Bon Jovi - Greatest Hits

2011-02-23 10:12
If Bon Jovi had made only their third and fourth albums, Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988), they might have retained the legacy of being a great band that signified some of the best things of the late 80s era of American rock.

But Bon Jovi seemed to change direction in the 90s, targeting syrupy commercial-soundtrack rock ("It's My Life", "Have a Nice Day"), and abandoning working class-relevant anthemics ("Livin' on a Prayer", "Keep the Faith" – which is bizarrely absent from this alleged "greatest hits").   

Of course the track selection will speak to the legions of fans who bought tickets to Bon Jovi's hugely successful touring schedule, putting them among of the top live earners of the past few years.

But the reality is that "Prayer" will likely always be the best track from the Bon Jovi catalogue, not least because of its epic and seemingly timeless stadium quality – and the fact that it fits into an imagined idea that great, storified  rock comes from New Jersey (thanks a lot, Bruce Springsteen).

Unfortunately for Bon Jovi,that's where the nostalgic value begins and ends, which is a bad thing for a band whose radio and chart history indicates that they should really have had more hits that are worth their time in the cd player.  

If your Bon Jovi memories run towards the schmaltzy "Bed of Roses" era, you'll enjoy most of the disc. It's just a pity – and ironic, though perhaps not altogether surprising – that the band's later output seems to have aged the worst.

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