There are a LOT of Music Milestones to discuss with you when it comes to 1986 as it was a really great year for the Metal and Hard Rock side of the fence. For me personally I felt that this was an exciting year to be a fan of music because I was heavily into the live music scene and was actively hitting rehearsal spaces with other local musicians to jam out and hopefully secure some gigs. Around this time, I was super into the Hard Rock side more than the eventual more Extreme Metal that I would find myself appreciating and one of the albums I was loving was the third release by New Jersey sons Bon Jovi in “Slippery When Wet”. Today is the thirtieth anniversary of this musical body of work and I have to say that I still love listening to it even after so much time.
When “Slippery When Wet” was released, Bon Jovi was already a very established act but it wasn’t until this album came out that he was thought of as a force to be reckoned with. There are so many excellent tracks on this release and quite a few of them remain a part of his live performance set to this very day. I was a big fan of KISS and Van Halen already so a catchy Hard Rock sound was one that I found very appealing and now that MTV was steamrolling in many homes after being broadcast about five years now, one would easily see a number of Bon Jovi videos in a heavy rotation. I clearly remember the afternoon top video countdown where I first saw “You Give Love A Bad Name”, “Livin’ On A Prayer”, “Wanted Dead Of Alive” and “Never Say Goodbye” but I don’t think that I ever called in to vote for them since it was an extra charge as I recalled. I already added cost too much to the monthly phone bill according to my folks and I wanted to keep that in check as often as possible. Nowadays the fans would probably only need to click “Like” on a Facebook Page. Big fun there as opposed to dialing in and waiting for the choice to come up. Simpler times my readers. Simpler times I did love the Bon Jovi videos as each of them were different from a performance one, to a storytelling one to a collage of their concert adventures and more. Bon Jovi was telling stories in his songs and he spoke to a lot of the youth of the day. I always felt he was like our Bruce Springsteen since he spoke about how our lives were going at that point in history while Bruce did the same for the older generation.
1. Let It Rock
2. You Give Love A Bad Name
3. Livin’ On A Prayer
4. Social Disease
5. Wanted Dead Of Alive
6. Raise Your Hands
7. Without You
8. I’d Die For You
9. Never Say Goodbye
10. Wild In The Streets
For me it’s probably easier to say which ones I didn’t fall in love with or to and that would be “Social Disease” and “Without Love”. These were solid enough tunes but I would skip around the record every so often when giving it a listen. My most favorite tunes are “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive” which are tied for first place in my mental musical lexicon. I would spin this album quite a bit because it absolutely rocks and I was never ashamed to admit to liking it and as I pen these few thoughts for you on its anniversary its blasting through my speakers and I am singing along to almost every single chorus when I am not tapping on the desk in time with Tico’s beats. Of course the last part is making these notes take a little longer. I still have my original vinyl that I purchased not long after it was released (photos in this post) and I either grabbed this at the long shuttered Record Factory, J&R Music World or Bondy’s. Based on my working downtown on Wall Street after school at the time it was probably one of the last two since a lot of my paycheck went to these establishments. Congratulations to Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres and Alec John Such on the thirtieth anniversary of a hard rocking classic. As you might know in today’s music world, Bon Jovi is quite the different band as original bassist Such has been gone since 1994 and has since retired from music while the greater loss to the roster comes with Sambora exiting a few years ago and pursuing a solo career. Perhaps we shall see some sort of live reunion coming to pass to celebrate this milestone. If you were or are a fan of this classic release please let me know your own reflections on it and how it affected you as a fan of music in the comments section below. Those seeking the deeper inside scoop about it should defer to the Wikipedia link below since all of that stuff is there for the indulgence.
Official Website: http://www.bonjovi.com
Official Album Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_When_Wet