Friday, October 29, 2021

"Bad Medicine" by Bon Jovi

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3658
Date:  09/24/1988
Debut:  43
Peak:  1 (2 week)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  The Jersey band's first two albums performed modestly well, but neither of them truly met Bon Jovi's expectations at a music or sonic level. They knew their third effort was going to be crucial, so they bet everything on working with producer Bruce Fairbairn, engineer Bob Rock, and songwriter Desmond Child. The resulting album, 1986's  Slippery When Wet, was exactly what they were looking for and their gamble paid off handsomely with the LP spending eight weeks at #1 and spawning a pair of #1 hits. By the fall of '87, the album had sold over eight million copies. Bon Jovi became rock superstars, but they still had a lot to prove. The task of following up such a major success was not easy, but the band was up for the challenge. Keeping their same core team as before, the band got in the studio and recorded their fourth album New Jersey. The highly anticipated LP got kicked off with this rockin' first single. Of course it was all over radio and MTV from the get-go, which helped the tune debut just outside of the Top 40 on the Pop chart. It wouldn't take too long for the single to reach the #1 spot while also getting to #3 at Rock. The album would debut at #8 and then easily cruise to #1 in its second week. It would remain at that spot for four weeks. Before the year was out, the LP would already be certified triple-platinum.

ReduxReview:  Even now, I find this song an interesting choice to toss out as a lead single. There was a lot riding on the tune and when I first heard it, I wasn't sure it was going to click. It was a bombastic rocker tinted with a smidge of the blues that oddly started out with the chorus. The feeling of the tune shifted at points and then there was a break that had Jon Bon Jovi doing a sort of James Brown-ish "I'm not done yet" kind of thing to bring around the chorus once more. The song was certainly arena ready. I just wasn't sure if it had enough mainstream appeal to make it a hit. There certainly were other more radio-friendly tracks on the album, so this one being pushed out first was a bit bold. However, that chorus was undeniably catchy and with Def Leppard and Guns N' Roses turning the volume up and getting hits, the tune certainly had a chance. Indeed it suited everyone just fine and Bon Jovi ended up with their third #1. I liked the song enough to immediately buy the album.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  With Russia going through a thawing period where the government was allowing aspects of Western culture to be let in to the country, music was at the forefront and a few acts were allowed to perform in the country. One of the major breakthrough events was the 1989 Moscow Music Peace Festival. The two day event featured Western hard rock/metal bands including Ozzy Osbourne, Cinderella, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi. It was a highly successful venture that introduced bands to the Soviet people many of whom were not familiar with any of the acts. Bon Jovi became the standout favorite and soon were an act that got the approval of the Russian government. The band would then become officially sanctioned by Russia and their album New Jersey selected to be the first American rock recording to be officially released and distributed in the country. It was issued out on the Soviet state owned label Melodiya in 1989.


No comments:

Post a Comment