Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi– 1986
Claimed Sales: 28m
First listen?: Yes
Format Listened?: Apple Music
I’ve never been a fan of Bon Jovi. There’s something about that big hair and the ridiculous hooks in their songs that has just never been on my list of things I enjoy. There’s nothing inherently bad about You Give Love A Bad Name for instance, in fact it’s one of the best songs on Slippery When Wet standing alongside one of the biggest hits of the 80s as the most obvious reasons for Bon Jovi’s place among the best sellers. Of course I’m talking about Livin’ On A Prayer, one of the most memorable choruses of the era and the sort of song that taken over drunken singalongs for the decades that have followed. Without Love follows suit of these songs, big vocals, big power chords, even bigger hair and pulled together by Jon Bon Jovi’s croaky voice over the top. I totally understand how Bon Jovi became the quintessential ‘dad band’ managing to simultaneously sound cool and cringe-worthy. This second one is especially prevalent on tracks like Social Disease, which opens with awkward sex noises and continues with the most obvious metaphor you could imagine. It’s here the 80s really shines through too, with blaring horns playing off the guitar noise while Jon shouts out ‘You can’t hide when the infection starts, love is a social disease’. Slippery When Wet is a stream of non-stop Pop Rock anthems, in fact all but two of the 10 tracks here is an uptempo rocking hit. Wanted Dead Or Alive is the only major hit that bucks the trend, while the rest is relentless until Never Say Goodbye near the end of the record, which replaces the rolling drums with sickening sentimentality. To be fair, I appreciate Jon Bon Jovi’s voice much more than I have most of the other rock records on his list, but there’s something so generic about this style of Pop Rock that I just couldn’t enjoy Slippery When Wet.
Will I listen again?: No
Best Track: I think for me I’d go with You Give Love A Bad Name here, which has always been the Bon Jovi hit I disliked the least.