Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi

#1 Alert!
Song#:  2852
Date:  09/06/1986
Debut:  93
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  24
Genre: Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  Bon Jovi's first two albums were moderately successful when released and by the time '86 rolled around each one had been certified gold. Not a bad result, but it just wasn't what the band was looking for. They wanted to be far more successful and they knew that their third album was potentially a make-it-or-break-it moment. To help expand both their sound and commercial viability, the band hired on Bruce Fairbairn to produce and did some songwriting with Desmond Child. The results became the album Slippery When Wet and this first single kicked things off. It debuted low on the Pop chart, but thanks in part to a popular MTV video, the song began to take off. By the end of November, the song topped the chart. It also did well at Rock getting to #9. The hit would help the album reach #1 for a week in October. It would return to the top spot early in '87 for a seven week run. This was exactly the kind of results the band was looking for and soon they would reach superstar status.

ReduxReview:  This song grabbed you by the nuts right from the beginning. The opening a cappella chorus followed by the band blasting in with a great guitar lick was quite unforgettable. It was bigger and better than anything the band had done before and it came across like the opening salvo in a war to conquer the charts. They certainly came out winners and deservedly so. I think the key with both this song and the album was that the band sounded energized and fully engaged. They didn't have a good experience on their previous album, so for Slippery they were determined to make it work. They found the right people to work with and that made a big difference as well. This was a huge slice of hooky, radio-friendly hard rock and it was pretty clear that it was going to be a major hit.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Desmond Child established himself as a songwriter for other artists when his tune "I Was Made for Lovin' You" became a #11 hit in 1979 for Kiss. He supplied Kiss with more tunes and Cher also recorded a few for her 1982 album I Paralyze. Then producer Jim Steinman approached Child to write a couple songs for Bonnie Tyler's follow-up album to her platinum seller Faster Than the Speed of Night. Steinman had a small list of requirements and Child went to work. One of the songs he came up with was "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)." It fit the bill and Tyler recorded the tune. It would be released as the second single from her LP Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. Unfortunately, the song didn't catch on and it stalled at a low #77 in the US. It did a little better in Europe and even got to #6 in France, but it certainly wasn't a major charter. Child believed the song to be a hit and thought the record company failed to promote it properly. When Child began writing songs with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, he brought the tune along. The trio then rewrote it and then end result was "You Give Love a Bad Name." The revisions were exactly what was needed and the song turned into a major hit.


1 comment:

  1. 9/10 for me as well, I always felt this was the song that helped the hair bands gain extensive attention for several years from 1987 to 1990 as you start seeing more of the hair bands score Top 10 singles during that time frame, this is definitely one of Bon Jovi's best songs and was happy for them breaking it big with this song.