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The History of Bon Jovi

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Made up of Jon Bon Jovi on vocals, Richie Sambora on guitar, Tico Torres on drums and David Bryan on keyboard, Bon Jovi formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. Their breakthrough album was "Slippery When Wet," spawning hits such as "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer". The band has continued pumping out hard rock hits, and garnered many a Grammy nomination along the way. In this video, takes a look at the history of the American rock band, Bon Jovi.

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Bon Jovi's Formation

American band Bon Jovi formed in Sayreville, New Jersey, in 1983. The group was assembled by vocalist Jon Bon Jovi after the demo for his song, “Runaway,” received local airplay and interest from record labels. Along with guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, bassist Alec John Such, and drummer Tico Torres, Bon Jovi started playing local gigs and was eventually signed.


Their self-titled debut came out in 1984. It was a hard rock album that charted within the top fifty on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hit single, “Runaway.” Their sophomore effort, 7800° Fahrenheit, was released the next year and performed slightly better on the charts, but was not a commercial hit.

"Slippery When Wet"

The band came out with their breakthrough album, Slippery When Wet, in 1986. Its immediate success turned them into international superstars. This was thanks to their first number one hit, “You Give Love a Bad Name,” the top ten single, “Wanted Dead or Alive” and their soon-to-be signature tune, “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

"New Jersey"

In 1988, Bon Jovi released New Jersey, which followed the same hard rock vein of their previous record. The mostly positively reviewed album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. It generated five top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100, namely, “I’ll Be There For You” and “Bad Medicine.”

"Keep the Faith"

The band took a break after touring in support of New Jersey. After several members released solo albums, they reconvened to put out album number five. Featuring a more mature rock ‘n’ roll sound, 1992’s Keep the Faith went to the fifth position on the Billboard 200 and produced the hits, “Keep the Faith” and “Bed of Roses.”


After more touring, the band released the best-of album, Cross Road, in 1994. Two new songs were offered on the compilation, the most notable being “Always,” which became one of Bon Jovi’s biggest commercial hits. That year also marked the departure of bassist Alec John Such, who was replaced unofficially by Hugh McDonald.

Popularity Reignited with "Crush"

The dark and mature These Days dropped in 1995. Though the album made the Top Ten in the U.S., it was even more commercially successful overseas and yielded the single, “This Ain’t A Love Song.” Bon Jovi then went on a hiatus for a few years, and but finally in 2000, they released the album, Crush. The Grammy-nominated effort reignited their popularity and introduced them to a younger fan base. Its rousing first single, “It’s My Life,” became another of the band’s biggest hits.

"Bounce" and More

This was followed by Bounce in 2002, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. It included the Grammy-nominated single, “Everyday.” In 2003, an album that consisted of new versions of previously released Bon Jovi tracks, called This Left Feels Right, was released, and was followed by the box set, 100, 000, 000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong, in 2004.

A Grammy for "Who Says You Can't Go Home"

A year later, Have a Nice Day¸ the band’s ninth album, was released. Debuting at number two on the Billboard 200, the record spawned singles such as the title track and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” The band’s country version of that single won them a Grammy, so Bon Jovi incorporated more country music influences with their hard rock sound on their next album.

Number One on Billboard

2007’s Lost Highway was the group’s first effort to debut at the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart. The album garnered Bon Jovi more Grammy nominations, including one for the first single, “(You Want To) Make a Memory.”

Touring and "The Circle"

After a highly grossing tour, Bon Jovi released another number one album, The Circle. Marking a return to their rock ‘n’ roll roots, the 2009 record had several singles, with the first being “We Weren’t Born to Follow.” Next up was their 2010 Greatest Hits compilation, which included several new songs, such as the single, “What Do You Got?”

Rock Stars

For decades, Bon Jovi has been rocking the music industry with their chart-topping singles and anthemic live shows, making them some of the biggest stars in rock music today.

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