Bon Jovi

Gift guide

Box Sets

Bon Jovi

100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong ... (Island)

The year was 1986. I was a sheltered, chubby high school freshman in a microscopic East Texas town, completely oblivious to what was at the top of the pops. Suffice it to say I had no clue why the gymnasium erupted in screams every time the tubas busted out the opening bassline to "Livin' on a Prayer" during pep rallies. Course, it didn't take long before I was as big a freak for feather-haired hottie Jon Bon Jovi as all the other girls. Thus, I hoped 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong ... meant reliving those carefree days of dubious fashion sense. It is, after all, the ultimate completist's collection: a 4-CD collection (the SUV of box sets) of unreleased Bon Jovi tracks that only a select few have heard to this day. Which there's good reason for: Vintage Bon Jovi this ain't. It feels like a dumping ground for the crap they couldn't unload before hitting the 100,000,000 mark. A twirl through the first disc, all four of them differentiated by dice (in keeping with a tacky Las Vegas theme), leaves me cold. The only song that stands out is closer "I Just Want to Be Your Man." It's quiet and intense, JBJ having dialed down the wailing rock-star schtick that plagues the previous 11 songs on the disc. CD No. 2: snake eyes. Jesus, has JBJ always sung this far out of tune? There are reminders of the solid musicianship in the New Jersey quintet, particularly Richie Sambora's skills as a guitarist. On "Outlaws of Love, " his playing is sexy and stuttering. On "We Rule the Night," it's powerful and menacing. And then the disc is over. Disc three is the novelty disc, the nadir being "Only in My Dreams," with vocals by drummer Tico Torres. It's awful. These are talented musicians all, but that crucial conflagration of innocence, naïveté, and excess that contributed to so many hair bands' success 20 years ago has expired. Especially for a bloated, self-congratulatory collection housed in very un-eco-friendly packaging. Depressing.

*.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Light'n Up (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, June 14, 2019

The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

More by Melanie Haupt
Joann's Fine Foods Has Us Wondering How Much Is Too Much to Pay for Chicken-Fried Steak
Joann's Fine Foods Has Us Wondering How Much Is Too Much to Pay for Chicken-Fried Steak
Top-notch service and attention to detail at SoCo’s Austin Motel

May 24, 2019

Miche Bread Is Closing After Five Years
Miche Bread Is Closing After Five Years
The artisan bread maker's final market is May 5 at Mueller

May 1, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle