however i still keep it.

The reason why I am mentioning all of this, is that there are millions of others that are just like me.  Fans of art.  Fans of culture.  However, we the FANS of art are ignored by the legacy industries and their stupid lobby groups.  We the FANS are the PEOPLE and we form the PUBLIC.  We the PUBLIC are not mentioned when the legacy industries try to extend copyright or pass stupid far-reaching bills like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, CISPA, etc…

In the post, the Super Meat Boy developer mentions that, “Team Meat shows no loss in our year end totals due to piracy and neither should any other developer.”

That’s the whole argument in a nutshell.  How many profit and loss statements or balance sheets are issued that show a loss due to piracy.   How can the record labels or movie studios quantify accurately what a piracy loss is, so that it can be an audited item on a balance sheet.

Commentor Josef Anvil suggested the following;

Since lawmakers have swallowed the “loss” argument from the content industry and want to pass more enforcement, then they should walk the walk.  They should begin allowing companies to write off their piracy losses on their taxes every year. One year of that and we would see if governments actually believed in those “losses”.

Can you imagine that?  A few years back the MPAA stated that piracy losses amounted to $58 billion.  Imagine the taxman seeing that amount as a loss on a profit and loss statement from Disney.  I am sure it will raise a few eyebrows.  Do you reckon the losses that Bon Jovi will get on their new album What About Now is due to piracy or due to a really bad album? 

What about the losses Disney suffered on John Carter?  It’s funny that when a movie is really bad the talk about piracy disappears.  $200 million is a lot of money to lose.  Let’s blame piracy.  The money that EA Games is going to lose over its stupid DRM on Sim City. Let’s blame piracy.  The money that Bon Jovi is going to lose over its crap album.  Let’s blame the pirates.

I remember seeing that Transformers 1 (T1) and (T2) where the most pirated movies over Bit Torrent.  Guess what T1 made $710M and T2 made $840M.  T3 wasn’t even on any all time torrent list and it made $1.3 Billion.  Why is that?

Maybe because the people that downloaded a torrent of T1 and T2 became fans and paid to watch T3.  Maybe those little kids that downloaded T1 and T2 because their parents wouldn’t take them to watch it, became fans and are now old enough to go to the cinema on their own and watch it.

One thing is certain, piracy is a load of bullshit, designed by the lobby groups so that they can get stupid legislation passed that puts them back in control of the distribution.

 

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Update – The Old Hype Nets Bon Jovi a Number 1 album. Will it still be there after a month? Place your bets.

Week 2 sees Bon Jovi’s What About Now (aka What About Its Over) slip from Number 1 to Number 7.  Sales of 101,000 units in week one to sales of 29,000 units in week 2.  This is what happens when you deliver a crap album to your fans.  Yes we will buy it (like I have), so that I have it in my collection, but we wont sing its praises.  And apart from your hardcore audience, that is all you have these days.

They should take a note from Mumford and Sons who after 26 weeks on the chart are still moving 27,000 units of their album Babel.  In total, Babel has sold 2,122,000 copies.  How many copies will Bon Jovi be moving in 26 weeks times?  Babel knows who their audience is.  They are users of social media, they tour relentlessly and they actually meet and greet their audience the way a band should, without a list of DO NOT’S, which is what Jon Bon Jovi has for his meet and greets.    

Another band that is in the Top 10 is Imagine Dragons and their Night Vision’s album is moving 29,000 units after 29 weeks on the charts.

I really hope JBJ will pull his head out of his arse and get back to what he did best.  Find good songwriters to deliver a rock record.  Use James Michael, DJ Ashba and Nikki Sixx from Sixx AM, get John 5 into the mix, fly to Sweden and get the dudes from The Night Flight Orchestra.  Think outside “the circle”.  Get Kevin Churko involved or Howard Benson.  Get Vito Bratta out of retirement to write songs.  He is another Jersey kid.

Leave Billy Falcon, Max Martin, Marti Fredricksen, Desmond Child  and John Shanks behind.  They are all out of ideas.  In saying that i was impressed with the Desmond Child and John 5 track The Monster Is Loose for the Bat Out Of Hell III album.

You are a 50 + rock singer.  That means you are no longer a teenage girls fantasy.  So don’t try and be one.   Get back to basics, get back to the Slippery When Wet mentality, where you are hungry once more to deliver an album that will stand the test of time.

 

 

 

 

Yahoo Article;

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VITO BRATTA – Guitar World September 1989 – Part 2

VITO BRATTA – Guitar World September 1989 – Part 2

GW Brad Tolinski: One of the things that distinguishes your approach to soloing is your thoughtful use of pock dynamics like on Don’t Give Up and Little Fighter.

Bratta: I like to balance out the creamy hammer on passages with staccato lines.  The pick suggests real aggression and I really enjoy hearing players like Gary Moore who use the pick well.  However it’s not one of those things I analyse closely – it comes naturally.  I just try to play the things I wish I heard in other players.

If anything my playing tends to be too smooth, but I was never into that Ted Nugent sound.  Ted’s sound is great, but it’s too harsh.  I’ve always understood Van Halen’s description of getting a brown sound, and that warm round tone is what I’ve looked for.  When I went on tour with AC/DC I was running 2,700 watts of power and you still stand in front of my amp. Angus was using the same kind of amp I was using, running pretty close to the same power, but you couldn’t even get close to his system because it was so biting.

All musician’s are fans.  We are a sum of our inflluences.  Any musician that tells you that the create music in a vacuum, that they are so original and free from the influences of life is full of shit.  We develop our own styles as a result of studying what other musicians do.  I own a 5150 combo, so I can relate to the smooth sound that Vito is after.  You can study another person’s style and be influenced as to how you play.  Here Vito is studying the person’s style for how it sounds.  Angus and Ted have aggressive pick attacks which result in harsh – bitter sounds.  There is so much thought going into Vito’s art. 

GW Brad Tolinski: You seem to be using a little more midrange.

Bratta: That happened at the mixing board.  For years I played in a band that didn’t have a bass player, so I created a sound that would appear as a “V” shape on a graphic eq.  In other words, lots of bass and lots of treble.  But when I went into the studio Michael our producer, said “Listen to your sound.”  I asked, “Where is it?”  You could barely hear the guitar.  He explained that the cymbals were eating up all my high end and the bass guitar was masking the low end.  Because my set up lacked midrange frequencies, my sound was being swallowed up.  I started to realize that it was the midrange that cut through.  I was forced into creating a new sound – one that more mids, yet remained creamy, round tone.  The real trick was to avoid that “hinky” midrange.  Some people like that weird “wah-wah pedal that’s halfway down” sound.  George Lynch uses that a lot, but I never really liked it. 

I owe a lot to my Steinberger as well.  When I used to play Strats, I’d play one note and get a bunch of bizarre overtones.  I’m not quite sure what it is, maybe it’s the graphite neck, but when you hit a single note on a Steinberger you hear just one note very cleanly – even when it turns into feedback.  It’s just a great guitar and it helps me get the smooth tone that I look for.  Everything is still evolving.  I don’t think I’ve really developed a distinctive sound, tone wise.  If I sound unique, it’s more in my fingers.  When we did Big Game there was no attempt at duplicating the sound of Pride. 

I have been in bands that don’t have a bass player for a long time.  So you develop a certain style to suit, exactly as described by Vito.  All of the rhythm tracks I write these days incorporate a root note with a revolving melody line played in unison.  It’s very rare that I just chug away on a power chord or on a pedal tone.

One thing that a lot of guitarist don’t get recognised for, is that all the music comes from the guitar and because of that, they are the main songwriters.  They are the main contributors sound wise.  So apart from knowing how to play your instrument, the guitarist needs to know their equipment and their sound.

At a recent recording I did, I normally use the 5150 live, however the engineer at the studio had a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier head going through a Marshall Quad that gave me the dirty harsh sound I wanted for the recording, and then for the clean, I used a Hughes and Kettner Head through the same Marshall Quad.  I had to go that way as the 5150 sound was getting lost in the harsh drum sound and the 5 string bass.  We need to compromise and we need to do it quickly.

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White Lion – Big Game + killer Vito Bratta moments

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The music to Big Game was written by Vito in dressing rooms during the Pride tour.  It was important for the label Atlantic Records to get a new album out so that they could capitalise on the success of the Pride album.

It was released in August 1989 and it was produced by Michael Wagener who also did the successful Pride album.   The album turns 24 years this year.

Coming into this album – the White Lion story was as follows; play as many club gigs as you can with the hope to get signed.  They got signed by a major (Elektra Records) and then got dumped by that same label.

They released Fight To Survive independently, which then led them to another major label (Atlantic) and the multi platinum Pride album with the hit single Wait that was on MTV rotation every six minutes.

They where promoted as pretty boys in tight leathers however amid all the catchy hooks and technical riffs, where some serious themes.  El Salvador appeared on Fight To Survive, the anti war ballad When The Children Cry appeared on Pride and now on Big Game, you have the band talking about apartheid (Cry For Freedom), religion (If My Mind Is Evil), Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior (Little Fighter) and violence in the family (Broken Home).

Stand Outs

Goin Home Tonight – The first thing that you hear is that wonderful 12 sting A major arpeggiated intro moving from A to E to D like Randy Rhoad’s Crazy Train.  As an artist I really appreciate it when other artists bring in the major key to rock and metal music.  It’s easy to remain in the dark sad, minor key.

I’ve been in this hell forever
I don’t even know how long
And there were times I thought I never
Would hold you in my arms again

Life on the road is like hell.  You are living with four to five guys that you may or may not like.  It’s hard enough holding a relationship without having any issues.   Eventually you just want to be home, with your missus and your family. 

And you will keep me warm at night
And you will make me live again
Yes I’m going home tonight and
You’ll be waiting

The history of music is littered with songs about the road.  The most famous ones are Turn The Page, Home Sweet Home and Wanted Dead Or Alive.   The solo is breathtaking to say the least.  Solo’s when done right, enhance the song.  I compare this solo to what Randy Rhoads did in Crazy Train.  Again its over similar chord progressions and it has the tapping/legato feel that Randy Rhoads achieved.   

Little Fighter

In this track Vito Bratta used the Steinberger TransTrem so the song is in the key of F# instead of E.  This is a great song.  The issue that a lot of people could have had with the band is that they where not sure if they where a party band or a serious band.  Musically the White Lion music is serious and in a way technical, however Mike Tramp’s lyrics can really let the song down.  On this track it is all spot on.  Even though the song is about the Rainbow Warrior Greenpeace ship, anyone can relate to it.  Any person that has been down trodden, abused and down and out for the count can relate to it.

You were one of a kind
One who’d never give it up

Any musician out there trying to make it you need to be the one that never gives up.

Rise again little fighter and let the world know the reason why

That’s all we are in life, fighters.  We fight from the day we are born to breathe, to grow, to learn and to be somebody.  Andy Warhol said that every person will experience 15 minutes of fame in their life and that is what so many strive for these days.  Fame. 

Broken Home – Broken Home is a song about violence in the family.   It’s another serious topic Tramp is tackling. 

The acoustic guitar playing from Bratta is brilliant and smooth and you don’t even hear his fingers shifting like you do on more amateur guitarists like me.  I hate recording acoustic guitars. 

Lyrically the first 4 songs deal with life on the road, sex, Greenpeace and violence in the family.  I like that variation in a band. 

Cry For Freedom is like Little Fighter, another political song, this time about apartheid in South Africa.    The below is from the September 1989 Guitar World interview.

GW Brad Tolinski: The strains of folk music in Cry For Freedom are suprising.

Bratta: It wasn’t really calculated, but what I wanted to create was something like a compilation record where every song sounded like a different band.

GW Brad Tolinski: Because of the dramatic nature of Cry For Freedom it would have been easy to play a corny clichéd solo in the upper register.  You show a lot of maturity and restraint by inserting that bruising low end riff instead.

Bratta: If I wrote an entire record and didn’t hear a solo in my head, there wouldn’t be one.  In Cry For Freedom I wanted to lull the listener into a daydream then shake them up and punch them in the nose.  It’s hard to create the tension found on Cry For Freedom.

Cliched Songs with Great Bratta Moments

Dirty Woman – again the major key intro, this time in the Key of F, moving from F to G, then the minor key sexual boogie in the key of Dm and back to the majors for the Jazz influenced verses.  So many different styles fused so effortlessly. 

The Jimi Hendrix E7#9 bridge/solo/bridge/solo progression references the good old 12 bar blues vocal and response.  In the second solo, where it’s got the six notes per quarter, John Petrucci used the same style of lick for Caught In A Web.

Living On The Edge follows a similar theme to Goin Home Tonight, but in this case, it’s the start of the journey.  It looks Mike Tramp was referencing his life, by packing his bags and heading over the US to start his RNR dream.  I see it as just hitting the road and playing show  after show.  As is the case with Bratta, he delivers a super melodic solo section for a mediocre song.    

Don’t Say It’s Over has a killer solo section from Bratta, however its hard to get into this song.  The album is all over with its mixed messages to everyone, Goin Home Tonight is about returning home to a loved one, Dirty Woman is about getting down and dirty, this one is about a break up and Baby Be Mine is about keeping the romance together.    If you want to listen to break up songs, listen to Phil Collins – Face Value album.

If My Mind Is Evil has a killer heavy riff and is one of the heaviest songs White Lion has recorded.  It just doesn’t do anything lyrically for me.  It sounds ridiculous to be honest.  Then the solo comes in, all classical and smooth for 10 seconds and then all sinister and evil.  What contrasts. 

Album Filler Songs

Baby Be Mine, Radar Love and Let’s Get Crazy 

Final Word

Its always hard to follow up an album that goes gangbusters.  White Lion delivered a more mature album in Big Game, however the fans that got into White Lion via the Pride album didn’t really resonate with this album.  They wanted the sugar pop hits like Wait however the band didn’t even come close to writing a song like Wait on this album.

 

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Bon Jovi – We Got It Going On – Another classic song waiting to be discovered.

We Got It Going On

The best song on the 2007 album Lost Highway is We Got It Going On.  This song was written Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and country music hit songwriters, Kenny Alphin and John Rich.   It was produced by guitarist turned country music producer Dan Huff instead of John Shanks.  Dan is also the go to guy for country musicians if they want hit songs.

Is there anybody out there looking for a party? Yeah!!
Shake your money maker, baby smoke it if you got it.
We just wanna have some fun if you don’t wanna kiss this
Everybody raise your hands come on I need a witness.

The first thing you hear is the swampy delta blues intro riff with the drums building.  It’s sleazy and sexual.  This is another song written purely for the concert experience.  It’s got that famous talk box that Sambora first used to optimal effect in Livin On A Prayer.   Come to the show, have a party, be a witness to the spectacle.  Kiss did a similar concept with Psycho Circus which i covered in my review of their show.  If you don’t want to kiss someone’s backside, get down to the show and have some fun.   I dig the reference to Shake Your Money Maker.  It reminds me of Black Crowes.  I am sure that wasn’t Jovi’s intention.    

I had mixed feelings when I heard the Lost Highway album.  As a hard core fan, I more or less purchase the albums without sampling.  The output from the 80’s and Keep The Faith keep me locked in and I really appreciated the box set 100,000,000 Fans Cant Be Wrong.  On the first run through, We Got It Going On stood out. 

This is my view on this whole Lost Highway saga, Who Says You Cant Go Home from Have A Nice Day worked as a smash single because there wasn’t an intention there that the song would earn millions in sales.  It was a sleeper hit single.  So Jon being the business man that he is, decided to make a whole album of country inspired rock.  This is where there is an intention to profit from the sleeper hit Who Says You Can’t Go Home.   When intention gets involved, the music comes across as clichéd and forced.  We Got It Going On, is the sleeper on this album.  It is country rock blues with a pop twinge at its best. 

We Got It Goin’ On
We’ll be banging and singing just like the rolling stones
We’re gonna shake up your sole, we’re gonna rattle your bones
‘Cause We Got It Goin’ On.
Ah ha ha. Ah ha ha. Yeah Yeah. Ah ha.

It’s a nice touch paying homage to the Rolling Stones.  I have been to concerts where I have walked out, all sore and stiff from the sound hitting the body.  I never got that from a Jovi concert, however I can relate to the lyric.  What is a concert song without the sing a long Ah ha ha?  Again this reminds me of Kiss’s Hide Your Heart.  The bit that comes in after the chorus.

You got a ticket to kick it, I wanna hear you scream now.
‘Cause tonight you got the right to let your hair down.
Everybody’s getting down, we’re getting down to business
Insane, freak train, you don’t wanna miss this.

They did a similar style song in One Wild Night from the Crush album.  It’s all about letting your hair down and leaving your worries and suburban life at the door.

Nikki Sixx sums it up with the lyrics from Primal Scream.
Primal scream & shout, Let that mother out
You just gotta say “hey”
Primal scream & shout, Oooh tear it out
You just gotta say

This is another song that deserves more rounds on a Jovi set list.  I saw that it ended up on the live at Madison Square Garden DVD and it worked well as a live song. 

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What made Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet Explode?

What made Slippery When Wet explode?

A lot of people credit Bruce Fairbairn for it.  Others credit the influence of Desmond Child, while others would credit the sound engineering and mix by Bob Rock.  Others put it down to Jon and Richie finally finding their niche as songwriters and finally others put it down to the Pizza Parlour Jury.   Could it have been the labels release schedule and marketing plan?  Could it have been that the scene needed a shake up and this album was right time, right place?

First let’s put into context where the band was at in 1985.  They had just finished a nine-month world tour for 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit.  The band was in debt to the record label for a couple of million bucks.  The guys where living at their mom and dad’s, and wrote most of the songs for Slippery When Wet in Richie’s mom’s basement. 

There is a common myth that once a band is signed, they are showered with untold riches and that they have money coming out of their arse.  That is so far from the truth.   Bon Jovi where in debt and they were lucky that the label gave them a third chance.

From the 90’s onwards, labels didn’t give bands three chances.  One chance was all they had.  If they failed they will get someone else.   These days the labels are irrelevant.  They need to compete on a playing field where the rules change at the same rate technology changes and to be honest, they are so out of touch, it’s almost laughable watching them trying to hold on to the old way of doing things. 

Let’s start with Bruce Fairbairn.  Before he started doing Slippery he was coming off a multi-platinum run of releases with Loverboy and Honeymoon Suite, plus a Gold release with Krokus.   According to Paul Dean from Loverboy, Bruce is super organized.  He charts everything out and every song is broken into parts. 

Slippery would go on to multi – multi platinum sales and New Jersey (also produced by Bruce would do the same).  From Slippery, Bruce would move on to Aerosmith.  Permanent Vacation, Pump and Get A Grip all went multi – multi platinum.  He resurrected AC/DC’s career with the 5x platinum The Razors Edge after a steady decline in sales after Back In Black.  It is safe to say that Bruce had a certain knack for getting the best out of the artists he produced.  His track record is envious to say the least.

Then you have Desmond Child.  

Jon and Richie wanted to write with another song writer, so that other people can perform the songs.  Jon heard Tina Turner singing a song that Bryan Adams had written and wanted to do the same.  That is how Desmond Child came on the scene.  However the plan got skewed, as the songs that came out of those sessions where that good, that it was decided they will be kept for Jovi instead.

The first song Jon and Richie wrote with Desmond in Richie’s mother’s basement was “The Edge Of A Broken Heart”.  The second song they wrote was “You Give Love A Bad Name” by referencing a song he wrote for Bonnie Tyler called If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man).  The melodies and chord progressions are very similar.

He used the story of his 70’s girlfriend, Maria Vidal who used to work a diner and was called Gina, for Livin On A Prayer.  In interviews, Richie has stated that Jon didn’t want the song on the album, while Richie was trying to convince him it was the best song they had.

I’d Die For You and Without Love where two other songs penned by Jon, Richie and Desmond.  I’d Die For You even has a cult status as a fan favourite.  Desmond brought the pop side to Bon Jovi’s form of hard rock, glam metal overtones. 

The engineer and mixer Bob Rock 

Jon heard Honeymoon Suite’s The Big Prize (another Bruce and Bob production) and that sealed the deal for Bon Jovi to also seek out Bob Rock.

The Pizza Parlour Jury

When Jon and Riche were making the demos in New Jersey, they would go across the street to the pizza parlour. They would ask a bunch of kids to hear some stuff.   As Richie puts it, “It was like a marketing test .  They came in and said, “Yeah, we like this one. This one gets through and that one doesn’t.”

They sure needed it as they wrote a truck load of songs.  Apart from the 10 songs that ended up on the album, other songs that never made it include;

Never Enough For You, Borderline, Edge Of A Broken Heart, Heat Of The Night, Give My Heart, Lonely Is The Night, Too Much Too Soon, Game Of The Heart, Deep Cuts The Night, Stand Up, Walk Don’t Run, Out of Bounds, There Is No Answer, Promise, Take Me All.

Bouncing songs off different independent ears that are not related to the band, helped Bon Jovi focus on the songs that where stronger.

Polygram Records

Doc McGhee the Bon Jovi manager at the time has stated that putting out a record at the right time is very important.  He further mentioned that the label looked at what other labels where releasing and picked a window where there was nothing really there competing against it.

August was the month that was selected and competing against Slippery When Wet where other August releases from Motorhead – Orgasmatron, Vinnie Vincent – Invasion, Warlock – True As Steel and Great White – Shot In The Dark. 

If it was released in July, it would have been up against DLR’s – Eat Em and Smile for listeners’ attention.   If it was released in June, it would have had to compete against Queen – A Kind of Magic, Genesis – Invisible Touch, Rod Stewart – Every Beat of My Heart, Madonna – True Blue and Cinderella – Night Songs.  If it was released in May as originally intended, it would have been up against AC/DC – Who Made Who, Journey – Raised on Radio and Europe – The Final Countdown. 

The Album

Let It Rock kicks it off Side 1.

The weekend comes to this town
Seven days too soon
For the ones who have to make up
What we break up of their rules

This song is written purely for the concert experience.  That is foresight in itself.  Apart from delivering a good album of songs, Jon and Richie are mindful of how they will go down live.  The song is about rebellion, getting that fist pumping in the air, just to let your hair down on the weekend.  Much like Loverboy’s Working for The Weekend.  But in this case the rock is a fire that is burning out of control.  Another analogy to melting rock temperatures (7800 degrees Fahrenheit).  It’s funny where Let It Rock has that keyboard intro, Lay Your Hands On Me from New Jersey, is almost identical riff wise to Let It Rock and it has that long drum intro.  It must be a Bruce thing, as even Turn Me Loose had a long keyboard intro.  A good start by the Jon and Richie song writing team.

“Shot through the heart and you’re to blame, darling you give love a bad name.”  The iconic a capella chorus.  Then the band kicks in and Richie does his vocal melody lead until they start the strip bar sleazy verse riff.

I remember when I saw the clip, I was glued to my TV screen.  I never got the name of the song and I thought it was called Shot Through The Heart, so I purchased the cassette album that had the song Shot Through The Heart.   Of course that was the wrong song.  Right band, but wrong song.   The clincher for me was the chorus part after the guitar solo, where it’s just the voice and the drums (sort of reminded me of Queen’s We Will Rock You).  You Give Love A Bad Name was the one that got the door opened and once the band unleashed Livin On A Prayer, the band started selling 700,000 records a month.    It also featured the song writing talents of Desmond Child, who borrowed the vocal melody and chords from a song he wrote for Bonnie Tyler, called If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man).

Livin On A Prayer was the song that Jon wasn’t even sure should be on the album. 

Bob Lefsetz posted that Livin On A Prayer is where Bon Jovi got the girls and that is what has kept the band going.  He aint wrong there and Jon knew that, hence the reason why he rewrote the song over and over again for each album that came after.   New Jersey had Born To Be My Baby (again a co-write with Desmond Child).  Keep The Faith had the title track (the chorus chord progression is identical, except in a different key and again a co-write with Desmond Child).  These Days had Hey God, Crush had Its My Life (Max Martin comes into the fold now), Bounce and Have A Nice Day had the title tracks.  The Circle had We Weren’t Born To Follow and the Greatest Hits had This is Love, This is Life.  For What About Now, the whole album is following the themes from Livin On A Prayer.  If you are on a winning formula, do it right again and you will hit pay dirt.

Tommy used to work on the docks
Union’s been on strike
He’s down on his luck…it’s tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day
Working for her man, she brings home her pay
For love – for love

It’s a movie in words.  Life is tough but as long as we love each other, we will be okay.  A lot of people were not okay, but Livin On A Prayer made them feel that they were, as Tommy and Gina were also living the same life they were living.    

Social Disease is the pure filler that needed to be written so that Bad Medicine could be written. 

So you telephone your doctor
Just to see what pill to take
You know there’s no prescription
Gonna wipe this one away

In never should have ended up on Slippery.  Edge of A Broken Heart is far superior.  I know that Jon apologised for that omission.  To be honest the song never had a chance with the listeners coming off three winners already.  It was a poor song from the Jon and Richie team.  At least they made up for it in the next song.

Wanted Dead or Alive was the 80’s version of Turn The Page which Jon more or less copied again for the Young Guns soundtrack and had another number one hit in Blaze of Glory with a cool Jeff Beck solo.    Wanted was written by Jon and Richie.  This song didn’t reach number one, but it is a number one song.  A cult classic.  A radio staple.  When the song was released as a single, the multi-million fan base had already digested it.  They didn’t need to buy the single to make it No. 1.  It was already that in their hearts and minds.      

Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it’s not for days
And the people I meet always go their separate ways

Life on the road is just that.  I am just finishing off reading a Randy Rhoads bio, and it’s pretty clear that Randy started to hate the road.  He wanted to quit Ozzy’s band and study classical music.  He worked his whole life to achieve rock stardom and now that he had it, he was going to give it all up to follow his dream of classical music.  Sadly he never got there.  That is another thing that seems to be forgotten, the road also kills. 

Raise Your Hands (Let It Rock part 2) kicks off side 2.  Another Jon and Richie composition.  The motto of this song is simply.  Come to the show, raise your hands and get wild.  It doesn’t repeat what Let It Rock started, it takes it into overdrive. 

Raise your hands
When you want to let it go
Raise your hands
And you want to let a feeling show

Without Love is the second track after Raise Your Hands on side 2.  This was a Jon, Richie and Des composition and is forgettable.  The first side was pretty much spot on, that it was hard to get into Side 2.    

I saw a man down on lonely street
A broken man who looked like me
And no one knows the pain that he’s been living
He lost his love and still hasn’t forgiven

I’d Die for You is another Jon, Richie and Des composition.  It has become a cult classic for Bon Jovi, with fans hoping that it gets played each night, like Runaway. 

I might not be a savior
And I’ll never be a king
I might not send you roses
Or buy you diamond rings

We are not perfect in relationships, however we try our best.  A lot of the times our best is not good enough and it all ends bad.

Never Say Goodbye doesn’t get out of second gear

As I sit in this smokey room
The night about to end
I pass my time with strangers
But this bottle’s my only friend

And Wild in the Street is a song that could have ended up on a Bruce Springsteen B sides album.    

In here we got this code of honor
Nobody’s going down

As Bob Lefsetz puts “if you want to relive 1986, if you want to know what it was like way back then… You play “Slippery When Wet.”

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The Old Hype Nets Bon Jovi a Number 1 album. Will it still be there after a month?

The Old Hype Nets Bon Jovi a Number 1 album.  Will it still be there after a month?

So Bon Jovi has another number 1 album with What About Now.  I have already spoken about this album, so I aren’t going to say anything new about it.   Billboard reports What About Now sold 101,000 copies in its first week and that it is the groups lowest sales start for a studio album since 1995’s These Days that had 73,000. 

Bowie was mention taking place number 2 with 85,000 sales.

Does anyone care about sales these days?  It looks like the old guard still do.  Let me give them a big wake up call.  Sales are old.  These days it’s about going viral.  That is the new multi – platinum record on the wall.  Will the Bon Jovi fans do enough to get this album hanging around for a long time.  I am a betting man, and I will say that What About Now will be lucky to move around 20,000 units next week.

The reason; It is a weak album from a band like Bon Jovi.  This album confirms for me this view I had for a while.  Jon Bon Jovi is only interested in the fame and being a star.  The music part has been forgotten in his quest of stardom.  Yes music got him there, and what brilliant music that was, however these days he is just a pale imitation of what he was years ago.  Yeah I know, people change, they grow older.  So does Jovi.  So does the fan base.  The young generation of today are into Jovi because they released albums like Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Keep The Faith and 7800 Fahrenheit.  Not because they released One Direction pop tunes for a teenage girl market.  Come on guys you are in your fifties.

One point to note is Mumford & Sons ‘Babel’ is still there six months after it came out.  Will Bon Jovi and David Bowie still be there in the Top 10 six months from now.   I don’t think so.

To make comparisons, Mumford and Sons album moved 600,000 units in its first week.  It beat all the mainstream champions like One Direction and Justin Beiber.  It is still there because people are talking about it, people are spreading its gospel.  Even the Grammy’s came knocking and wanted to be part of the Mumford and Sons explosion.  Mumford and Sons did all of this without the usual mainstream saturation that Jovi, Bowie, Timberlake, Bieber, etc are renowned for.  All up Babel, has moved over 2,500,000 units world wide.  The fans made that happen.  This was all done before their Grammy win, before the mainstream got behind them.

People have asked me what my view on the new Jovi album is.  I tell them the truth.  Don’t buy it?  I will give it to you to listen to and you can make your own decision.  I get it back with the comments, we just ripped a few songs.  How good is that Sambora song?

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