3 decades of rock, in convenient bite-sized pieces


#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.


#82 - I Want You

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


Jon Bon Jovi, despite the fact that he's thisclose to being my least favorite member of the band and isn't my favorite singer or songwriter, is the idol to the writer in me. This guy can write heartbreak like nobody's goddamn business, and he's had a fairly uneventful (marrying the high school sweethear? COME ON) love life (well based on what's public, anyway). It's amazing, it's impressive, I want to be like that. This is a song that should have been written by some bitter individual, all alone in a big house, smoking and drinking and waiting because ANY MINUTE NOW they'll come back through that door.

I like the way the very very beginning is just drums, it's like Tico's all "you bitches are in for some hardcore shit" and then BAM there's everything else and it's like "OH MY GOD IT'S A POWER BALLAD TICO WAS RIGHT".

(Maybe that's just me)

The drumming in this whole thing is some of my favorite. It isn't hugely innovative, but it's steady (without being confining) and it's powerful (without overpowering). Good playing doesn't mean showing off and going omg bananas, it means fitting any given song perfectly. Tico does that here. Oh, but when it's "never made our house a hoooooooome" and he does go berserk it's AWESOME.

I love the way Jon sings it. He's almost shouting, he's so intense. I like the guitar solo - it's a teeny bit generic, but it's got feeling. This whole song is ust emotional. Well done, well done.

Sometimes I like this better than Bed of Roses, sometimes I don't. Depends on my mood. I always like it better than a good chunk of the other ballads.

My Rating: 8/10

OH BOY early Bon Jovi:
  • Price of Love
  • Breakout


#81 - Have A Nice Day

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: Have A Nice Day
Other Versions: demo with different lyrics, live w/ Sugarland from CMT Crossroads
Era: Current "power pop rock"


Alright, one of the requests for this got really specific, so I'm gonna try to cover that stuff first.

"Comment on the demo-version(s) floating around..."

I love the original chorus. Love, love, love. I think the demo version with the original lyrics comes across as a bit heavier, which I don't love, although I do appreciate their attempts to move away from the pop end of the spectrum. The original lyrics are less egocentric - "if there's one thing I could give you" - and I like it. I like the way that "this is to help you" theme fits in with Novocaine about David's divorce and "These Open Arms" about watching someone suffer. I know "These Open Arms" was a bonus track, but still the three fit together into a nice trio. But that also kind of cheesyifies it, and not really in the good way. So I'm conflicted.

I'm glad they changed the very beginning of the second verse, because it flows better in the officially released version. But I like the second part of the second verse better in the demo version, I like that repetition of the "WHO are you to tell me"s. And I like "looking for forgiveness down on his kneeeees".

The guitar solo is way better in the released version. But I like the quiet "oh if there's one thing I could give you..." part, and wish that had stayed in the song.

"what your ultimate version would be..."

Same first verse, since that never changed. Original chorus. Released version's first two lines of the second verse, original's rest of the first verse. Released version's guitar solo, original version's quiet "oh, if there's one thing I could give you...". Released version's ending. Overall feel of the released version.

Oh, and they recorded it naked. Not that we could HEAR that, but just knowing it would be awesome.

"...and how you deal with the lack of prominent keyboards"

Ooh, this is an interesting question, and one I don't think I would have addressed otherwise.

One of the things I like about Bon Jovi is, while I love the sweet Hell out of David (as y'all know) and love what his keyboard/piano/organ/whatever the Hell else he feels like doing with his fingers adds to their music (interestingish tidbit: there was a topic over at Metal Sludge about "Why don't you like Bon Jovi?" and several people said they prefer their rock without heavy keyboards), when they don't have prominent keyboard it's because the song doesn't need it.

They understand music and how to get across an exact feeling, and as a writer I will ALWAYS be jealous of how well they manipulate their audience. When a song doesn't have really obvious keyboards, it's because obvious keyboards didn't add anything to the feeling they wanted to get across. I think some keyboard work would add to the chorus, but it doesn't feel lacking without it. There are BJ songs I listen to and go "hm, something's missing", and I don't do that with this one.

But I think it'd be interesting to see them do something with this like they did with "It's My Life" on TLFR, where they slowed it down and the piano was the focal point of the instruments. I don't know that this would work like that, but I'd like to hear the attempt. I think "if there's one thing I hang on to" would turn into a very haunting line slowed down like that.

I think, actually, going through those questions I covered almost everything I wanted to except:

- the guitar in the verses kind of makes me die of joy. It's soooo cool.

- the drumming, as usual, is superb

- I love the video. I bought a hat that looks like the one Richie's wearing in some parts (I call it "Sambora" so when I lose it I can start hollering about "where the Hell is my Sambora?"). But sweet holy Hell I can't stop giggling during the part where Jon is dry humping Richie. If you don't know what part I'm talking about, watch the video and you'll know when you get there. The first time my sister saw this video she was all "oh my God is Jon humping Tico?" (she can't tell Richie and Tico apart for some reason. Probably because she doesn't care) and I had to say "that's Richie, but yes, that is some man-humping action happening there."

I like this better than "It's My Life", although I don't think it could have done for them what "It's My Life" did. I think it's a little better lyrically and musically. A little less catchy - only a little - but a little better. I didn't love it at first, but it grew on me, and I don't think I'd have taken a different song as a leadoff single.

My Rating: 9/10

Faith! You know you're gonna live through the rain. Lord, we gotta keep the faith.
  • I Want You
  • Dry County
and I'd like to point out that I'm reserving the right to veto Dry County if it wins and I'm not in the mood for it tomorrow night. That song deserves one Hell of a post and if I'm not up to it I'm not gonna shortchange it. Don't let that discourage you from voting for it, because I will probably be in the mood, it's just a heads-up


#80 - Midnight VooDoo

Artist: David Bryan
Album: On A Full Moon
Other Versions: None
Era: N/A

This song would go so awesomely behind the opening credits of a psychological thriller. It sounds kind of like it belongs on the soundtrack to some kind of Hitchcock movie. It's another testament to how well David manipulates emotions - this song scares the crap out of me. I refuse to listen to it in the dark.

About a minute and fifteen seconds in there's this high pitched plinky dealie that makes me jump EVERY TIME. I look like an idiot sitting at the computer, headphones on, minding my own business, and aaah! This is the musical equivalent of walking down a dark, deserted, silent hallway, no idea where the killer is but you don't hear any movement so you're calming down. There's a part where hits some low notes hard which is like, say, a rat running across your path. That plink is OH NO YOU SEE SOMETHING PEOPLE-SHAPED OUT OF THE CORNER OF YOUR EYE. The song picks up intensity, like you're walking faster because you KNOW you've just seen the killer. Then it slows back down near the end, you haven't seen any new movement and you feel okay about being in the hallway again.

And then it's over. No real conclusion, you're left to your own devices. Which is why I can't listen to this in the dark. When it's light in the room, I can pretend the song ends because I made it out of the hallway okay. When it's dark, that's when the killer snuck up behind me and BOOM knife in the back, oh no I'm dead.

This is a two minute song and I've formulated an entire horror movie around it. David is a motherfucking genius. That said, as cool as this song is, I have a hard time listening to it because it messes with my head. For its purpose it's excellent, because I assume freaking the listener out is what David intended. I'm just not a big fan of the purpose.

My Rating: 6/10

Alright, let's do a single from Have A Nice Day:
  • Who Says You Can't Go Home?
  • Have A Nice Day
Oh and if you want to see my David Bryan imitation, clicky. It's pretty sweet, I have to say.


#79 - Heroes

Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: N/A
Other Versions: Original is by David Bowie, snippets are included in Moulin Rouge's "Elephant Love Medley"Era: N/A


First time I heard this, I was in one of the school's computer labs. I reflexively shouted "OH MY GOD MOULIN ROUGE" and then realized I was in public, slapped my hand over my mouth, and probably blushed hardcore. Those might have been the funniest looks I've ever gotten.

I'm not hugely familiar with the Bowie version, so I can't really compare. I'm not sure, despite the song in common, I could compare Jon to David anyway. Jon likes this song. You can tell in the way he sings it, the way he introduces it. The way he's using his voice, it's almost like the song is an egg and he's scared of breaking it. It's an interesting approach, I like it.

Where Jon is scared of breaking the egg, Richie's tossing it against the wall, throwing it around in the air, just generally kicking his ass. I pay attention to the guitar in this version more than anything - you know me, and you know that's rare. And his backing vocals are excellent (as usual). He doesn't necessarily sound more passionate than Jon, but it's passion in a different way, and they mesh quite nicely.

David's piano playing is lovely. Just lovely. Like I said, I pay most attention to the guitar in this one, but every now and then that low piano in the background seeps into my consciousness and reminds me just how good David is at making a composition richer. Even another artist's composition.

My Rating: 9/10

David solo instrumental for tomorrow. And if you don't really know the songs, feel totally free to pick which name you like better:
  • I Can Love
  • Midnight Voodoo
And for the commenters in the last post who expressed interest in reading the piece I am going to have published, I'm going to first remind you what I write is slash, meaning I write as if the members of Bon Jovi were/are in homosexual relationships with each other. And there is graphic sex in some of them, there's graphic sex in the one I've got published. So if the idea of that bothers you, please, for the sake of my sanity, don't go read the stories. Especially don't go read them and then ask me what the Hell is wrong with me, or call me sick or whatever. Think it, if you want. Ask me why in the world I would want to pretend men I so obviously lust after are gay, I'll be glad to explain myself. But don't insult me. Not that I think anyone who's reading this is small-minded or mean enough to do that, I just get a pinch paranoid.

All my stories and future stories are and will be here.

"Stand Up", the published story, is here. And since you guys are Bon Jovi fans, just chalk any time frame or continuity errors up to artistic license.


#78 - Blood on Blood

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



Mhm. Yes.

I love this intro. It's like this random amalgam of all the instruments, like they all recorded separately and no one gave them music to work from. Tico's doing his thing and David's doing his thing and Richie's just kind of fooling around with slidey noises and then boom it's all together. Cool idea.

The keyboard/synth work here is SO AWESOME I can hardly stand it. Dee do dee dee do dee dee do do do. And it's all high and it just gives the song this awesome feeling. And during the verses when it's piano and it almost sounds like David's just playing random notes but they work so well and they just give it this much more serious feeling that really works.

The drumming in this kind of gallops. It's this fast hard-hitting beat and it's just sweeping the whole song along. Heh, "song along", that rhymes. And at the end of the guitar solo Tico just goes totally berserk. Sweet.

I love the whole mood of this song. It's happy and triumphant and uplifting and it's just so hard to be in a bad mood listening to it. And the way Jon belts the chorus, that BLOOD ON BLOOOOOOOOD, it's amazing. Richie's voice near the end, at first I thought it was kind of random and unnecessary, but it actually works really well on repeated listenings.

I love the part about how the three guys lost their virginity to the whore in the same motel room. That's the coolest story ever. Really, I just like the whole message of the song, the endurance of true friendship. Very nice. The conviction with which Jon sings it is awesome.

My Rating: 9/10

I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero to the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast, and he's gotta be fresh from the fight. I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light. He's gotta be sure, and it's gotta be soon, and he's gotta be fresh from the fight.
  • Heroes
  • Celluloid Heroes
Oh, and I'll share with you guys my bit of "OMG!!!!" for the day.

I am now a published author. Nothing big, it's a short story in an anthology published through a website I write for. It's fanfiction (about Bon Jovi, naturally), which kind of has a stigma around it, but there are some really talented writers in this book with me and I'm thrilled to be part of it. I'd post the link here, but it's fanfic about gay relationships (open mind, people) and I don't know how many of you are really into gay celebrity porn.

So, yeah. I've been on the ceiling all day. Published! Crazy.


#77 - Harlem Rain

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


"The old man down on the corner is drowning in his pain."

Richie Sambora, marry me. Just for that one line, marry me. Whenever I get overly Richie-bashing, I listen to "Harlem Rain". It is absolutely impossible to not love and respect the man who wrote this song and performs it with such conviction.

I love the intro to this, Richie just kind of picking at his guitar. There's that first low chord, and then the picking, and it's gorgeous and provides an excellent preparation for the song. I'm a fan of long, complicated intros that don't have a lot to do with the song ("Let it Rock" and "One Wild Night"), and I'm a fan of slow builds where instrument one is joined by instrument two and then instrument three and then the singing starts, but this really trumps them all. He captures the entire mood of the song in something like 20 seconds, and just that intro gives me goosebumps.

This might be the finest lyrical composition Richie has ever produced. There is pain and sorrow and just intense emotion behind every single line, every word. This is another one where you should most definitely go read the lyrics, even if you don't normally. Richie's solo work is, first and foremost, poetry. Most of his songs can be taken lyrically without the music behind them and you can still feel what he's trying to coax you to feel. Where David relies heavily on his piano to make you feel what he wants, Richie does it with his lyrics.

That's not to discount the music here, because that would be a shame. This is some of the most haunting guitar work I've ever heard. Haunting is really the best word to describe the whole song, but this guitar playing just hits me hard. This song punches me in the gut and weasels its way into my veins and always stays with me for a long time afterwards. It's that picking of the guitar, the individual notes just floating over the rest of the music but just under the music. Musically, this is pain - there's the dull ache punctuated by these twinges of just acute, focused suffering, and his guitar demonstrates that perfectly. You ask me if Richie's the most technically proficient guitar player ever, and I couldn't tell you. You ask me if Richie pours his heart and soul into everything he plays, if he can manipulate your feelings with his music just as much as he can with his lyrics, if he's the best at that, and I don't hesitate to say yes.

The way he sings this brings tears to my eyes. You can hear all the pain that comes across in the lyrics and in that guitar playing, focused through that amazing voice of his. Richie doesn't have my favorite voice in Bon Jovi, not even my second favorite since I really got into Tico's, but I'd say he has the most expressive and emotional voice of all of them. The Bon Jovi songs that really hit me hard, that really stick with me, are usually songs that make good use of Richie's voice. When Richie wants you to feel something, he feels it first and it works its way into his voice. When he sings "one more night on the streets of pain" like he's trying to force the words out through some crushing heartache, I cry. Every single time, without fail, it just kills me. I'm crying right now as I type. It's gorgeous. And that "vaaaanishing" with about 30 seconds left in the song is like a fucking knife.

I don't know that this is my favorite Richie song, but I don't think I could name another song, by anyone, that is as gut-wrenchingly emotional as "Harlem Rain". I've seen lots of movies that are so depressing they stick with me for days, but never have I come across another five minutes and three seconds of such raw heartache that hit me this hard and stay with me for this long. I'll be thinking about this song for days, and that isn't a bad thing.

My Rating: 10/10

Slippery vs New Jersey tomorrow:
  • Without Love
  • Blood on Blood
And a question: do you prefer having two or four songs to choose from? I like two, because it's easier to remember off the top of my head what won , but if you guys like having four, I'm flexible. Or maybe you're cuh-ray-zay and like three. Let me know!