Bon Jovi could never catch a break with critics. When the band first showed up in the mid ‘80s, the members’ gigantic hair and toothy grins got more attention than their music. But by the end of the decade, when their hero Bruce Springsteen started scaling back and getting more introspective in his work, Bon Jovi stepped in to fill the vacancy left for an arena-packing band of New Jersey rockers stepping up for their working-class fans. Suddenly, Bon Jovi were one of the biggest bands on the planet, with the ‘Slippery When Wet’ and ‘New Jersey’ albums both going to No. 1 and selling close to 50 million combined copies. They still didn’t get much critical respect. But who cares? Decades later, the group continued to pack venues and sell plenty of records (including a string that debuted at No. 1), while earning induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
35 Years Ago: How Bon Jovi Grew Up With 'New Jersey'
Follow-up to blockbuster breakthrough 'Slippery When Wet' arrived in a surge of inspiration.
Richie Sambora Says He's 'Not Even Close' to Rejoining Bon Jovi
"But I could do it tomorrow if they asked me," guitarist adds.
Jon Bon Jovi Calls Early Bon Jovi Music Videos Horrible
"You want to embarrass me? Tie me to a chair and make me watch videos from my first two albums."
When Richie Sambora Made an Ambiguous Exit From Bon Jovi
He left band just hours before showtime in Calgary.
Michael Anthony Teaming With Aerosmith and Bon Jovi Members
Bassist says the new group started recording together "just for fun."
Richie Sambora Feels 'Second Obligation' to Reunite With Bon Jovi
Classic-era guitarist's rumored return seemingly inches closer to fruition.