I've been everywhere
Still I'm standing tall
I've seen a million faces
And I've rocked them all!
— Wanted Dead or Alive
Bon Jovi is an American hard rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Fronted by lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi, the group originally achieved large-scale success in the 1980s. Over the past 25 years, Bon Jovi has sold over 120 million albums worldwide, including 36 million in the United States alone.
Bon Jovi formed in 1983 with lead singer John Francis Bongiovi Jr. aka Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, bassist Alec John Such, and drummer Tico Torres. Other than the departure of Alec John Such in 1994 (which pared the lineup down to a quartet), the lineup has remained the same for the past 25 years. After two moderately successful albums in 1984 and 1985, the band scored big with Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988), which sold a combined 19 million copies in the U.S. alone, charted eight Top Ten hits (including four number one hits), and launched the band into global super stardom.
After non-stop touring, the band went on hiatus after the New Jersey Tour in 1990, during which time Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora both released successful solo albums. In 1992, the band returned with the double platinum Keep the Faith and has since created a string of platinum albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
"You give tropes a bad name":
- Anti-Love Song: "You Give Love a Bad Name".
Shot through the heart
And you're to blame
- Audience Participation Song: Livin' on a Prayer and You Give Love a Bad Name.
- Bawdy Song: "Bad Medicine"
- Call Back: "It's My Life" explicitly refers to Tommy and Gina from "Livin' on a Prayer".
- So does "99 in the Shade".
- Careful With That Axe: Can be heard throught the band's discography. Keep the Faith takes it Up to Eleven.
- Daddy's Girl: Mentioned in the chorus of "Runaway"
- Dark Is Not Evil: "Good Guys Don't Always Wear White".
- Driving Song: "Lost Highway"
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: This is mostly a fan reaction to Hugh McDonald (who replaced Alec as bassist) not being made an official member, not appearing in most videos, not appearing in publicity photos, not being brought up to take a bow at the end of concerts etc. despite now being in the band longer than Alec was. McDonald himself doesn't seem to have an issue with it and the band themselves have said it's not a knock against Hugh but just that they agreed to never officially replace Alec when he left.
- Egocentric Team Naming: named after Jon Bon Jovi.
- Epic Rocking: "Dry County" is nearly 10 minutes long.
- Genre Shift: "Who Says You Can't Go Home" is a lot softer than their normal vibe, which is why it placed higher on Adult Contemporary Charts than the Hot 200. And then they released a duet with Jennifer Nettles, and that version hit #1 on the country charts.
- Lost Highway received criticism (despite selling well) from fans for being largely a country album. The album featured a lot of dialed down songs, string arrangements and duets with LeAnn Rimes and Big & Rich.
- Hair Metal: Until the Important Haircut.
- Heavy Meta: "Blame It on the Love of Rock & Roll".
- High School Sweethearts: Jon and his wife Dorothea. They got married in 1989 and are still together.
- Important Haircut: Jon cut his long hair short when Keep the Faith was released.
- Last of His Kind: "Last Man Standing" ("His kind" in this case referring to "real" musicians as opposed to pop/hip-hop/etc performers.)
- Love Is A Drug: "Bad Medicine".
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Shot through the heart! And you're to blame! Darlin' you give love a bad name!"
- Memetic Mutation: An in-universe example. The smiley face in the music video for "Have a Nice Day".
- Mondegreen: Jon's pronunciation of "like Frankie said, I did it my way" in "It's My Life" has been misheard by some fans as "like Frank and Sid, I did it my way". This would have been a Double Meaning (since the Sex Pistols recorded a cover of Sinatra's "My Way" with Sid Vicious "singing"), except Jon has gone on record clarifying that it really is "like Frankie said".
- Music At Sporting Events: "This Is Our House" was primarily designed for this; the National Rugby League in Australia used it as their theme song for a time, and the New Jersey Devils started playing it for goals in October 2013 (ironically, this triggered a campaign demanding that they put back Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll". And they were booing it too! In retrospect, New Jersey's hockey fans seem to be hostile to their state's own music.)
- My Horse Is a Motorbike: "Wanted Dead or Alive"
- New Sound Album: After having had a country hit before ("Who Says You Can't Go Home?") and having previously recorded songs tinged with a country and western vibe/themes, Lost Highway was the group's attempt to make a full-fledged country album, even collaborating with country artists Big And Rich and LeAnn Rimes on two songs.
- Past in the Rear-View Mirror: "Lost Highway".
- Power Ballad: Quite a few of them - "I'll Be There For You," "Bed of Roses," "(You Want To) Make a Memory," "This Ain't A Love Song," "Always," "Wanted Dead Or Alive," etc.
- Pretty Boy: The entire band has aged very gracefully.
- Rhyming with Itself: "Wanted Dead Or Alive" does this:
I walk these streets, a loaded six string on my back
I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back
- Rockstar Song: "Wanted Dead Or Alive."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "You Give Love A Bad Name"
- Religion Rant Song: "Hey God", one of the band's Darker and Edgier moments, falls squarely under this trope.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: On December 19, 2011, rumors spread on the internet that Jon Bon Jovi had died. It got so widespread that news sites had to post articles confirming that he was not dead.
- Scatting: The "na na na" chorus at the beginning and end of "Born to Be My Baby".
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jon and Richie
- Shout Out: From "It's My Life":
"My heart is like an open highway / Like Frankie said, I did it my way."
- Take That: "Last Man Standing" to music other than rock and roll.