3 decades of rock, in convenient bite-sized pieces


If my dad's computer isn't working by the time I get home tonight, I'll use a friend's computer. Motherfuck - "In and Out of Love" will be up tomorrow, dammit.


When it rains, it pours

My dad's computer isn't online at the moment. My mom's won't read my portable hard drive. The In and Out of Love review is all written, and it will HOPEFULLY be up early afternoon.


Okay, Here's The Deal

Alright, I owe you guys an update.

"In and Out of Love" will be done sometime this week. Hopefully tomorrow. That will mean the return of polling, which means I have to wait a bit for people to realize the blog is back. After that...we'll see. I don't think I'll be legitimately daily again for a while.

When I started, it was pretty much an equal amount of fun and effort. Now it's more work, because of all the running around involved. So I just need to force myself back into it to prove it's gonna still be worth it.

I promise you "In and Out of Love" by Saturday. I promise the Song of the Day isn't dead. I promise if people keep leaving snarky comments I'm turning comments off because those make it way less fun.


#114 - Waltzing Matilda

Artist: Tico Torres
Album: None
Other Versions: Tom Waits, Rod Stewart (also known as "Tom Traubert's Blues")
Era: N/A

This is the closest I'm gonna come to getting Tico for my birthday, so I guess I'll take it.

I can't even begin to describe how much I love Tico's voice. Especially in this one and "Crazy" - it just absolutely takes my breath away. And I can't really define why. I like huskiness, but I've never been a big fan of gravelly voices. And I didn't like it at first, on "Only In My Dreams". But he just about kills me now.

He's passionate. Intensely passionate - he's pouring so much pure emotion into his voice I think it's impossible not to respond to it on some level. I get the same vibe from David and his piano playing. So there we go, it's passion that draws me in. Which is a way better reason than "pretty mans. Oh so pretty."

A testament to that love of passion and intensity is when he goes "it's an old shirt that's stained with A-BUH-LOOD AND HUWHISKEY". Aesthetically, it's probably the low point of his voice in the whole song, but damn does he belt it. Not belt, really, he doesn't get a lot louder, but he just ups the level he's at. Gorgeous, just effing gorgeous.

According to iTunes, I'm on my 34th listen of this song (not counting listening to it on my iPod or anyone else's computer) and I'm just noticing the instruments for the first time. David's playing is amazing here, really, really incredible. He feels it just as much as Tico does. Or at the very least, he gets how much Tico feels it and knows how to bring that across. Fucking piano genius.

This song is incredible, just incredible. Once before I die I need to see Tico sing live. Just once, then I can keel over on the spot. Well, no, I need to see David too. But after BOTH of them, I can keel over dead.

My Rating: 10/10

I'm well aware "In and Out of Love" won the last poll. Next blog I do, we will resume voting.

I don't know if I'm back for good regularly. I think so, but once again, no promises. actually, I can promise you two a week. More than that is omg bonus.

Random thought of the day: David could've been the next Billy Joel. Not that I'd necessarily WANT him to be, but he could've been.



Alright, exams are over (thanks for the well-wishes, by the by) and I'm home.

Problem: At home, we only have wireless internet. My computer (of course, this is how my life works) isn't wireless ready. So until I get what I need, I'm hopping from computer to computer in the house.

I don't want to say there will be no blog until I get my computer settled because I have no idea how long that will be. But I'm still sticking to the "no guarantees except for May 25th" thing.


This week is going to be hectic as Hell. It's the end of the school year, so I've got exams, and packing, and getting the room ready so they don't charge us $150 for having to move around a few pieces of furniture themselves, and traveling, and re-settling in at home, and job hunting and trying to write some stuff for a deadline. So I won't say that there won't be any updates this week, but don't be surprised if there's only one or two between now and the 25th. I'm guaranteeing one on the 25th, but any day before then is a coin toss.


#113 - Rockin' All Over the World (Bon Jovi)

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: None
Other Versions: John Fogerty, and according to sing365 Springsteen's covered it too
Era: N/A


I don't have a lot to say about this one. According to iTunes, this is the second time I've ever listened to it. Huh.

I don't know the original, so I don't know how it compares.

What I do like about this version is the atmosphere. It feels very laid-back, very spur of the moment. It's chill and it's fun, and it just makes me bob my head and sing along. And it's one of the few bootlegs where when Jon says "David" it doesn't sound like "Debbie". That needs to happen more often, I'm sick of people asking me who Debbie is.

Mmm, piano solo. Not one of my favorite David moments, though, not by a long shot. Part of my problem is the quality of the version I have. It's pretty shitty, and when the piano gets high it messes with whatever this was being recorded on. But still, piano solo. Wheee.

I keep forgetting this exists. The only times I remember it are when it comes up on shuffle, or I'm searching for David's version (5,000+ songs, it's way easier to search than scroll through). It isn't bad, there just isn't anything about it that really stands out.

My Rating: 5/10

David has requested to be taken out of the voting while he still has some pride left (because I totally talk to him all the time. We do each other's hair and dish about boys and eat ice cream). So, let's go with songs from 7800 I actually don't omg love.
  • In and Out of Love
  • (I Don't Wanna Fall) to the Fire


#112 - We All Sleep Alone

Artist: Richie Sambora
Album: None
Other Versions: Cher (and I THINK there MIGHT be two Cher versions. That, or Tico's retarded)
Era: N/A


You guys are dicks. You voted Richie over David. I need to crank up the intensity of the brainwasher.

I don't really think you're dicks. Honest.

Oh, the reason I call Tico (maybe) retarded is I have his stupid cheesy low-budget drumming instructional video (it is incredible - I have David's keyboard video too) and he mentions Cher's "We All Sleep Alone" as a slow ballad-y song. But the only version I've ever heard her do is a really fast, kicked-up, just-this-side-of-techno version. And when Richie sings it, it isn't ballad-y, it's upper mid-tempo. So if there isn't a slower version out there, Tico's retarded. He's the most bad-ass retard ever, but still.

(All this babbling, does she ever plan to actually talk about the song?)


And by that I mean yes.

I like Richie's version of this. Not better than Cher's, but I like them for different reasons. I love the way Richie sings this - very passionate, but still nicely rocking. And I love, love, love Crystal, the back-up singer. She's incredible, and provides this really nice contrast for Richie's voice. When they're doing the "Yeah (yeah)" thing building up into the "oh yeah, alright *syllables*" thing near the end, it's just perfect.

For someone who doesn't know the difference between ballad, mid-tempo, and fast techno-y, Tico plays the drums for this one really well. Another one of the reasons I like this one so much (which is odd, because Tico played on Cher's version, too. It's different, though). And David - I'm glad Richie had David play for him. The two of them mesh incredibly well, playing and writing and such. David and Richie as a team are sorely overlooked and underrated. His part in this isn't glaringly obvious, but when he's there it works.

I like the lyrics to this one, particularly " Independence has come/And into the night I GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO". Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

My Rating: 8/10

What? They're different songs? BUT THEY HAVE THE SAME NAME. HOW CAN THAT BEEE?
  • Rockin' All Over the World (David)
  • Rockin' All Over the World (Bon Jovi)


#111 - Hearts of Stone

Artist: Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora/Southside Johnny/Bobby "Hella-Ass Sideburns" Bandiera
Album: None
Other Versions: Original is Springsteen
Era: N/A (performed in 2001)


One of the things I love about Jon is how honest he is (which is part of the reason I got so mad at the David interview comment - it meant at some point in time, either now or when he was putting together the album credits, he was dishonest). So I love that this has the comments at the beginning about how they stole "Never Say Goodbye" from "Hearts of Stone". And for the record, I don't hear it so much. They both have these quietly intense verses, very emotional choruses, and they're both about how you can't get back the past. That's 90% of power ballads right there. But I really love how, in the video, when Jon says "ohhhh yeah" he smiles one of those smiles where it looks like if he opens his mouth the top half of his head will flap off.

I've never been a huge Southside Johnny fan - not because I don't like him, just because I've never bothered to check him out. And I don't even have a good reason for not checking him out. But mmm does he have a Hella good voice for this - very heartbreaking.

And Jon...oh Lord, Jon just about kills me here. He's so into it, so emotional, it's just incredible. Gets me every freaking time. The awesome thing about covers is you tend to take a lot more care with other people's work than your own - you're paying tribute, you need to show that you're covering it because you respect the song, the message, the artist. Jon's very good at that.

The last chorus, with all three of them in this absolutely KILLER harmony, that's aural death right there. I can't even function when I'm listening to it - I haven't written a single word of this during that last chorus, and I won't start. It just...God. I thought a really good Jon/Richie harmony was the holy grail of heartbreaking harmonies, but add Southside Johnny and good sweet Lord, you're dead.

I can't do justice to this one at all. I can't really put into words how exactly I feel listening to this, I can't get across that I'm sitting here crying for no real reason other than to say it. This hits me right in the gut, just twists my heart around and it hurts but in such a good, good way.

My Rating: 10/10

Sometimes, David and Richie write songs for other people. And then they sing them themselves anyway.
  • This Time (David)
  • We All Sleep Alone (Richie)
You might have noticed I'm doing a fair number of non-album tracks lately. It's because I have a ridiculously uneven amount of album tracks left compared to rarities and covers and such, so I'm trying to level it out a bit. I'll get back to album tracks soon enough.


#110 - Borderline

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: demo-ed for Slippery, B-Side on some New Jersey single
Other Versions: None
Era: Late 80s "hair metal"


It opens with "ooh-oohs" and a slow build. That is the best sign ever that I am going to like a song. That, and it's cheesy and singable, and disgustingly overblown, and David co-wrote it. It is not physically possible for me to dislike this song.

The ooh-oohs sold me on the song right from the beginning, but I don't like it any less as it turns into an actual song with actual words. I love the way Jon sings, he's so so so intense. This is just a stupid cheesy relationship-going-bad song but goddamn does Jon think it's the most important thing he's ever sung. Especially when he hits the this or thats at the ends of the verses - end of the beginning or beginning of the end, friend of the enemy or enemy of the friend, dream a reality or reality a dream. He just belts those like they're some hardcore deep shit.

This might be the best sing-along song every. You have to get into it, have to clench your fists and wave your arms around and belt it with just as much intensity as Jon does, making all these doofy facial expressions because you're sooo into it. I get the weirdest looks when I'm singing this one, and if you know me that's saying something very big.

The keyboard in the chorus is the best keyboard work ever. Hands down, no contest. It is so exactly what is going on in the song - it's intense and cheesy and overblown and it just fits. I don't think he's ever done keyboard that is the absolute essence of a song so much as he's done it for. When I think "Borderline", I think of the keyboard, then the ooh-oohs, then the vocals.

My Rating: 9/10

Covers. With someone else. Because I say so.
  • Heart of Stone (w/ Southside Johnny)
  • Celluloid Heroes (w/ Ray Davies)
Oh, and it has been confirmed for me that Jon didn't call Tico gay. He said "y el mas macho" which is "he is the manliest". Not that thing where he claims Tico only likes men. But I'm leaving it in the entry because it makes me giggle like an idiot.


#109 - Sympathy

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (Disc 3)
Other Versions: None
Era: Don't know for certain, assuming KTF/TD, most likely KTF


If I'd known then what I know now about Tico's voice, I would have skipped this one about 30 seconds in. As it was, I was following my rule to go through new cds in order, plus I wanted to build the anticipation for getting to hear someone new (specifically, "that ugly mafia-looking one" [yep, that's what I used to call Tico. I take back the "ugly", but the rest stands]) sing.

But I didn't know, and I followed the rules and listened to it all the way through, and eh. This isn't too bad, just astoundingly mediocre. I think it could have been good - maybe if they'd done it more like "Damned", with horns and shit. This version is so toned-down (and yeah I assume it was never more than a demo, but still) it just doesn't work.

It has a neat singable chorus. Actually the whole thing is kind of singable, lyrically. It's the tempo or the instruments or something that just messes with it. And "taste your empathy" is so hilariously easy to make dirty.

Two good points: "I've never been nobody's Valentine, and you never were a bride to be" is so awesomely bitchy. That is a catfight starter if I ever heard one. And the other is maracas. I love maracas. I think I have some kind of fetish for not-stereotypically-"rock" instruments. David with the accordion just about kills me, I love it when Jon brings out the tambourine, and maracas make me oddly happy. It's just fun to hardcore rock out to something nerd-tacular, or something you played in first grade music class.

I'm estimating they say "sympathy" a kamillion times in the song. It's the title, it's the theme, but come on. Overkill. And there's something off with Jon's voice - it's got that scratch in it that makes my throat hurt to listen to. Not the huskiness he gets when he goes low, it just sounds like he has a throat disease and he's straining his voice.

My Rating: 3/10

#108 1/2 - The Tico Song

Yeah, like I was gonna not write about this.

I just about died laughing first time I heard this, and I didn't even know Tico's name. It's the way Jon and Richie sing it - how they're just laughing through the whole thing. This sounds like something my friends and I would record at 3 in the morning when we've eaten half a chocolate cake and are just a pinch caffeine buzzed. Which is awesome, because it lets me hold on very firmly to my illusion they are all very very good friends first and a band second. And for once, Richie doing a stupid voice doesn't piss me off.

Oh God, and it's David playing the organ. Which is so neat - organ is supposed to be way more serious. Seriously, hardcore awesome. But the best part, hands down, is TICO IS PLAYING THE DRUMS. He plays for the song they are singing ABOUT HIM.

Oh, and the only things they know about Tico: His name, where he's from, he plays the drums, and he is their hero-slash-friend.

And, icing on the cake, according to my little translator thing, "Quiere mas macho" is "he wants but male". He wants only men? Are you SERIOUS?

THEY CALLED TICO GAY IN HIS SONG. While he is sitting there playing drums for them! That is so amazing. Too amazing for words.

His name is Tico
Quiere mas macho
His name is Tico
His name is Tico
He is my hero
(he's my amigo)
He is Cubano
His name Hec-Tico
His name Hec-Tico
(he plays the drum-o)
He is the Cubano
His name Hec-Tico
(he is my friend-o yeeeah)

My Rating: A Million

Ok, and for tomorrow, cheesy unreleased 80s goodness:
  • Does Anybody Really Fall in Love Anymore?
  • Borderline


#108 - Bounce

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Bounce (interestingly enough)
Other Versions: None
Era: Early 00s "hard pop"


You know what would be great? If, when they performed this live, Richie just hollered "FUCK!" when Jon was stuttering. And Jon would just shoot him this look, and Richie would be all "who, meeee?"

That would be so, so awesome.

I really didn't like this at all at first. I have this huge aversion to computer effects in rock songs - Jon and Richie have both said they like to write their songs so they can do it with two acoustic guitars or a guitar and a piano, simple like that. They do NOT need effects on Jon's voice and drum machines and weird industrial-ish noises. I can tolerate synth keyboards - not in any song recorded after 1990, though. That's a big part of why I don't like Destination Anywhere (the album), there's so much not real there. "Bounce" to me at first was a kind of eh anthem-ish song that made Jon sound like a 12-year old (the pussyfooting around "fuck"...seriously, who out of middle school thinks it's cool to imply profanity?).

And then I heard it live. Totally, totally blew me away. When they started it, I was kind of disappointed, because I really really didn't like it at that point. But it won me over. Part of it was the atmosphere - this song takes on a new life when you're in the middle of a crowd singing it, fists in the air, and goddammit do you feel that "nothing's gonna keep me down!". And part of it was it was less electronic, of course. Jon's voice was Jon's voice, the instruments were instruments, it was real and that made the lyrics take on a totally new life for me.

When I got home from Boston, I gave the album version another listen. Still didn't like it. This is one that, like "Raise Your Hands" that just needs to be live. Except it could have been done right, they could have done a bare-bones hardish rock song without all the computer-ness and it would have been fine on the album.

I love the "if you're breathing, you know how it feels" and "I'll take the hit but not the fall" (I like it better in "Two Story Town", but it's a line I respond to regardless). I get a giggle out of "this ain't no game, I play it hard" because would it have killed him to put a "but" in there so it made sense? IT'S NOT A GAME, I'M PLAYING IT. I'm sorry, what?

This gets extra points for being so awesome live. Minus several for being flubbed on the album, for recycling lines (as much as I like them) and how fucking juvenile the stuttering is. Seriously, Jon, you're 44 years old. It's okay to swear now.

My Rating: 5/10

Whee, one-word titles that end in y.
  • Sympathy
  • Billy
("Sympathy" gets my vote, even though mine doesn't count)

Oh, and wanna see the two coolest things EVER?



#107 - Dry County

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Keep the Faith
Other Versions: None
Era: 90s "moody rock"


First, to realize how cool this song really is, you have to read this little story. Postedo n Dry County, compiled and paraphrased from a bunch of interviews with Richie in the early 00s.
After New Jersey the band got together at the urging of a Japanese concert promoter. Jon and RIchie were each paid 1/2 million dollars US for that one show. The first X-mas show was a warm up for this high paying gig. They only played a handful of songs and parted ways for a good long stretch. Jons physical exhaustion and mental fatigue were very evident. He tried to recharge himself with Young Guns II and got the band together to play for the Academy Awards that year, but the band was unofficially separated at this point. The same promoter in Japan offered them the chance to play Japan again the following year as an exclusive engagement which was billed sometimes in Japan as the last Bon Jovi show. Jon and Richie got a cool 1 million each for this. But afterward Jon said to the band "we can't do this anymore" as he left. Richie released and toured behind his first solo record which he called "the greatest tour of my life". Meanwhile Jon tried a few things to "find himself, and deal with the end of the band". He toured with Southside Johnny as a backup musician and then took a long road trip across the country with a few close friends. In a little town in the middle of nowhere at a hotel where they stopped for the evening Jon headed down to the hotel restaurant for a little nightcap to help him sleep. The restaurant told him they didn't have a bar and when he asked for directions to the closest establishment, he was told that it was over an hour away due to local liquor laws. In the banquet room, still unable to sleep, Jon wrote at the grand piano the song that would save the band, a piano part, 2 verses and the chorus to Dry County. The next morning after breakfast Jon called Richie and left him a mesage on his machine. "Rich, it's me........I'm not ready to give up yet, I should be home in a few days, I got a song I think would be great, can you call the guys and see what they are doing, I think we should try" Richie said he kept the tape from the answering machine and he did hear Jon's song a few days later and it made him cry. "He never wrote a song like that before, it was real grown up music, no tits and ass, no fun and games but powerful", "when I laid down my track it was one take, Jon's voice just led me to the right solo". "Whatever happened that night in the desert changed our course, we were set on being apart" "shit that piano saved the greatest band in the world, (laughs)"
I love that story.

Whenever anyone tells me Bon Jovi are a fluff band, fun music but no real substance, I point them to this song. This is no fluff, no fun, this is entirely substance. Ten minutes of real, serious, thought-provoking, emotion-inducing musical genius.

"Dry County" sucked me in right from the beginning with that piano part. It's kind of low, meandering, it's a slow drift into this story and you want to know what gets that kind of lazy-important buildup.

Then Jon starts singing, and he does that quietly intense thing that no one does as well as he does. Even if you don't listen to the words, let them drift over you and just focus on that tone, Jon is saying something hella important. But you want to listen to the words, 'cause Lord they're good. "Across the border, they turn water into wine." That is one Goddamned awesome intro line. And it doesn't weaken at all as it goes on, like can be a problem with such strong openers. The "we're just born to die" line is a little cheesy, but I'd say that's the song's weakest point, and if the weakest point is "a little cheesy", that's good.

And then when everything kicks in, when it's guitar and drum and piano and Jon's intensity just fucking burns you, and "you can't help but prosper when the streets are paved with gold" it's just...wow. You fucking feel this guy's pain and you want to throw your hands up and holler the chorus right along with him.

The piano in the chorus...oh God, that piano. I will never cease to be impressed with how one instrument in the right hands can just take over your feelings and control you so much for two or three or TEN minutes. Take away the guitar, take away the drums, this song would be just as powerful with just that piano and Jon's voice.

Not to discount the guitar and drums. This is easily Richie's best guitar solo - it's huge and epic and powerful and it's the song all condensed into one instrument. And then the drums kick in and it's like sex - it's the two of them just going at it and they're playing off each other and building and building and building and it is incredible. That kind of interplay, that ability to suck you right in while at the same time having this very sublime personal experience, it's what I want from my music, and holy Hell do they deliver.

And then there it goes, right back down to that amazing piano work and Jon's quiet intensity and it's just what you need after that fucking orgasmic guitar work. Oh God, I just described something Richie did as orgasmic. I'm losing it, people. But that quietness is somehow even more powerful after what you just went through. The big blowout, the extremity of the pain in that guitar and the drumming, it drains you, it drains the man in the song. But he still hurts, still needs to get it out.

This song is a masterpiece, plain and simple. It is every one of them playing at their best, for a song that is writing at its best. And when you realize the impact it had on the band, it only makes it better.

My Rating: 10/10

I'm not sure if you guys are aware, but nothing is going to keep Jon from living his life. But something sure keeps him from saying "fuck".
  • Everyday
  • Bounce


#106 - On A Full Moon

Artist: David Bryan
Album: Lunar Eclipse
Other Versions: None
Era: N/A

This might not be the best day for me to write about David without going into some huge ridiculous rant, but we'll see.

"Full Moon" isn't a happy song, really. But it isn't sad, either. It's...contemplative, I guess. It very much invokes the image of sitting outside on a clear summer night with a full moon and just laying in the grass and thinking about things. And sometimes your thoughts get depressing, and sometimes they're happy, and you don't audit them at all. You just lie there and think things as they come and go completely passive, just watching the sky and letting stuff drift through your head as it will.

I love how this starts. He just kind of pounds the low end of the keyboard and makes you sit up and take notice, then he dances around at the high end, hits the low end again, then he moves on. It is, at the same time, simple and complex. You know how a little kid at a piano just puts all their fingers down at once to hear the "DUNNNNN" at the low end? It's kind of like that, but with this air that comes from David not being a little kid. It isn't unpleasant, it's unexpected and it draws you right in.

I would pay so much money to watch David play for a while. Assuming I had money, of course. Just to sit and watch. Especially this song, because I can see the way his hands are moving very clearly in my mind, and I'd like to see it for real. Plus I'd get a kick out of watching David play when he isn't on stage trying so hard to "rock out".

David's moon thing is interesting. Interesting because watching stuff like Access All Areas and the BJTV segments and any other behind-the-scenes stuff, David's just this big giant goof who you kind of get the feeling never really grew up, but the moon is a very calm sort of thing. And yet he's named his two solo albums after moon things, two of his kids have moon-related middle names, his website has a moon cycles thing. Hell, he did the Moonlight Sonata for that Steinway to Heaven cd. It doesn't totally mesh. Except it works for him, it does. And it's interesting, because it gives you this little glimpse into his personality that isn't there if you just watch him on the aforementioned backstage stuff.

As far as Bon Jovi is concerned, David kind of is the moon. I mean - Jon is the sun, most definitely. He's bright and flashy and if he wants you to notice him you damn well notice him. Richie would be the clouds, and not like the bad "oh no it is going to rain goddammit" clouds, but just clouds. He's the one with the ability to overshadow Jon if he so chooses. And clouds covering the sun is kind of negative, I know, but that's not really how I mean it. And David, he's the moon. Because he depends on the sun for you to even notice him (we all know David wouldn't be famous without Jon) but he is his own thing. And you get a bit more of a chance to study him because he doesn't have to worry about keeping up any image he doesn't want to. He's got all these nuances the sun does have, but you can't see 'em because if the sun de-brightened itself enough for you to really look at it, it'd fuck everything up. So yeah, that's my dorky-ass metaphor. Analogy? Whatever. I have no idea what celestial body Tico is. Something that smokes a lot and could kick your ass.

My Rating: 9/10

My faith in Jon needs a lot of restoring. A lot, lot, lot of restoring.
  • Keep the Faith
  • Dry County
Read my LJ if you want to know why it needs restoring. I don't need to rant about it any more right now.


#105 - I'd Die For You

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Slippery When Wet
Other Versions: Acoustic Yokohama 1996
Era: Late 80s "hair metal"

I fell in love with this one right from the first time I heard it. It's got prominent keyboards, anthemic sing-a-long-able vocals, strong backing vocals, pounding drumming, and just a touch of pretentiousness. Good deal.

This is some of David's best keyboard work, hands down. It's vaguely reminiscent of "Runaway", but updated a little, toned down a little, so you get that cool recognizable synthy keyboard sound but not so over-the-top. It's very definitely 80s, but it isn't "haha this is terrible" 80s.

This pre-chorus is some of the best writing they've ever done. It's so big and singable, and it gets that way without resorting to cheesy simplicity. It's a bit smarter than the average hair metal sing along song, but not so smart as to sound like they're trying. It's different and creative and the backing vocals are excellent. Great, great fling your arms out and belt it chunk of song.

Lyrically, the chorus is terrible. "Hey, let's rhyme lie, die, and cry. No one's done that, right? And just for kicks, we'll rhyme you, you, and you." Simplicity is fine, but that's so overkill. The thing is, it doesn't negatively affect the song too much, because that pre-chorus gets you singing so much you don't even notice what utter crap you're singing next.

I have a hard time listening to the acoustic version of this for the same reason I have a hard time listening to "Wanted Dead or Alive" - David. Not that the piano ruins the songs for me, far far from it. It's atmospheric and it gets right to me and really I have a hard time focusing on anything else. And then I get thinking about how fucking talented David is, how integral he is to the Bon Jovi sound - subtle as his parts are sometimes, there are very few songs where you wouldn't notice at all if the keyboards were completely removed - and what a raw deal he gets. And that's no one's fault, it's the nature of the beast. Rock keyboardists just don't garner that much attention. It's just a shitty situation - if fame were doled out based on sheer talent, so much more attention would be paid to him. It's a minor injustice, in the scheme of things, but it bugs me. I'd love for a song David co-wrote to become a huge hit, I'd love for him to release a solo album that makes people go "holy shit that keyboard guy is awesome", but it's not likely to happen. Feh.

Bitching aside, the acoustic version is gorgeous, and this is a song I never would have thought would lend itself to that kind of mellow slowness well. It works, because there's honest emotion in the lyrics and when it's stripped down that all comes through very clearly. At the heart of this synth keyboard/weedly wee guitar/poundy drum/hollered vocals rock anthem is a very simple, very sweet love song.

My Rating: 9/10

Yeah, I just did a solo song yesterday, and a semi-solo song a couple days before that. But eh, I'm obviously in a David mood.
  • On A Full Moon
  • Second Chance


#104 - Little City

Artist: Jon Bon Jovi
Album: Destination Anywhere
Other Versions: None
Era: N/A


There are several things I like about this song. This is one of my favorites from the album, but if I were to rank every solo song by members of Bon Jovi in order of how much I liked them, it'd probably still be near the bottom. It'd be a bit more even if I just ranked all Jon's solo songs, but I don't think it'd be above anything from either of his other two albums. It's a personal taste thing - nothing against the song, just when I'm listening to music for the most part I prefer upbeat-ness.

I like the feel of this one. It kind of reminds me of "Diamond Ring" - it's dark, most certainly not happy, and it's incredibly lush. The production is very thick, it adds a sense of warmth even as the lyrics and Jon's voice are incredibly mundane and cold. It's one of those songs that just wraps around you when you listen to, like a big heavy blanket that kind of weighs you down but not in a bad way. Sort of like the led apron when you get head x-rays. I would like it noted that this is probably the only time in history any of his songs have been compared to getting pictures taken of the inside of someone's skull. But yeah - it's like a led blanket. Heavy and warm and not necessarily good, but not totally unpleasant.

This song is a triumph of stream-of-consciousness writing. If I were a teacher, or just giving someone advice on writin s-o-c, I'd give 'em this and "The One That Got Away" as examples of how to do it right. This is what is going on in Jon's head, given to you straightforward, a very matter-of-fact line of unhappy, disjointed thoughts. "I got my last cigarette, but I ain't got no light" and "In the rearview mirror, I see someone else's hairline" are absolute gems. There's so much said in those few words, so much emotion brought across with very few, very simple images.

I can't stand when he squeaks - "on the ROCK and doing hard time". I don't know what he's doing there, but it's ridiculous. He's a grown man, his voice stopped squeaking long ago. The sha la la las are neat, though.

My Rating: 7/10

It rained here today, and I was wearing these yellow sandals I have. I jumped over a puddle, and my friend asked me if getting my feet wet was really so bad. "Yes," I replied, "because these sandals get really slippery when wet."
  • Without Love
  • I'd Die For You
Oh, and if you happen to look at the comments, Queen of New Orleans actually has more votes, but the last vote was cast after I had already started writing.


#103 - Burning for Love

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Bon Jovi
Other Versions: None
Era: early 80s "synth rock"


I shouldn't like this song. No one should like this song. It's cheesy and kind of generic and eh. But I like it, I do.

It's Jon. I like the way he sings it - drawing out some syllables, clipping others. He really messes with the words, and I like it. It's the second verse where he really does this - "Youuu're the vic.timit's. in. your. ey-eyes. Iiiiiii'm the sus.pect. and love's the crime. Ten. sions. mount. ing and bod. ies. ach. ing. Iiiii can't take theantiiiiciiiipaaation."

Because other than the way Jon sings, there's nothing to really set this song apart. How many songs on Earth do you think there are that rhyme "fire" and "desire", use that same "burning for you" kind of thing? Tons. And the guitar riff is cool, but nothing too new. The drumming is a fairly basic rock beat. The piano is nice, but not as good as most of the piano work on the album. It's something you'd expect from a band that's just starting out, not used to each other yet, so I can't be too hard on it.

This is a fun rocker that I have no guilt about occasionally forgetting it exists. Neat to sing along to.

My Rating: 5/10

Here Jon goes again on his own. Going down the only road he's ever known.
  • Little City
  • Queen of New Orleans
And I would like to congratulate Richie Sambora on his spectacular work making the cover of every gossip rag currently stocked in the school's convenience store.


#102 - Mr. Sambo

Artist: Richie Sambora/Tico Torres/Hugh McDonald
Album: Guitars That Rule the World
Other Versions: None (included in a video game, I believe it was called Johnny Bazookatone)
Era: N/A

I don't like guitar.

(We know, we know, we know. Jesus, we know)

I especially don't like instrumental guitar tracks. And as much as I love drums, especially when they're played by Tico, I don't much love drum tracks on their own. So I listened to this once and set it aside.

Couple weeks, maybe months later I was bored in a class and did a search for "Tico Torres" on the DryCounty board. A topic about Mr. Sambo came up at one point - turns out, not only did he play on it (I didn't even know that actually, I had assumed it was Richie and studio musicians), he co-wrote and produced it. So I was all "neato!".

Soon as I got back to the dorm, I listened to it again.

And I still didn't like that it was a mainly guitar and drum track (with a really cool bass line).

I don't know if I expected that knowing Tico was way more involved than I thought would make me fall in love with it just because it's got "Tico" stamped all over it, but I didn't expect to have the same reaction as the first time. Another "eh, it's okay" and I set it aside to let it come up randomly on shuffle.

It's grown on me some. Not a lot, because no matter how good it is it's not going to overtake that ingrained dislike of guitar, that indifference to drums on their own. I can listen to a piano by itself for hours and hours, but anything else just doesn't work. But it's a very technically accomplished song. When people argue that Richie isn't that great a player, he just fits into the Bon Jovi niche nicely, I point them to this.

(Interestingly enough, I've never heard anyone call Tico a bad drummer. I've heard Richie's a mediocre guitarist, heard David called "the biggest coattail rider in rock history", but I've never heard anyone insult Tico except to call him ugly [they're wrong])

The one big thing this has going for it is it's really awesome to listen to doing homework. When I want something instrumental, normally I go right for David's solo stuff, or the Steinway to Heaven cd, but those relax the Hell out of me. So if I need to be awake, this and "Moby Dick" are really awesome.

My Rating: 6/10

Some witty comment about the early 80s
  • Roulette
  • Burning for Love


#101 - Mystery Train

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Crush
Other Versions: Acoustic from Yokohama 2003
Era: Early 00s "hard pop"


Most Jovi songs stand up really well to repeated listenings. Lyrically, they're deep enough that you can find something new to interest you, something you didn't notice or didn't think about the first time through. And usually, musically, they suck you right in and make you feel it, and it's hard to get sick of a cool experience like that.

Here's an exception. I loved this song the first time I heard it. So I listened to it a lot. And unlike "This Ain't A Love Song" or "My Guitar Lies Bleeding in My Arms" or "One Wild Night" or even "Price of Love" and "Only Lonely", I liked it less and less each time, until I really hated it.

But it's a neat little pop song. It's light and fluffy, and there are some really great lyrics. As a whole it isn't that great lyrically, but I love "she'll always make it better, but won't apologize" and "like a stiff drink when you need it, she's good at being bad" (man do they love singing about alcohol. Buncha drunks).

I don't know why I fell so in love with this at first. I'll bet it was the combo of high organ and acoustic guitars, and then the overly poppy synth piano stuff. It's upbeat but without being too happy, annoyingly "whee I am in LOVE and it is SO AWESOME oh YES". I like the tempo of it - it's not too fast, it's not slow, it's nicely middle of the road. And unlike "In These Arms", that middle-ness fits.

Jon's voice here isn't great, but it isn't terrible. I'd kind of like to hear David sing this - not just because I'd like to make David sing everything on Earth so I never run out of chances to hear his voice, but because I think his voice would fit it well. It's not quite right for Jon - there are places where he's so rough it makes my throat sore - and I don't think Richie would work it right either. David should do this one next time he feels like singing a Bon Jovi song on a solo album. Which he better be planning to make another one of, or I'll hit him right in the face.

My Rating: 6/10

Words are for losers.
  • Room Full of Blues (David)
  • Mr. Sambo (Richie and Tico)


#100 - This Ain't A Love Song

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: These Days
Other Versions: Como Yo Nadie te ha Amado
Era: 90s "moody rock"

Lyrics (Spanish)

My favorite Bon Jovi song is "Como Yo". Actually it's probably my favorite song of all time. "This Ain't A Love Song" was my favorite until I heard the Spanish version.

I wish I could pinpoint one reason why I like this song so much. It's just everything about it fits together so well.

Usually, I like when every instrument is doing something unique and mildly complex, so it feels like you could listen to every instrument on its own and still be listening to a coherent, complete song. You couldn't do that with anything here but the guitar. It's quiet subdued drumming, it's piano that you can only hear in the chorus and during the guitar solo, it's guitar that shifts and changes with the changing tones of the song.

This sucked me right in from the first time I heard it. That was back when I was just familiarizing myself with Bon Jovi, somewhere between that first mix cd and the box set, and nothing's knocked it out of place yet.

The first line makes you want to hear more. It's excellent writing, but it's not just the words, it's Jon's voice. Should have seen what coming when the roses died? Why are you so sad? Oh, the end of summer in her eyes. This is about a relationship dying. And not dying well, either. This is a relationship that slowly wilted and faded away, a bit faster for one party than the other.

My favorite line in TAALS is also my favorite line in "Como Yo...". "Baby ain't it funny how we never ever learn to fall?" and "Dicen que la vida baby no es como la ves" (roughly, they say that life, baby, is not like you see it). It's probably my number one sing along line of all time.

I love how Jon is so quiet at the beginning, and then his voice intensifies, intensifies again, and then he just belts the chorus at you. It's the pain building, building, it's too much to bear. Goregously pulled off.

The guitar in this song is the stuff of legend. Richie is playing one thing during the verses, something totally different during the chorus, and something else for the solo. But it all fits together, it all meshes with Jon's voice to create even more emotion. And the intro...quiet, meandering, you have no idea what you're in for, how intense this gets and how punched in the face with your own emotion you'll be.

The piano is simple and subtle and you only hear it a couple times, but it pushes me right over the edge. The cool thing about the piano is you can go simple and still make something that's lush and thick and real, it's intense. I hope, despite the almost non-existence, David considers this song among his best piano work because it really is. He takes this limited space he has to work with, fills it right to the brim, underscores Jon and Richie perfectly and just about kills me.

The drumming is much like the piano - subtle. You know it's there, because you always know the drums are there, but barely. But they're an excellent backbone - they build when the song's about to build, they mellow out when the song needs to mellow out, they hold each and every aspect of it up. This would fall right through if it weren't for the drums.

I can't listen to this without singing it, and singing it EXACTLY how Jon does - quiet when he's quiet, louder as he gets louder, and then BELT "I cried and I cried, there were nights that I died for you baby" (some of my favorite lyrics ever) with him. This isn't just a song for me, it's an experience. I'm at a point now where I can sing along with the Spanish version too, because I needed to be, because I need to take this as an experience and not just a song.

My Rating: 10/10

I used to love Nancy Drew books
  • Mystery Train
  • She's A Mystery
Wow. 100 songs. And this was something I started because I was bored over Christmas vacation. I hope you like reading this as much as I like writing it (except those nights I have to force it out. Then I hope you like it more). Actually, I'm so thrilled people actually read this I could eat my hat. I think I mixed up two expressions there. Anyway, cheers!


#99 - 99 in the Shade

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: New Jersey
Other Versions: None
Era: Late 80s "hair metal"


If doing this as song 99 makes even one of you cringe, I've done my job. I almost didn't think of doing it this way - I only made the connection when I was scrolling through my list of songs to pick what you would vote for when I did yesterday's entry and saw the "99" and went "oh, that's bad. I'll do it."

Sweet sassy molassy this song is fun. I love the "ahh ahh ahh" intro - it's so cheesy beach movie song (speaking of, y'all should check out "Back to the Beach" with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello). Which is fitting, considering it's a song about partying at the Jersey shore.

I didn't like this at first, but it definitely grew on me. It's such a good fast cheesy rocking song. I listen to it when I'm getting ready to party, even when I'm in Rhode Island, not Jersey, and it's February and no way am I going to any shore. It gets you nice and revved up, it's so high-energy. Like, high-energy to the point where it's obnoxious when I'm tired.

The guitar in this is awesome, the little periodic da-wee-uh wee-uh that's so high. I love the way Jon sings the "just to tell every girl - hey baby, you're the o-o-one." The drumming is fast and awesome and rocking and the keyboard is subtle but it does its job so well.

This isn't a hugely original innovative masterpiece, but it's an awesomely fun cheery party rock song. It's so Jovi, even referencing Tommy and Gina. I love it.

And it's nice to know Jon's been drinking margaritas since at least 1986. I wonder if he's been doing the drunken blowjob thing for that long?

My Rating: 8/10

No vote for tomorrow, either. And no, it won't be what you think.


#98 - Dirty Little Secret

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Have A Nice Day (Bonus Track)
Other Versions: None
Era: Current "power pop rock"


I knew right away I'd like this one. The little vocal lead-in, and then "I light a candle/in the garden of love/to blind the angels/looking down from above". That's some frigging awesome songwriting.

I like songs about cheating that aren't from the point of view of the person being cheated on, so this had an in right from the get-go. It's cool to look at stuff from the other perspective. Shades of grey and motivations and intentions and all that. Excellent from a writing perspective and an active listening/social understanding perspective. Yummy.

This is such an awesome crunchy-ish rock song. It's SO Jovi - it's got an edge, but it's by no means too hard for mass consumption. The drumming is AWESOME, pay close attention next time you listen to it. The guitar takes center stage (as per usual) but it's the drumming that's best here.

I LOVE the "I wanna COME INSIIIIIDE" and "I wanna FEEEL ALIIIIIIVE" parts. Sing-along heaven.

This should most definitely have gone on the album in place of "I Want to Be Loved". Like I've mentioned before, this taken with "Last Cig", "Novocaine", and "These Open Arms" make a very cool cohesive little storyline. I wish someone had seen that.

My Rating: 9/10

No vote for tomorrow.

And I have to say something, because it's driving me insane.

Richie, Richie, Richie, what's going on, buddy? I know times haven't been so great for your personal life, but come on sweetie. You're prancing around for the tabloids with a woman so closely linked to you it's just this side of incest. You're not taking care of yourself, you look significantly un-substance-free, I'm worried about you. You and I both know Jon'll put up with this for you, because you're Richie and everyone knows it wouldn't be the same without you. So maybe you feel like you can let yourself slide a little. And I get that, I do. But come on, you're better than turning into the stereotype of the fat drunken washed-up rocker. And your fans (of which there are many, in the more devoted circles of Bon Jovi fans you might be more popular than Jon, even) deserve better. So come on, sweetie. Show a little more class, get yourself cleaned up a bit, do it for us and for you and so I can stop worrying about you. And for the love of God, start running your hat choices by someone with some taste, okay?

#97 - Maybe Someday

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (Disc 2)
Other Versions: None
Era: No bloody idea


"Now I don't know how a heart beats, but I sure know how one breaks. Remember how I used to hold you, to share every breath that you'd take? Oh how can I forget, you're every tear that I cry. I know you're coming back, you never kissed me goodbye."

I'm not sure I need to say anything else. That's beautiful. It perfectly toes the line of too cheesy, too whiny, too emo. It's full of emotion and longing and heartbreak but it's so simple that it's not TOO anything. Lyrically, this is absolutely gorgeous.

And musically, it matches. They could so easily have overdone it, pushed those lyrics over that edge they're toeing. I like Tico's work here very, very much - the brushes on the drums, the cymbals, the "musical sparkles"(with the bells...you know how sometimes you can just see glitter falling down from god knows where? Musical sparkles), perfect. And it's real piano, GORGEOUS real piano. This is a song I'd like to hear just the piano for, all by itself (wouldn't it be cool if David released a cd of all Bon Jovi songs? Some just piano, some "In These Arms" style reinterpreted piano ballads. I would die of happy). And it's all acoustic guitar, until the solo, which is quiet and subdued but it's electric. I love it. Love it all.

Somehow, this manages to be both hopeful and cripplingly depressing at the same time. Jon's singing "maybe someday" but I don't think he believes it. I think he KNOWS it's over, but he needs to say "maybe someday" to keep himself from totally losing it. Not that he doesn't sound convinced, it's just...there's this little edge there. She's not coming back, he knows it and makes us know it even while trying to convince us and himself otherwise.

Tip: Do NOT listen to this in between "Kidnap an Angel" and "Only in My Dreams" unless you want to cry for about a year. I mean that. Bad, bad, bad combo.

My Rating: 9/10

Hey, cool idea - let's celebrate WSYCGH going #1 by, uh, not writing about it. But here's some stuff from the same cd:
  • Story of My Life
  • Dirty Little Secret


#96 - King of the Mountain

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 7800 Fahrenheit
Other Versions: None
Era: early 80s "synth rock"


Easily the worst song on 7800. Right from the beginning - "There's a hunger burning in the heart of their souls". Seriously, what the Hell. You self-righteous bastards.

I do like a couple things from this song. The absolute stupid dorkiness of the "oh no!" backing vocals never fails to make me laugh like a total moron. And the drumming here is way too sweet for words.

But God, this is just bad. It's cheesy but not in the good way. It's overblown, pompous at a time they had nothing to be bragging about, the lyrics are awful, the music is fairly generic. Out of its two redeeming qualities, one doesn't really count because I just like laughing about how stupid it is. And the other redeeming quality...not so big. It's not Tico's best work. So...yeah. This is crap. Whenever someone tells me they don't like 7800, I just assume they're talking about this and "(I Don't Wanna Fall) To The Fire".

And I swear to God, if I ever hear Jon complain about having to work 9 to 5 again I will shoot him. You worked in a record studio and met rock stars and got to record your demos with experienced studio musicians. Your bandmates were all doing music primarily, not working 9 to 5. None of you did the mundane office life thing, so STOP IT. You had connections that led to you living your dream. Why is that so terrible?

My Rating: 1/10

Mellow out with the box set, homies:
  • I Just Want to Be Your Man
  • Maybe Someday


#95 - Always on My Mind

Artist: Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora & Willie Nelson
Album: Willie Nelson & Friends
Other Versions: Elvis, Willie Nelson
Era: N/A


Proof that my father is awesome:

He joined a cd club with one of those "OMG SIX CDS FOR LIKE A PENNY DUDES THIS IS WAY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE" offers, and one of those six cds was the Willie Nelson & Friends cd. His reason for picking it? He saw that Jon Bon Jovi was on it. He doesn't particularly like Bon Jovi, but my influence is so strong that was his deciding factor. Whoo, go me.

God this is a pretty song. It isn't one I think I would have ever thought of as "omg I want Jon to sing this" song, but he really does a good job with his chunk.

I'll tell you my story of discovering this existed:

When I was still regularly using a Windows PC, I was on Yahoo's LaunchCast all the freaking time. Most of the time it was the radio, but every now and then I'd watch the music video player. My computer was a little slow, so the name of the song would come up a second or two before the video started. I saw "Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson" and I was like "oh, that's nice". And then: "HOLY JEEZLY IT'S JON BON JOVI." Mind you, at this point Jon was my favorite. So I just assumed it was a fuck-up with the labeling...and then Jon started singing "Always on My Mind" and my heart exploded. It's a miracle I'm here to write this!

This is so, so pretty. Jon very much does one of the greatest country love songs of all time justice. He's not as intense as usual, but you get the feeling he is very much aware of "this is a song people love and I will be hung if I fuck this up". Interestingly enough he had no grasp of this concept while working on TLFR. Funny, that.

This might be Richie's best "backing vocals" work ever. You barely know he's there, at least consciously, but goddamn if he were gone you'd notice it. He manages to fade into the background but affect the sound anyway. Well, well done.

I can't hear this song without thinking of this version. The one thing that really tickles me: they had Jon do "I'll keep you satisfied". That is so a calculated attempt to make ladies(and the gentlemen who prefer protuberances) go "ahh, Jonny's gonna keep me satisfied. Mmm."

My Rating: 9/10

Mm, sociopolitically aware/pompous early 80s Bon Jovi.
  • (I Don't Wanna Fall) To The Fire
  • King of the Mountain
Edited 4/24/06: Added video


#94 - Homebound Train

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: New Jersey
Other Versions: None
Era: Late 80s "hair metal"


Vendromeda: what song?
BigDaddyPompous: hoebound train
Vendromeda: ah
BigDaddyPompous: er, hoMebound
Vendromeda: hahahaha
BigDaddyPompous: going down down down dow-own on that hoebound train sounds a lot more fun
Vendromeda: ah them sexual bastards


Don't like this one. Didn't like it at first, hasn't grown on me even a little. I'm not sure there's a tangible reason why, it just doesn't hit me at all.

It does have some good points. I like about 2:10 in, when the harmonica and the piano are kind of fighting the solo out and then OH NO HERE'S RICHIE TO SHOW Y'ALL HOW IT'S DONE. Bitches. And the whole time Tico's in the background all "y'all are nothing without me, fuckers. Go on and take your empty glory, I'm gonna kick this drum set's ass." And at 3:10 it's drum and bass and Alec's all "Sirs, would you mind if I had a turn?" and the rest of them (except Tico who does not get tired) are too wiped to argue with him. But Richie still noodles around in the background 'cause you can't let Alec have TOO much. That's a Hell of a run. Every single member of the band got a chance to rock out in one solo, one LONG solo. Every album of theirs should have something like that.

And I do get a giggle out of Jon's "WHOO WHOO" which could be a "whoa whoa" but it's a song about trains so I think he was legit trying to make train noises.

I think my problem with this is it just doesn't sound like a Bon Jovi song to me. It doesn't have that issue of trying too hard to be something else. What it kind of reminds me of is something like "Temptation" that isn't like anything else they've done but it doesn't come across as a serious effort to be NotBonJovi. But like Temptation, I think this would go better as a b-side rather than on the album. It just doesn't mesh with the rest of New Jersey for me, it sounds too out of place. I almost get the feeling that this was something they wrote without an album in mind, and liked it so much they tacked it on.

My Rating: 3/10

I've always heard that his herb was top shelf, I just could not wait to try it for myself. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it - well, I tried it my friend, and I'll never smoke weed with Willie again.
  • Suspicious Minds
  • Always on My Mind


#93 - Postcards From the Wasteland

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Bounce (Japanese Bonus Track)
Other Versions: None
Era: Early 00s "hard pop"


These might be my favorite lyrics ever. I don't love the song, but almost every line I find myself going "huh, that's cool".

Let's see, there's:

And nosey stars, they seem to know where everybody goes


As poets reach for words with broken motel pens


Out here the days they don't have names they've got numbers
And the nights just seem to fade into each other


Following my headlights down the highway in the dark


Postmarked from the state of my heart
In care of wherever you are


Now before the summer sun gets chased away
And all of our tomorrows turn to yesterdays
I'm going to build you that castle
I'm going to write you that song
I've got to find the words to say
Until I hold you in my arms

(I'll write a bit more about that verse in a minute) and

Tonight I'll meet you in my dreams
See you soon

Those are all the parts that have, at some point, made me go "oh, wow, that's good".

That second verse, it's amazing. Near the end of my senior year in high school, I used nothing but lines from Jovi songs as away messages on AIM (no one ever had any idea where I was, but they got exposed to good writing!) and when I had this one up, a friend of mine IMed me just to say "YES YES YES THAT'S IT." And it is. It's not empty promises the way it looks. He is absolutely convinced he is going to build a castle and write that song, and I'm rooting for him to actually do it. I believe he did, or he will.

Instrumentally I don't dig this that much. I don't love the drum machine, and I'd much prefer if the keyboard was real piano instead. The guitar is excellent (yep, it's definitely Be Nice to Richie Week [like Shark Week but less cool 'cause there's less blood]), very warm and personal. The drum machine and synthed keyboards detract from that. There is real piano that comes through, mostly in the last two minutes, and I love it. This might be the only time I've really had an issue with how they approached the keyboard. Synths and drums are impersonal, the piano and Jon's voice and the acoustic guitar and the lyrics are very personal. Doesn't quite work. (I should mention the not-machine drumming isn't bad, but it isn't stellar either. Might be the closest I've come to being really disappointed with Tico)

This is a pretty, pretty song with gorgeous lyrics and a really nice message. It does manage to overcome the instrumental shortcomings, and definitely should have made the album.

My Rating: 9/10

Late 80s:
  • Social Disease
  • Homebound Train


#92 - Real Life

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (Disc 3)
Other Versions: Original included on the EDTV soundtrack
Era: Early 00s "hard pop", sound-wise


I didn't like this one at first. I don't remember why, I just remember for a long time I couldn't stand it. This was back when the box set was the only Jovi I had, and eventually I overplayed it and didn't listen to anything from the box set for a while. When I went back to it, I almost skipped over this one because I remembered not liking it. I'm glad I didn't.

This is Hella-cheesy, but so was EDTV. The lyrics are cheesy, the music is cheesy, the whole idea is cheesy. But wrapped up in the cheese is some good songwriting, some excellent playing, and a totaly universal idea (summed up in the first line "I wish that life was like it is in the movies, 'cause the hero always gets his way" - who hasn't felt like that?).

There are some real lyrical gems here. "And no one wrote me new lines for what I said wrong, and what I did wrong I could not erase". Everyone has something they wish had worked out like that, like they'd known exactly what to do, or like they could just tape over that one thing they're not too proud of. "Why can't it be like it is on tv, when the orchestra plays and you come back to me?" That's tangible longing right there, and it's gorgeous. Actually, the entire second verse is really excellent.

I love how lush the instrumentation is. It's thick and you can just wrap yourself up in this pain and longing and regret and just fucking wallow in it. I love the guitar work, because if you listen to it Richie is just kind of going off on these little musical tangents and even though they're meandering, they fit. I love it (what the fuck, is this be nice to Richie week?).

The video has sent me on a mission to find me a cardboard David Bryan. I'd like a Tico too, but I'd be fine with him delivering it. Since he carries it around. Weirdo.

My Rating: 9/10

For tomorrow, mmmm random:
  • Postcards from the Wasteland
  • Without Love
And in honor of this very special day (that I don't celebrate at all, but eh) (4/20 is basically "hooray pot day", for people who don't know), here's Jon and Richie pretending to get high:

My favorite part is the part about the cactus

I was gonna say "in honor of Hitler's birthday, here's David doing the Chanukah Song" but that's just kind of mean.

Edited 4/23/06: Added video


#91 - Something for the Pain

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: These Days, One Wild Night (Live)
Other Versions: None
Era: 90s "moody rock"


I don't like the sprinkly bells in the beginning, but I do like the guitar intro. The guitar in this song in general is very cool, having it showcased in the beginning is awesome.

I'd accuse this song of being the origin of emo ("they don't make no band-aid that's gonna cover my bruise", "loneliness has found a home in me", "I opened up my heart but all I did was bleed") except it's so darned happy. This is the most upbeat song about being depressed I've ever heard. And I bet it's the only love song about being depressed, barring "my baby left me" type love songs.

It's rare that my favorite part of a song has anything to do with Richie. In this one, my two favorite things are Richie. I already mentioned the guitar being cool, and I really, really love the part he sings. Especially "take me higher than I've ever been/take me down/and back again". It's this cool little ode within the song to the person being sung to, and I adore it. And his voice is really perfect for it.

Also, I like how the video implies Richie's addicted to pills. I mean, it only does that if you think about it the right way. Everyone's in front of a green screen with a background playing on it that shows random stuff, and Richie's has pills. Lots and lots of pills. Yes, I know it's because pills are "something for the pain", and if the screen is meant to imply addiction, Tico's addicted to playing piano (or piano players. ahem). Still, I enjoy it, and it makes me giggle.

I love the "Yeah, I had a taste/You were my fantasy" and "I don't need no lover/Just to get screwed" lines.

Random observation: their two songs about "medication" are opposites, thematically. This is a love song, "Novocaine" is a divorce song

My Rating: 8/10

Mm, box set-y goodness
  • Ordinary People
  • Real Life
Edited 4/20/06: Added video


#90 - Undiscovered Soul

Artist: Richie Sambora
Album: Undiscovered Soul
Other Versions: None
Era: N/A


Stranger in This Town is a better album than Undiscovered Soul, but "Undiscovered Soul" is a better song. I like "Stranger", but this is...I love it.

This is an awesome, awesome song to listen to on a Greyhound heading to school from home. Actually, Richie has a lot of good Greyhound songs. "Mr. Bluesman" is way more poetic on a bus at like one am than any other time. But I digress.

I like Richie's voice here. I'm not sure why, it just has this quality to it that fits very well. It's a bit rougher than usual, there's an edge that isn't always there. And it's very powerful at the chorus.

As usual, Richie's work is so poetic the lyrics can almost stand on their own without any music. Lines I like:
Every day he tears down the reflection
Of who he used to be
And with a little luck
He'll rise eventually
In search of our salvation
Relentlessly we climb
Just looking for a reason
In creation's grand design
If patience is a virtue
Then let us humbly begin
We'll be here waiting
'Til our ship comes sailing in.

And I like the chorus. It's fun to sing and it's meaningful. Like most of Richie's work, really.

My Rating: 9/10

Something fun from the 90s:
  • Something for the Pain
  • Blame it on the Love of Rock'n'Roll



Song of the Day returns tomorrow. Promise.


#89 - Wildflower

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Have A Nice Day
Other Versions: None
Era: current "power pop rock"


There isn't a real good reason to like this song. It isn't original lyrically(they've done the "my girl she is CA-RA-ZAY" theme what, four times?), isn't particularly original musically, isn't strong enough to overcome the lack of originality, and it's just a pinch to smushy for my tastes.

I still like it, though, despite all reasoning and logic. It isn't the worst of the "oh that CA-RA-ZAY girlfriend" songs. It's significantly better than "She's A Mystery"and it isn't worse than "Mystery Train". "Neurotica" kicks its ass (and is more original, since it applies the theme to a different style of song). If this had been on Crush in place of the "Mystery"s, I wouldn't have been disappointed.

I was gonna say the over-smushiness comes from the piano, but I don't think that's it. I think the problem is the attempt to make this hugely epic, and epicness + smushy lyrics doesn't work too well. Epicness works for "Dry County" because it's heartbreaking and forlorn, it works with "The Distance" because that's desperate and pleading. With the happy relationship lyrics of "Wildflower", epicness becomes the musical portrayal of that really irritating couple who are just sickeningly in love to the point where being in the same room with them makes you want to gag. Simplified down some, down to just that piano (which I really, really like because I have a soft spot for non-keyboard piano-ing in BJ songs) and the really subdued drumming and a little acoustic guitar, it would be much better. Jon could sing it the same way he does now, and instead of over-the-top smush it would be a simplistic love song.

But something about this song grabbed me right off. It's very stick-in-the-head-able. Two days before HAND came out, I downloaded a leaked copy of the Japanese version (I got impatient). The day I went to buy HAND, the day it came out, I was walking to and from the mall going "NOBODY KNOOOWS A WILDFLOWER STILL GROW-OW-OWS BY THE SIDE OF THE ROOOAD AND SHE DON'T SOMETHING LIKE THE ROSES". (Two days was not enough to learn all the words).

I like every one of the bonus tracks better than this but I would only replace it with "These Open Arms" because HAND maintains a very good balance of ballady and harder, and I wouldn't want to mess with that. But I definitely would have tossed "These Open Arms" on there in place of this, because my mind has created a very firm link between "Last Cigarette", "Novocaine", and "These Open Arms". Actually I'd toss "Dirty Little Secret" on there instead of "I Want to Be Loved" too, because that fits into this little link I've created (song about cheating -> song about not being able to give someone up -> song about divorce -> song about helping someone you love through a hard time).

Well that was a giant digression. Only one more thing I have to say about "Wildflower": When Jon says "never met the man she couldn't make into a lovah" it reminds me of the SNL skit about "my lovAH" and I laugh. Every single time.

My Rating: 5/10

Richie names albums after songs:
  • Stranger In This Town
  • Undiscovered Soul
This entry won't go up tomorrow night, though. I'm going home for the weekend, won't be updating the blog. Vote anyway, so I know what to write about on Monday.


#88 - Breakout

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Bon Jovi
Other Versions: None
Era: early 80s "synth rock"


DEE doo DEE doo DEE doo DEE doo boom chik a DEE doo DEE doo DEE doo

whoa oh whoa oh oh oh oh-oh whoa oh oh-oh-whoaaaa

The cool thing about this intro is you know exactly what you're in for. This might be the cheesiest song ever, with its overly melodramatic lyrics, intense-but-synthy keyboards, and way too many whoa-oh-ohs, and the intro sets you right up for that. If the DEE doo doesn't alert you, there's the whoa oh ohs right in the beginning. It's a public service announcement, Bon Jovi style. "Warning: Song Contains 500 Times the Legal Dosage of Cheese"

These lyrics are just....jeezly. "You held my heart for ransom baby set me free"? "Your lies can't hide what I see"? "You're too hot to handle with kid gloves"? Seriously. I mean...honestly. So so overblown, so melodramatic. Half of me wants to love it, half of me wants to cringe. Usually I compromise and sing along, so at least someone's cringing.

My personal "Breakout" guilty pleasure: The second verse. It's got those serious, intense, whoa oh ohs, the uber dramatic lyrics, but dammit I like it.

I like the part at about 2:45 that's just whoa oh whoa oh oh ohhh and drumming, and then the DEE doo comes back in. More overblown dramatic cheesiness, but it's GOOD overblown dramatic cheesiness. The drumming in the whole song is (as usual) good. I want Tico to really fuck up a song sometime just for confirmation he isn't perfect. I know he's done it, I want to see it.

First time I heard this song I fell over laughing at the chorus. It was the "BREAKOUT!" call-and-response that did it. It still makes me giggle a little. Call-and-response is instant cheese, adding it to a song that is already the cheesiest thing ever laid to tape is GENIUS.

My Rating: 6/10

Because tomorrow night when I'm writing this I feel like dealing with a chorus I like to belt the shit out of:
  • Bells of Freedom
  • Wildflower


#87 - Fields of Fire

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: These Days Bonus CD
Other Versions: demo-ed for Keep the Faith
Era: 90s "moody rock"


It is one of the great Bon Jovi-related injustices that this wasn't ever actually on an album, right up there with them not playing any of the first two albums live and Jon's solo stuff getting lumped in with group stuff. When I first heard this I thought it was a Crush demo, and it would have gone really well on Crush, I think. Would have blown away the "mystery" songs. This kicks the ass of maybe 80% of the box set stuff, too.

Good God DAMN I love the strings. Mm. Such a delicious intro. It's something different but it's familiar - and not in the crappy "this is generic" way, but the "they took this unusual element and made it their own" way.

This is such a fun song to dance around to. Everything but the strings and drums aside, it's so dancey. Take out the vocals and you'd have no idea this was a song about a dying relationship. And as much as I love it when they match the instrumentals perfectly to what the song is about, it's really cool when they take two very different songs and mesh them together into this really awesome unified composition.

Jon's voice is so cool here. He's so casual, but not like "I don't actually care about this", more just this casuality that clicks well with the danciness of the song while still conveying the emotion of the lyrics. Jon's voice is the unifier. Especially at "if someone gives me back my SOUL" (No one took the Soul, they're still yours, dear. I would totally kidnap Tony Graziani and Todd France if I got the chance, though).

Mmmmmmmmm this chorus. I love it, love it, love it, love it, LOVE IT. Imagery and anthemic-ness and devotion and just mhm. It's a beauty. This is a chorus I can sing the Hell out of. Lyrically, this is a "a hundred steps above average" song with a "a million steps above average" chorus.

When I wrote about "Tumblin' Dice", I said:

I want to marry this song. Well, not marry it because if this song were a guy it would be a terrible husband. I want to mess around with it for a while until my biological clock hits and I kick it to the curb for something more stable and permanent.

Well, this is that more stable permanent song. I would TOTALLY marry "Fields of Fire" if it were legal and possible. And if I didn't plan to marry Tico first.

(Is she joking? No way is she that delusional. Right?)

My Rating: 10/10

Self-Titled goodness:
  • Roulette
  • Breakout


#86 - Dyin' Ain't Much of a Livin'

Artist: Jon Bon Jovi
Album: Blaze of Glory
Other Versions: None
Era: N/A


This is a Hell of a composition. This intro is sweeping and epic and simply gorgeous. You know you're in for something deeply emotional, something that's going to stick with you, something that might make you cry.

Then that first line, that "A whiskey bottle comforts me, and tells me not to cry" in Jon's low, husky voice. That voice, it's beautiful. That is melancholy, like someone discovered the liquid essence of quiet, resigned depression, bottled it, and made Jon drink it until he couldn't drink any more. It's in the instruments and the lyrics and Jon's motherfucking voice.

"While a full moon says a prayer for me, I try to close my eyes." I defy you to find me a better set of lines to capture that kind of hopeless depression that keeps you up at night, trying to find something inside you that can believe things will get better even though you know damn well that part of you doesn't exist.

The second part of that verse, about how the night reminds him of everyone who died so young, how their ghosts surround him as he finally sleeps, that's beautiful. Simply fucking heartbreaking beauty.

There is so much passion in this chorus. Jon's voice just KILLS, and that guitar underscoring him is striking. "Is it too late to ask for forgiveness for the things that I have done?" makes me want to just reach into the movie and give Billy a hug and cry with him and tell him "no, Billy, it's not". But I can't do that and it makes me sad.

The part that really kills me (because the depression and the weeping and the desire to break the boundaries of reality wasn't actually killing me) is near the end, when Jon shouts "PRAY FOR ME" and then there's that fucking powerful chorus. I will, oh sweet fuck, I will pray for you Billy the Kid.

This song captures pain so beautifully, it makes me not care that it's pain. It's too beautiful to be a bad thing even as I know it's suffering and misery and utter despair.

My Rating: 10/10

Mmmm, unreleased goodness:
  • Fields of Fire
  • Hush
And two things

1. A commenter asked about me doing dvd reviews. I've actually been thinking about doing some for a while now. Thing is, I wouldn't do a conventional review. What I'll do, if I post a dvd review, is watch it, write down whatever pops in my head as I'm watching, and post it without rereading or editing. 90% of my comments will be "do you think David told his fashion consultant 'I want to look like my goal is to suck 300 dicks by the end of the night' and she found that outfit, or did he pick that out on his own?" kind of things. But yes, in the near future you will see reviews of the dvds I have.

2. I had a really stupid thought earlier. You might get as much of a chuckle out of it as I did.

So I've figured out what's going on with Heather and Richie. One night, they looked at each other and were like "you know, we are way too hot to be married to each other. It isn't fair to everyone else." So they decided to divorce. And Richie got naked pictures from that birdy-looking woman and Heather boinked David Spade as a service to all the average-and-below people out there, so they suddenly had hope that they could boink someone on the Sambora/Locklear hot level.

I've figured out their terrible secret!


#85 - Raise Your Hands

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Slippery When Wet, Live From the HAND Tour
Other Versions: None
Era: Late 80s "hair metal:


I don't like this one that much. It has a very generic rock feel, and I get a very distinct "we specifically recorded this to play live, look how many things to make people cheer we can throw in". It's gimmicky.

It's fun, though. I love the "out on the run/under the gun" parts. And I like to bob around in my chair and sing this one. The chorus, the "raise your hands"es are extremely triumphant, and I like that.

But I just can't shake that vaguely generic feeling. The first time I listened to this song I had a shadow of "I've heard this before". I never had, but it's typical rock guitar and typical rock drumming and a fairly typical set up. It's like someone went to Jon and said "this is the formula for creating an arena rock anthem. Please include something on 'Slippery' that follows this formula to the letter" and he was all "okey dokey".

The synths, in a lot of places, are really similar to Van Halen's "Jump". Actually it might be "Panama" I'm thinking of, but it's definitely one of those. Not exactly copied, but there are definite similarities.

I do like some of the lyrics of this one: "I, I heard there ain't nobody better" and "I, I ain't here lookin' for surrender/I'll raise the flag if you defend her/It's up to you" are very nice.

Here's the kicker: if I had only ever heard this song when I saw them in concert, I'd love it. This is a song that takes on a whole new life in a concert setting. The audience singing the chorus that is MADE to be sung along to, punching the air in rhythm with "raise your hands", it's an experience. This is probably a hundred times better live than it is on cd. That atmosphere doesn't even really translate to a live recording.

My Rating: 5/10

Alright, one of the songs where it's totally cool to say "oh, I love him":
  • Dyin' Ain't Much of a Livin'
  • Little City
And I know a couple people had trouble downloading the Hughbot 5000 Rap, so here's an alternate link. This link's only good for 7 days (which is why I didn't use it initially).

Best Rap Ever


#84 - Undivided

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Bounce
Other Versions: None
Early 00s "hard pop"


I almost feel guilty for not liking this one more. It's rooted in real emotion, which I respect, and I like the message, I like the lyrics, I like the tone. But for some reason, I just can't get into it.

I think it's the computery-ness on the vocals in the verses. That effect takes this very personal song and adds this robotic quality that totally undermines it. Jon is singing something from his heart, and that effect makes it cold and impersonal and totally ruins that.

I like the crunchy guitar and the pounding hardness (hee hee) of the whole thing. "Undivided" rocks. Really hard. I like that they've managed to take anger and sorrow and defiance and hope and roll them all up in one very cohesive package. Other than the robotics, nothing sounds out of place, which is an achievement with so many components. Emotional multitasking.

This is a hella awesome chorus. Lyrically, great. vocally, great. And they've got the instruments at almost the same exact level as the vocals, which makes for an interesting effect. And something about the instruments in the chorus just gets to me. It's very soaring-hopefulness where the verses are very angry-righteous-defiance. Cool mix.

Second best part of the song: "Enough, enough/the time has come to rise back up/" and behind "rise back up" Tico is just building this awesome crescendo with his drums and, well, rising up (hee hee). Awesome.

Best part of the song: The transition at the very end to the quiet acoustic outro. The drum fades out to the exact same thing being played on an acoustic guitar and Jon's voice is hauntingly low and it's gorgeous.

I wish I liked this more. I really do. But for whatever reason, I just don't. I have a feeling it's like "Bounce", and if I heard it live I'd go "OH, I get it. Right."

My Rating: 7/10

It's raining tonight, tomorrow the sidewalks are gonna be Slippery When Wet (ooh, that was BAD):
  • Raise Your Hands
  • Social Disease
Ok, and here's something I think you'll enjoy. A couple nights ago my friend Captain Jovi/Matt wrote a rap about Hugh McDonald, and composed some music for it. I laid down the vocals (I have mad flow) and he mixed it into something TOTALLY AWESOME. And by awesome I mean "that will make your brain explode".



#83 - The Price of Love

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 7800 Fahrenheit
Other Versions: None
Era: Early 80s "synth rock"


Disregarding "Only Lonely" (because I love it so much that including it would be unfair to everything else on the album), "Price of Love" is easily my favorite from 7800. Normally, I'll put the song I'm writing about on repeat and as soon as it starts, start writing. I couldn't do that with this one, I had to listen to it to get the dancing and karaoke-ing and shit out of my system. I'm halfway through the second listen right now.

7800 is the last Bon Jovi album I got. And I really don't like "In and Out of Love", so I wasn't really too excited for it. I figured it'd be a mediocre version of the debut album. But I like this one much better than the s/t, and it was this song that made me go "oh never mind, this'll be good".

(I can't stop dancing to this. It might be a disorder of some kind)

This drum intro kicks the drum intro to "I Want You" right out of the picture as far as awesome drum intros. Where that was "you bitches are in for some hardcore shit", this is "HOLY SWEET FUCK YOU'D BEST BE PREPARED TO GET YOUR ASSES ROCKED RIGHT THE FUCK OFF HOMIES". And then the guitar kicks in and it's like "oh no my ass is being rocked right the fuck off! WHY DID I NOT HEED TICO'S WARNING?"

Oh God, this guitar. If the "Bad Medicine" video is what makes me not mind looking at Richie, and "Harlem Rain" is what makes me adore him as a writer, this is what makes me be all "okay so MAYBE Richie rocks hardcore SOMETIMES." Which is the best you're gonna get from me, so enjoy. But seriously, in the intro, that daneener nee danee na nee danee na daneener nee danee na nee danee na nyoooo nyooo noo noo is just so awesome I can't even describe it. And this is easily my favorite Richie solo. Not the most epic or the most technically proficient but godDAMMIT it rocks SO HARD and it fits the song PERFECTLY.

This song is so...righteous. Jon sings it like it is some important manifesto on the state of things in the world today, like he has the key to ending world peace and famine and every disease ever (except that one that makes me uncontrollably dance to this mofo). And the backing vocals, I LOVE. So so so cheesy but done so seriously. The "ah-ahh"s are my favorite backing vocals in the history of backing vocals. And I love how it's just keyboard behind the beginning of the first verse, adding it this very seriously epic tone that just makes me laugh because for the love of God it's just a "love is hard" song. Seriously, boys.

I mentioned the drumming in the intro, but I'd also like to mention it gets no less awesome as the song goes on. Tico is hitting so hard I get this image of them recording it and every single time he hits one of his sticks breaks and he has to stop to get a new one and it took them like eight hours to do the song because they had to keep stopping. I know that didn't happen, but it amuses me to think of it that way. Seriously, he is kicking ass. I wouldn't start a fight with Tico based entirely on this song, because I know he could bash my head in. The drums are the reason I am physically unable to listen to this song without rocking out.

The lyrics match the vocals so well. Cheesy, ridiculously so, but dammit they are DEFINITELY cheesy and don't even go messing with them. Favorite lines: "one last dance, then goodbye" "you live your life to take that chance/when you're a master of the art of romance" and "alone, our lonely hearts would die". And sweet Jesus do I love singing this one, ESPECIALLY the chorus. This song gets me hella pumped but I couldn't put it on my "for the gym" playlist because I sing and dance and didn't want to look like a goon.

Another one I'd kill to see live. Literally. Jon, you got someone hasslin' you, call me and I WILL SET IT UP and the only cost to you will be "The Price of Love"


My Rating: 10/10

For tomorrow, there's no real rhyme or reason:
  • Undivided
  • I'd Die For You
And here's something I've been thinking about all day. If Bon Jovi were to release a dvd of their music videos, do you think they would or would not include the videos from Bon Jovi and 7800?

They should, by all rights. Unless it's a "best of the Bon Jovi videos" in which case what's "best" is really up to them. But I'd feel kind of ripped off with a "best of" when they could easily fit every one of their videos on a dvd. Thing is, knowing how much they like to bash the earlier albums and the earlier videos, would they do the "well I'm not proud of these but they're a part of our history" thing and include them, or the "1983-1985 NEVER HAPPENED I DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT" thing and just leave them off? And would they include solo videos? Would they include just Jon's and not Richie's, the way "Blaze of Glory" was on Crossroad?

Not that I have any idea how likely it is they would ever release a music video dvd. Just something I've been thinking about.