Bon Jovi – “Bad Medicine” – 45 Single

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!!!

17 thoughts on “Bon Jovi – “Bad Medicine” – 45 Single

  1. Nice find. Despite this being my favourite album from the band, there are two songs I just have to skip. Bad medicine is one. I’ll be there for you is the other. Radio and Much Music killed the first. Ex girlfriend overplayed the second. Silly lyrics aside, I love 99 in the shade. It definitely represented the era – silly lyrics, catchy, fun.

    Yesterday, I finally got a copy of a Richie song I’ve been looking for. Like many people my age, the martial arts movies of the 80s and 90s kept my eyes glued to a screen. Richie had a song (Long way around) from a Steven Segall movie called Fire down below. It sounds like it could have been on Stranger in this town.

    I read over your ranking of the Bon Jovi albums right after this post. I agree with your assessment, with one exception. I’d put 7800 ahead of Crush. If you had to do it over, but this time including JBJ (including Young Guns II) and Richie’s solo material, I wonder how the list would look? I think YGII and Stranger would be in my top 5.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand skipping those two. And yeah, those Steve Segall movies were so bad they were awesome. We’d catch them in the theatre the week they came out.

      Richie’s album would be higher than JBJ’s as I am not a real fan of his Young Guns II album. Blaze of Glory was stellar, the rest of the album was not for me.


  2. Cool find John. I will have to go back and listen to 99 as it’s been years or maybe a few decades since I listened to this album. It was a great tour to have seen them on and I’m glad I did as they are a Vegas act now.
    No Richie + No AJS= no deke

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve got the same single.

    And I believe it’s the silly lyrics that remain with us long after we’ve stopped listening to it.

    Like “I need a respirator cause I’m running out of breath / for you’re an all night generator wrapped in stockings and a dress”.

    How cool is that ? Lol.

    Liked by 3 people

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