Deep Album Cuts Vol. 103: Bon Jovi

Since my last installment in this series was Def Leppard, I thought I'd continue the '80s pop metal theme with Bon Jovi, since they'll be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next month. It's interesting to see which bands get into the HOF from less respectable subgenres like hair metal. And as consistently huge as Bon Jovi has been, it's still a little surprising to see them get in ahead of pretty much all their contemporaries besides Guns N' Roses. They certainly have the sales and the hits, but I never think much about their albums or their catalog as a whole, so I wanted to jump in and see what was there. Plus, my mother-in-law is a huge Bon Jovi fan, so shout out to her.

Bon Jovi deep album cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. Wild In The Streets
2. Homebound Train
3. Breakout
4. I'd Die For You
5. If That's What It Takes
6. 99 In The Shade
7. King Of The Mountain
8. Let It Rock
9. Blood On Blood
10. Something To Believe In
11. Shot Through The Heart
12. Raise Your Hands
13. Just Older
14. Ride Cowboy Ride
15. Social Disease
16. Dry County

Tracks 3 and 11 from Bon Jovi (1984)
Track 7 from 7800° Fahrenheit (1985)
Tracks 1, 4, 8, 12 and 15 from Slippery When Wet (1986)
Tracks 2, 6, 9 and 14 from New Jersey (1988)
Track 16 from Keep The Faith (1992)
Tracks 5 and 10 from These Days (1995)
Track 13 from Crush (2000)

I always looked at the comparisons between Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen as more a nod to their shared New Jersey roots than anything else. But listening to their albums, the Springsteen influence really is palpable on "Wild In The Streets" and "Blood On Blood," which are perhaps not coincidentally the 2 most played deep cuts in the band's concerts. And, I just learned recently, the E Street Band's Roy Bittan was the session player who laid down the iconic keyboard riff on "Runaway," back when John Bongiovi was making his first demos and hadn't formed the band yet.

As with Def Leppard, I let the playlist run up to around the turn of the century, because I like to really acknowledge the fact that, despite usual alt-rock revolution narratives we hear, these bands kept selling and dominating rock radio well into the '90s. I remember how out of step Bon Jovi seemed when Keep The Faith came out, but I also remember those videos were in heavy rotation on MTV for months. Maybe the fact that Jon Bon Jovi was such an unnervingly perfect central casting rock star innoculated him against the changing fashions. But I was pretty impressed by These Days, even if I feel like Richie Sambora nearly ruins "Something To Believe In" with those "hey hey hey hey" chants that sound like he was making fun of the riff's passing resemblance to "Don't You Forget About Me" and then they just left it in the track.

I was amused to come across some deep cuts with titles that remind me of later hits -- "Shot Through The Heart" foreshadows "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Raise Your Hands" makes me think of "Lay Your Hands On Me." I also wanted to highlight the ambitious epic "Dry County," a single outside the U.S., which is the second "Dry County" to appear in the Deep Album Cuts series after one of my favorite B-52's songs.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
Vol. 64: Gucci Mane
Vol. 65: Violent Femmes
Vol. 66: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vol. 67: Maxwell
Vol. 68: Parliament-Funkadelic
Vol. 69: Chevelle
Vol. 70: Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
Vol. 71: Fantasia
Vol. 72: Heart
Vol. 73: Pitbull
Vol. 74: Nas
Vol. 75: Monica
Vol. 76: The Cars
Vol. 77: 112
Vol. 78: 2Pac
Vol. 79: Nelly
Vol. 80: Meat Loaf
Vol. 81: AC/DC
Vol. 82: Bruce Springsteen
Vol. 83: Pearl Jam
Vol. 84: Green Day
Vol. 85: George Michael and Wham!
Vol. 86: New Edition
Vol. 87: Chuck Berry
Vol. 88: Electric Light Orchestra
Vol. 89: Chic
Vol. 90: Journey
Vol. 91: Yes
Vol. 92: Soundgarden
Vol. 93: The Allman Brothers Band
Vol. 94: Mobb Deep
Vol. 95: Linkin Park
Vol. 96: Shania Twain
Vol. 97: Squeeze
Vol. 98: Taylor Swift
Vol. 99: INXS
Vol. 100: Stevie Wonder
Vol. 101: The Cranberries
Vol. 102: Def Leppard
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