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Bon Jovi
Meet one of the longest surviving rock bands of the past two decades… Bon Jovi has managed to retain their status and audience by sticking to what they know best - straightforward rock. Record sales attest to their popularity - for they've sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide and played over 2,000 concerts in 47 countries before more than 31 million fans. In the 1980's alone - between '86 and '89, their combined record sales topped 35 million.

And Bon Jovi is the only hard rock band in history to have back to back number one albums and four number one singles. With a new album out, a big tour on the cards, and more great moments to come, let's take a look back on what makes them one of the most successful bands today…

Their Music
Anthems like Livin' On A Prayer, Keep The Faith, Always and the more recent It's My Life can still be heard on rock radio stations today. One of the reasons Bon Jovi's music is so popular is that these guys sing easy to remember songs, built on the romances of ordinary people, and race up and down on life's highway.
The band has grown up since the '80s: Its members, all in their 40s, wear wedding rings and have families; so the music they make today clearly is not the stuff of boys just out of high school cruising for chicks. Still, the group has consistently written songs that radio programmers want to play and people want to buy. Their last studio album; Bounce in 2002 debuted at #2 on the US Charts, just behind Elvis Presley's compilation of #1 hits.

The New Album: Have A Nice Day
Bon Jovi participated in the historical Live 8 on July 2, 2005. A new song, Have A Nice Day, was debuted at the event. It's a classic Bon Jovi track and also happens to be from their new album of the same title. The band went back to their old style lyrics and big choruses on this one, after a slight change of direction in their last couple of albums. Lead man Jon campaigned for Al Gore and John Kerry last year, hoping to make a difference, but says he ended up feeling disillusioned. Kerry's defeat in the recent US elections inspired Bon Jovi's latest album to take on a different path from one they took before.
As usual only one music magazine in India (That's us of course!) were granted an all access pass to the group (courtesy Universal Music in India)…we scored an exclusive transcript with none other than front man Jon Bon Jovi himself…

TR: So what's the new album all about?
Bon Jovi: I'm very excited about it…and very confident it's going to be a big record. The magic is, we don't gun for anybody. What happens, happens naturally. Here is who we are, this is what we do. The songs are personal and introspective views on issues I may have had growing up that I certainly would have never discussed publicly before. People know what they're getting. And clearly it's working…

TR: It's titled Have A Nice Day… that's a nice line…
Bon Jovi: That title was the first and, ultimately, the last one I'd come to…There's obviously a sense of irony when you say it. I wrote the album during a time of extreme polarisation in America. There was a war happening and it was dividing families. I realised the party that I was working for had lost but that we still had to come forward together as a nation. You can't be a sore loser. Hence the album title Have A Nice Day…(laughs again)

TR: The album was basically done with last year, but you went back to the studio and did another take on it. What's the deal with that?
Bon Jovi: I felt like I was cheating…(laughs) There were four songs that felt 'crafted' and shame on me if at this point in my career I ever craft a song. So I wrote four new songs - Novocaine, Last Cigarette, Story Of My Life and Wildflower and tweaked the lyrics on some others. Bells Of Freedom for example, started out as a he/she kind of a thing… I hated it. I knew there was something more in that chorus… I hope that people are going to like that song…

TR: You've got John Shanks as the producer for this new set. You're in good hands…he won the Grammy for Producer of the Year in 2004…
Bon Jovi: He deserves that award, he's brilliant… We co-wrote songs and we recorded them on the spot with a drum machine…just him and Richie wailing on guitars, no drummer, no bass player, and I would sing the vocal. I'd never made a record like that before. What an experience…


You can read the rest of our cover story on Bon Jovi in the September 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

The Rolling Stones
Eric Clapton
Shaggy
The Rasmus
Craig David
It's All Brand New
The Magic Numbers
KT Tunstall
DJ Neil Boorman
Michael Jackson
Soulmate
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