On my Summer vacation back in June, I found over 20 singles with the picture sleeve. I’ve been through a bunch of them so far and now we are tackling the Bon Jovi singles that I found. There were 5 Singles found and we kicked it off with one of Bon Jovi’s most popular and famous songs, “Wanted Dead or Alive” off the band’s 1986 album ‘Slippery When Wet’. That was the only one of ‘Slippery When Wet’ as the rest are off their stellar album, ‘New Jersey’. Next up is the first single off the album which was ‘Bad Medicine’. The song was released on September 3, 1988 and went all the way to #1 and was the band’s third #1 single and I don’t think it was their last.
The version I have on 45 is the standard U.S. release with the B-Side as “99 in the Shade”. The only really good thing about it is that the song “Bad Medicine” is actually the single edit which cuts off more than a minute off the album version which sits around 5:16 vs 3:52 for the single.
The title and chorus for “Bad Medicine” came to Richie Sambora when the band was filming a commercial in Japan and Jon Bon Jovi said to hold on to that thought and they would do something with it and after many re-writes with the help of Desmond Child, “Bad Medicine” was complete. The song is based off a really bad relationship Richie was in and if you listen to the lyrics, you can see that must’ve been true. The song opens with a heavy keyboard riff, some drum beats and guitar riff and then turns in to a pure rock & roll anthem. The corny, cheesy ass lyrics fit right in to the 80’s glam scene but today are so bad it is almost laughable. The numerous doctor, medicine references throws every cliche in the book at you and then some. However, the song still kicks ass and is musically a fun, rocking track.
To keep with the stupid and cheesy, why not throw on “99 in the Shade” to keep the theme going. Reminiscent of “Wild in the Streets”, “99” is its lesser cousin that is rocking but full of horrible stupid lyrics and feels like pure filler which it was. At the time, it was a pretty cool track but now seems so dated its awful. It also lacks the punch the A-Side has and the production is little less as well. One of my least favorite tracks on ‘New Jersey’ and during these times I didn’t have a lot of those.
And there you have it. Up next is another single from ‘New Jersey’ and more 80’s fun!!!