3 Classic Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Bon Jovi

Formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey, the big hair rock band Bon Jovi in many ways symbolized the 1980s. Brash, over-the-top, and filled with a boyish sense of hope, the group became one of the biggest bands in the world thanks to early hits like “Runaway.” But the group enjoyed longevity over the next few decades, trading on its musical talent and the good looks of the group’s titular frontman.

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Over the years, though, several of the songs from Bon Jovi have stood the test of time. Not just radio hits in their days, the group has tracks that continue to make their mark on music listeners. And while some may deride the band for its flamboyance or bombastic nature, there are several songs to point to that will change those negative opinions. To wit, here below are three songs for people who say they don’t like Bon Jovi.

[RELATED: The Writer’s Block: Jon Bon Jovi Calls Songwriting “Emotional Overload” and Sleeps With a Notebook Beside His Bed]

“You Give Love a Bad Name” from Slippery When Wet (1986)

This 1986 single, which became the band’s first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, is about the feelings one might have in the wake of a breakup. When we fall in love, it’s all swooning and cupid arrows. But what happens in the aftermath when it all falls apart? Well, often we blame the person that walked away. And that’s what this track is all about. Set to heavy guitars, big drums, and shining synths, lead singer Jon Bon Jovi sings about the person who broke his heart. He belts,

Shot through the heart and you’re to blame
Darling, you give love a bad name

An angel’s smile is what you sell
You promised me heaven, then put me through hell
Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion’s a prison, you can’t break free

Whoa, you’re a loaded gun, yeah
Oh, there’s nowhere to run
No one can save me, the damage is done

“Livin’ on a Prayer” from Slippery When Wet (1986)

This song is so beloved and well known that a man can just start singing it at a park and people will pick up and croon right with him. The track just has one of those big, soaring choruses that people love to sing along with. From the band’s third LP Slippery When Wet, which was released in 1986, Bon Jovi sings about perseverance and trying to make it despite the odds. This could apply to a band striving for success or for two people in love. On the swelling offering, which gave the band their second No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single, he sings,

Tommy used to work on the docks, union’s been on strike
He’s down on his luck, it’s tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day, working for her man
She brings home her pay, for love, mmm, for love

She says, “We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot for love
We’ll give it a shot”

Whoa, we’re half way there
Whoa oh, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it, I swear
Whoa oh, livin’ on a prayer

“It’s My Life” from Crush (2000)

After the band became a major hit in the 1980s, their careers took twists and turns like all groups. But in 2000, Bon Jovi enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the 2000 LP Crush, and particularly with the song “It’s My Life,” which is all about making the most of your time on Earth. While the song only hit No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, at the time it felt like it was one of the biggest songs in the world, all over the radio and MTV. And it introduced a whole new audience and generation to the group. Sings a very passionate Bon Jovi,

This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted
No silent prayer for the faith-departed
I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd
You’re gonna hear my voice
When I shout it out loud

It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive

It’s my life
My heart is like the open highway
Like Frankie said, “I did it my way”
I just want to live while I’m alive
It’s my life

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

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