For My Sunday Song #198, we are going with another deep cut and with a non-single song called “Just Older” off the band’s 2000 album called ‘Crush’. The album was kind of a comeback album for the band and the song “It’s My Life” brought the band back in to superstar status and whole new generation of folks got to know the band again and for the first time. However, it was songs like “Just Older” that made remember what a great write Jon was (with the help of Billy Falcon).
The song is pretty inspirational when you listen to those lyrics. It seems to be about two friends seeing each other again and reminiscing about old times, but the big difference is they have accepted the fact they are older and they have no regrets. The chorus really sums it up…
I like the bed I’m sleeping in
It’s just like me, it’s broken in
It’s not old – just older
Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans
This skin I’m in it’s alright with me
It’s not old – just older
Being comfortable in your own skin is what it is really all about. When you are comfortable with who you are, you can appreciate everything around you. You can look back with no regrets and see all the positives. There is another line that hits home to and is also a throwback to another Bon Jovi hit…
I’ve kept my faith
Little lines like that make exploring their lyrics so much fun and what makes songs stick with you and stand out more than others. The little things to grab on to that feel like they are talking about you.
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For My Sunday Song #197, we are going to go with a song off Bon Jovi’s New Jersey album called “Wild is the Wind”. The song was from 1988 and it was never released as a single, but it stuck with me and was one of my favorites on the album. Like a lot of their albums, the deep cuts can sometimes be better than the actual singles and this was one of those for me. Next to “Blood on Blood” from the New Jersey album, this is one I go to more than others.
This song seems to be an admission of guilt for Jon as he seems to be feeling bad for not being there for his wife. It is something deeply imbedded in him that drives him to be on the road all the time. He feels she would probably do better finding someone else that can give her what she needs because he feels he is failing at that task. And as much as he lived that rock star lifestyle, I would say he failed quite a bit at giving her what she needed. In the end, we know how the story ends in real life as he and his wife are still together after all these years.
What I loved about the song is something that was a common theme on the New Jersey songs, it was this cowboy spirit drenched in the music style. It wasn’t a country twang or anything like that, it was mostly in how the acoustic guitar is used in the songs. There is this restless feeling in the songs. Musically, it is a cross between a ballad and just a plain old rock song. It has its slow moments, but rocks out in the end with some damn fine guitar work by Mr. Richie Sambora, the backbone of the band. Tico Torres has some nice drum fills and great moments as well so I don’t want to leave him out. Jon sings with all his heart and his emotions on his sleeve like he always did back then (now the new stuff feels like is his just going through the motions, but that is another story for another day).
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For My Sunday Song # 196, “Bed of Roses” off the 1992 album ‘Keep the Faith’ by Bon Jovi is our song of discussion. The song was released as a single in January 1993 and quickly became another hit for Jon and the gang as it reached #5 on the Billboard Top 40 chart. In a time where grunge was taking over the world, Bon Jovi still managed to throw out hits while others fell by the wayside.
There is one thing Bon Jovi does well and that is a ballad. Jon Bon Jovi wrote this one and man does he have a way with words in this one. What a story he weaves. While sitting in a hotel room, he made the hotel bring up a piano to his room and he sat, still hungover and wrote this beauty. He even talks about the struggles in writing it in the first couple lines…
Sitting here wasted and wounded at this old piano,
Trying hard to capture the moment this morning I don’t know
‘Cause a bottle of vodka’s still lodged in my head,
And some blonde gave me nightmares.
I think that she’s still in my bed.
The song is a sad love song to his wife. Jon lived the rock & roll lifestyle and he was not that faithful to his wife, but by this time in his career, he knew that she was the one he loved. This song was a letter to her that he is sorry for what he has done and that she is really the one for him. He wishes he could be with her lying in a bed of roses while he sits lonely in that hotel room on a bed of nails. It is quite lovely. And some of the lines he wrote in this were beautiful painted pictures…
With an ironclad fist I wake up and French-kiss the morning
and I loved the line…
While my mistress—she calls me
To stand in her spotlight again.
That mistress is the record company and the music business that keeps wanting him to pop out hit after hit and he is longing to be home with her. It is such great story telling.
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For My Sunday Song #195, we are diving in to the fantastic song “Something to Believe” off the band’s 1995 underrated album ‘These Days’. This song was never a single and probably one of the best deep cuts they have on any record. It really spoke to me and to this day, it means a lot.
The song has been considered anti-religious with lines like “I lost all faith in my God, in his religion too”, but the song is really about fighting back and finding that one thing to hold on to and reach for and to believe in. I know for me, I have struggled a lot in this world. There were times I had lost my faith and I still struggle with my belief in religion. Not with God or Jesus, but organized religion. I see the damage it has caused through the centuries, the charlatans out there wanting your money and our the first ones to sin. The holier-than-thou Church goers that think cast the first stone and our cheating on their spouses. The churches that hide the child molesting priest. I could go on and on and talk about the hypocrisy of it all. But I won’t. You get where I am coming from.
So how do you find that one thing to believe in? I don’t know, but dig deep and it just happens. I believe in my wife and kids. My brothers and sisters and those that have always been there. I believe in Jesus and God…BUT…in my own way. As Jon states, “in a world that gives you nothing, we need something to believe in”. And with what has going on in the world these last couple months, I think this song holds even more meaning. Hang in there! We will get through it and come out the other side even better as we always do.
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For My Sunday Song #194, I am picking the 2002 song “Bounce” from the album of the same name. The song was actually released as the fourth single on June 15, 2003 and only reached #39 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Track chart. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Billy Falcon.
The song is the typical feel good, inspirational track that Bon Jovi started writing after their big return to the scene with their smash hit “It’s My Life” off their 2000 album. They would repeat that formula over and over ad nauseum. So, the song isn’t actually one of their best and really nothing special…so why did I pick it. Actually, it is for the memory it creates. It isn’t because it was dedicated to the New England Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick, which it was. It is filled with lots of sports analogies so I guess it makes sense.
The memory is from when my girls were really young like 5 and 2 years old. They loved this song with all its energy and the whole “bounce chorus”. It would come on in the car and we would all sing along especially with that catchy chorus. They would sing as loud as they could on the Bounce lyrics in the chorus. It was so much fun. They might not remember those moments, but I will never forget.
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For My Sunday Song #192, we are going to discuss the very last great Bon Jovi song to ever be written. The song is “We Don’t Run” and it is lead single from their 2015 album ‘Burning Bridges’. The album is a big F U to the band’s record label Mercury. This was a total contract fulfillment album as the band lumped together some unfinished songs and wrote this particular one for the album. It isn’t a terrible album, but far from their best.
The song is another in a long line of rock anthems that are meant to be uplifting and empowering which all started with song “It’s My Life” back in 2000. The song does make you feel inspired as it is telling you to stand up for you believe in and do what you need to do to make it happen. The song was written with John Shanks who also produced the album with Jon Bon and it also is where the album title comes. Interesting note, this is the first album not to feature Richie Sambora…and with the exception of this song, it shows.
Musically the song is heavy on the bass and the drum which drives the beat home and is the force behind the song thanks to Hugh McDonald on bass and Tico Torres on drums. The guitar solo on this song is amazing and is handled by John Shanks who earned his chops playing with Melissa Etheridge. Jon sings the lines in the same force as the drum beat, very powerful and perfect timing on the delivery. The combo of the drum beat and his vocals, you get worked up and ready to fight for what you want. On an album that was lacking a lot, this left you feeling good.
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Ever since the first time I heard the song “Fantasy” on MTV back in 1981, I have been a huge fan of Aldo Nova’s. In fact, I finally got to meet him back during his “Blood on the Bricks” Tour back in 1991. It was cool getting his autograph and the band’s which included current Bon Jovi guitarist, Phil X.
Aldo hails from Canada and has worked with Jon Bon Jovi on the debut album of Bon Jovi and his solo album from the movie ‘Young Guns’ which he wrote the guitar riff for “Blaze of Glory”. He has also worked with Celine Dion where he has written for her as well as produced which garnered him a Grammy for Producing her album “Falling Into You”. He has been busy. However, we will only concentrate on his Solo work here for this post.
He has put out only 6 solo albums and there is talk of some new material coming and if so, I will be in line to buy it (okay, I will click away on my computer and have it delivered). From his eponymous debut to Aldo Nova 2.0, we will go through and I will rank them from Worst to First. I am sure people will disagree the order, but that is fine as this is only my opinion, you have your own. I do hope you enjoy it nonetheless and maybe you discover something new and try him out.
THE WORST – NOVA’S DREAM (1997):
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The year is 1990 and we are getting to the end of the Hair Metal era, but at the time, no one knew that end was coming. Ratt released their fifth album in August of 1990 and it brings us to the end the long running stream of Platinum albums. It is also the last Ratt album with the line-up that has been on all 5 of their albums.
- Stephen Pearcy – vocals
- Robbin Crosby – lead guitar
- Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
- Juan Croucier – bass guitar
- Bobby Blotzer – drums
After the disappointing reception for ‘Reach for the Sky’ (although it did go Platinum), the band needed to make a change. That change was not to use Beau Hill as producer on the next album as he had produced all previous albums to much success. The band (or label) brought in powerhouse songwriter Desmond Child. You know Desmond…he had great success writing with Kiss, Aerosmith and a few Bon Jovi classics.
And did he ever get involved in the songwriting as he has writing credits on 10 of the 11 tracks on the album. Not only did Desmond assist with songwriting, he was also the executive producer along with Sir Arthur Payson. While Ratt did maintain the classic Ratt sound which was a little bluesy and little sleazy, the songs were much more polished and contained more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box. It definitely leaned to a more Glam rock image than prior albums.
Continue reading “Ratt – ‘Detonator’ – Album Review”
For My Sunday Song #81, I bring you one of my favorite songs off the Bon Jovi album ‘New Jersey’. That song is “Blood on Blood”. Back in the day, Bon Jovi actually wrote songs with heart and songs that told great stories. Stories you cared about and became connected with such as Tommy and Gina in “Livin’ On a Prayer”. “Blood on Blood” was the song that really connected with me.
The song was never released as a single, but I probably listened to it more than any other song on the album. The song was based on the movie “Stand By Me”. Jon was so inspired by that movie, he got with Richie Sambora and Desmond Child and they crafted this gem.
The story is about three childhood friends, though not related, were like brothers to each other. They cut their hands and then shook to signify they were blood brothers, lifelong friends and friends you could call at any time and they would be there to help.
That theme resonated with me. It resonated so much, I started outlining a book based on that very concept. Sadly, I never finished that book (or really ever started other than the outline – maybe some day). Anyway, take a listen to the song and read the lyrics and hopefully you will see what I mean. It is a powerful song about friendship and if you have a friend or friends like that, then this song is for you!
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Happy Tuesday! I think it is time for a little Bon Jovi. Whether you like them or not, they are an amazing rock band…ok…were an amazing rock band. I don’t know what the shit is they are doing now. Despite the decline in quality (and sales), I still love Bon Jovi…ok..the Bon Jovi with Richie Sambora!!
Here are some memes to hopefully brighten your day after a crappy Monday.
Let me start it off with one about Richie leaving the band (and I love how they misspelled cocain”e”).
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