Friday, November 29, 2019

"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi

#1 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  2967
Date:  12/13/1986
Debut:  83
Peak:  1 (4 weeks)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Arena Rock

Pop Bits:  The third time was the charm for Bon Jovi when their third LP, Slippery When Wet, spawned the #1 Pop and Rock hit "You Give Love a Bad Name." The song would help send the album to #1 for a week late in October of '86, but it would return to the top spot in January of '87 thanks to this follow-up single, which also got to #1 at both Pop and Rock. In fact, it would end up being their biggest hit staying at #1 on the Pop chart for four weeks. Prior to this song being released, the album had already been certified at triple platinum. By the end of '87 it would be certified at 8x platinum and would be the #1 charting album for 1987. This song would prove to be Bon Jovi's signature song and in 2006 VH1 viewers voted it the #1 song of the 80s.

ReduxReview:  The opening of this song is about 45 seconds. In the pop music world, a good chunk of songs are approaching or already into the chorus, so this was a lengthy intro. However, it was quite effective. The build on that lone synth chord through to the verse certainly announced that this was not going to be your average pop single. The chorus was about as arena-ready as you could get and the storyline along with the talk box made it even more memorable. Then to top it all off, a huge key change to the final chorus. The band was prime and Jon Bon Jovi nailed the vocals. It really was a thrilling song to hear. There was just no way this wasn't going to #1 especially following "You Give Love a Bad Name." They would have more hits over the years and sell a bazillion albums, but this song was truly their peak moment.


Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) The physical 45 single of the song would sell well, but it wouldn't quite reach gold-level sales. However, the song continued to stay popular over the years and when it became available in digital form, it began to sell again. In February of 2013, the song was certified at triple platinum for its digital version.  2) The song mentions two characters, Tommy and Gina. Songwriters Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child based the pair on real life people that they had known. Tommy and Gina were later mentioned in another Bon Jovi song. Their 2000 single "It's My Life" recalled the couple. That song was the first single from their album Crush and it was a major worldwide hit going Top 10 in many countries, except for the US where it stalled at #33 on the Pop chart.  3) This song nearly didn't make the album. When the band recorded a demo of the song, it didn't really set their ears afire and it seemed like the song might be set aside. However, band member and co-writer Richie Sambora championed the tune and was convinced it was a hit. The band took another look at the song and after some rearranging, which included the talk box part, the song came to life. Not only did it make the album, but it ended up being their biggest hit. The original demo version the band recorded can be heard as a hidden track on their 2004 compilation box set 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong.


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