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Bon Jovi – The Story

Label: Sterling
Format: Book
Released: 2016
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 10/ 10


As we all know (and can hear), since the late 90s and every album after “Keep The Faith”, with the exception of a handful of songs here and there, Jon Bon Jovi has redirected the band of his namesake into even more radio friendly, lesser and lesser hard rock direction. But, regardless of how catchy the songs were, or how good looking the band was – Bon Jovi do have many songs on their first four albums that are real hard rock with a metal edge – what was called Hair Metal. And, we should thank Bon Jovi (and Def Leppard) for really breaking the doors wide open for hard rock and heavy metal bands to mainstream radio (MTV was already on board, along with so many of their peers) audience with their melodic commercial appeal. I even remember hearing Bon Jovi on an east coast radio station, Z100. And live (I saw them during the 80s), Bon Jovi rocked hard and could hang with the metal bands who they opened for (Kiss, Ratt, Judas Priest, Scorpions), to those who opened for them (Cinderella, Skid Row), and fellow Monsters of Rock festival billmates from Ozzy, to even Dio, Metallica, Anthrax and W.A.S.P. – yes, I know, Jovi were not as hard or heavy as a couple of these bands.

 

This (unofficial) book, by author Bryan Reesman, does a great job of documenting Bon Jovi’s past and present. Its begins with the early hard rocking years and Jon’s struggles to get his band noticed with the first two albums to the massive success of “Slippery” and “New Jersey” albums. From his solo albums, to other member’s projects – Tico Torres golfing and David Bryan’s music for Broadway, to guitarist Phil X taking Richie Sambora’s (who went solo) place. While an unofficial biography, it does pull some pre-existing quotes from band members past comments in print, and others in the industry who worked with the band, collaborators like Desmond Child and Wayne Isham. Plenty of pictures are included from every period, project, and album (even the controversial “Slippery When Wet” wet t-shirt cover) including track listing and chart positions.

Recommended, along with these rockers for those unfamiliar – ‘Roulette’, ‘Shot Through the Heart’, ‘Breakout’, ‘Get Ready’, ‘In and Out of Love’, ‘Tokyo Road’, ‘Always Run to You’, ‘Let It Rock’, ‘I'd Die for You’, ‘Lay Your Hands on Me’, ‘Homebound Train’, ‘Wild Is the Wind’, ‘I Believe’, ‘Fear’, ‘If I Was Your Mother’, just a few of the crème de la crème.

 
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