Livin' on a Prayer
|"Livin' on a Prayer"|
|Single by Bon Jovi|
|from the album Slippery When Wet|
|B-side||"Wild in the Streets"|
|Released||October 31, 1986|
|Format||7", 12", CD|
|Genre||Hard rock, glam metal|
|Length||4:11 (album version)
4:53 (full version)
4:23 (Rock Band 2 edit)
5:07 (DualDisc remix)
|Writer(s)||Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child|
|Bon Jovi singles chronology|
"Livin' on a Prayer" is Bon Jovi's second chart-topping single from their album Slippery When Wet (1986). Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child, the single, released in late 1986, was well received at both rock and pop radio and its music video was given heavy rotation at MTV, giving the band their first No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and their second consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit.
The song has become the band's signature song, topping fan-voted lists and re-charting around the world decades after its release. The original 45-RPM single release sold 800,000 copies in the United States, and in 2013 was certified Triple Platinum for over 3 million digital downloads. The official music video has over 260 million views on YouTube.
Jon Bon Jovi did not like the original recording of this song, which can be found as a hidden track on 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong. Lead guitarist Richie Sambora, however, convinced him the song was good, and they reworked it with a new bass guitar line, different drum fills and the use of a talk box to include it on their upcoming album Slippery When Wet. The song spent two weeks at number one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, from January 31 to February 14, 1987, and four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, from February 14 to March 14. It also hit number four on the UK singles chart.
The album version of the song, timed around 4:10, fades out at the end. However, the music video game Guitar Hero World Tour features the song's original studio ending, where the band revisit the intro riff and end with a talk box solo; this version ends at 4:53. The original ending is also playable on the similar video game Rock Band 2, though edited in this case (thereby eliminating the talk box solo at the end). The version included on the 2005 DualDisc edition of Slippery When Wet has an extended version of the original ending, with a different talk box solo playing over the riff (possibly taken from an outtake of the song); this version, which fades out at the end like the standard version of the song, ends at 5:06.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks – in which New Jersey was the second-hardest hit state after New York City, suffering hundreds of casualties among both WTC workers and first responders – the band performed an acoustic version of this song for New York. Bon Jovi performed a similar version as part of the special America: A Tribute to Heroes.
In 2006, online voters rated "Livin' on a Prayer" No. 1 on VH1's list of The 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s. More recently, in New Zealand, "Livin' on a Prayer" was No. 1 on the C4 music channel's show U Choose 40, on the 80's Icons list. It was also No. 1 on the "Sing-a-long Classics List". After Bon Jovi performed in New Zealand on January 28, 2008 while on their Lost Highway Tour, the song re-entered the official New Zealand RIANZ singles chart at number 24, over twenty years after the initial release.
Australian music TV channel MAX placed this song at No. 18 on their 2008 countdown "Rock Songs: Top 100". In 2009, the song returned to the charts in the UK, notably hitting the number-one spot on the UK Rock Chart.
In 2010 the song was chosen in an online vote on the Grammy.com website over the group's more recent hits "Always" and "It's My Life" to be played live by the band on the 52nd Grammy Awards telecast.
In the Billboard Hot 100 Anniversary 50, "Livin' on a Prayer" was named as 46 in the All time rock songs. After the song was released for download, the song has sold 3.4 million digital copies in the US as of November 2014.
The song, including its original ending, is also playable on the music video games Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2. The song was re-worked and made available to download on November 9, 2010 for use in the Rock Band 3 music gaming platform to take advantage of PRO mode which allows use of a real guitar / bass guitar, and standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to up to three-part harmony or backup vocals.
In November 2013, the song made its return to the Billboard Hot 100 at number 25, due to a viral video.
The song is about a fictional working class couple, Tommy and Gina, who struggle to make ends meet and maintain their relationship. Tommy "used to work on the docks" because "union's been on strike, he's down on his luck". Gina works at a diner, "workin' for her man". Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi explained that he "wrote that song during the Reagan era (1980–1988) and the trickle-down economics are really inspirational to writing songs".
The music video was filmed on September 17, 1986 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Wayne Isham. it features shots of the band rehearsing, then playing in front of a crowd. The first half of the video, featuring the rehearsal footage, is in black and white, and the second half of the video, performing to the arena audience, is in color.
In the beginning of the video, Jon Bon Jovi has a harness attached, and later in the music video he soars over the crowd via overhead wires.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Bon Jovi have themselves reworked the song several times, including an acoustic live version that served as a precursor to the MTV Unplugged series and a re-recorded version of the song, "Prayer '94", which appeared on U.S. versions of their Cross Road hits collection.
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
Succession and progression
"My Baby" by The Pretenders
|Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single
January 31, 1987 – February 13, 1987 (2 weeks)
"Midnight Blue" by Lou Gramm
"Open Your Heart" by Madonna
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 14, 1987 – March 7, 1987 (4 weeks)
"Jacob's Ladder" by Huey Lewis and the News
"Desolation Row" by My Chemical Romance
"Destabilise" by Enter Shikari
"Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)" by The Darkness
|UK Rock Chart number-one single
February 22, 2009 – March 22, 2009
November 6, 2010 – November 13, 2010
January 2, 2011 – January 9, 2011
"I'd Come For You" by Nickelback
"Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" by My Chemical Romance
"Feeling Good" by Muse
- "AllMusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard singles".
- "More GRAMMY Performers, Presenters Announced".
- "Beyonce Swift Boated".
- It's Only Rock & Roll: Top Billboard Hot 100 Rock Songs
- Appel, Rich (November 26, 2014). "Revisionist History, Part 5: Bon Jovi's 'Prayer' Answered, 'Caroline' Is Sweeter Than 'Sugar'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Kohler, Chris (2010-11-09). "Bon Jovi Rock Band Tracks Upgraded with Pro Keys, Guitars". Wired. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Snider, Mike (2010-06-10). "Rock Band 3: What's New, What's Notable". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "Bon Jovi Calls George Bush as 'lunatcic'!".
- "mvdbase.com - Wayne Isham technician videography".
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. p. 41. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Ultratop.be – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Radio2 top 30: 7 february 1987" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Top Singles – Volume 45, No. 23, March 14, 1987". RPM. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer". GfK Entertainment Charts.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Livin' On A Prayer". Irish Singles Chart.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bon Jovi search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer". VG-lista.
- "Archive Chart: 1986-11-30". Scottish Singles Top 40.
- "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (B)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer". Singles Top 100.
- "Swisscharts.com – Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Archive Chart: 1986-11-30" UK Singles Chart.
- "Archive Chart: 2010-11-13" UK Rock Chart. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Bon Jovi.
- "Bon Jovi – Chart history". Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks for Bon Jovi. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 14, 1987". Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Bon Jovi. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 24. 24 January 1987.
- "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Jaaroverzichten 1987 (Flanders)" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Top 100 Singles of '87". RPM. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "Top Selling Singles of 1987". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1987" (in Dutch). Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1987" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Top Pop Singles of '87". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "Top Rock Tracks". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 99 (52): 16. December 26, 1987. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1987". Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Canadian single certifications – Bon Jovi – Livin' on a Prayer". Music Canada.
- "Single Certification List - August 2010" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "British single certifications – Bon Jovi – Livin' on a Prayer". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 15, 2016. Enter Livin' on a Prayer in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
- "American single certifications – Bon Jovi – Livin' on a Prayer". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH