Bon Jovi (album)

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Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi Album.jpg
Studio album by Bon Jovi
Released January 21, 1984
Recorded 1982–1983
Studio Avatar Studios (New York City, New York)
Length 38:33
Bon Jovi chronology
Bon Jovi
7800° Fahrenheit
(1985)7800° Fahrenheit1985
Singles from 'Bon Jovi'
  1. "Runaway"
    Released: February 1984
  2. "She Don't Know Me"
    Released: 22 May 1984
  3. "Burning for Love"
    Released: 17 October 1984

Bon Jovi is the self-titled debut studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984. Produced by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album in which a song ("She Don't Know Me") appears that was not written or co-written by a member of the band. The album charted at No. 43 on the U.S. Billboard 200.[1]

Aside from the hit single "Runaway", songs from the album were rarely performed live after Bon Jovi released Slippery When Wet in 1986. However, on the band's 2010 Circle Tour, songs including "Roulette", "Shot Through The Heart" and "Get Ready" were performed. The song "Shot Through the Heart" should not be confused with the much more well-known "You Give Love a Bad Name" from Slippery When Wet.

The album was ranked the 11th best rock album of 1984 by Kerrang! magazine.[2]


In 1980, Jon Bon Jovi began work at Power Station Studios, a Manhattan recording facility where his cousin, Tony Bongiovi, was a co-owner. Jon made several demos and sent them out to record companies, but failed to make an impact.

In 1982, Jon went to local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple". DJ Chip Hobart listened to the demos and loved "Runaway", deciding to include it on the station's compilation album of local homegrown talent. The studio musicians who helped record "Runaway" were known as The All Star Review. They were: guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, bass guitarist Hugh McDonald, and additional singers David Grahmme and Mick Seeley (Seeley also composed the distinctive keyboard riff that opens the song). McDonald would later replace Alec John Such as Bon Jovi's bass guitarist.

The song began to get airplay around New York. Jon signed to Mercury Records, part of the PolyGram company. He wanted a band name and the A&R staff at PolyGram came up with Bon Jovi.

In March 1983 Bon Jovi called David Bryan (then Rashbaum), who in turn called bass guitarist Alec John Such and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres. At that time Bon Jovi's lead guitarist was Dave Sabo, who later formed the band Skid Row. Sabo was soon replaced by Richie Sambora.

"We weren't a good band," Bon Jovi admitted in 2007. "We didn't become a good band until the third record, but we had a drummer who could keep time, which you should never take for granted. But I did okay for a 22-year-old. I'd only been in a studio for three years total prior to that record and I didn't know anything about comping a voal – where you take a word or a line from one track and piece it together. I was thinking, My god, I'm so bad that they have to put my vocals together for me. The engineer was saying, Don't fret, Jon: even Freddie Mercury and the greats have to comp a vocal."[3]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[5]

AllMusic has retrospectively rated Bon Jovi three-and-a-half out of five stars. Leslie Mathew, who reviewed the album, said: "The songs may be simple and the writing prone to all clichés of the form, but the album boasts a pretty consistent hard rock attack, passionate playing, and a keen sense of melody."[4]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Runaway"
2. "Roulette"
3. "She Don't Know Me" Mark Avsec 3:58
4. "Shot Through the Heart"
5. "Love Lies"
6. "Breakout"
  • Bon Jovi
  • Rashbaum
7. "Burning for Love"
  • Bon Jovi
  • Sambora
8. "Come Back"
  • Bon Jovi
  • Sambora
9. "Get Ready"
  • Bon Jovi
  • Sambora
  • Runaway was the first single under the band's name Bon Jovi however, other than Jon Bon Jovi none of the other members of the band played on the song. The first single to feature lead guitarist Richie Sambora, original bass guitarist Alec John Such, drummer Tico Torres, and keyboardist David Bryan was She Don't Know Me. However, Alec John Such's later replacement Hugh McDonald does play on the track.
  • The working title was Tough Talk, but the name was rejected by the record company, who insisted it should be a self-titled album so people would know it was the band's first album.
  • It was co-produced by Jon's father's cousin, Tony Bongiovi.
  • "Burning for Love" and "Come Back" were the very first songs written for the album.
  • Three singles were released from the album: "Runaway", "She Don't Know Me" and in Japan only, "Burning for Love". "Breakout" was released as a promo EP/single.
  • "Runaway" was inspired by Jon's observations of his journey to and from work where he was employed at The Power Station. He would see girls his own age who'd fallen down on their luck and having to resort to prostitution.
  • Jon Bon Jovi hated She Don't Know Me and it's to this day the only song that appears on a Bon Jovi album that doesn't have a writing credit from him.


Bon Jovi

Additional musicians


  • Larry Alexander
  • Jeff Hendrickson
  • John Bengelshmy



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[13] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[14] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Allmusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard albums". 
  2. ^ "Rock List". 
  3. ^ Blake, Mark (August 2007). "My brilliant career: Jon Bon Jovi". Q #253. p. 67. 
  4. ^ a b Bon Jovi at AllMusic
  5. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide
  6. ^ Australian Recording Industry Association (ed.). "The ARIA Report - Week Commencing ~ 28th January 2008 ~ Issue #935" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  8. ^ "New Zealand Charts - Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi (album)". Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  9. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  10. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Bon Jovi by Bon Jovi Search". The Official Charts Company. May 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Bon Jovi Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. "1984 Billboard Year-End". Billboard. Google Books. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  13. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi". Music Canada. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bon Jovi; 'Bon Jovi')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "British album certifications – Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 4, 2013.  Enter Bon Jovi in the search field and then press Enter.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 July 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH