Hair Metal

Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet

Slippery When Wet boasts some of the very best hair metal songs. Incendiary hits like You Give Love A Bad Name, Wanted Dead or Alive, and arguably the most famous one of all, Livin' on a Prayer, Slippery When Wet is perhaps Bon Jovi's finest work to date.

Three of the best hair metal songs come from Bon Jovi's, Slippery When Wet - Livin' on a Prayer, You Give Love A Bad Name, and Wanted Dead or Alive.

"Beethoven’s favorite works include Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ Handel’s ‘Messiah," and Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet.’ - Bill S. Preston, Esq."

Bon Jovi's anthemic third studio album, Slippery When Wet was one of hair metal's finest albums of all time. Top notch pop-rock songwriting at its best. Heavy metal it was not. 100% Hair Metal For sure.

30 years later, it might even be classic rock. Sad.

Start the second chorus?

"Hey, Jon, time to get back on stage. Remember, we go to color at 2:39!"

Key change?

"GET HIS ASS on a harness! This, I demand!"

Slippery When Wet notes

Let It Rock

Shredding keyboard over a drawn out guitar note? Great intro.

A minute in and we are still on Whoaaaaa Ohhhh Ohhhs ... awesome. JBJ and crew easing us into La Musica Rock.

One thing that separates Jovi from the pack is storytelling. You will see this throughout Slippery When Wet.

Richie Sambora (lead guitar) and David Bryan (keyboards) play off each other quite a bit in Let It Rock. As to the former, Sambora nails commercially perfect solos at will.

Also, it's a song with rock in the title.

You Give Love A Bad Name

The complete song. You Give Love A Bad Name is righetously bitchin' in EVERY way:

  • Killer intro
  • Simple yet memorable verse riff
  • Fantastic lyrics
  • EPIC chorus
  • Tension, drama, angst
  • HUGE guitar licks
  • DIVE bombing, octave ascending, fluttery whammy bar action
  • MEGA DRUMS under the repeated chorus
  • Larger than life outro

How much did Bob Rock do for this song? I need to know. I can see Jon, Richie, Alec, Tico, and David wrapping this song in the studio and heading straight out to buy Lambos, knowing ... KNOWING that they were now millionaires.

Livin' on a Prayer

One of the best songs ever written. Arguably the greatest. Don't agree? Leave.

It has even more than You Give Love A Bad Name.

  • Spoken word intro
  • The most positive message of triumph through defiance since Optimus Prime discovered The Touch and killed Megatron.
  • Choral Scream Pre-Solo
  • Interstellar 3 step key change, from G to the key of Jersey (Bb)
  • The best WHOA of any song, ever.

Plus, the music video had a dope black and white to color change at the most key moment.

Interestingly enough, Edge of a Broken Heart, a song written during the Slippery sessions by Desmond Child, JBJ, and Sambora, and, produced by Bruce Fairbairn, doesn't appear on the third album. The interesting part is that Vixen has a song of the same name that sounds a lot like Livin' on a Prayer. Is there something I don't know?!

Social Disease

A (rare?) NSFW start to the song. I guess even Bon Jovi isn't immune to the carnal recreations of the decade. You can take the Jersey boys out of Jersey, but you can't take the Sunset Strip out of them? Something like that.

Horns! Yes!

Every song from Bon Jovi sounds like a single, whether it achieved commercial success or not. Social Disease is a perfect example of this.

The horns really are a nice touch.

Wanted Dead Or Alive

This is how you make an acoustic song totally bad ass. It was sequeled on the Young Guns II soundtrack in the form of Blaze of Glory. Thank you, Jon Bon Jovi.

The 12 string rules the mf'ing roost. Plus, Sambora double duties on backing vocals. How he didn't survive as a solo artist is beyond me.

Mmmm Mustache Metal (you'll read about this).

Boss solo. Tasteful licks. Hurricane Richie channels his inner SRV and inner JBJ in Wanted Dead Or Alive.

Raise Your Hands

GET TO THE WINNEBAGO! Only one rock band uses Raspberry Jam!

I saw this live once. Every bit as spectacular as you'd think.

4 minutes and 17 seconds of raised fist, Raise Your Hands is dominant.

Jersey to Tokyo ... NO ONE has ever compared the two prior. Is there a secret Col. Jessup flight that we don't know about between the two cities?

Great direction change (musically) into the solo. I'm glad they overlaid those cheers, guitarist Richie Sambora deserved it.


Did he just namecheck Phoenix there at the end!?

Without Love

Pick scrape into that opening riff. They make sure they approach an intro from all angles on Slippery When Wet. Has a very 50s vibe to it, only overdriven into 1986.

Without Love is how you write professional album filler. This is a track that supports the hits, gets an occassional nod live, and moves the listener toward the next major album release.

Dramatic focus on JBJ at 2:20.

I'd Die for You

Runaway clone with a hint of Separate Ways from Journey, and a natural precursor to [New Jersey][/bon-jovi/new-jersey/]'s Born to Be My Baby. You know, beyond Born To Be My Baby basically being Prayer II.

Some fine rhythym playing by Such. JBJ mails in the second verse lyrics a bit. Oh well, can't hit homeruns across an entire 10 song album.

I'd Die for You really does the pre-chorus well. It gives Def Leppard stiff competition. Actually, it makes sense that two of the very best hair bands, or bands of any genre for that matter, would be strong in areas that others lack.

Sambora's solos are almost underrated. They are so idyllic and perfectly phrased that I almost start to unhear them. While no one would consider him Eddie Van Halen, he is still an outrageous talent.

Never Say Goodbye

I always forget this song is on Slippery When Wet. Jovi was never afraid to blend country, blues, rock, and everything in between. I dub slow Jovi songs as a Mustache Metal country song. Write that down.

The lyrics to Never Say Goodbye are reasonably authentic for a power ballad.

Wild in the Streets

Kool-Aid Man level OHHHHH YEAHHHHH!s to be found here. Jovi whisper "not tonight!" Average Jovi songs are hits for everyone else.

Throwback tone on the guitar solo. Bryan really underscores the Sambora pickin'. Tico is using up his album beat allotment here on Wild in the Streets.

Mega Happy Ending ends this great album.

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