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 the following:
- “Wanted Dead or Alive” off 1986’s ‘Slippery When Wet’
- “Bad Medicine” off 1988’s ‘New Jersey’
- “Born to Be My Baby” off 1988’s ‘New Jersey’
Now it is time for another ‘New Jersey’ single with “I’ll Be There For You”. This was the third single off the album and it went to #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts. This was the band’s fourth #1 song and if I’m not mistaken, it was their last but not from lack of great songs as they still put out some fantastic tracks even after this one. This particular song was written soley by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora with no outside help. Same with the B-Side, “Homebound Train”. Bon Jovi was at the top of their game and no one could touch them. They could have taken a piss, recorded it and it probably would’ve gone to #1 too as long as Jon and Richie were in the video.
If you ever wanted to know why this era of rock bands were called “Hair Bands”, just look at the cover. Aqua Net stock was riding high at that time as the amount of hairspray being used put a hole in the ozone layer…true fact!! My version of the single is a standard U.S. version and the single version and album version aren’t really different. There are only a couple seconds shaved off the single. The big difference is the radio edit which this is not.
“I’ll Be There For You” is a pure 80’s power ballad. The song is about a guy that screwed it up with his girlfriend and is dying for one more chance. The song kicks off with the girl having packed her bags and leaving. He apparently has hurt her a lot as she’s cried a thousand rivers. The boyfriend pleads for one more chance and will do anything for her he promises. He’ll be there for her…blah, blah, blah. You know he won’t. He’ll screw it up again. It is probably best she leave, but sorry that isn’t in the song as I went off on a slight tangent, sorry about that.
Musically, it starts off with a soft guitar picking and is really a slowed tempo. Jon comes in singing softly and tries to be emotive as he can. The song builds up and gets a little stronger as we go. Richie Sambora actually shares a little of the lead vocals with Jon. Richie’s backing vocals and lead in this case are always the best and he was so crucial to their sound which they are lacking now, but we won’t go there. The song is a classic power ballad including the powerful choruses and the killer guitar solo also by Richie. I don’t know if I’ve noticed how prominent Tico’s drums were on this one, very nice. With all that is going on in the song, it is no wonder this song went to #1.
The B-Side is “Homebound Train”. The song is also off ‘New Jersey’ and might be the heaviest song on the album. It is as close to heavy metal as the band will ever get. The song opens with some twangy guitars and a train sound before the song explodes into a heavy metal rocker. Jon screams out a train whistle sound and then races in to the lyrics. The tempo is quick, fast and furious and chugs along frantically. There is a cool part before Sambora’s stellar solo with a harmonica (Jon Bon Jovi) and keyboard (David Bryan) going back and forth soloing and playing off each other which is new and different and awesome. I like this one as it so different than anything else on the album.
And there you have the next single in the series. We only have 1 more to go so we will see you next week with the fourth single off ‘New Jersey’ and our last in the series…for now!!