Bon Jovi has defined rock anthems and power ballads for the last three decades, a period of time that ushered in a new generation of music fans. The New Jersey band has toured the globe in sold-out arenas and sung about love, loss, faith, family, and hope with lyrics that resonated with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Jon Bon Jovi was one of the most successful bands to come out of the 1980s, with hits like “Runaway” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
Bon Jovi’s 1984 eponymous debut album landed them their first Top 40 hit, but it was their third record, 1986’s Slippery When Wet, that catapulted them into the global spotlight. Featuring classic hits like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Wanted Dead or Alive” and the title track, this massive album was a commercial smash. It also marked the moment when Bon Jovi began to stray from heavy metal, working with professional songwriter Desmond Child on more mainstream material for their next album.
The following year, the group released their first greatest hits compilation, Cross Road, whose title track was another Top Ten hit. Over the years, Bon Jovi continued to release hits with the studio albums Keep the Faith, These Days, and In The Name of the Father before they finally broke into the pop culture zeitgeist with 1992’s These Are The Days, an album that featured the aforementioned top ten song, along with a number of other well-received songs.
Throughout the 1990s, the group remained popular with hits including “Bed of Roses,” “This Ain’t a Love Song” and “What Do You Got?” While members pursued solo projects (including bassist Alec John Such’s 2012 album Aftermath of the Lowdown), Bon Jovi stayed busy, releasing an extensive series of live albums, including Cross Road Live, In The Name of the Father Live, and Inside Out.
The band’s 15th studio album, 2020, marks a return to more of their traditional sound. The album tackles contemporary issues head on, with songs dealing with gun control (“Lower the Flag”), the coronavirus pandemic (“American Reckoning”) and the Black Lives Matter movement (“Do What You Can”).
GQ recently caught up with Bon Jovi in his Manhattan home to talk about the album, their longtime relationship with producer Desmond Child, and how they’re navigating the current political climate.
It’s hard to think of a more iconic band than bon jovi. From their 1980s heyday of big hair and bigger guitars to their ongoing adoration by fans of all ages, the group has never stopped making music that matters. That’s why we asked them to share their stories with us. Click through the gallery for their most memorable moments over the years. And if you’re a fan, be sure to check out our playlist featuring some of their best work. It’s an incredible collection of hits that are still relevant today.