Bon Jovi's current line-up. From left to right: Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan and Tico Torres.
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 John Francis Bongiovi Jr. aka Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Alec John Such, and Tico Torres. Richie Sambora joined shortly afterwards. Other than the departure of Such in 1994 (which pared the line-up down to a quartet. His replacement - Hugh McDonald - has never become an official member), the line-up 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.
Principal Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):
David Bryan - keyboard, piano, vocals (1983–present)
Jon Bon Jovi - lead vocals, guitar, harmonica (1983–present)
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.
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 100. 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 country artists such as LeAnn Rimes and Big & Rich.
Long Runner Line Up: Type 1 + Type 2. The band has had one change since their first album in 1984: bassist Alec John Such left in 1994, and the current line-up (officially without a bassist although Hugh McDonald played on every album since These Days and appears with them live) is the same ever since. (only changes being for live concerts when guitarist Richie Sambora and drummer Tico Torres couldn't attend) And while Jon Bon Jovi recorded a demo with McDonald and other guys before forming the band, the closest one got to being The Pete Best in Bon Jovi is Jon's neighbor Dave Sabo, who was his original choice to play guitar but went on to form Skid Row instead.
Lyrical Cold Open: "Shot through the heart! And you're to blame! Darlin' you give love a bad name!"
"In and Out of Love" begins with this, repeating the title four times before the drums kick in.
Lyrical Dissonance: "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night": all the characters mentioned within are either desperate, suicidal, abused, or all three, but eventually they will be like a Saturday Night. This could either mean they they will be jubilant and free of oppression (indicated by the bouncy and joyous tune and vocals), or it could mean that they'll be like Saturday Night in terms of it being at the end of the week, all the bad stuff having happened and no more is going to come. These people are essentially looking forward to the sweet release of death!
"Always" is a love song with the singer declaring his ever lasting dedication to his one true love. The release video, along with the correct interpretation of the lyrics, makes it perfectly clear that he has been abandoned and is pining for someone he can never have again.
"One Wild Night" seems like a description of a great night out partying. Listen carefully, and it turns out that the singer is actually some kind of lecherous predator slipping into a crowd with the express intent of fleecing rubes for their money ("Take 'im for a coupla weeks pay") suggesting sexual favours from their victims' girlfriend in lieu of an unaffordable monetary debt ("If ya lose this roll/ I'll take ya girlfriend home/ Well, alright!"). One could even go so far as to make a link between the lines "Blinded by the moonlight/ Twenty-four hours of midnight/ I stepped into the Twilight Zone" and being rendered blind and mindless by a drug or alcohol induced fugue...
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.)
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.