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Hot on the heels of massive success of Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi's 4th album - New Jersey - was set to prove that the monster sales of it's predecessor were no fluke. The album made number 1 both in the UK & the US and was to spawn numerous hit singles - 5 top ten hits in the US, with 2 of them reaching number 1 as well.
Listening to the album, even now, it is not difficult to see why. Songs like Lay Your Hands On Me, Bad Medicine and Born To Be My Baby are all fantastic rock anthems. This album also includes 2 of my favourite Bon Jovi ballads - I'll Be There For You & Living In Sin.
There is also a more introspective vibe here as well - exemplified by Blood On Blood. Although never released as a single on either side of the Atlantic, this song remains a regular live favourite.
The unexpected gem on the album though is right at the end. Love For Sale sounds a bit like a semi-adhoc accoustic jamming session that the band had one night after a few beers... and they put it on the album :-) It totally deserves its place, its really puts a smile on your face & sounds like the band were just having a great time performing it.
New Jersey probably doesn't quite match Slippery When Wet's "classic" 80's rock album status. That should not detract from it one bit though, as it is a fine rock album.
I have to thank Bon Jovi for a lot in my life. If it wasn't for their soft rock that then led me onto glam rock and metal, me and my boyfriend wouldn't have had a conversation starter and probably wouldn't be together today. I couldn't be without him.
Their music has a true 80s feel and I LOVE them so much. They were the original band, and when someone asks what my favourite band is, they are the first on the list along with Posion and W.A.S.P.
This particular album is amazing, I know this wasn't the album that kicked off their career but this is my favourite album. I can guarantee that whatever album you pick up at home, by any artist, will have about two or three songs that you are not keen on am I wrong? Well this album is an exception to that for me. I love every single song. Some of these songs, especially 'Love for sale' was written then and there on a napkin in the recording studio to fill the album or it was improvised on the spot. I still love it though because it is such a humourous song.
1. Lay your hands on me - You will want to dance or take part in some light headbanging when you listen to this. A great song known by many.
2. Bad Medicine - A song based on sex (as are most 80s songs) but disguised as a song about medicine, hospitals, nurses in stockings and disease. Very bouncy.
3. Born To Be My Baby - One of my favourite songs by Bon jovi, again it has a great beat to it, a song most people can relate to and it really touches you.
4. Living In Sin - Again a song everyone can relate to, forbidden relationships etc. The video was banned as it was quite risqué. A song you just tend to sit and listen to. Quite relaxing.
5. Blood on Blood - A powerful song with some great riffs and fast guitar playing. Song about childhood which also makes you sit and think.
6. Homebound Train - A lively song, very Faith No More like mixed with a bit of Aerosmith
7. Wild is the Wind - Haven't heard this in a while but it is a bouncy song, but also a wind-down song.
8. Ride Cowboy Ride - A lovely low-budget song to lift your spirits.
9. Stick to your guns - Song about determination, you feel like you can do anything after listening to it. Powerful.
10. I'll be there for you - A touching and powerful song, something most people can relate to. Quite a sad song.
11. 99 in the Shade - A bit like Homebound Train but the end of each verse is a bit less prolonged and dragged out. Feel good song and some very good guitaring going on in this song.
12. Love For Sale - Another low budget song, will make you smile. Sounds as though they picked up a guitar and just threw some random words together.
I bought this when I was 14 and in my Bon Jovi obsessed phase. It was £13 then and I kept longing for it every time my Dad took me to HMV. Eventually I bought it and have treasured it ever since. Nice to see it has gone down in price!
New Jersey, aptly names after the state that the Bon Jovi boys originate from, included what has to be said are the best Bon Jovi songs ever. Such a mixture, like you have never heard before, put together on one album. Lay your hands on me:- This is the one that Jon goes into the crowd with at all concerts - with all his fans begging him to "lay his hands on" - even just touch a finger tip! An amazing song, wrote in a religious slant, church organs playing in the background, huge drums played in the intro. and not forgetting Richie Sambora’s magical guitar playing. Bad Medicine :- This song is a little similar to Lay your hands on me, it has a wonderful "sing along" feel to it. Born to be my baby :- Arguably the best song ever written by Bon Jovi, from the "2,3,4…" at the beginning to the brilliant chorus. It’s such a positive song, basically saying that regardless of what the world throws at us, we’ll be strong because we were meant to be together. "You were born to be my baby, baby I was made to be your man," Personally, I love this one, its one that you can’t help getting caught up in, and nah nah nahing along! Living In Sin :- Asks the question why do people need to get married to say that they love each other? Yet another one that you find yourself singing along to , a slow song initially, and then speeds up in the chorus. Blood on Blood :- A very important song to Jon - it is about his childhood. The song tells the story of Jon and his two "Blood Brothers", Danny and Bobby… "There was me and Dan and Bobby, we cut each other’s hands, and held tight to a promise, only brothers understand." It’s all about what they shared as kids, and the song ends with Jon telling us that despite the fact that they have all gone their separate w
ays, when all is said and done - if they ever needed each other they’d be there. I love this song. I have been told that they very rarely song this song live and feel privileged to have had the experience of hearing it first hand. Homebound Train :- It’s here that we kick off into cowboy style, "Have we any cowboy’s in the house tonight? This one’s for you!" OK! YES! I know that this is Jon’s standard intro. to the amazing "Wanted - Dead or Alive", but it emphasises how big Jon is into cowboy stuff! Home bound train has all the sounds of the Wild West, the old steam train chugging along, with some heavy drums in the background - seriously addictive once you have got used to it! Wild is the wind:- Has a little bit of "Born to be my baby" about it, in that it is upbeat, but not "heavy", I like this one, what you might call a typical Bon Jovi Ballad. Ride Cowboy Ride:- Has that Vinyl record sound to it, wonderfully different and leads right into the next song. Stick to your Guns:- Again, continuing on that old cowboy theme, any girls reading this, sit back and close your eyes and think of Jon in that cowboy hat J I’ll be there for you:- Many people wrongly think that this song was written by Jon for Dorothea (his childhood sweetheart, who is now his wife and mother to his two children) It actually mentions "Remember at the prom that night, You and me, we had a fight" Jon did not go to the Prom as he had a gig on that night, so instead it was Richie that wrote it and it really seems to sum up what it is like to be young, experimenting and in love. A slow ballad, very romantic. 99 in the shade :- It’s here that we meet Tommy and Gina again of "Livin’ on a prayer" and more recently "It’s my life" fame. A very upbeat song
. Love for sale :- Just a mess about song, sounds like they had a great time making this album, and a wonderful way to round off a brilliant album. All in all, I think this is a wonderful album, though being a Bon Jovi fan, I may be perceived as being somewhat biased! It’s definitely worth a listen to! If you are interested in Bon Jovi’s other work, I have also reviewed the "Crush" album, which you can see in my profile.
Jon Bon himself has admitted that during the making of New Jersey he wasn't a happy man, and to be honest it shows. New Jersey is nowhere near as good as 7800f, or Slippery When Wet. That's not to say that it's crap, but the standard isn't as good as that of the previous releases. Bad Medicine was catchy enough, and I'll be There for You was the ballad of the album. Love for Sale is a big let down and how it got on the album god only knows. Ride Cowboy Ride was recorded in mono, and it just doesn;t work on this album or for the band in general. But the most telling thing about this album that things were not good in the BJ camp are the pictures on the album - Jon Bon with his back to the camera and another one of the band with Jon standing to one side with his back turned again. Things have improved with subsequent releases, so if you haven't got this one in your collection then don;t bother, as you're not missing out on much.
~~~~~~~ Background ~~~~~~~ Released in 1988 on Polygram Records, 'New Jersey' is the fourth album from bon Jovi, and contains the following tracks: Lay Your Hands On Me Bad Medicine Born To Be My Baby Living In Sin Blood On Blood Homebound Train Wild Is The Wind Ride Cowboy Ride Stick To Your Guns I'll Be There For You 99 In The Shade Love For Sale The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, and engineered and mixed by Bob Rock. ~~~~~~~ My Opinion ~~~~~~~ I have to say that of all Bon Jovi's album releases, excluding Cross Road, this is my favourite. There is a good mix of tracks - the album starts with Lay Your Hands On Me, whichis generally hard to classify, but a good song nonetheless, then you have two upbeat tracks with Bad Medicine and Born To Be my Baby. Living In Sin is a song along the lines of 'Livin' On A Prayer', in that it's about a couple living together, but not married, holding down jobs, and scraping by, but who have each other, which is all that really matters. 'Blood On Blood' tells the story of three schoolfriends, who went through a lot together, but have gradually drifted apart. Supposedly 'Bobby, he's an uptown laywer, Danny, he's a medicine man. And me, I'm just a singer in a long haired rock and roll band', Hmm, wonder who that is then?! 'Wild Is The Wind' is a ballad, actually one of my favourites, and then we come to a couple of tracks which demonstrate Jon's facination with cowboys - 'Ride, Cowboy Ride' and 'Stick To Your Guns', which is about doing what you want to do, but giving everything you can, and taking it seriously. Next is 'I'll Be There For You', another ballad, followed by '99 In The Shade' which is 100% fun, and 'Love For Sale', which is ....strange. Overall, I love 'New Jersey'.
It's perfect for cheering yourself up, and is another of those albums where you should turn up the volume and sing along. Simply great music.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Lay Your Hands On Me
2 Bad Medicine
3 Born To Be My Baby
4 Living In Sin
5 Blood On Blood
6 Homebound Train
7 Wild Is The Wind
8 Ride Cowboy Ride
9 Stick To Your Guns
10 I'll Be There For You
11 99 In The Shade
12 Love For Sale
13 Lay Your Hands On Me