After label and line-up turmoil, Bon Jovi came back strong with their new album This House Is Not for Sale last week. The band has dealt with the separation from longtime label Mercury and the departure of guitarist Richie Sambora over the last few year, but that has not stopped the arena rock band from continuing to churn out more anthems as they take over a new decade of music. We asked our readers to vote for their favorite songs by Bon Jovi. Here are the results.
Due to the success of "Wanted Dead or Live," Jon Bon Jovi ended up having the opportunity to actually soundtrack a Western film. "Blaze of Glory" was featured on his soundtrack for Young Guns II.
Though extremely cheesy, "I'll Be There for You" off the group's 1988 album New Jersey is one of the most perfectly prom-ready slow dance songs to come out of the hefty roster of Eighties power ballads. It's also a subject of some controversy with musician Joel Ellis having claimed that the band ripped off an unreleased song of his.
Bon Jovi entered the Nineties with a vengeance with their album Keep the Faith. The band became more serious and mature, exploring a harder rock than what they had been known for in the Eighties with the LP's lead single, which remains a live staple for the band.
"You Give Love a Bad Name" was a second life for the tune. Originally titled "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)," the song was a single for Bonnie Tyler by writer Desmond Childs. When the song didn't quite make a dent in the charts, he re-wrote the song with Bon Jovi for Slippery When Wet. It made it all the way to Number One and helped the band officially launch their mainstream dominance.
"Bed of Roses" captures the more tender, romantic side of the arena rock band as Bon Jovi aces the power ballad form on the Keep the Faith track. As they entered the Nineties, it also helped prove their maturity as a band as the popular music around them shifted away from the flashiness of the Eighties.
With a little help from pop savant Max Martin, Bon Jovi entered a rare three decade streak of topping the charts with the boy band-esque arena pop-rock hit "It's My Life." Referencing Frank Sinatra and characters Tommy and Gina from their landmark Eighties anthem, the song became a new kind of millennium classic from the band and gave them a strong start to a new decade for them to dominate.
From 1994's Keep the Faith, "Dry County" clocks in close to 10 minutes, making it Bon Jovi's longest song. The track adheres to the working class themes of many of their biggest songs, discussing the decline of the oil industry in the United States and how that affects blue collar workers.
Even as they've moved on from much of the music released before their breakthrough with Slippery When Wet, "Runaway" remains one of the songs Bon Jovi has been proudest of and serves as a perfect slice of Eighties pop with its keyboard intro, metallic guitar solo and coy delivery from Bon Jovi himself.
The Old West and hair metal doesn't seem like a match made in heaven, but the massive, boastful hit makes a strong case that maybe they should have mixed more. The swaggering cowboy-rockstar anthem was the perfect pop power move for the band following the success of "Livin' on a Prayer" that solidified them as the kings of the rock charts.
It's undeniable that "Livin' on a Prayer" is Bon Jovi's biggest hit, but the larger-than-life rock classic became a symbol of an entire decade and a multi-generational anthem. Over the course of the track, the listener gets to know Tommy and Gina, a working-class symbol who doubles as a symbol for the effect of trickle-down economics of the Reagan era, as lead singer Jon Bon Jovi once explained. The song re-entered the Hot 100 in 2013 thanks to a viral video of a man dancing to it a sporting event.