Monthly Archives: February 2011
#1: “Bed of Roses” (Album: Keep The Faith ~ 1992)
“Bed of Roses” is probably the most soulful song in the Bon Jovi catalog. I think I’ve only heard them perform it once in concert. It’s almost too hard for me to describe why I love this song so much. I LOVE Jon’s voice. LOVE IT! So much so that it is one of the few sounds in the entire world that can instantaneously calm me down. Case in point, I was at a conference one time and the person giving the presentation at one of the sessions was incredibly captivating. I didn’t know why. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me, but I was just so enthralled and hanging on every word. Then it dawned on me, he sounded exactly like Jon, and that’s just his speaking voice. In my head, when I think of Jon’s singing voice, his voice on “Bed of Roses” is what I hear.
Honorable Mention: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
I’m naming this an Honorable Mention because it is my absolute favorite cover Bon Jovi does. I’ve gotten to hear it in concert, but it has never been recorded on any of their records. I have heard Leonard Cohen say that he thinks this song is over-covered. I’d venture to guess it’s the most covered song ever, but Mr. Cohen has also gone so far as to say that Bon Jovi’s version of it is his favorite. I don’t think you can get higher praise than having the original writer and performer of the song say he likes your cover of it the best. I believe I did in fact cry when I saw them perform it live.
I’ll do a post concert blog to let y’all know how it went, but something tells me it’s gonna be awesome as always. Thanks for sharing this week with me, y’all. I do hope I didn’t bore you too much. ♥
#2: “Born To Be My Baby” (Album: New Jersey ~ 1988)
You know that dance scene in the movie The Breakfast Club? This song does that to me. In fact, I find it incredibly difficult not to dance when I hear this song. It’s usually performed towards the beginning of their concerts to really get the crowd going. It does the job. =) I love the sentiment it holds. A young couple, exhausted from their jobs, come home to each other every night and hold on to their love forming a bond of them against the world.
I know you’re dying to know my all time favorite Bon Jovi song, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow…Concert Day!
#3: “Wanted Dead or Alive” (Album: Slippery When Wet ~ 1986)
The opening chords give it away every time. It’s unofficial title is “The Bon Jovi National Anthem” because it is an homage to life on the road as a band and their relationship with us fans. I have two favorite parts.
This…because I am one of those faces that has been rocked the heck off:
I’ve seen a million faces an I’ve rocked them all
And Richie’s vocals that he belts out from the bottom of his soul.
The live version (like the one below) of the song includes a longer intro by Richie on his double-necked guitar that can for sure put me into a trance.
It is really a beautiful, beautiful piece of music. Take the lyrics out of it and just listen to the music by itself. It is gorgeous! You can listen to the Vitamin String Quartet version of it here.
As a Bon Jovi purist, I don’t like to hear anyone…ANYONE…other than them sing their songs. However, the one and only time that I heard a cover of a Bon Jovi song and didn’t think my ears would bleed was Chris Daughtry’s version of “Wanted Dead or Alive” on American Idol.
I don’t know if you, my readers, are enjoying this week-long study of my top 7 favorite Bon Jovi song, but I am having a blast. In fact, I look forward to coming home from work each day to write the next installment.
#4: “In These Arms” (Album: Keep The Faith ~ 1992)
David Bryan. His name really is its own sentence. Of all the members of band, David is arguably the most talented. He trained for 13 years with a Juilliard professor. He had a 4.0 in pre-med at Rutgers before he dropped out to attend Juilliard full-time until Jon Bongiovi called and asked if he would be the keyboardist in this band he was putting together. And the rest, as they say, is history…but not so fast.
Ever heard of the Broadway Musical Memphis? David Bryan co-wrote it and won two Tony Awards for it. You might not have figured this out, yet, but I’m a sucker for piano music. There’s a song on the album Bounce called “Joey,” and when they play it live, David does an extended version of the piano intro. It’s the one and only time I’ve ever not wanted Jon to sing. I could have listened to David play that intro for hours. So, it should come as no surprise when I tell you this song is in my top 7 in great part because David wrote it.
If you were in these arms tonight
I’d hold you
I’d need you
I’d get down on my knees for you
And make everything alright
If you were in these arms
I’d love you
I’d please you
I’d tell you that Id never leave you
And love you till the end of time
If you were in these arms tonights
We’re in the top 5 now. Have I completely thrown you for a loop, yet with my favorites?
#5: “Why Aren’t You Dead?” (Album: 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong ~ 2004)
By 2004, Bon Jovi, a band that was supposedly thrown into a box with the “hair bands” of the 80s, had sold 100,000,000 records. Rather than release a greatest hits album or box set of all their albums, they decided to reward their die hards with a release of as much of their unreleased material that could fit into a box set. That became what we know as 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong. The first song on the first CD of that box set is “Why Aren’t You Dead?” I still can’t figure out why this song went unreleased until the box set. It’s one of those “Amen, brother…right on songs” in the same vein as “Before He Cheats” or “You’re So Vain.” And it cracks me up every time I listen to it. Consider these lyrics:
You told me you loved me, ’til death do us part
So tell me there’s a tombstone where there used to be a heart
You said you couldn’t live without me
So why aren’t you dead?
Instead of six feet under you’re in someone else’s bed
There’s just one thing that I can’t get through my head
You said you couldn’t live without me so why aren’t you dead?
Makes sense, right…completely logical…downright hysterical. There’s no official video for this song, but I still found a YouTube video of the recording for you to hear.
And this one of a live performance of the song. It’s not the whole song, just the last chorus and the end.
#6: “Thank You For Loving Me” (Album: Crush ~ 2000)
There are a million Bon Jovi love ballads I could choose from to rank in my top 7 songs, and admittedly, this one is a little more obscure in comparison to the other ballads in their catalog. But the lyrical content gets me every time. In an offbeat way, it makes me think of God and the love He has for each of us. Consider the chorus:
Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn’t see
For parting my lips
When I couldn’t breathe
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for loving me
I’m posting two videos for this song. The first is an acoustic live version of the song with just Richie (playing my absolute favorite of his guitars) and Jon and two microphones. Incidentally, it’s batted around on whether this format (Jon, Richie, two guitars, and two microphones) was the catalyst for “MTV Unplugged.” All I know is that they performed “Livin’ On A Prayer” at the MTV Video Music Awards in May of 1989 and in the fall of 1989, MTV debuted the show. Judge for yourself.
The second video is the official music video for the song.
Jon, Richie, David, and Tico are coming to visit on Sunday night at the Verizon Center, so that makes this Bon Jovi Concert Week for me. In honor of such, I have put together a list of my top 7 all-time favorite Bon Jovi songs. I’ll post a different song (hopefully with video) here each day up to and including Concert Day. If nothing else, it’ll be entertaining for me. =)
As far as full albums are concerned, my absolute all-time favorite Bon Jovi album is the 2002 release Bounce. Interestingly enough, you won’t find any of the songs from Bounce in my top 7. It’s because I can’t pick just one. Very seldom do I find an album that I love every song on it. So, if you have some time, check out that album. It might surprise you. Ok…now on to the countdown.
#7: “Dry County” (Album: Keep the Faith ~ 1992) Released 1994
Here’s what Wikipedia says about the song:
All my life I’ve felt most connected to songs that tell a story…a real story. This is one of those songs. I regret, I’ve never had the privilege of hearing this song live, but if it pops up on my iPod, I’ll stop what I’m doing just to listen to it all the way through. I believe, by length, it is their longest song ever released, so stick with it if you can. The video below is just shy of 7 minutes. The album recording is almost 10 minutes with a longer guitar solo. Enjoy!
Generally speaking, I have an aversion to this holiday. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of love, but I don’t think you need a holiday to tell the person you love that you love them. So, normally, I simply try to survive this day each year and then go on with my life, but today I came home to a box on my doorstep. Wait, let me back up…
About four or five years ago, I bought a set of KitchenAid knives in my favorite color, red, because one of these days all of my appliances and all of my kitchen utensils will be KitchenAid products in red, so I buy them piece by piece as the years go by. Then a year or two ago, one of my pretty red knives broke…the blade just snapped right off. I can’t even remember what I was cutting when it happened, but I was devastated. However, I knew that I had seen in some stores individual knives, so I figured I could probably replace just that knife. Days, weeks, and months went by and I never found a proper replacement and had just about resigned myself to having that knife missing for good. As a last ditch effort, I decided to check the KitchenAid website and see if they had a replacement part for my cutlery set sort of like you can buy replacement parts for blenders and other appliances. When I had no luck there, I decided to email KitchenAid customer service and see if they recommended an online site where I could possibly purchase a replacement for the knife.
That was February 3rd.
On February 4th, I received a response that said they no longer carried my product, but gave me a website to go search for a cutlery set that was comparable to the one I have, and the sentence ended with…wait for it…”we can send a replacement.” I’m sorry…come, again…send a replacement? For how much? So, I’m curious and in my stunned stupor, I go to the website, search for the KitchenAid cutlery sets, and find one that is similar, but in my opinion much, much nicer than the one I have. However, it only shows as available in black on the website. Cut back to my email response from KitchenAid, and I email them the model number and link to the set that is most comparable to my set and explain that the main difference is that the set is black while mine was red.
On February 5th, they respond with this simple message: “Dear Valued Customer, Thank you for contacting KitchenAid. We have requested replacement be sent to you at no charge. Your item will be sent from our Robbinsville, NJ warehouse via UPS Ground and should arrive within 2 to 4 weeks. We look forward to resolving this issue for you!”
I’m pretty sure I sat stunned staring at the message for what seemed like forever, blinking occasionally to make sure I was reading it correctly, so you’ll forgive me if I was skeptical. I thought…yeah right…we’ll see if I actually get anything.
Fast forward to today…a mere 9 days later…not 2-4 weeks…NINE DAYS! And I come home from work to find this on my doorstep.
Stunned, thrilled, amazed, and still in love with any and all things KitchenAid does NOT even begin to cover it. AND IT CAME IN RED!!! I didn’t pay one penny for this new cutlery set. I needed ONE knife, folks, ONE 4 1/2 inch utility knife and they sent me a whole new full set of cutlery. All I did was send one little email as a loyal customer of KitchenAid, which in the grand scheme of things takes little energy on my part. I think I’m most amazed that customer service like this even still exists in this world. And even more so, I’m amazed that there are still companies out there that believe in and stand by their products so much that they will replace items like this free of charge for a lifetime.
Thank you, KitchenAid for making Valentine’s Day NOT suck for once…now I’m gonna go see if I can find something to chop. 🙂