Bon Jovi’s Finest Hour “Slippery When Wet”

Bon Jovi’s Finest Hour

“Slippery When Wet”

To be put in perspective, Rock music in the 1980’s suffered a commercial mutation of the industry had got used to during the 60’s and 70’s, the 80’s were a decade where the flashier the better was the trend to follow, and music in general followed that rule. The new wave of Hard Rock bands influenced by the 1970’s Glam Rock looks and sound (with a paradoxically “punkesque “attitude), were often mislabeled as Heavy Metal back then, the music sometimes wasn’t all that heavy, the quality could also be dubious at times and the looks were flashier than the Glam Rock outfits that Bowie or Marc Bolan worn back in the 70’s, this new scene had a name: Hair Metal, due to the enormous amounts of hair and hairspray invested in bands such as Motley Crue, Cinderella or Poison. That scene generated also bands like Guns N’ Roses or Bon Jovi, which were two unique cases of success from the Hair Metal scene. By 1986 Bon Jovi were already mildly popular, having produced songs such as “Runaway” and “In And Out Of Love”, but it was with 1986 “Slippery When Wet” that the band achieved the success that lasts to this day. A solid muscled rock album that was able to cross the boundaries of the typical Hair Metal sound and compositions of the day making Bon Jovi the first hard rock band ever to have two consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 chart hits,  leaving that way their Hair Metal competition behind.  This was Bon Jovi’s finest hour that produced enduring Rock anthems to this day such as  “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name”.

Original release images and a look back at the band in photos

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Produced by Bruce Fairbarn and mixed by Bob Rock (Metallica’s “Black Album”) , this album also gave Fairbarn a boost to his career, becoming one of Hard Rock’s most in demand producer (he went on to produce Bon Jovi’s successful follow up “New Jersey”,  Aerosmith’s “Permanent Vacation”, “Pump”, AC/DC “The Razor’s Edge”, KISS “Psycho Circus” among many other well known 80’s and 90’s Rock albums. “Slippery When Wet” remains Bon Jovi’s best selling album, with a golden track list that also includes “Wanted Dead Or Alive” and “Never Say Goodbye”.

Legacy

Looking back in a decade where Hard Rock music became somehow flat and disproved of creativity in order to favor looks and attitude, “Slippery When Wet” marked the difference by having good songs, good production, and a timeless Rock anthem formula in its songs that make this more than just another 80’s Hair Metal album. This is a record not just for the dudes that used to look like ladies but for all music lovers and an essential Rock music piece.



Personnel (partial):
Jon Bon Jovi: lead vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar on “Wanted Dead or Alive”
Richie Sambora: guitar, backing vocals, acoustic guitar on “Wanted Dead or Alive”
Alec John Such: bass guitar (credited), backing vocals
Tico Torres: drums, finger cymbals on “Livin’ on a Prayer”
David Bryan: keyboards, backing vocals, horns (horns credited as Lema Moon)

Recorded during: 1986, Little Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia
Produced by: Bruce Fairbairn
Release Date: August 18, 1986
Label: Mercury

Singles:
“You Give Love a Bad Name” Released: July 23, 1986
“Livin’ on a Prayer” Released: October 31, 1986
“Wanted Dead or Alive” Released: March 2, 1987
“Never Say Goodbye” Released: June 15, 1987

Suggested tracks:

“You Give Love a Bad Name” ,”Livin’ on a Prayer”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Let It Rock”, “Raise Your Hands”

Listen to “Slippery When Wet” on Spotify:

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