My Sunday Song – “Livin’ On A Prayer” – Bon Jovi

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.

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