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You Wanted the Best...Number Six

bon_jovi_group.jpgOur top ten glam band countdown continues. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

10) Badlands
09) Winger
08) Twisted Sister
07) L.A. Guns

In the sixth spot…Bon Jovi.

Bon Jovi is currently going through a small-scale identity crisis, but in the 1980s they were 100% glam.

Formed in New Jersey in the early part of the 80s, Bon Jovi is one of the most successful bands of the era. Their success and widespread appeal have carried them a long way and they are still able to play arenas some 23 years after releasing their self-titled debut.

Slippery When Wet (1986) made Bon Jovi both rich and famous. That album includes the mega-singles “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Millions of records later, the band toured the world and found time to record New Jersey (1988). That album includes the song “Bad Medicine” which was my favorite 45 when I was a kid.

Sheer volume of records sold doesn’t equal success, but it’s pretty hard to argue with sales of more than 100 million records worldwide.

Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi also helped other glam bands. He discovered Cinderella while they played in a Philadelphia bar, and offered Skid Row an opening slot on the successful New Jersey Syndicate Tour.

Bon Jovi’s cultural impact is nearly unmatched. They can jump genre and seemingly do no wrong. From glam to pop to country, people line-up in droves to buy their albums. Last season of American Idol featured a “Bon Jovi” theme week, and Jon Bon Jovi recently hosted Saturday Night Live where he played up his 80s rocker image. Whatever your thoughts on modern Bon Jovi, there’s no denying their importance – and place – in 1980s glam Metal.

Here’s Bon Jovi performing an unplugged version of “Lay Your Hands On Me.” The music sounds good, but there’s something fishy going on with Jon Bon Jovi’s hair.

Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number five on the ten best glam bands of all time list.

Reader Comments (13)

Let's not forget that Snake is a childhood friend of JBJs, but that didn't stop Jon from pocketing the bulk of the money from the sales of the first two Skid Row albums.

I love 'Keep the Faith', and the first three CDs are good ( I agree on Bad Medicine, but the album blows ). Shame they are such clowns now.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
THIS was a ballsy call. I know people will argue that "glam" is a completely different sub-genre of some of these bands; your Bon Jovi call this low in the poll is strong. Bon Jovi owned the arenas after "Slippery" hit. I remember interviews when they were recording the album that Jon commented that "this album has to be our "Born to Run." If this album doesn't sell we're done." Obviously it exploded. They completely went from "buzz" band to conquering the planet ROCK.
You would be hard pressed to find another "face" that graced EVERY music magazine as much and as often as Bon Jovi did from the "Slippery" album to the "New Jersey" album. Then the machine started to show signs of breaking down...It was a crazy 5/6 year span.
I can't wait for the rest of you top 10 list...YOU rock!
Sweet Lou.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Lou
Ooooh... Yep, ballsy call, Allyson! Kudos! Love 'em or hate 'em you can't deny that Bon Jovi were HUGE, enormously HUGE in the mid 80's and they fit right in with all the other big hair bands that dominated MTV (wait a minute... MTV played VIDEOS?) at that time.
I'm way digging your choices.
Now if someone would just post that video of Bon Jovi trying to sing after he'd lost his voice.. Now THAT was haggard...
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
Your picks are getting better, Allyson :]

Bon Jovi rocks!!! I also agree that they're are going through an indentity crisis at this moment. They do "go south" every now and then. Examples: "This Side of Left Feels Right"??? WTF!!!
I also refused to buy their last album and "Who says you can't go home" is now downright annoying! KTF and New Jersey are my favorite albums. "These Days" is a very underrated album and Slippery...well classic!
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfletch
I don't see how Bon Jovi is having that much of an identity crisis. The reason that they can still sell out arenas and not play to 100 people in some dive club is because they have evolved over time.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
George, you're right. What this has proven, in my mind, is that somehow, a band got huge and is still beloved, even though it seems they were cynically exploiting the market. Bon Jovi has chased every trend, and yet we still love them for what a good job they did chasing the glam bandwagon. SWW and KTF are both awesome albums, the first two are also really good. But, they've turned their backs on the people who put them where they are, they seem to me to largely act as if the 80s did not happen. Why else is Crossroads available on DVD only in Japan ?
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
They are certainly more appealing in 2007 to the Country crowd than the Glam rock fans.

Based on the live performances that I have seen on TV recently, Bon Jovi has fallen completely off my radar. I won't support them anymore until they rock.

Sadly, I like so much of their old stuff. The first 4 releases by Bon Jovi were all solid. I even liked Have A Nice Day for the most part.

In 2007, the band is on a Lost Highway to Nashville, and has ignored all of the fans who supported them for the first 25 years of their career or so.

Your pick is well justified though. It just doesn't fit the current version of Bon Jovi. They might fall under the New Wave of Glam Twang Bands.

huge band great songs
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwarbaz
Now Bon Jovi is truly on a "Lost Highway", but back in the 80's, they were the definitive glam/hair band. Good choice.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
They do REALLY suck now. The last 2 records are awful. The 2 before that "Crush and Bounce" were VERY good. They have COMPLETELY sold out.
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
well, i hope the guys on drycounty board read this. they wondered when bon jovi were ever glam....

and they do suck these days, after these days, it has mostly been less rock and most other genres..

Keep the faith is the best
December 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRockfighter
I'm surprised that Bon Jovi is middle of the pack on this countdown, I figured Top 3 at least. As a child of the '80s and a part of the MTV generation, you can't deny that Bon Jovi was one of the top dogs back in the '80s. I saw the Slippery tour with Cinderella, and New Jersey w/Skid Row, and they were a band on fire. I liked them when I was a kid but they have no staying power for me now. I can't deny their success or their impact. They need to be on this countdown.

Heavy Metal Addiction
Ditto to Steve, Rock Fighter, Kenny Ozz and Rob Rockitt!
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfletch

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