Saturday, January 7, 2012

100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong

Bon Jovi's four-CD/one-DVD box set of rarities, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong, inspires two immediate reactions. The first: How in the world did Bon Jovi have four discs' worth of unreleased material in their vaults? The second: Who on earth would want to hear 50 rarities from Bon Jovi? To anybody who's not a devoted fan, the New Jersey group always seemed like a quintessential singles-driven band. Sure, they had many albums that were blockbusters -- 1986's Slippery When Wet and its 1988 follow-up, New Jersey, dominated the American charts in the latter half of the '80s -- but those were hits because of the singles that ruled the radio, hits that were so well crafted, it was hard to believe that Bon Jovi left material behind, but as this box set proves, they did. Apparently, the band followed the lead of their fellow Jersey icon Bruce Springsteen and cut more material for each album than they could possibly have used. Starting with Slippery When Wet, the band would record somewhere between 30 and 40 songs for an individual album, then whittle it down to a 12-track album, which means a whole bunch of completed material was left behind. Some of it turned up on soundtracks or foreign-market B-sides, but most of it lay unheard in the vaults until Bon Jovi assembled this box to commemorate their 20th anniversary (which arrived around the time they sold their 100,000,000th record, hence the title).

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