2020: Bon Jovi Goes Back to Their Bluesy Roots

After ushering in the era of pop-metal with 1986’s blockbuster Slippery When Wet and its hit singles like You Give Love A Bad Name, Wanted Dead or Alive and, of course, Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi wound up transcending the big-haired ’80s to become one of the biggest American rock bands ever. They sold more than 120 million albums worldwide and maintained their popularity into the new millennium. Their energetic guitar riffs and emotionally charged power ballads earned them a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But despite their massive success, the band remains committed to telling stories with their music. That’s clear on their latest effort, 2020. The album marks a departure from the band’s glam persona, with Jon and his mates addressing issues that have become central to our daily lives, such as gun control (Lower the Flag), the coronavirus crisis (Do What You Can) and the Black Lives Matter movement (American Reckoning).

In the studio, they also lean into their blue-collar roots. The title track is a classic rocker about finding victory in the everyday struggles of life. And if the band’s recent tour is any indication, Jon and his friends are still feeling it.

The band was born in 1983 in Sayreville, NJ, when guitarist Jon Bon Jovi enlisted the help of bassist Alec John Such and drummer Tico Torres to form a new group. They named themselves Bon Jovi, based on the common practice of bands at the time to name their groups after their lead singer or frontman.

By 1984, the band was a full-fledged rock act. And although they never had a hit single as big as Slippery When Wet, their self-titled debut album was a success and led to a deal with Mercury Records.

After signing with the label, the band re-named themselves Bon Jovi, with the addition of keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Phil X. And with the support of mega-manager Doc McGhee (who had worked with other rock giants such as Kiss, Motley Crue and Skid Row), the band was on its way to achieving greatness.

But Bon Jovi’s real accomplishment came when they were able to maintain their popularity throughout the ’90s and into the new millennium. In addition to their huge concerts, they branched out into movies and television. Their 2005-2006 worldwide Have A Nice Day Tour was a huge success, earning them more than $191 million and taking them to a whole new level of stardom. And while they may have lost a few members along the way, the remaining members continue to deliver their brand of energetic guitar-driven rock, and the hits keep on coming.