Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bon Jovi - In and Out of Love

I'll admit it:  I've always had a soft spot for Bon Jovi.  First off, the band is from my home state (NJ), and second, they wrote a bunch of damn good pop metal songs in the eighties, and then were able to evolve musically during the nineties.

In typical ERV form, we are not going to feature any of the videos from Slippery When Wet; instead we went with "In and Out of Love," from 1985's 7800° Fahrenheit (so named because that is the temperature at which rock melts).  7800° Fahrenheit highlighted the radio-friendly pop metal sound that would take over the music world a year or two later, but it didn't quite resonate with the listening public at the time.  It is not as if the album was a bust -- it hit #37 and went gold, but that is a far cry from the 12 million units that Slippery did.  (As a side note, 7800° Fahrenheit did go platinum in 1987, pushed by the success of Slippery When Wet.)

The "In and Out of Love" video is typical Bon Jovi -- fun and enjoyable.  The video was shot in Seaside Heights, NJ, and features a cast of locals, with a guest appearance by Father Guido Sarducci.  (I linked him to Wikipedia for our younger readers.)  The clips of London and Japan that bookend the video underscore the background of the song -- Jon Bon Jovi wrote it after the band's first tour.

After 7800° Fahrenheit, Bon Jovi focused on improving their music (and sales) and made two significant changes.  First, they brought in professional songwriter Desmond Child to help with a few songs and second, they test marketed the songs (yes, really) with local teenagers in NJ to help determine what went on the record.   The results:  two consecutive #1 singles ("You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer") and a boatload of record sales.

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