Anyone who is a fan of any musical artist or band can tell you a handful of that band’s songs they feel never got the respect they deserved. These songs are never released as singles or heard on the radio, but they’re often as good, and sometimes even better, than songs that become classics.
Bon Jovi is no different than anyone else in this regard, and, as a fan of the band since their first album, there are certainly some tracks that have been forgotten in time that are worth being part of the wider rock and roll lexicon.
Here are my six favorite Bon Jovi tracks that you might not know or remember.
“The Hardest Part is the Night”
7800 Fahrenheit is probably my favorite Bon Jovi album. I know how crazy that sounds, but it’s just a great rock and roll record. It may not have the hits that Slippery When Wet had, but through and through it’s just a great rock album. “The Hardest Part is the Night” was my favorite track off of 7800 that day that I bought it 34 years ago, and it has been such every day since. It’s a solid rocker and excellently evident of 80s rock. The song actually doesn’t have anything to do with The Lost Boys, but that is one of my favorite movies from that era and Johnny T makes it work pairing scenes with the song in this video, so I chose to use it.
“Let it Rock”
It’s hard to pick my favorite song from any band, and sometimes my favorite song from certain bands will depend on what day you ask me. As far as Bon Jovi goes, this is my “If you were stranded on a deserted island…” song. Straight up rock. It was the first track on Slippery, and I guess it was just deemed too hard for radio, because I can’t think of any other reason not to release it as a single. The video is a compilation because, like most of these tracks, there was never an official video created for the song.
At almost ten minutes, “Dry County” is Bon Jovi’s magnum opus. Keep the Faith might not have been the band’s best album, but it might have been their most fearless. This song perfectly epitomizes that. It’s more than a song; it’s a story, which could easily have a movie based on it. It’s a big, big song with a big, big build, and it’s got a lot of the best work Richie Sambora ever did. I used this generic video because it’s the only one I found that included the whole song, and, well, to cut this song short is just not to do it justice. Listen to it all and…enjoy.
This was the fifth single off 1995’s These Days, and it’s ten times better than the best of the the first four put together. I’m a faithful Christian, but I love a good song of wondering faith. Given the state of our world, then and now, there are always things that can make us wonder just what God might be thinking. That song speaks to that. More than that, this is just a huge rock and roll song. I love it for the same reason I love “Let it Rock”; both songs rock just about as hard as this band ever has. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they were both chosen to kick off their respective albums. They both say, “Despite everything else, this is the latest offering from a rock and roll band.” It was indeed. Turn this one up loud.
“Two Story Town”
If you lost track of Bon Jovi over the years and think you might want to go back and listen to some of the work they did while you were away, 2000’s Crush is as good as a place to start as any. It’s a top notch album that kicks off with the mega-hit “It’s My Life” and doesn’t let up from there. This is one of the standout tracks, but there are many more. I highly suggest it for anyone who might want to see what some of the heroes of their youth got up to after the stopped paying attention.
“Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”
While it never made it onto a studio album, this song did make it onto the band’s greatest hits album, 1994’s Cross Road, and remains a live staple. Here, you get the generic video because it’s the original album version of the song. The band strips it down here, but the angst in the face of a sad world is as raw as if this were a screaming rocker. This is really just a top notch tune, and I imagine those who don’t know it will be happy for the introduction.
All right, friends, there are just a few of the good things that Jon and the band have done over the years that you might have missed. Bon Jovi is certainly a band that doesn’t always get it right, but, man, when they do…
Hope you’ve enjoyed this, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. Be well, and keep it turned up loud.