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:
Now it is time for another ‘New Jersey’ single with “Born to be My Baby”. This was the second single off the album and did pretty dang great going all the way to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 and it was one of 5 Top 10 Singles off this album…crazy!!! It was another track written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and of course, Desmond Child. There is no denying his impact with the band.
As you can see from above that the B-Side is “Love For Sale” also from the same album. However, that is WRONG!!! Ok, not really, that is truly the B-Side, but my copy is not normal. It is actually a promo that was sent out using the regular single cover. So, my copy has “Born to Be My Baby” on both sides. It even says on the single label, “Promotional Copy – Not For Sale” which I think is cool. Like some older promos that I have which has one side Stereo and one side Mono, this one is all Stereo and the same song on each side, no differences.
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.
For My Sunday Song #259, we are going to talk about “Shame, Shame, Shame” from Ratt’s 1990 album ‘Detonator’. The song was written by Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Desmond Child who also produced the album. The song was a Japan Only single and therefore never charted in the US since it wasn’t released here. The album didn’t do that well either only going Gold in the U.S. and hitting #23 on the charts. This surprises me as this to me is one of their best albums, if not THE BEST album they had done.
Lyrically, the song is about catching your girlfriend cheating and telling them they should have known better as now it is over. It is a big F.U. to the girlfriend that they screwed up and now they need to pack their bags and get the hell out. Since the girlfriend instigated the affair, he has no remorse or doubt that she needs to go. Really no other interpretation for this one. It is pretty straight-forward and simple.
The songs opens with a little Warren DeMartini penned instrumental piece called “Intro to Shame” with its slow detuned guitar solo which then slams into the blistering opening track “Shame Shame Shame”. The song comes at you full force and the guitar work is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!! There is even a guest appearance by the super talented Michael Schenker. What more could you want in an opening track. It is hard, heavy, catchy and starts off the album better than probably any of their other albums. Stephen’s vocals are spot on with that gritty, smoked too many cigarettes, drank too much whiskey edge it screams a bluesy vibe matched with Warren’s bluesy guitar tone. It is legendary!!
We are now in to 2006 and Kiss hasn’t put out a studio album in 8 years. 8 YEARS!!! That is insane. I figure Paul was getting a little restless and decided it was time for the follow-up to the 1978 first solo album. Heck, Gene finally did a solo album back a few years, so why not Paul. ‘Live to Win’ was finished and released on October 24, 2006 and yes, I was a release day buyer for this one. Come on, its Paul, why would I not be.
Paul brought in a lot of people to help with this album and the usual suspects are there including his long time collaborator, Desmond Child. We also see Marti Frederiksen, Holly Knight and even John 5 plus a few other writers. I believe there is only one song Paul wrote by himself. As far as musicians on the album, you do get John 5 on a couple and you get Kiss alum Bruce Kulick on bass…wait…what??? Bruce on bass? I’m sorry, Bruce is a bad ass guitar player, why is he mitigated to only the bass. Seems like a waste. And lastly, I noticed Tommy Denander who has played on it seems hundreds of albums. The rest of the musicians I am going to guess are studio guys and all very talented because all studio musicians are amazing.
Back before Christmas, Noble Records here in Charlotte came across an amazing Record Collection that was being sold and it was filled with so many rare and amazing rock and metal albums. He naturally bought it and offered it up in his store in a huge release on December 12, 2020. He called it Metalocalypse or something like that. It was full of great stuff and worth getting up and being in line almost an hour before opening and I was’t alone. I was sadly, about 20th in line and as a result I didn’t get everything I wanted. But there was one thing I saw on his instagram posts and videos that caught my eye and I was able to grab it.
That was a Promotional Copy of Bon Jovi’s single “You Give Love a Bad Name”. Doesn’t sound like a big deal does it? You’d be wrong because this is special for two reasons. First, It has the original banned album cover as the single cover art work. The woman in the wet T-Shirt. Yeah, I’ll take that shot any day. But that wasn’t the only thing cool about it. It was also autographed by Jon Bon Jovi himself. Of course, it is made out to Paul who was the gentlemen that originally had these albums. He owned a record shop back in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s as that was the time frame of most of his albums. I am glad that I have one of his pieces and he can be happy it is with a fellow music lover. Paul has since passed away which is the reason the collection was up for sell.
After Kiss released the greatest hits package ‘Chikara’ to Japanese and European audiences, the U.S. finally got its own greatest hits package. This was now the fourth greatest hits set the other two being Killers and Double Platinum. Of the four, the U.S. only saw two official releases. ‘Smashes, Thrashes & Hits’ was released on November 15, 1988. Kiss wasn’t doing much at this time. They were done touring for ‘Crazy Night’, they wouldn’t start working on their next album for about at least half a year or more, Gene had his side projects of his own record label and the band was in limbo.
The album sold pretty well selling over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album did have two brand new songs to help drive fans to buy it (and it worked, I bought it). And like the compilation, ‘Killers’, the two new songs were solely done by Paul Stanley. Gene was not involved yet again as he was too busy. Paul saves the day yet again. The album did contain 15 tracks, but the European release of this album saw 16 tracks which the extra track was “Crazy, Crazy Nights” from the album ‘Crazy Nights’. Apparently in the U.S., they thought that album was too new to include a song on the compilation I guess.
Now my copy of this album is very special. It was autographed by Lori if you look in the Kiss logo on the front cover. I don’t know who she is, but I bet she owned this record many years ago. All I know her signature actually isn’t worth much because it brought down the price of the album by around $50 and I only paid like $15-20 for it. Thanks Lori. You saved me a lot.
We are now in 1987 in the Kiss timeline and something odd has happened. For the first time in Kisstory, Kiss did not release an album in a given year. 1986 did not see a Kiss studio album release. For a band that started out doing 2 a year and then one a year, it is a huge surprise that 1986 saw nothing. Not even a greatest hits package. After the Asylum Tour ended, Kiss took a break as they had been going strong for 12 years non-stop. Gene went off and produced other albums such as Black N’ Blue and Paul, well Paul was left trying to keep Kiss alive (no pun intended).
By this time, Paul was pretty sick of Gene’s lack of commitment and confronted Gene about. He told Gene that it wasn’t fair that he was off doing all these side projects while reaping the benefits of Kiss thanks to Paul doing all the work and heavy lifting and you know, Paul is right. Paul was the one to save Kiss and keep the wheel’s turning. I don’t know how much that worked, because Gene’s input on this album is still pretty minimal with only 4 of the 11 songs on the album. Heck, Bruce had 4 writing credits on this album and Eric had one. Paul brought in some of the same people to help write the album including Adam Mitchell, Desmond Child and even Diane Warren. The band took on a more pop, radio-friendly sound with this one and saw them use synthesizers a great deal more with Paul, Bruce and Phil Ashley helping out on that instrument. The one cool thing about the album is that the line-up is unchanged from ‘Asylum’. Kiss saw no turnover this time around and this band would stay together for at least one more album.
With the success of ‘Lick It Up’, Kiss was back on top…well as close to on top as they were going to get for awhile. They were somewhat relevant again, but things weren’t easy. Vinnie Vincent was officially out of the band by around April 1984 and they needed a guitarist quick as it was time to record a new album. They settled on a guitarists by the name of Mark St. John. He was a proper shredder which was typical of the time thanks in large part to the late, great Eddie Van Halen. Now fully staffed again, they went in to the studio in May and worked through July on the album.
I said “they”, but that was a loose term. This project was really more Paul’s than Gene’s. Gene was out doing movies, trying to produce new rock bands and pretty much anything else that wasn’t Kiss. Paul Stanley ran the shop and actually ended up producing the album. Gene Simmons showed up on occasion to give us a handful of a mediocre songs. But he didn’t play on all the songs.
For this version of the The Original Vs The Cover we have yet another threepeat with the song “Hide Your Heart” which was original performed by Bonnie Tyler, then Kiss and then Ace Frehley all within a couple years. The song was written by Paul Stanley of Kiss along with the great Desmond Child and Holly Knight. The song was originally written for the Kiss album ‘Crazy Nights’ but didn’t make the cut so Paul shopped it around and Bonnie Tyler wound up with it. Kiss then put it on their next album and the same month, Ace Frehley, formerly of Kiss, did the song for his album ‘Trouble Walkin’.
After the success Desmond Child had with “Livin’ On a Prayer’ with Bon Jovi, Paul Stanley wanted to write a song in that same vein. Instead of Tommy and Gina, we get a cheap knock-off version of Johnny and Rosa. The problem with their relationship wasn’t the hardships of life, but that Rosa had a boyfriend named Tito who sounds like a gang leader in the shady part of town. Already, we know Rosa has bad taste in men. The story doesn’t end well like Tommy and Gina did. Basically this was a poor man’s version of “Livin’ on a Prayer” and the storyline sucked and was a total rip-off. It was too formulaic and Kiss was trying to chase trends at the time instead of being a leader and this was a perfect example of the trash that came out as a result. I guess it is pretty obvious I hate this song so why I am writing about it? Because I need to get it off my chest that I hate this song…I really don’t like it.
The song was never a big hit for any of the artist as it never cracked the Top 40. Even more proof of how bad this song really is. Enough about my distaste for the song, let’s get to the performances so I can get this over with and put out of my misery (ha!).
For My Sunday Song #200 and the final in the Bon Jovi set of 10 songs, we are discussing the classic song, “Livin’ On A Prayer”. The song is off the band’s mulit-platinum selling album ‘Slippery When Wet’. The song was the second single off the album and the second to go all the way to #1. The song and the album put Bon Jovi in to super star status and nothing would be the same afterwards.
The song was written by Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi with a lot of help from songwriter Desmond Child who was brought in by the record label to help the boys finish the album and work on some songs. The song is loosely based on Desmond and his girl-friend as she worked in a Diner, but he was a taxi driver and not working at the docks. It was that Blue Collar feel to the song that made it resonate with so many people. It was a time when Bon Jovi actually wrote songs that told a story that connected with people and not try to write just to make a hit.
However, after recording it, Jon didn’t really like the song and wanted to leave it off the album. Richie thought it was great and convinced Jon to re-work the song. It was much improved by changing the bass line and recording with Hugh McDonald and not Alec John Such. Funny thing, Hugh would become a band member less than 10 years later (unofficially of course). Richie also added a talk box to the guitar to give it that extra boost in the same way Peter Frampton used it and made it famous. The song was turned in to a complete masterpiece.