As far as classic rock goes, Bon Jovi is one of those names that immediately comes to mind whenever you think of it. Bon Jovi essentially defined 80s rock, capturing the glam, aesthetic, and energy perfectly throughout their career (which is still going strong today). It’s no surprise, then, that they were showing their prowess from their very first record. Bon Jovi’s self-titled 1984 debut record Bon Jovi did more than just introduce one of music’s biggest bands to the mainstage, but it also breathed life into an iconic genre.
Chances are that it’s the singles that defined the Bon Jovi experience for you, and Bon Jovi is certainly full of them. Opener ‘Runaway‘ is a Bon Jovi classic, its dramatic start leading into huge, almost bigger-than-life riffs and a catchy, rebellious chorus that can’t help but inspire a bit of that old punk inside you. Jon Bon Jovi‘s vocals demand a presence on the track above the song’s already active instrumental, showing off part of the reason why Bon Jovi was such a major success. ‘Roulette,‘ while not a single, follows up with even more drive to it to keep the record’s energy going early on, the dark yet big track seeing the band tackle more of a hopeless and lost feeling (which doesn’t stop them from diving into an electrifying guitar solo, however). Other singles from the record include ‘She Don’t Know Me,’ a more formulaic song famous for being the only track not written by a member of the band, and the giant ‘Burning For Love‘ that has a big attitude and is bent on finding the right person.
There’s more going on in Bon Jovi than just an introduction of 80s rock. Bon Jovi take many risks throughout Bon Jovi, whether it be experimenting or drawing from their influences. Glam rock finds its way into the record through ‘Love Lies,’ especially in the choruses that punch ahead confidently while the verses move a bit more smoothly and with less urgency. ‘Shot Through The Heart‘ (not to be mistaken with the classic ‘You Give Love A Bad Name‘ from 1986’s Slippery When Wet) sees a cooler side of the band’s music, even when the lyrics show a lot of hurt behind the track. ‘Come Back‘ is the only track that’s a true-to-heart 80’s rock track, coming in just before ‘Get Ready‘ ends things off with a funkier note, keyboards singing and guitars jumping with energy to take the record out.
Bon Jovi has been carrying the flagship of rock music since their very first record, and even though their prime has long since passed, their influence on music can never be understated. Bon Jovi’s began defining rock music from their very first effort, 1984’s Bon Jovi, and the rest is history.
Favorite Tracks: Runaway, Roulette
Least Favorite Track: Come Back
Rating: 76 / 100
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