Music, My Stories, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Derivative Works

Semi Obscure Bon Jovi Songs – Part 3

Bon Jovi are consistent ticket sellers, because the Generation X’s want to go. Some want to remember their youth, while others want to contemplate who they once were and who they have come to be and what a long twisted journey it has been to today. Along the way, music has been the soundtrack to many lives. Continuing on from the Semi-Obscure theme, here is the third list of songs from Bon Jovi that fail to get the attention they deserve.

DAMNED

It has a soul like funky blues groove very similar to what Lenny Kravitz was putting out. It is a Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi composition. The theme of the song didn’t resonate with the audience. Jon Bon Jovi was a married man, with children, so when he sings a song about having a secret love for someone, it just didn’t sit right. However, the vocal melody is strong and the music is great, he just needed better words.

“These Days” from 1995 is a very misunderstood album, released in a very confusing time. Hard/Glam rock as we knew it was dead, Grunge was fading and alternative rock was rising, along with a form of industrial rock/metal. Death Metal was at its peak, black metal was rising and thrash as we knew it was more or less non-existent with all the thrash bands delivering commercial sounding albums.

So while a lot of Bon Jovi’s counterparts (the ones that were not broken up) released heavier sounding albums, Bon Jovi went the opposite and released a slower and reflective album, furnished with a few rockers and a lot of ballads. Two things are evident throughout “These Days”.

One is the blues and the other is the Americana style of music made famous by Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams and so on.

LOVE IS WAR

It is written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Of course it sounds like “You Give Love A Bad Name” because Jon tried really hard to create the same vibe and the same kind of hit. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. Maybe Not. Even “Bad Medicine” sounds like “You Give Love A Bad Name”.

“Love Is War” deserved to be officially released. If you haven’t heard it, go to YouTube, the unofficial streaming service. You will find it there. It has just over 29,000 views. The numbers are nothing compared to the “hits”.

Coming into the “New Jersey” writing phase (which at one stage was the “Sons Of Beaches” writing phase), 9 million copies of “Slippery When Wet” were sold, between 1986 and 1988 in the U.S. The pressure was on to repeat “Slippery When Wet”.

I know my silence tears you up inside
You built a fortress for your hurt to hide
You think you’ve won, but it’s a tie
’cause nobody wins a war of pride

It is the stand-off, where it is better to agree than disagree and both sides believe they have come out on top.

I’D DIE FOR YOU

“Slippery When Wet” was a monster of an album. Carrying three dead set classics, it was easy for the other songs to get missed. “I’d Die For You” is written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team.

While, “Livin On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name” took all the glory from this song writing team, the deeper cuts on side 2 are not to be ignored, especially the fan favourite “I’d Die For You”.

It’s got that Judas Priest “Breaking The Law” guitar line. Did anyone pick up on that? Remember my catch cry, progress is derivative.

Today, people are always telling me to lower my expectations and accept albums that are nowhere near as good as what came before. When something connects with me, it rekindles my faith in music.

The Night Flight Orchestra did that in 2012, with “Internal Affairs”. Protest The Hero did that in 2013 with “Volition”. Evergrey did that in 2011 with “Glorious Collision”. Machine Head did that in 2007 with “The Blackening”. Motley Crue did that in 2008 with “Saints Of Los Angeles”. Dream Theater did that in 2009 with “Black Clouds and Silver Linings” and One Less Reason did that in 2010 with “Faces and Four Letter Words”. Great music that makes you want to live forever, just to see what comes next.

That’s the power of a hit record and there was no bigger hit than “Slippery When Wet” in the Eighties for rock and metal music. Also a “hit” is not something that an a record label rep markets to death so that it can chart for a month or two and is then forgotten. No, a hit record infects the soul, like a virus that can never be treated. It lives with us forever.

As Robb Flynn sang in “Darkness Within”, “Pray to music, build a shrine, worship in these desperate times, fill your heart with every note, cherish it and cast a float.”

That is the power of music and that is the power of “Slippery When Wet”. On YouTube, “I’d Die For You” is a cult hit. The fan’s have taken the song and made their own film clips, lyric videos and so on. Add all the views together and you get close to 2 million views.

Jon Bon Jovi wasn’t married in 1986, when “Slippery When Wet” was released.

I’d die for you
I’d cry for you
I’d do anything
I’d lie for you
You know it’s true
Baby I’d die for you

Is he singing “I’d Die For You” to his future wife?

MY GUITAR LIES BLEEDING IN MY ARMS

Do you wanna know what is the difference between Bon Jovi and the wannabes? The delivery. We had no doubt that Jon Bon Jovi had lived his stories. This is the power of rock and roll. It doesn’t have to be heavy, or fast or bluesy. It can be a slow-moving ballad. It can be a sound. The title is a take on the George Harrison classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

You see, when done right, music brings us together. It touches something that can’t be described and that is the essence of life. And others are out there also feeling that same connection. That is why we become fans.

I can’t write a love song the way I feel today
I can’t sing no song of hope, I got nothing to say
Life is feeling kind of strange, since you went away
I sing this song to you wherever you are
As my guitar lies bleeding in my arms

It is a depressing song dealing with a conflicted front man.

“Keep The Faith” was classified as a failure by the critics and the press as it “only” moved 2 million copies. In 1992, thousands of other bands would have moved heaven and earth to have sales of 2 million.

He tried out his “Jambco” record label that also released records from Billy Falcon and Aldo Nova. That venture was also classed a failure. The records from both Billy Falcon and Aldo Nova didn’t really click up the sales either and Jon Bon Jovi played important roles in both of them, as a song writer and as a producer. So hearing this song come out of him in 1995, it resonates.

ONLY LONELY

It is written by Jon Bon Jovi and David Bryan.

This is back to an innocent time when musicians were not so much wannabe fame and money mongers, but musical fanatics. You can hear the New Jersey synth sounds in this. The Bon Jovi VEVO channel has this song at 1,251,542 views. Other channels have lyric videos and their own fan clips, plus live performances.

The bottom line is this; it is a fan favourite. Like “I’d Die For You”, could it be about someone in particular.

“Only lonely — I can’t stop hurting you
Only lonely — but I can’t stop loving you
Only lonely — how much pain does it take”

THE PRICE OF LOVE

It is written by Jon Bon Jovi.

The Jon Bon Jovi of today portrays himself as a winner, whereas in the Eighties and early Nineties era he revealed his inner turmoil and demons and we loved him for it because we identified!

“We live, we learn, we lie
For the price of love
We kiss then say goodbye
For the price of love”

Aint that the truth. It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day”. We relive what love is until we get it right.

WITHOUT LOVE

“Without Love” is written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team.

When a person is singing about finding a person that loves them and not being able to keep it, then they would rather be without love.

“I see my life
There’s some things I took for granted
Love’s passed me by
So many second chances
I was afraid
But I won’t be afraid no more”

Fear is the biggest killer of dreams and hopes.

BURNING FOR LOVE

It is written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. When I hear this song, it reminds me of Muse as the progression is very similar to the progressions that Muse employs.

As with all of the earlier stuff, Sambora goes to town during the lead breaks, showcasing his abilities as a melodic shredder. He never went too over the top, always focusing on enhancing the song, instead of enhancing his ego.

RIVER RUNS DRY

It is a Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child composition that begins as a derivative version of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” which was also copied from a certain French band called Tarkus that opened up for Led Zeppelin at one point in time. Remember, progress is derivative.

SAVE A PRAYER

No one knows this song even exist, but they should. It deals with the theme of saving a prayer for when a person needs it. To save a prayer for when a person has gone through some bad moments.

Did you ever feel like you were drowning,
did you ever feel betrayed by a kiss?
Did you ever feel like you needed somebody,
would you feel alone in a world like this?
Did you ever feel like you needed shelter,
did you ever laugh when you wanted to cry?
Did you ever dream about evolution,
don’t you ever feel like your living a lie?

Jon gets the words right and nails it. Who hasn’t felt any of the above emotions and feelings?

Oh, Whoa, too many children grow up blind to the truth.
I say, Oh Oh, Oh, Oh,
say a prayer for me,
I’ll save a prayer for you.

We live in an age where everything is at our fingertips. Don’t take everything that you read as the truth. Investigate and research it. Come up with your own conclusions.

After re-reading all of the above, I noticed that i have subconsciously sequenced the songs into an album format. So I set up a playlist, put on the headphones, kicked back and enjoyed this special Bon Jovi album.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

A Small Amount of Too Much with Dream Theater, Bon Jovi and Metallica

“A small amount of too much spoils the whole thing.”

Ever had a feeling when you are at a gig, hearing the songs you like, enjoying the moment and then you just don’t want to hear anymore, you are looking at your watch, thinking that you should leave to go home. That is the quirky relationship between the rock n roll show and its fans. Depending on the band, sometimes 90 minutes is enough and 2 hours is too much.

I watched Dream Theater in Australia on the Systematic Chaos tour and they played for three hours (with an intermission of about 10 minutes in between). For some reason that was just perfect, however when I saw them again on the Black Clouds and Silver Linings Tour, they played just over 2 hours and it was too much. Put that down to the two things, hitting the same market too quickly and the flow of the set list.

The 2009 show took place almost 12 months since the 2008 show. Remember the quote, a small amount of too much spoils the whole thing. I remember them doing Solitary Shell with extended solos. It is not the strongest song in the Dream Theater catalogue, so what happens when you take a song that isn’t your best and make it longer? You get a yawn fest, a toilet break or a beer/smoke break.

Jon Bon Jovi has a big X on his name for treating Bon Jovi fans to a Kings of Suburbia beach party. A 2 hour show, where 1 hour was spent playing cover songs. Nice one. It’s obvious that Jon Bon Jovi didn’t get the memo. The fans want Richie Sambora back and they want him back now. Otherwise, change the name of the concert experience to Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia. Another point to note, a lot of the Bon Jovi memorabilia has the image of Jon Bon Jovi only. Sure, the band is called Bon Jovi, however as far as I am aware it still is a band. So where are the other members of the band on the memorabilia.

Richie Sambora was the person that Jon Bon Jovi could count on, regardless of what Jon says in the media. Richie was the one who was always there when Jon decided he wanted to be a rock star again. Richie always took a step back when Jon wanted to be a sitcom star or a movie star. Richie was the one that delivered a signature riff or a signature song, because the fact is Jon Bon Jovi cant.

FACT: it was Richie Sambora that wrote the majority of the music on Livin On A Prayer, and he was the one that went into bat for the song, when Jon wanted it off the album.

Go on YouTube and give Richie’s new song a listen. It’s called Come Back As Me. Who do you think Richie is referencing, when he sings, “What do you want me to say, I gave you everything I could give, but everything just wasn’t enough, so I just let live and live”. This is the kind of music an artist creates when they are not thinking about how many copies the song will sell. It is honest and heartfelt. Immediately, it makes a connection.

The song is a hundred times better than the songs that came out on What About Now. Since Richie only has five song writing credits on this album, you might as well call What About Now a Jon Bon Jovi solo album. Billy Falcon and John Shanks wrote the majority of the songs with Jon Bon Jovi.

Remember a small amount of too much spoils the whole thing.

Do we need a live album from Metallica of songs? They can call it a soundtrack or whatever they like. It’s still a live album. Remember that they released four DVD packages of Live Concerts during the Death Magnetic tour, as well as the Six Feet Down Under EP’s plus all the stuff they release on Live Metallica.

Do we need a Man Of Steel sequel that is going to include Batman? What a stupid decision. The thought of having Superman and Batman in the same movie is ridiculous to me. What the hell can Batman offer over Superman? Superman is the super man whereas Batman is just a bloke with gadgets.

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Music

Bon Jovi – What About The Free Fall? Hello to 133.

Another week, another drop for the greatest album Bon Jovi has ever done.

In eight weeks, What About Now has gone from Number 1 to Number 133.  The Greatest Hits album is at 182 and it has been out for a long time, so I am predicting that What About Now will free fall past the Greatest Hits album out of the Top 200.

It’s time to set John Shanks and Billy Falcon free.  Find a new producer, like James Michael.  Set Billy Falcon free.  Find a new songwriting partner.  Get Phil X to contribute music.  It’s time to bring the rock back.  It’s time to write an album for your audience and not for a teenage market that doesn’t care about you.

And what is happening with Richie Sambora?  The fans deserve to know the truth.  Is he in or is he out?  Is he going to join the tour at all?   

The days of Richie Sambora being in Bon Jovi appear to be over.

Will another Bon Jovi album be released?  I don’t think so.  No one cares about it, if it is crap and that is exactly what the current album is, CRAP served on a grand scale.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

Next 100 Years, I Could Make A Living Out of Lovin’ You and Ain’t No Cure For Love – Classic Songs Waiting To Be Discovered

Crush.  Does anyone know that It’s My Life came from this album.  You can say this was Bon Jovi’s renaissance.  After delivering a terrible album in These Days and a worse solo album in Destination Anywhere, Jon Bon Jovi needed to go back to Rock N Roll.  Luke Ebbin was on board to produce the album.  It was to be his first major production credit and what a good job he did with it.  It’s My Life was a monster.  So whatever came after it, wasn’t going to matter.  Call it the curse of the Number 1 effect.  Crush was a great album.  However, it was the B-sides that came with the CD-singles that were the standouts.

Next 100 Years was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.  It has that Beatles Hey Jude ending and then from about 4.25 it just goes into overdrive.  It’s got that Seventies vibe, that abandonment.  Hell the song even goes up to 6.19 which strays very far from the pop formula that Bon Jovi is renowned for.  Sambora wails on the guitar.  This is the year 2000, Nu Metal is ruling the scene and guitar solos are non-existent.  Trying telling that to Richie.  He must have missed the memo.  If there is one thing I can say about Richie, he stayed true to himself as an artist.  He didn’t follow the grunge trend or the industrial electronic trend Jon followed on Destination Anywhere.   He just remained the same.  His second solo album, Undiscovered Soul was a real standout in 1998.  I even watched him perform, 5 minutes from my house, at the Shellharbour Workers Club.  Now that was an unexpected surprise.

I’ll believe 
When you don’t believe in anything

That is life.  When I don’t believe someone else i know believes in something better and vice versa.  The Yin and the Yang.

I Could Make A Living Out Of Lovin’ You was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Billy Falcon.   If you like AC/DC, if you like rock n roll, this is the song for you.    It’s the a quality AC/DC song not written by the Young Brothers.  This song was on the Australian deluxe version as a bonus track.  To me, it is one of the best rock songs Bon Jovi has written.  It’s got that Bon Scott tongue in cheek attitude in the lyrics.  It is the guys having fun.  Yes FUN.  That is what it is supposed to be about.  Having FUN.  

If there’s something that needs fixing 
I’m the man to see 
Look me up, I’m listed 
Just check under “B” 
If you’re ever on the spot 
Well, I’m good with my hands 
24-7 I’m your handyman 

Until the work is finished 
Well, I don’t get paid 
I don’t mind getting dirty 
That’s my middle name 
I’m in the service business 
So I understand 
Call me 24-7, I’m your handyman

Aint No Cure For Love is the best ZZ Top song not written by ZZ Top.  How this song has not ended up as a Bon Jovi classic is a tragedy.  It’s the guys having fun again.  It’s written by Richie Supa, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.  Supa is known for his contributions to Aerosmith, plus Sambora used him for a lot of the Undiscovered Soul songs.   This is Classic Rock revisited in the YEAR 2000.  It deserves more attention.  It show a different side of Bon Jovi.

Cupid was a blind man
He must have missed his mark
Shot an arrow in the air and hit me in the heart

I went to see Saint Valentine
Said whats come over me?
Daddy must have missed the chapter about the birds and bees

You can be the King of diamonds
You can cash in all your gold
You could hire Johnnie Cochran
It’s too late to save your soul

NEXT 100 YEARS – YouTube

I COULD MAKE A LIVING OUT OF LOVIN’ YOU – YouTube

AIN’T NO CURE FOR LOVE – YouTube

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Undivided – Another classic Bon Jovi song waiting to be discovered

This is what music is about, writing about experiences. September 11, 2001 changed everyone. That event changed everything. For those that saw it, we felt fragile and we felt afraid. This lead to anger. We wanted revenge.

Undivided was written by Bon Jovi, Sambora and Billy Falcon. Falcon actually pops up on a lot of Bon Jovi songs that have been missed. Falcon was an artist who really hadn’t released anything worthwhile, until Jon signed him to a deal with Jambco Records. Does anyone remember that label? Jambco was a record label started by Jon Bon Jovi, under Mercury Records in the late 80’s. I remember it released Aldo Nova’s – Blood on The Bricks and Billy Falcon’s – Pretty Blue World. Both albums did nothing. Aldo Nova couldn’t capture the magic from the Fantasy album, even though JBJ co wrote all the songs on the album, and even produced the album. In the case of Falcon, all the songs were written by Falcon, with JBJ co producing. In the end even JBJ’s name couldn’t get it to sell.

Undivided is probably the heaviest song Bon Jovi has recorded. The producer was Luke Ebbin (who was introduced to JBJ by A&R legend John Kalodner) and the song was originally called One. For those that don’t know, John Kalodner was the guy that broke Whitesnake in the US and relaunched Aerosmith in the 80’s (both via Geffen Records). He also signed Foreigner and AC/DC to Atlantic Records in the seventies.

They should have kept the One song title. Maybe they thought One belonged to U2. The stomping groove grabs you from the outset. Its mean and its angry and you can feel it coming out of the speakers that way.

That was my brother lost in the rubble
That was my sister lost in the crush
That was our mothers, those were our children
That was our fathers, that was each one of us
A million prayers to God above
A million tears make an ocean of

It could relate to anything, a terrorist attack, a war front, a natural disaster. The message here is to stick together. We can rise back up, but we can’t do it alone. We need each other. We need to do it together. Even though we are connected to each other 24/7, we are alone. We don’t stick together anymore.

I found spirit; they couldn’t ruin it
I found courage in the smoke and dust
I found faith in the songs you silenced
Deep down it’s ringing out in each of us

I know that this song is about the twin towers. When I listened to the song back in 2002 that was not how I related to it. Being from Australia, the Bali Bombings happened on the 12 October 2002, and the Bounce album was released on the 6 October 2002. This song to me is about Bali. I even wrote a song called Mourning Sun, about the two terrorist acts.

When people are hurting they turn to music. All the fund-raising is aided by musical benefit concerts and compilation albums. When I couldn’t make sense of what was happening in the world I turned to music.

Hearing this song again in this day and age, one day we will stand as one against the copyright maximalist, against the greedy politicians and the lobby groups that influence them, against crime and violence in the family. One day Bon Jovi will release another song as powerful as Undivided, instead of the C Grade elevator music they released with What About Now.

For those that don’t know, here it is

For those that know it, revisit it, put it in your mp3 player and spread the word on it.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Last Man Standing – Classic Bon Jovi song waiting to be rediscovered

I have been critical of Bon Jovi, especially around their latest release What About Now.  However, the band has created a lasting legacy and a lot of great songs along the way.  Everyone knows the hits.  They are the songs we go to the live show to see.  However, there are a lot of songs that deserve more attention than what they have received. 

This song has had some history.  It is written by Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Falcon.  The studio version was meant to be on 2003’s This Left Feels Right greatest hits package, however, it ended up on the 100,000,000 Fans Can’t Be Wrong box set released in 2004.  It was a laid back acoustic style ballad with slide guitar and all the country twang you can get into a song.  An acoustic live version of the song was added to the This Left Feels Right DVD.

It was then re-worked into a great rock song for the 2005 Have A Nice Day album.  The intro grabs you and makes you want to pay attention.  It’s no longer a ballad, but a real rocker.  This is the beauty of music.  You can try different variations of the same song.  The rockier Last Man Standing leaves the original version in the dust.

The theme of the song is about kids turning up to a circus/freak show act to see the last real performer of live music.

Come see a living, breathing spectacle
Only seen right here
It’s your last chance in this lifetime
The line forms at the rear
You won’t believe your eyes
Your eyes will not believe your ears
Get your money out, get ready
Step right up, yeah you, come here

I live in Australia.  In most cases, the bands that come down are the large arena bands.  Normally around Soundwave (February each year), I will get to some sideshows of the medium sized bands to come down for this festival.

This year I caught Bullet For My Valentine and Periphery sideshows.  Last year I caught Machine Head, Times of Grace, Shadows Fall and Chimera side shows.  I paid like $60 for those tickets.  I saw Motley Crue and Kiss last month and paid $200 a ticket.  I’m going to see Black Sabbath in a few weeks’ time and that is $160, compared to Coheed and Cambria at $60 the week before.

Basically the larger bands will try and grab more of the punters dollar as they have a larger entourage and then it will be the last man standing in the audience.

Once upon a time, rock shows where exactly that, people lined up around the side of streets just to get in.  These days, it’s not like that.  I have been reading articles where a lot of artists state that no new band can become a mega star like the artist of the old, and they always make reference to Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Bon Jovi, etc…

Bullshit, I say.  Artists are just as relevant today as they were in the past.  The difference is, in the past, artists created music and followed their muse.  If they sold a million or sold a thousand it didn’t matter.  These days, artists are in it for the money only.  If they sell a thousand, they see it as a failure.  The ones that are in it for the music end up breaking through.  Adele’s first two albums where so personal, she wrote those songs as a sort of therapy to get over her relationship problems.  She didn’t write them, thinking Rolling In The Deep will sell millions and 21 will move 13 million units plus.  The question is what Adele will do now.  Will she become another corporate money making slave?

You ain’t seen nothing like him
He’s the last one of the breed
You better hold on to your honey
Honeys, don’t forget to breathe
Enter at your own risk, mister
It might change the way you think
There’s no dancers, there’s no diamonds
No this boy he don’t lip synch

The debate, live vs. lip synch.  These days, it is acceptable to lip sync if you tell the people buying the tickets that you will be lip syncing.  However it is not acceptable to lip sync if you are telling the people that you are performing live.  There was that whole Britney Spears debacle here in Australia when she toured last time around, as she was lip syncing and didn’t tell the paying customers that is the case.

See those real live calloused fingers
Wrapped around those guitar strings
Kiss the lips where hurt has lingered
It breaks the heart to hear him sing
The songs were more than music
They were pictures from the soul
So keep your pseudo-punk, hip-hop, pop-rock junk
And your digital downloads

Artists used to play a tonne of live shows, to build an audience, to create a buzz and to get a recording contract that promised to make them mega starts.   These days, it’s not like that.  Artists can create something magical in the bedroom on a laptop, and reach a global audience of millions.  There is no need for the gatekeeper.   Bon Jovi wrote this song around 2002/2003 and you can tell he is trying to hold on to the old ways.  He’s even gone on record saying that Steve Jobs destroyed the music business and the album.  What he should have been saying is that Steve Jobs added money to the music business because the legacy record labels where too stupid and clueless to innovate and do it themselves.

If you like the country style of Bon Jovi, check out the ballad version.  It’s a live version that has Jon’s message in the intro about the song.

If you like the rock style of Bon Jovi, check out the rock version.

If you are a fan of Bon Jovi, check out both.

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