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’
- “I’ll Be There For You” off 1988’s ‘New Jersey’
Now it is time for the final single and it is also from ‘New Jersey’ with “Lay Your Hands On Me”. The opening track of the album and the fourth single which only went to #7 on the Billboard Charts and the band’s fourth Top 10 in a row for this album. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and was inspired by a guitar riff by Richie rather than from a song title like they did a lot of the times.
My copy of the single is a standard U.S. version with the B-Side being a live version of “Runaway” which is cool. Glad to finally have a non-album track as the B-Side. “Lay Your Hands On me” is the album version and not a single or radio edit. But what is cool is the sleeve for the single. When you flip to the B-Side of the cover, the picture is up side down. And as you see above, it makes a full shot of Jon Bon Jovi playing a guitar. Kinda cool.
The A-Side, “Lay Your Hands on Me” was actually written while they were in the studio and never did a real demo of the track. The song was crafted as a song that could open a live show and in this case, even an album. The opening drum sound was inspired by Peter Gabriel’s ‘So’ Tour where he used a lot of African drum sound. The song is a shout to everyone that despite their grand success from ‘Slippery When Wet’, they were still just boys from New Jersey and very accessible.
Musically, the drum beat builds up, there are keyboard sounds mixed in with guitar fills and bass parts. Jon comes in and sings softly, the “Lay your hands on me” line and then the song explodes in to a grand arena rock track that screams, Here we are ready to rock you all night. And that is what they would do. It almost has a gospel, church feel to the song (especially with the song title). So much so that Dolly Parton covered it for a Gospel album she did many years back.
The B-Side is a live version of the song “Runaway” from their debut album. The song was recorded in Paris at Le Zenith on November 20, 1988. Cool they used a song from the current tour and being this was the fourth single, they had time to do that. The live version doesn’t seem to be touched up as it is pretty rough and Jon doesn’t alway hit every note so this is a warts and all version which is what I want. I don’t want a polished up studio live version, give me the real thing as if I was there in the audience.
And that is the end of the Bon Jovi single run from what I found in the shop this past Summer. Now, we will continue with the singles and start showing off all the rest of the ones I have in my collection. Who knows what band or single we will get. I will just start pulling them out randomly and writing about them. See you next week.