3 decades of rock, in convenient bite-sized pieces

3.31.2006

#76 - Every Beat of My Heart

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

Lyrics

By all rights, I should like this song. It's a sweet ballad and it's nice and sappy and it's well played. But it's another big "eh" for me. I kind of like it when I remember it exists, that's the best I can say.

For once, I hate the way Jon and Richie's voices sound together. Richie has much more passion, and it makes everything Jon sings sound like he's not into it. There are parts where Jon sounds downright bored, parts where he sounds less bored, and one or two chunks where he sounds into it. Richie is, once again, pouring his soul into a song. It makes Jon sound bad.

Musically, this is kind of boring. I mean, it's nice as ballads go. But nice is the best I can say, and that's not good enough. I like the higher pitched guitar, and that's it. The drumming is too quiet and confined, there's no passion coming from it. There's nothing worthwhile happening with the keyboard, and the acoustic guitar doesn't add much. It's not bad, but it's certainly not good.

Lyrically, I like it. Cheesy and sappy? Yes. Good? Yes. I like "if I don't say I love you, everything else is a waste of my breath" especially. I could see this, with different instrumentation, working very well as a Richie solo song.

My Rating: 4/10

Speaking of Richie solo songs:
  • Harlem Rain
  • One Light Burning

3.30.2006

#75 - Shot Through the Heart

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Bon Jovi
Other Versions: Recorded by a band called "Surgin'", I believe they never had a record deal (if they had a deal it wasn't a big one)
Era: Early 80s "synth rock"

Lyrics

This is one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs and it drives me nuts that people just toss the name around as the name of "You Give Love A Bad Name". I actually had someone in the Bon Jovi group on Last.fm correct me when I referred to "Shot Through the Heart" as "Shot Through the Heart" (I said it was one of my favorite songs, specified I didn't mean "Bad Name", and he came back with "I hate to correct you, but the name of the song is "You Give Love A Bad Name". Well I hate to correct you but you're a dumbass). Another one of my little Jovi-related pet peeves.

I love the way Jon sings this. He's so so into it, so intense. Even in the quieter parts he is very much pushing his voice to get the intention across. And the backing vocals, just the "ahh ahh ahh ahh" and "shot! shot!" are just yes. I love near the end where they're just shouting "shot!" over and over and over.

The guitar at the end is awesome. The very beginning, and the very end, best guitar-ing in the whole song. The keyboard during the first verse, the high notes, I love it. Love, love, love. And when the guitar goes "wheedly" and the drums kick in and here's the chorus it is so perfect. The drumming is so fast and hard and fun and perfect. I can't listen to this without dancing because of the drums.

I love what the keyboard adds to this. I'm not sure I can describe it. That keyboard is the essence of this song - it's cheesy, but seriously cheesy. It doesn't know it's being cheesy, it's just doing what it's doing. Take away everything else and the keyboard could give you the overall feel.

My favorite part of the whole song is Jon's dismissive"hah" after "now you've come back here to say you're sorry". I love it because when I played this song for a friend she started laughing at that and we had a nice "what the Hell, that was stupid" moment. I also like the "baby does as baby please/baby must have what she sees" part, for no discernible reason. Cheesy. Stupid. Fun. This is probably my favorite song on this album because of that unapologetic fun cheesiness. It's cheesy, it's ridiculous, but goddammit it's good.

My Rating: 10/10

For tomorrow, the box set:
  • Real Life
  • Every Beat of My Heart
  • These Arms are Open All Night
  • Gotta Have a Reason

3.29.2006

#74 - Save the World

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Crush
Other Versions: None
Era: early 00s "hard pop"

Lyrics

Eh. This doesn't do anything for me, for the most part. Normally I'm a sucker for a ballad, but...eh.

A big part of the problem is the way Jon sings the verses. He seems kind of out of it and draggy, and it's hard to get into it when it doesn't feel like he's into it. Jon not being into it is unusual, so I assume he was going for a different effect. Maybe other people get it. I don't.

I don't like the guitar solo, either. The guitar takes on the same whiny quality Jon's voice has and it just kind of irritates me. For the most part, the instrumentation in this is weak. It has this epic feel to it that matches the idea of saving the world, but it just isn't a particularly strong composition.

Things I like:

"It comes down to this/I wouldn't exist/Without you, it ain't worth the grind" and "I'd fly all the way to the moon/just to walk you down your street". Lyrically, really nice. But I don't like Jon's voice here and it takes a lot away from how nice those lines are.

This song doesn't commit any major offenses. And when you take Crush as a whole, it works better (since its only real sappy-ballad competition are the "mystery" songs). It just isn't strong, and it isn't really representative of what they can do.

My Rating: 4/10

For tomorrow, something from the self-titled debut album:
  • Roulette
  • Shot Through the Heart
  • Breakout
  • Come Back

3.28.2006

#73 - Damned

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: These Days
Other Versions: None
Era: 90s "moody rock"

Lyrics

First time I heard this song I was madly in love with this guy who was extremely taken. So I was all "whoo cheating!". I was definitely in the right mindset for a song from the point of view of the other man. Also, I love the idea of it being from the other man's point of view because it's so stereotypically men who cheat (although that stereotype is becoming less and less prominent). This is like "hey women like to sleep around too!" empowerment. Or something.

I love the feel of this song. It's this cool R&B thing and the instrumentation is kind of mellow but not overly so. It's like you can chill and bob your head to this and not get too riled up, but it isn't boring.

I like the maracas. Mostly because I like Tico playing maracas because maracas lend themselves to testicle jokes better than drums. Imagine the music I could make with Tico's maracas! See? Sorry. (I was playing with a slogan generator earlier and it said "Tico - you see this name, you think dirty." and it made me laugh because it was so accurate)

The guitar in this is really sweet. It's dirty gritty crunchy and it's a really good groove. I'm realy feeling it. And the trumpets and shit are awesome. Musically this is a crazy cool piece.

Jon sings this really awesomely sometimes and sometimes he kind of grates on my nerves. During the chorus his voice sounds like he's not quite using it exactly right. Like he's straining or he's hoarse or something. Whatever it is, it bugs me. Most of the song, though, I like the way he sings.

The "why won't you talk to me/'cause I'm too blind to see/why won't you look at me/'cause I'm afraid to breathe/what do you want from me/all that I can stand" part is kind of cheesy, but I'll forgive it for "the lies are on my tongue and I can't turn back I know that I'm damned" that comes right after. I really like "it's just the wind that's blowin' through the secrets that we keep" too.

My Rating: 8/10

Tomorrow's vote is a Crush/Bounce dealie
  • It's My Life
  • Save the World
  • Hook Me Up
  • Undivided

3.27.2006

#72 - Novocaine

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

Lyrics

(I didn't even sleep a full two hours. Oh well. Now I'm full of Advil and empty promises to myself to go find a dentist to prescribe me something nice and strong and to not try solid foods again for a couple days)

My second favorite song on HAND. I still can't decide if the reason my top three are the ones connected to David because I'm so in love with David I refuse to like anything better (subconsciously) or if it's a coincidence and David just rocks that hard.

Part of the appeal of HAND to me is it isn't as content as Crush and Bounce. When those two were written, everyone was all happy and in love and there were no huge tragedies in their love lives or other aspects of their lives. That tends to make for boring songwriting, especially for a band whose best work tends to be about heartbreak and optimism in times of not-so-good-ness. There wasn't any not-so-good-ness going on (actually I'm not 100% sure when Tico divorced Eva but I think it was before they started work on Crush because I think he married Maria Alejandra in 2000). Then it comes time to write songs for HAND and David's got some not-so-good-ness going on in his love life and Jon's pissed about politics and I think it charged up the album. I think that's why I like this and "Last Cigarette" most, I know they're rooted in real, honest pain and emotion.

As a general rule I don't like when the vocals are right there at the beginning. I like a nice instrumental build-up to the first verse and then the first verse building into a big chorus. It's the logical part of me, it enjoys the progression. This is an exception. I don't know why, but I really do like the way it starts so suddenly with Jon. Part of it is the absolute brilliance of the "you can take back all the secrets/we'll divide up all the lies" lyric. That's just...mmmm good work.

The use of backing vocals on this one is superb. I love it in the second verse ("let's get things straight" "that's not okay!") and I really love it near the end when they say "walk away" in such a tone that it's almost a taunt.

I like the guitar in the end when Jon's talking (where I have no idea what he's saying. "21st century man gotta get in touch with his...feminine side [mumble mumble mumble] I gotta do [mumble mumble mumble]) because it's the same as in the beginning up to "laugh and cry/live and die/every night" and it hits that logical part of me. And the way the guitar builds up in the chorus, it's like this representation of the pain building up as he's trying harder and harder to convince himself he's not hurting and he keeps failing. So so good.

I didn't pay attention to the drumming until just now trying to write this. I think the instrumentation works as a whole in this one, I don't pick it out as much. But now, paying attention to it, I'm liking it. It's a steady backbone and what's interesting about it is it's a very danceable beat. I like the way this song works as a more fun composition against the very not-fun message. The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek sometimes and it's a not-so-bleak look at a very bleak situation. And even through the tongue-in-cheek-ness, that comes across. This is brilliant, brilliant songwriting. That dancey drumming underscores the cute lyrics, while the guitar underscores the pain. Fucking genius composition.

I'd like to point out that at first I thought this was about Tommy and Gina getting divorced because of the "livin' on a prayer" line. I thought it was an interesting twist in the "saga of Tommy and Gina", but it was just me misreading. Eh, I'm happier with them as a couple than divorced. Wouldn't that be a kick in the ass?

I listened to HAND a lot in the dorm after I got it. This is the only song that stuck with one of my roommates. Stuck with her as in "dammit H(real name censored to keep up the mystique) that freaking Novocaine song is in my head again."

My Rating: 10/10

No real rhyme or reason to tomorrow's vote
  • It's My Life
  • No Regrets
  • Damned
  • Save A Prayer
Suggestion: If, when you vote, there's a tie, don't feel obligated to be a tie breaker. Vote for what you want, and add a little note that if it stays a tie you'd prefer Song A. Something like that.

On the to-be-edited list:
Last Cigarette
I Believe
Sleep When I'm Dead
The Answer

Just note it in a comment if there's anything else you'd like to see me expand on more than I did. Some of those older entries (most of them) I did while not listening to the song (now I listen to it three or four times while I'm writing) so there's not as much there.

A Heads-Up

I have a wisdom tooth coming in. There's no room for it to come in, but that's not stopping it.

I'm in serious pain, and I've gotten maybe seven hours of sleep since Saturday.

I'm exhausted, and I'm going to take a nap. If I'm lucky I will sleep through the night so I'm not viciously tired anymore. However, if I do sleep through the night, that means no song of the day.

If I wake up (as in, wide awake, no way am I getting back to sleep for like an hour), updating this will be the first thing I do. If not, I'll write up two tomorrow.

3.26.2006

#72 - House of the Rising Sun

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: None
Other Versions: Traditional English ballad (melody), recorded by The Animals, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, several others
Era: N/A

Traditional Lyrics (with some backstory)
Lyrics (The Animals Version, closer to what BJ play)

A friend of mine sent me a link to this song way back in October or November, and I fell in love right away. I don't know that it's my favorite Bon Jovi cover, but it is right up there.

Jon's voice here is just amazing. He has so much passion, so much love for this song. As the story goes, this was the first song he learned (damned if I can remember where I read that, though) on guitar, so I'm sure it holds a special place for him. That love, that specialness (not a word, don't care) really come across. I've never seen him perform it, but I have a very clear picture in my head of him clutching the mic stand, eyes closed, that look on his face he gets when he's really feeling the song, just singing his heart out. This isn't a loud song, but the passion he feels is incredibly intense.

The guitar in the beginning is amazing. I want it to be Richie playing it just because that boy needs to earn some more points with me and this is the way to do it. It's so mellow, but there's feeling there, and that feeling ties in with the passion in Jon's voice and it works perfectly. The first verse is so quiet and subdued.

And then that organ and piano and the drums come in and still Jon's voice is strong enough to keep the focus. I can't gush enough about the way he sings this. It's just so incredible. And I love, love, love the piano in this. You're not paying attention to it and then it does the high-to-low steps thing right before Jon starts singing and it accents it perfectly. The organ solo adds so, so much. It's frigging gorgeous.

The drumming builds. The whole song builds up to the conclusion, but it's the drumming that's most noticeably doing so. Just cymbals, up to a quiet, steady beat, then louder and harder, still steady. And it ends with just drum. It works really well, it adds continuity to this as a composition. I love it when you can look at what's going on instrumentally in one part and see how it makes the entire song work better.

My Rating: 10/10

Random for tomorrow. Waltzing Matilda and Suspicious Minds stay on the list because it could have gone either way today. More than two people need to vote (or those two people need to vote for the same thing, haha)!
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • Novocaine
  • Suspicious Minds
  • Hook Me Up
Also: Starting next time I get bored, I've got a new project. I noticed when I was going back through and adding lyrics that there are a lot of entries I don't really feel are complete, or that I've since realized some new things about the song that I want to include. So I'm going to go back through and add stuff or reword some stuff. If there's an entry you'd like to see me expand on a little more, mention it sometime during the week (I hope to have everything up to snuff by the end of next weekend) and I'll do what I can.

Slated for editing:
Last Cigarette
I Believe
Sleep When I'm Dead

Ooga booga

Thanks to my sweet homie Captain Jovi, the I Believe video has been added to the post

I Believe

So every song with words has lyrics (except the Christmas ones. Which I will probably add eventually) and every single has its video. Yay and stuff.

Someone has too much time on their hands

Couple more additions to old posts. YouTube was having problems with its search function earlier, which is why I couldn't find "Always" or "Misunderstood" videos. Those have now been added, along with the "Wanted Dead or Alive" Pop-Up Video from that Vh1 show I will never stop missing. I loved that show.

Always
Misunderstood
Wanted Dead or Alive

Still looking for the "I Believe" video. It'll show up eventually.

3.25.2006

#71 - Who Said It Would Last Forever?

Artist: Jon Bon Jovi (as John Bongiovi)
Album: The Power Station Years
Other Versions: None
Era: N/A

Lyrics

I feel like I should mention that the power station demos were released without Jon's permission and he didn't make any money from them. So if you ever want to download an album guilt-free, download this one.

I love these demos. Jon was young and hadn't yet figured out that cheesy is bad. That, or he hadn't figured out that he was being cheesy. Either way, this is possibly the cheesiest album ever recorded.

I love singing this. This is probably my ideal "dance and sing around the kitchen while making a sandwich" song. Which is an odd category for a song to be in, but really, try it sometime. Perfect beat for butt-shaking while spreading peanut butter on bread, and perfect chorus to go "uoo eh ih uuh aas oeah" while I've got the knife in my mouth.

I like the concept of this song. It's "sweet good Lord I am sick of you getting your heart broken and running to me" but packaged into an upbeat set of lyrics that aren't gonna instigate a big weepy fight. Veeeeery sneaky, Mr. BJ (oh man that's such a good gay porn star name).

I like the little hair metal scream he attempts in this. He's not quite used to hair metal screamin yet, and it falls about as flat as the "I'll Be There For You" scream on the Crush Tour DVD. It's cute, though.

My Rating: 6/10

Tomorrow, I'll do a cover:
  • House of the Rising Sun
  • Jersey Girl
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • Suspicious Minds

...and BOY are my arms tired

I went through and did the following edits:

Added Lyrics:
Everything but the Christmas songs and the one instrumental David song

Added Video:
Livin' on a Prayer
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
Wanted Dead or Alive
The Hardest Part is the Night
Born to Be My Baby
Say It Isn't So
She Don't Know Me
Miracle

So, enjoy.

Also, there are a couple songs I've written about that I know there are videos for that weren't up on YouTube. If anyone has these on their computer and wants to upload them and send me a link, or send them to me and I'll upload them, that would be mega-sweet.

They are:
I Believe
Misunderstood
Always

3.24.2006

#70 - Bad Medicine

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: New Jersey, Crossroad, This Left Feels Right, One Wild Night Live
Other Versions: None
Era: Late 80s "hair metal"

Lyrics
Lyrics (TLFR)
Video

Next to Runaway, this is probably the best intro to a Bon Jovi song ever as far as instant recognizability (holy Lord I just butchered the English language). You hear that modulated guitar and "oh my gawd it's Bad Medicine!". Oh and the spoken "bad medicine" right before the first verse helps.

I don't like Jon's voice in this song. It's too scratchy, I'm not sure if it's that scratchy on purpose or not but it just doesn't do anything for me. I want to hit pause and tell him to clear his throat and have a cup of tea before he tries singing again. Not just for aesthetic purposes, it sounds like it hurts. And that can't be good for his voice.

I like the keyboard in this one. It's subtle sometimes and other times I'm like "hey, I hear the keyboard! Awesome". And the drumming is just like "bammo". Tico's hitting hard (see I didn't say "pounding" this time because if I said "Tico's pounding hard" my mind would wander and mmm Tico) as Hell. I am so glad I'm not a drum. That shit would hurt.

(alternate joke: I wish I was a drum. Then my entire purpose in life would be to get pounded by Tico)

*ahem*

The guitar in this song is awesome. I'm not a big guitar fan (as you know because I keep on saying it) but this guitar solo is just excellent. It's exactly the mood of the entire song, condensed into a much shorter package with just one instrument. Nice.

Tidbits:
I like how heavy the backing vocals are in this song. During the chorus Jon is just kind of an accent for the rest of the guys. I like it.

This one's FUN live. Fun enough that I can totally forgive how over-the-top goofy Jon gets.

The video is one of maybe five times I've ever thought Richie was hot. Stupid pants and dumb little dance aside. That part where he just glances over to the camera and smiles a little kind of makes me melt. And then I remember it's Richie I'm melting over and go find one of those pictures where he has no cheekbones, or one where he's all jowly, or one where he looks ten years older than he is. (Sorry, Richie fans. Look at it this way: more for you).

TLFR version = meh. They didn't butcher it, but they sure as Hell didn't do it any favors.

My Rating: 7/10

For tomorrow, a selection from Jon's Power Station songs:
  • Who Said It Would Last Forever
  • Stringin' A Line
  • More Than We Bargained For
  • Hollywood Dreams

3.23.2006

#69 - Only Lonely

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

Lyrics
The finest video ever made in the history of time

Ok, first I need to talk about the video. The holy motherfucking grail of music videos.

This thing plays like they filmed a full-length movie and someone said "uh, we can't play an hour-and-a-half music video so you need to cut this down". So all of them got to go around and pick their favorite parts to stay in the video. It's disjointed and there's supposed to be a plot (okay there's like three plots) but it doesn't quite come across.

The plot(ish) as far as I see it: Bon Jovi's manager is an evil man. Jon is in love, but she is having some problems with their relationship. The gay biker mafia is evil and must be stopped.

I'm sure they're all supposed to tie together somehow. But either it's over my head or I'm over its head, because Hell if I know.

My favorite, favorite, favorite part of the video is when David, with his little upturned nose and his poofy fro thing, knocks the leader of the gay biker mafia up against the wall and the guy is terrified. He is a bad-ass biker who smashes cars with hatchets and he is scared of David freaking Bryan. It is the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Other high points: "MAN YOU SOLD US OUT.", "Man, they are not nice people.", "Forget her man, she's gone."(my first taste of just how wonderful and growly and mmm Tico's voice is), Jon gets laid, the manager's bling and his ugly pink suit.

Oh, and for the love of God, Jon gets so ridiculous in the performance scenes. HE PANTOMIMES "WIPES THE SMILE RIGHT OFF YOUR FACE". He felt the need to ACT THAT OUT. And he punches the air and tosses his head around and oh it's beautiful.

I would also like to point out I bought a hat once because it reminded me of the hat Jon wears in this video. Go watch it. You won't be sorry.

Oh God I love this song. So, so much. The video was my first encounter with it (and what a first encounter), and it cemented itself early on as one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs. When I picked up my copy of 7800 I was in the very early stages of my "David is my favorite" stage, and I saw his name with a credit for this song and it totally cemented him in my brain as hands-down the best.

The beat is my favorite beat ever. Ever. It's driving and hard and poundy and thumpy and I can't possibly listen to this song without moving to it. During the first verse, Tico's just clicking his sticks (hee, his sticks) and I love that and then everything kicks in and the drum is just BAM. When I was fairly new to Bon Jovi and fairly new to this song, it was one of those songs I loved but couldn't place why. I've figured it out, it's the drumming. And the bass.

Oh, the bass in this song. Oh God. It gallops. Dung dunga dung dunga dunga dung dung. It moves along and keeps the song going and it hits so hard that the parts where there's no bass are so different and it adds the impact to those parts that is necessary. This is bass-ing at its finest. I think of this song and it's the rhythm section that comes to mind first. It's so strong and it adds so much, and it's just goddamn.

Jon sings this with so much conviction. He isn't screaming, but his voice is incredibly strong. He's pouring emotion and conviction and just himself into every word. It amazes me how powerfully he sings this. When I sing along I have to clench my fists and just balls-out (figuratively speaking) rock out because he's so into it.

I would like to point out that when I first saw the title of this I was like "oh my God they rhymed 'only' with 'lonely'. Are they serious?"

They were. And it works. The whole song lyrically works. It's cheesy, but with that poundy beat and the galloping bass and the intensity of Jon's voice and Richie's guitar constantly crunching in at exactly the right times and those little freaking bell things it all comes together. It doesn't matter that it's cheesy because goddamit, they mean this cheese.

Best part of the song: "I've got this time bomb/ticking in my brain" and there's just the little ticking and the drum coming in at intervals and Jon's just intense and then "when I just can't LEEET GOOOOOOO". *Guitar solo*. Damn. Yes, yes, yes.

7800 was the last album where David's backing vocals were more prominent than Richie's. It worked well with the album, because it's a darker album and David's got a deeper, thicker voice than Richie which gives the vocals a darker feel. This song is more mesh-y than the others, but you can really hear David during the "o-onlay lo-onlay oh-ah-oh" parts and I like that.

This is a fucking fun, upbeat-but-still-hard (as hard as Bon Jovi got in the early 80s) rock song and I love it. Love it, love it, love it. I would give at minimum my right arm to hear this live. That's not exaggeration. I would borrow one of my roommate's bread knives and cut it off right now if Tico were to call and say "we would love to play Only Lonely live but we seem to be short on spare appendages. If you cut your right arm off for us we will fly you out here and you can watch us play it". It doesn't have to be Tico, even. Any one of them could call me.

My Rating: 10/10 (except, like, it's a 15. But for the sake of the rating system, I have to say 10)

Alright, for tomorrow, a hit from the 80s:
  • You Give Love A Bad Name
  • Never Say Goodbye
  • Bad Medicine
  • I'll Be There For You

3.22.2006

#68 - Let's Make It Baby

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: None (Demo)
Other Versions: The original has talkbox (demo for New Jersey), the non-talkbox one was recorded later (demo for These Days)
Era: Going strictly by when it was written it would be "hair metal" but soundwise it fits in much better with These Days and the "moody rock"era

Lyrics

My mission for tonight is to write this without dissolving into a mushy little puddle. It's harder because I'm already pretty mushy from Lost (it was a Jin/Sun episode! Shirtless Jin! JIN SPEAKING ENGLISH!) but I think I can handle it.

I'm not even going to write about the non-talkbox version. I think I've listened to it maybe once, and I don't think it was all the way through. There are a lot of songs with talkbox that would be just as good without it, I don't think this is one of them. I think it adds a lot to the mood, it dirties it up, and that works really well with how blatantly sexual the song is. This one needs to be dirty.

Jon and Richie were either getting laid too much or not enough when they wrote this one. I'm leaning towards the former, because they wrote it in the late 80s when they were on top of the world. If they weren't having lots and lots of sex it's because they didn't want to, not because they couldn't get any. I don't think this is a song borne of sexual frustration.

Here's my reaction the first time I heard this:

"Ooh, I like the talkbox. This is a sexy beat. DID HE JUST SAY 'I'M GOING DOWN'? Holy Jesus! Me likey!"

Yeah I'm pretty easy to please.

This song has really, really sexy instrumentation. It's got a slow beat and it's deep and throbby (throbby is so a word) and it kind of vibrates. It's very much a song about sex even if you take away the oh-so-subtle ("I wanna taste the sweat/running off of your body/get the sheets all wet/I want to make you feel naughty" being perfect examples of "how to be subtle" [if you miss the sarcasm there I will not be held responsible]) lyrics.

Speaking of the lyrics, I love them. Subtlety be damned. This song makes excellent use of not just the meaning of words but the way they sound. When he says "it's getting harder, harder, harder to keep you away" it's because there are a couple different things you think of when you hear "hard" in this context. This song plays on connotation and the culture of sex and words in relation to sex. It's not just dumb horniness, it's really intelligently sexy.

Jon's voice in this song is perfect. He sounds the way you'd expect him to during sex if he's a talker (assuming you think about these things enough to have an expectation). He's husky and sometimes it sounds like he's trying to force the words out while his body's focused on other things. And the backing vocals in the chorus, the higher-pitched "ba-ay-by-y" are my favorite backing vocals in the history of everything.

The two best parts of the song:
1. When Jon, near the end, is doing "don't tell me you love me/tell me you want me" and totally loses his concentration. It sounds like he's getting off (or close) right there in the studio and it's very powerfully sexy.

2. The very end when Richie says "I want to fuck you" into the talkbox. Just in case the rest of the song wasn't subtle enough. I like that he says that, because if I had a talkbox I'd spend all my time saying obscene things into it, and now I feel less alone.

My Rating: 10/10

I was gonna save the "sex" song for 69 but that's way too predictable. So for #69 I'll be doing one of the songs from the first two with a David Bryan (or Rashbaum because he didn't change his name for the first album) writing credit.
  • Love Lies
  • Breakout
  • Only Lonely
  • I Don't Wanna Fall to the Fire
I would like to point out that no way am I giving a decent, coherent review of "Only Lonely" without spending several paragraphs trying to do the video justice. Just a heads-up/warning/whatever.

3.21.2006

#67 - Right Side of Wrong

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

Lyrics

Very first time I heard this, I thought it was about a married man running away with his mistress. I wasn't paying much attention. Then I looked up the lyrics, and I was like "oh, it's a bank robbing song". A failed bank robbery. But at the moment I don't think it's about a bank robbery. Now I'm kind of leaning towards drug trafficking of some kind. Or a murder. No, not a murder, he just brought sweatsocks. Faux armed robbery? Really, I don't know. Interpret it for yourself (then tell me).

Musically, this might be my favorite song on Bounce. For most of it, it manages to be quiet and subdued and very simple. I love the piano, I think it sets the very serious tone excellently. Jon's voice is very matter-of-fact, low and simple. It meshes very well with the piano, and you know right away he's telling a very serious story.

I like how it rises with the music, how it gets more intense when the guitar comes in. Like in "Bed of Roses", Jon uses his voice as an instrument in and of itself. And when Richie comes in in the chorus, it's subtle, but it gives a little edge that adds a lot.

I like the instrumental break. It's epic and sweeping and the guitar is very striking. Poignant, really. And I like how angry and passionate he and Richie are when they sing the last chorus. Defiance, always nice.

I like how stream of consciousness this is. My favorite writing style is that very matter-of-fact "this is what is running through my head right now" writing, and that preference also translates to music. This is Jon just thinking, very simply and very straightforwardly about what he has to do.

I like the "we'll make the grade/they'll know our names" chunk of the song very much. The strings add this very epic feel that accompanies all the best outlaw scenes in westerns.

This is one of the best songs, musically, on Bounce, in my opinion. It's well constructed and it flows and it fits very well with the story. Whatever the story is.

My Rating: 10/10

Tomorrow, I'm gonna write about an unreleased song/rarity/b-side/whatever about sex. BUT WHICH ONE?
  • Do It To Ya
  • Gimme Some
  • Hush
  • Let's Make it Baby

3.20.2006

#66 - Hey God

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: These Days
Other Versions: None
Era: 90s "moody rock"

Lyrics

Angry Jovi! I like Angry Jovi.

I like the intro to this one. The Dunn dunn dunn da dunn dunn thing and then the guitar picks up. The guitar in this song is some of my favorite of Richie's ever. It's simple but it kind of gives me this image that goes really well with the song.

I love it when Jon starts to yell right before the chorus. It's like "oh shit, the Livin on a Prayer guy is pissed off!". It makes this a nice opener to These Days, it really sets the mood. And it displays a level of seriousness that they always had but didn't necessarily show off.

The drumming in the "gonna get down on my knees" part is just oh my God. It's awesome through the whole song, but in that one section where it's just Tico and Jon it's impossible to ignore it. It's hard and driving and angry and it makes the song, just absolutely makes it. And near the end, when there's about 40 seconds left, there's a part where Tico kind of goes nutso a little and it's almost like he's just smashing at the drums with no rhyme or reason, but the rhythm's still there.

I love, love, love the ending. The drums slow down and then die off completely and you're left with the guitar just kind of winding down. It's like "ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY angry angry ok I'm too tired of being angry, I'm gonna get sad now" and then comes the rest of the album. Excellent, excellent use of a song as an intro.

I made a Bon Jovi mix for a friend of mine, and when I make cds for her I write up a little paragraph about each song. This went on there as my evidence that Bon Jovi could be more serious and angrier and harder than they were in the 80s and still be Bon Jovi.

My Rating: 9/10

Bounce:
  • All About Loving You
  • Right Side of Wrong
  • Love Me Back to Life
  • Open All Night (remember, it's the Bounce version, the "I don't wanna fall in love with you/I try, try, try but I can't get around the truth" ballad, not the rockier one from the box set. Just to avoid confusion)

3.19.2006

#65 - Why Aren't You Dead?

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (Disc 1)
Other Versions: None (I wanna say this was released as a b-side to something but I'm not totally sure)
Era: Sounds very KTF/TD-ish (I believe it was indeed written for KTF)

Lyrics
This is an excellent opener for the box set. The box set has songs that don't sound typical, that don't sound well-produced, that aren't sung by Jon. So it's a nice easing into the differences, this song that is very Bon Jovi.

I like the roughness of the guitar. It makes the whole song very gritty, really underscoring the attitude of the lyrics. The keyboard is really subtle here, but I like what it adds. It smoothes over the guitar a bit, and makes the whole composition a little richer. I don't always notice it, but I'd notice if it weren't there.

I love the sweet Hell out of these lyrics. I love the concept, I love the way it's written, I love the way it's sung. I particularly like "well there's been a resurrection, yeah/a miracle cure" and "saw two shadows go to town on the shade". And "I can't believe my own lying eyes/oh my!" makes me giggle, because I have this image of Jon standing outside a hotel, hands up to his cheeks Home-Alone style going "oh my!". Because I'm a dork like that.

This is fun and tongue-in-cheek and, dare I say, rollicking (that's a word that doesn't get used enough). Probably the most fun "end of a relationship" song I've heard, and definitely one of my favorites.

My Rating: 8/10

These Days vote:
  • Hey God
  • These Days
  • Damned
  • Hearts Breaking Even

3.18.2006

#64 - Wild is the Wind

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

Lyrics

The first time I heard this song I was sitting in the backseat of a car on the way to P-funk, next to my sister. When the chorus hit I flung out my arms and smacked her in the face. That's my "Wild is the Wind" story.

I love this song. Absolutely love it. I don't really love the intro, the little bit of clicky drumming and the acoustic guitar thing, but other than that I am madly in love with it. And I mean the very very intro when it's clicky thumping, silence, a little guitar, silence, THEN the song kicks in, because the clicky thumping together with the guitar is nice.

I love love love love love the drumming in the verses. PUM PUM. Sing a little. PUM PUM. It's so thumpy and deep and just yes. Love it, love it, love it. When someone mentions this song that PUM PUM is the first thing to come to mind. That is Wild is the Wind for me.

I like the way Jon sings the verses. This is one of the first real glimpses of how his voice still sounds good when he goes really low and husky. It's low, it's quiet, and it's extremely intense and you know he feels it. The quiet intensity and the PUM PUM and this is a song that just hits you and goes right into your veins and down your spine and makes your heart beat with it.

And then the chorus. Oh holy Lord, the chorus. Jon is quiet and the instruments are subdued and the drum is just quiet and thumpy and then WI - I - I - I - ILD kicks in and yes. Like I said above, the very first time I heard this the chorus made me fling my arms out even though I couldn't sing it because I didn't know it. The chorus is loud and both triumphant and defiant in this amazing collaboration of lyrics and tone of voice and volume and all the instruments just bang right in. It's possibly the best chorus they've ever done as far as mood.

To be honest, with this song the lyrics are totally secondary to me here. This song is a feeling, I think that's why so many people love it so much. This is the first song to win unanimously (David winning unanimously doesn't count, he's a man, not a song) and there's good reason for that. I think "Wild" resonates with people so much because it's not so much a song but a five minute, nine second emotional ride. Not that the lyrics are bad, they just take a backseat to the overall tone.

The best part of the song, hands-down: The guitar solo into "maybe a better man/would live and die for you/baby a better man would *super intense* never say goodbye to you/WI-I-I-I-ILD". That is so not up for dispute. That song makes me want to punch someone, in the best way possible. Just shout "OH FUCK YEAH" and punch a Bon Jovi hater in the nose. That's a good thing, for serious.

My Rating: 10/10

Tomorrow I'll do something from the box set:
  • Why Aren't You Dead?
  • Rich Man Living in a Poor Man's House
  • Ordinary People
  • Out of Bounds
One thing I'd like to mention: I got a cd today called "Steinway to Heaven", it's rock keyboardists playing classical piano pieces. David does Moonlight Sonata (brilliantly, I might add). But what I thought was really cool was in the booklet each artist wrote a little blurb about the piece they chose and why. Here are a couple things I have written about David in here:
It's one of David's strong points, moreso even than the band's as a whole, that he can take you on this emotional journey of his choosing.

David just has this way of making me feel what he wants me to feel. I listen to his "In These Arms" and even if I don't have anyone to miss I just settle right in to the emotion of the song, I listen to "Memphis Lives in Me" and Hell if I've ever been to Memphis but it just resonates with me. He's an extremely passionate musician, it comes across in his voice and in his playing, and I like that. He feels it, he makes me feel it, and I love it.

and here is what David wrote about Beethoven:

While other pieces by other famous classical composers were more technically difficult, not many could reach a place way down inside the soul and touch an emotion as strongly as Beethoven...When music can touch upon an emotion so strongly it is truly a gift from above.

and I just thought the parallels between how I feel about David and how he feels about Beethoven were interesting.

3.17.2006

#63 - Tumblin' Dice

Artist: David Bryan
Album: Dry County says it's on the These Days bonus cd, so we'll go with that
Other Versions: the original is by the Rolling Stones, if there are other covers I'm unaware
Era: N/A

Lyrics

After only hearing "Memphis Lives in Me" and "In These Arms", my official ruling on David's voice was "it's really, really pretty, but I don't think he could be a rock singer."

I am pretty sure he read my mind and was like "oh Hells no, allow me to prove you wrong," because this song rocks SO HARD.

David is just so crazy into it. These are some crazy ridiculous lyrics (women think I'm tasty/but they're always trying to waste me? seriously, now) and he just fucking nails them. I don't even listen to the original version of this anymore, and I knew that one first.

I am incapable of listening to this without singing along to it (my roommates are telling me to shut up right now because they aren't aware this is an impossibility). I love that it gives me this image of David in one of the ridiculous box set gold outfits, just rocking his ass all over the stage. I know he isn't doing that, because I assume he's playing the piano (and playing it awesomely, as usual) but I can't shake the "David as quintissential rock star" image. He could be a frontman, he totally could.

His voice is so goddamned smooth I just want to scream. He doesn't get husky or scratchy or gravelly the way both Jon and Richie do, and I wish they'd take advantage of that contrast more. Richie's voice is smoother than Jon's, but he does get gravelly occasionally. Not that gravelly's bad - Hell, Tico's voice sounds like he's gargling rocks and I love the holy Hell out of it - but I think the contrast between Jon when he's really husky and David would make for some interesting work. Someone get me Jon on the phone so I can suggest it to him.

This gets stuck in my head for years and I don't care because honestly there is very little I enjoy more than walking down Weybosset Street here and singing "baby, baby, I don't need no jewels in my crown". 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.

My Rating: 10/10

Tomorrow's vote is songs from Slippery and New Jersey:
  • Raise Your Hands
  • Without Love
  • Blood on Blood
  • Wild is the Wind
Sorry this didn't go up earlier, Blogger went bananas last night and didn't fix itself until a little while ago.

3.15.2006

#62 - One Wild Night

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Crush
Other Versions: One Wild Night 2001 (video version, from OWN Live)
Era: Early 00s "power pop"

Lyrics
Video

This song holds a very, very special place in my heart. Without OWN, I wouldn't be a Bon Jovi fan right now. In late spring 2003, I went on a class trip to Orlando, Florida. During one of our days at Universal Studios (the same day I got to go on Slimetime Live and live my childhood dream of actually being on Nickelodeon), a friend and I went to a show that was Beetlejuice and the Universal Monsters performing songs. The wolfman (who was a total hottie, although slightly less hot than Frankenstein) sang this song I'd never heard before about midnight and vertigo and something. Song got stuck in my head, firmly, and stayed there the rest of the week. I got home, hunted down some info about the song, found out it was the It's My Life guys, and I'd kind of liked that song so I was like "ok let's check these guys out." The rest is history.

The original version has my favorite intro to a song ever. That doofy little chacha thing (I actually usually call it the "doodly doo" intro), it make me picture an old black-and-white silent film, dude in the front of the theater playing that little ditty on his piano while the dude on the screen is wearing a little suit and a bowler hat and walking along with a cane. Perhaps he comes across a woman of questionable character, we don't know. But yeah, if OWN was the first song on Crush, its intro would replace "Pink Flamingos" from Slippery as my favorite album intro ever.

I have to mention that I'm pretty sure the second verse is Jon admitting that when he gets drunk he is willing to give head. Because seriously, what else do you do "on your knees for half of the night" that is "having as much fun as you can in your clothes"? Think about that. Please, I don't want to be the only person who thinks "blowjob time!" when the second verse starts. Maybe that's the explanation for why Jon's still the vocalist when there's two dudes in the band who sing better than he does.*

This song makes me dance and sing and just generally move around and get into it. When I was putting together a compilation for the gym, my very first thought was "One Wild Night has to be on there." Both versions just get me going. So much energy, I love it.

The one thing that pisses me off: end of the first verse, Jon says "and you're not gonna believe who comes walking by". AND THEN HE NEVER TELLS US WHO IT IS.

I like the 2001 remix version. Mostly because of the high-pitched "ooh ooh ooh ooooh"s. I was asked to make a note that the video version is the remix, not the original, so take note of that, folks. I like the intro to the remixed version (nowhere near as much as the doodly doo intro), but the little noise (even I can't make a weird phonetic equivalent to this one) kind of drops you right into it. I like the bare-bones-ness of it, and the "ooh ooh ooh ooooh"s really add to the atmosphere. The video's stupid, though. I really don't like it.

My Rating: 10/10 original, 9.5/10 for 2001

*I am aware that entire paragraph is in extremely bad taste, and I sincerely apologize if you were offended by it. No harm meant, just joking around. I am pretty sure Jon doesn't need to give David and Richie head to make them let him stay in the band and not just take over for vocals. But if in 10 years Jon says that in an interview or something, you heard it here first.

I'm only giving you two choices for tomorrow, and they're not songs. I'm going to do a cover with either Tico or David on vocals, so you're voting for which one of them you want me to write about. You pick the dude, I pick the song.
  • Tico
  • David
Also, for curiosity's sake, when you vote, tell me where you got here from. If it's from a message board you don't even have to bother telling me who you are, just which one. I'm curious.

3.14.2006

#61 - Silent Night

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

Lyrics
Video

Around Christmas of 2003, before I was hugely into Bon Jovi (didn't even have the box set yet), I was looking for Christmas music and downloaded this song eight different times (at least), always hoping it was the hymn. It never was.

I love the opening chord. The vun, vun, voovoovun thing with the synthesizer. I was listening to 7800 for the first time and that synthesizer opened it up and I just went "YES! This is going to be AWESOME!"

This is one of my favorite Bon Jovi ballads. It's cheesy, everything on the first two albums is cheesy, but I really really love it. The synthesizer makes me giggle through the whole thing, which kind of kills the mood, but come on.

I love the guitar solo in this one. I can really feel it, really get behind it. And we know how I feel about the guitar. And after the guitar solo, when it's just strings and Jon's voice, you realize that behind the cheesy synth effects and the overblown-ness of the whole thing, this is a very simplistic heartfelt ballad.

This is one of my favorite videos, if only because if I'm in a relationship and it has to end, I wish it would do so in a room made of gant video screens. The giant head of Jon Bon Jovi singing my heartache back at me while mecha-Richie plays a guitar that is bigger than me. David's stupid little early 80s fro, curls big enough to use for innertubes, Tico banging away with sticks big enough to level a small city.

Ok so they're not that big. But the idea is still funny.

The "when we both kno-ow" after "Letting go/is always the hardest part to fight" is my favorite set of notes Jon's ever hit, although I'm not sure why. I just like them. It's high, but not "holy Jesus, it's Elmo" high.

My Rating: 9/10

Ok, you get to vote again.
  • Undivided
  • Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
  • Everyday
  • One Wild Night
Also, you probably haven't noticed it because it's teeny, but between the link button and "I Power Blogger", there's a little icon that says [10 | Hot or Not]. If you click on that, you get to rate how hot you think this blog is. I don't know how you should judge, since it's not like the blog has an ass you can go "oh man I could bounce a quarter off that" or something, but just pick a number. A high one would be nice.

3.13.2006

#60 - These Open Arms

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

Lyrics

Disclaimer: This song makes me weepy on the best days. I'll be listening to it about five times in a row, and this has most decidedly not been the best day, so if my typing goes all wonky that's why.

The intro to this is terrible. It didn't make me excited, it made me go "uh-oh, boring alert". Yeah this is a ballad, but the intro is just too slow, too mellow. There's nothing there. To be honest, I don't love the instrumentation in this for the most part. I like the piano, but I don't like the guitar at all. It's too something.

Lyrically this is gorgeous. Really, really gorgeous. Go read the lyrics, even if you don't usually click that link at the top. I'm not going to go through them all here, but I really mean that - go right now and read them. And if you don't think "well I know people in my life like that" but "well Hell, I want someone like that" then you can totally come sit in my boat. We have down comforters and chocolate.

My favorite line is "Did you make a damn of difference in somebody else's life" because I always react with "well I'd like to think I do" and then I start pondering and sometimes it's nice to think about things like that.

I like the way this manages to be "I'm your friend and I love you" and at the same time "you really need to take a look at your life" song. You're great, and I love you, but I know you need to figure yourself out a little first, and that's ok. I'm here while you get confused and messed up, and I'm totally going to hug you when things really get bad so you know that there's still some good out there for you.

You know what this makes me think of, really? I like to think this one was inspired by David's divorce too, and it's all Jon being "dude I am so your friend when you need me". Thinking of it like that makes me happy, so I don't really care if it's true or not. If Jon ever comes out in an interview with what this song is really about, I'll stop thinking that then. But doesn't that just kind of make you all warm and fuzzy, a "I love you, man, even if your life sucks right now" kind of sweet smushy ballad. Maybe it's just me.

I love, love, love Jon's voice in this one. He sounds sad, almost pained. This is someone watching someone else get all confused and depressed and down on life and wanting to help them and all he can say is "well, uh, I'm here, and I'll be/do whatever you need." It's hard to be in that position with someone, and I think Jon's voice really captures that "I am watching you suffer and goddammit I want to help because you're making me hurt too because I love you."

This is a gorgeous, hearrbreakingly loving song. It makes me want to curl up with a nice fuzzy blanket and maybe a stuffed animal and a mug of tea and call up one of my friends and tell them I love them and they rock and I want them to never hurt.

My Rating: 8/10

No vote this time, I know what I'm doing tomorrow and I am zero levels of flexible this time.

Also: I spent a significant amount of time on YouTube last night looking up Bon Jovi videos. At some point in the next several days, I'm going to go back through and add a video link to any entries about songs with videos on YouTube, and when I'm done I'll post a full list of what I've added videos to.

3.12.2006

#59 - Fear

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

Lyrics


There was a tie, this won the coin toss.

A friend of mine told me once in the Rolling Stone guide to 100 Greatest Rock Albums (or something like that), when they talk about Slippery When Wet they refer to Alec John Such's bass playing as "delicious". I don't feel that so much on SWW, but it's the only way I can describe the bass in this song. Delicious crunchy gritty bass that just makes the entire song.

Jon sounds pissed through this whole thing, and I love it. Absolutely love it. He's viciously into this song, his voice has this quality like he's about to rip someone's throat out with his teeth (now there's a visual for you). Even during the optimstic parts of the song, he's angry. His voice fits the song so well.

I must admit, I almost skipped this when I was first listening to KTF. I got thirty seconds in and went "ugh". But it's grown on me, partly because of the bass, partly because of Jon's voice, and partly because of the lyrics.

Stuff like "reaching for your four leaf clover/but baby there ain't no luck down there", "everybody's doing their sentence/but there ain't nobody here who knows just what's the crime", "girl once you were young and pretty/now won't you stop and watch that little girl" just hits me. I love how dark it is. There's still optimism here - "take my hand/I know we'll make it/I won't let nothing slow us down" - but in uncharacteristic fashion, it's the darkness that dominates.

This is an angry gritty crunchy song that's anthemic in an entirely different way than the typical Bon Jovi anthems. I don't love it, but I have tons of respect for the fact that it's something different. I'm glad crunchy angry grr isn't the direction all Bon Jovi's music went in after this, but it's kind of a breath of fresh air.

My Rating: 6/10

For tomorrow, you can pick one of the following from HAND:
  • Bells of Freedom
  • Wildflower
  • These Open Arms

The Band

I'm bored, and McFly's comment on the last entry had me thinking about writing about how I feel about the band, so I'm going to. Consider this like a special feature on a dvd, or something.

My favorite switches between David and Tico. They're both extremely talented musicians who are sorely underrated. It's too bad, because both are much better than "that drummer dude and the keyboard guy in Bon Jovi", but they don't get that attention.

David just has this way of making me feel what he wants me to feel. I listen to his "In These Arms" and even if I don't have anyone to miss I just settle right in to the emotion of the song, I listen to "Memphis Lives in Me" and Hell if I've ever been to Memphis but it just resonates with me. He's an extremely passionate musician, it comes across in his voice and in his playing, and I like that. He feels it, he makes me feel it, and I love it.

With Tico, once I started really paying attention to the drum work in Bon Jovi songs I was floored. I'm consistently impressed with what he does and how much he does. There are times where I feel like if I turned down the keyboard and guitar and vocals I would be listening to a totally different song, but it always works. I find that a lot of my "I don't know why, I just do" kind of liking about a song comes from an overall mood, and that's Tico who brings up the pace and sets that mood. He's their backbone, really.

I like Jon better than Richie for one reason - I would have no idea who any of these people are without Jon. If it weren't for Jon, David would have gone to Juilliard, he'd be a classical pianist, and I wouldn't have any idea who he is. At best he'd be like Jim Brickman, who I'm aware of but I'm probably never going to seek out any of his music. I have no idea what Tico would be doing, but I bet I wouldn't know who he is. And as talented as Richie is, I don't think he could have gotten big on his own. He's not as willing to bend a little for commercial appeal as Jon, and that would have worked against him. I do think Jon is the least talented member of Bon Jovi, which is why it really bothers me that so many people say "Bon Jovi" when they mean "Jon". He's a good singer, but there are better - in his own band. He's an okay guitarist. Jon's got a cute butt, a nice face, and he's extremely charismatic, so he's an excellent frontman. Just not the most talented musician.

Richie's kind of my least favorite by default. To continue the jeans metaphor, it's like I have four pairs of jeans laid out on my bed. There's the most comfortable pair, the best-looking pair, the pair that matches my favorite shirt best. The fourth pair isn't a bad pair of pants, it just isn't the most anything. Richie's an excellent guitarist, and his voice made me literally drop my spoon (and splash soup all over myself) the first time I heard him on "If I Can't Have Your Love". But I've never been a big Richie person, for no concrete reason. Maybe it's subliminal, and my brain is just like "Richie gets plenty of attention so it's cool if you ignore him. Tico and David can't afford to have anyone else ignore them." Haha. Something like that. But for the record, I've listened to "Stranger" significantly more than David's "Lunar Eclipse" (except "In These Arms").

So there's how I feel about the band in a nutshell.

Now scroll down one entry and vote, dammit. It's tied one vote each for STFP and Hey God, and if it's a tie that means I have to pick.

3.11.2006

#58 - Rosie

Artist: Richie Sambora
Album: Stranger in This Town
Other Versions: Originally recorded by the band as a demo for New Jersey with Jon on vocals
Era: N/A (demo was recorded for NJ, but I don't classify Richie's solo work)

Lyrics
Lyrics (Demo)

When someone asks me to recommend them a Richie song, it is without fail this, "Father Time", "Mr. Bluesman", or "Undiscovered Soul". There's songs I like better than these four, but I feel they're the ones that capture Richie's full scope of talent best.

Really, I think it can go without saying that the guitar work on this song is excellent. Richie's albums were a chance for him to absolutely let loose and do what he wanted with his voice and his hands, and the guitar in this song is just so quintissential rock guitar. Weedly weedly wee at its finest.

I love singing along to this. I like the way the verses are quieter but still intense, and I like the way the chorus is shouted. My dog hates it (her name is Rosie, it confused the poor dear to have me shouting "Rosie! Rosie!" all the time).

This song has whoa oh and yeah-ah-ah, so it earns extra points from me. I don't know why I love stuff like that so much, but it's sure being used well here. I really, really love at around 2:10 when he goes "Ro-oh-ah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-sie" and just drags it way out. Very, very nice.

This is one of those songs that I'll get stuck in my head for days but I don't mind it. The lyrics are melancholy, but the song just puts me in a good mood because everything else is so upbeat. I love the beat and the tempo, how it transforms this really really depressing song into a fun rocker.

Lyrically this is gorgeous. "Our love was deeper than the night was long/but things just didn't work out like our favorite song" is an excellent line.

I think it's worth noting that Richie is probably my least favorite member of Bon Jovi (although that's similar to being my least favorite pair of jeans, I still love it more than any other pair of pants that aren't jeans) and Stranger is one of my favorite albums of all time. That's a real testament to his talent.

My Rating: 10/10

For our next poll, since this seemed to go over so well, you can choose one of the following "moody rock" era songs:
  • Fear
  • Something for the Pain
  • Blame It on the Love of Rock'n'Roll
  • Hey God
Once again, just reply with the song you want. I'll come up with a more fancy poll dealy if I decide to keep this going permanently. Voting's open until shortly before I start writing tomorrow.

3.10.2006

#57 - You Can Sleep While I Dream

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (Disc 2)
Other Versions: None
Era: I'm a bit at a loss for this one. It's too un-80s for Bon Jovi through New Jersey, it's too upbeat for Keep the Faith and These Days, and I don't think it quite fits in with Crush or Bounce. My best guess is Crush or Bounce, I think.

Update: mcfly the commenter tells me it's an outtake from Crush. Which means I guessed right originally. Booyeah!

Lyrics

I've had this stuck in my head all day so I have to write about it. That's how it works.

I like this song but I don't love it, and I don't have a real concrete reason for either. Actually, I know why I don't love it - the cliches. Especially "Some people see things as they are/and ask why/I dream things that never were/take my shot/and say 'why not?'". It just makes me cringe. Cliche in small doses = okay. Blatant over-cliche-ing(now that's an awkward amalgam of words) = cringeworthy.

I like the chorus, though. I like the "hey hey hey" almost as much as I usually like "whoa oh oh", and I love singing along to the attitude-y "get out of my way".

I like how upbeat this is. It just makes me cheerful to listen to it. The intro is really happy and sets the tone well, and I like how light and airy the instrumentals are through the song. Jon's voice gets a little overly intense for the instrumentation sometimes, but overall this song is just...light. Not light like "your station for light rock" light, but bubbly cheerful happy light.

I don't love the computery effects on Jon's voice near the end, except I love "good morning, here's your wake up caaaaaaaaaaaall".

Other things I love:
- "I'll be there to shake your hand/so meet me on that mountain top". Actually, the whole second verse is really stellar songwriting, very optimistic and I like the symbolism. Really, really, really nice work.

- the way the instrumentation builds near the chorus but still stays airy

- the drumming in the chorus. I don't notice it much elsewhere, but I absolutely love the way it underscores everything in the chorus

My Rating: 9/10

Ok, folks, it's poll time. Tomorrow I'll write about a Richie solo song, but which? Reply to this post with which of the following you'd like to see me write about (seriously, vote. I have no idea which I'll do if no one votes :P )
  • Rosie
  • Harlem Rain
  • Long Way Around
  • Church of Desire
You can vote pretty much any time right up until I start writing the entry, at which point it's fairly set in stone. If this goes well I'll keep doing the poll thing. If no one (or just one or two people) responds I'll probably try it one or two more times and then give up. Good deal?

3.09.2006

#56 - Let it Rock

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Slippery When Wet
Other Versions: None, but I believe the organ intro is sometimes listed as "Pink Flamingos"
Era: Late 80s "hair metal"

Lyrics


The following make this song an instant hit with me:

1. Organ! Overblown, pretentious, abso-fucking-lutely awesome organ intro. David plays it at the very beginning of that keyboard video I have and it just makes me crazy to hear it. I love it, it's probably my favorite way to open an album ever.

2. Whoa oh oh. Whoa oh oh oh. I like everyone singing syllables. I like the whoa-oh in "Livin' on a Prayer" and I like the "oh oh oh" at the end of "This Ain't a Love Song" and I just plain really love stuff like that for no quantifiable reason.

3. I like the beat. I like that I could get nice and drunk and just dance like a stripper to this song. Because let's be honest, we all enjoy letting the inner stripper out every now and again (that doesn't apply to any dudes or nuns reading this). It isn't this crazy fast-paced beat, it's slow and it really really works.

4. The message is awesome. I love the "hey if it feels good do it" thing, especially since I had a bit too much last night and I like any song that justifies acting like there's no consequences. Now I know consequence-free partying just doesn't exist, but Hell if that's gonna stop me from rocking out to "it's alright/if you have a good time/it's alright/if you want to cross that line" once I've stopped being ashamed of acting like a drunken whore. Because when you're at that point it is alright. You only live once, and you won't regret it until tomorrow, so go for it. That is just such an awesome message. Impractical, maybe. But Hell, there's no room for practical in rock, baby.

My Rating: 10/10

3.07.2006

#55 - Always

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Crossroad, This Left Feels Right, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (Disc 4 - Demo)
Other Versions: None
Era: 90s "moody rock"

Lyrics
Lyrics (TLFR)
Video

I was in Borders one day and came this close to buying "Romeo is Bleeding" before I remembered the song was pulled from the soundtrack. That's how much I like this song.

The piano in this song is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. When I listen to this song, it's the piano I'm listening to. It's so prominent and so emotional and just so beautiful. If I had this song played just on piano, no vocals, no guitar, no strings, no drums, I would probably listen to it just as much as the normal version, if not more. That piano playing is the soul of this song. Even during the guitar solo, I listen to the piano.

Jon's voice is at its husky best here. It's middling low, gravelly but not annoyingly so (hey I made a rhyme. I'm a poet and I wasn't even aware of that) and it's extremely passionate. Jon can sing a ballad like nobody's business. You know what I'd like to hear (this has nothing to do with "Always")? Jon singing GnR's "November Rain". I bet he'd absolutely nail it.

I like the intensity of the lyrics. Jon can say this is meant to be kind of creepy and stalkerish, but I will forever just look at this as one man who is ridiculously in love with someone who's moved on. You know what? The dude Jon's singing about is me, and the "you" is the piano in this song. I am not supposed to love it as much as I do but I am just going to keep hanging on for dear life.

I love the video for this, with the guy whose name I can't remember but he isn't Patroclus. But he looks like Patroclus. And he's a crazy nutso and sets that guy's apartment on fire after he stabs the painting.

My Rating: 9/10

I meant to mention this when I mentioned "November Rain" - there is a "Bon Jovi - November Rain" circulating LimeWire, but every time I download something labeled as such it's just Guns n Roses. LimeWire can be great, but I've also had it try to tell me "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is a Guns n Roses song.

Edited 3/26/06: Added video

3.04.2006

Update, part the second

Yeah, I've been neglecting this all week. Bad Hector.

I got my internet working earlier in the week, but updating is a giant hassle. If I wanted to pick the song the way I normally do I'd have to spend a couple hours copying all my Bon Jovi cds onto the computer, sorting shit out, figuring out what I've already written about, remembering what I'm not planning on writing about anytime soon for a variety of reasons, and it's just a hassle. Picking some other way means going on a hunt every night for my Bon Jovi cd case - they're the only cds I brought home, and I refuse to split them up, so that means the case goes wherever I want music at a given time and could be any number of places.

And this is fun, but it isn't worth that much hassle. So this has been my week off. I'll be back at school Monday night, but I won't guarantee an update until Tuesday. There will be one Tuesday, I promise, because I'm going to a concert Wednesday night (I did wind up getting Motley Crue tickets, so *squee*) and most likely won't update and I don't want you to have nothing until Thursday. So Monday possibly, Tuesday at the latest, most likely nothing on Wednesday, Thursday I'll be back on track for good.