I love finding things I hadn’t seen before and 9 times out of 10 it is a bootleg and this one is no different. I really like to buy vinyl bootlegs the best, but I will grab a CD one when the price is right and I am in the mood and both those factors were in place for this find. The Bon Jovi bootleg, called ‘The Rock History’, is a 4 CD set and the price was only $9.99 and since it was used and the place had a special of buy 2 used get 1 for a $1, my daughter and I got to work. Plus, I get 10% off all purchases on top of anything else since I am a frequent customer. All in All, it probably ended up costing around $7.
As you can see, there are a lot of songs on here and though some repeats, there really isn’t that many duplications. I can’t find out much about this set on line, but I was able to determine a couple things. CD 1 and the first two songs on CD 2 are from a radio broadcast of a show Bon Jovi did at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on December 31, 1988. The rest of CD 2 and all of CD 3 is from another Japanese show and radio broadcast from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan on January 3, 1991. The final disc, CD 4, is a mixture of a couple interviews and various live performances that I don’t know where they are from.
The Toyko Dome show was fantastic. Since it is a radio broadcast, the sound quality is great and the vocal quality is untouched and has flaws and all. It is the whole show with all 13 tracks and since this is the end of 1988, it really only has songs from Slippery When Wet and New Jersey. The band didn’t like playing songs from their debut, and there are none on here, and they really didn’t like playing anything from 78000 Fahrenheit, however, they made an exception since they were in Tokyo and played “Tokyo Road”. For me the highlight is always “Blood On Blood” as that is one of my favorite Jovi tracks ever!! Also, I have to admit, hearing “Tokyo Road” was pretty killer too. Since this was New Year’s Eve, the show ended with a New Year’s Countdown and then the band went in to a Bob Dylan cover called “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”. The show is a lot of fun, there is a lot of energy and the boys sound pretty great as they were really hitting full stride at this point in their career.
The second show at the Yokohama Arena was also a full length show, but this one was a full 19 songs. A really impressive show. Again, they only play Slippery When Wet and New Jersey songs with the minor exception of “Tokyo Road”. And this time around they play 4 cover songs as well which to me is a little much. When I saw the track list on the back of the CD case, I saw the song “It’s My Life” and thought this was going to be a show from the early 2000’s and I was wrong. It was actually a cover of The Animals song and the next song of the set was another The Animal’s cover called “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place”. There was one really cool song on here called “Diamond Ring”. They mention that this was a new song and in 1991, it really was because this song didn’t end up on their next album in 1992, Keep the Faith. Nope, it didn’t end up on an album until 1995 and the album was These Days. That was 4 years later.
Let us talk about the sound. The band sound fantastic and Jon’s voice was holding up nicely, but there was something that was very irritating about this recording. There was a constant noise with a very repetitive thump that was on this show throughout. When the sound was low or Jon was talking it was so pronounced and quite annoying. When the band was playing full out, you couldn’t really notice it. It doesn’t make it unlistenable, but it does take away from some enjoyment.
The final disc is a mish-mash of live performances as well as 2 interviews. One interview was from 1985 and the whole band was in on it and they talked about their disdain for making videos. The other interview was from 1992 and it was Jon and he talked about how he is a romantic when it comes to thinking you can make the world better. Then it was the band talking about a break the band took after the New Jersey tour. This disc has some great tracks including the first appearance of “Always” and “Love Lies” and then a bunch off the early albums including “Roulette”, “Runway”, “Bang Bang / Shot Through the Heart”. If you take out the interviews, this is a really cool disc and worth price alone.
And that is it in a nice little package. I am not going through everything as it is over 40 tracks and we would be here forever. If you can find this cheap, it is well worth it. CD 1 and CD 4 are the prizes here as the sound issue on CD 2 and CD 3 really annoyed the crap out of me. And 2 great discs for $7, is a good deal. If all 4 were great, it would’ve been even better. I am going to give the CD set a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars because any classic era Bon Jovi live is still worth grabbing. Since the sound issue doesn’t completely take away from the release, it still gets a good score.
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