Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ was their landmark album. It was released 31 years ago and it definitely set the table for the airplay, album sale and arena dominance that they enjoyed for decades thereafter. We’ll tell you the interesting place that the band wrote the album and show you see one of their classic performances.
This album was also a monumental shift for the band. The first two albums, Bon Jovi and 7800° Fahrenheit, were heavier and didn’t exactly make a splash like the guys had hoped for. With Slippery When Wet, they decided to go in a more mainstream direction.
…And that “mainstream direction” came via the basement of Richie Sambora’s mother.
“We had no money…We were living at our mom and dad’s, and wrote most of the songs for Slippery When Wet in my mom’s basement,” said Sambora to VH1, which goes on to prove that some of the coolest things ever happen in basements.
The album’s three lead singles (“You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive”) were monster hits, with “…Bad Name” and “…Prayer” both hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Each of these songs have become mainstays on classic rock radio, as well as Bon Jovi’s set lists on tour.
Here’s a classic Bon Jovi performance from 1987 that illustrates their level of energy, showmanship and ability to hold their fans’ attention.