Slippery When Wet
|Slippery When Wet|
|Studio album by Bon Jovi|
|Released||August 18, 1986|
|Studio||Little Mountain Sound Studios (Vancouver, British Columbia)|
|Bon Jovi chronology|
Rejected wet T-shirt cover, used for the Japanese release
|Singles from Slippery When Wet|
Slippery When Wet is the third studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 18, 1986 by Mercury Records in North America and Vertigo Records internationally. The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn. Recording sessions took place between January and July 1986 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Slippery When Wet was an instant commercial success. The album features songs that are considered Bon Jovi's best known songs, such as "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Wanted Dead or Alive".
The album spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and was named by Billboard as the top-selling album of 1987. Slippery When Wet is Bon Jovi's best-selling album to date, with an RIAA certification of 12× Platinum, making it one of the top 100 best-selling albums in the United States. The album was featured in the 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Despite the moderate success of 7800° Fahrenheit (1985), Bon Jovi had not yet become the superstars they had hoped. This made them change their approach for their next album, going for a more mainstream sound than their heavier first two albums. Hiring Desmond Child as a collaborator, the band wrote 30 songs and auditioned them for local New Jersey (including recording artist and Phantom's Opera vocalist Colie Brice) and New York teenagers, basing the album's running order on their opinions. Bruce Fairbairn was chosen as the main producer for the album, with Bob Rock as the mixer. The 1985 album Without Love which Fairbairn produced for the heavy metal band Black 'n Blue, attracted Jon Bon Jovi for its sound quality, and he immediately sought out the producer.
Writing and composition
Much of the album's content was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, except "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Livin' on a Prayer," "Without Love" and "I'd Die For You" which were co-written with Desmond Child. Child was brought in by the record company to help write some of the songs along with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. This was the first time Child worked with Jon and Richie. He came to New Jersey, where they worked on this in the basement of Sambora's mother's house.
Jon Bon Jovi was initially reluctant to include "Livin' on a Prayer" on the album, believing that it was not a good enough song. Richie Sambora was convinced it was a hit song in the making, and so the band re-recorded it, releasing the second version on the final album. It is known as Bon Jovi's signature song.
One of the songs written during the making of the album was "Edge of a Broken Heart", which did not feature on the final version of the album. Jon Bon Jovi has since said that this track should have been on the album. He said "It was absolutely appropriate for the Slippery record - coulda, shoulda, woulda been on Slippery had cooler minds prevailed. Here's my formal apology." It was first released on the soundtrack to the 1987 movie Disorderlies and has since been released on the band's box set as well as the special 2-CD edition of Cross Road. It was also on the B-side for the Livin' on a Prayer single. The song has never been performed live by the band, despite being a favorite among the hardcore fan-base.
Title and artwork
The album went through various name changes during its inception including Wanted Dead Or Alive, an album cover was produced with the band dressed as cowboys, owing to Jon's growing cowboy fetish. The artwork was later used for the single release of the track of the same name, with Slippery When Wet being the final title conceived. According to Jon Bon Jovi, the band decided to name the album Slippery When Wet after visiting The No.5 Orange strip club in Vancouver. According to Richie Sambora, "this woman descended from the ceiling on a pole and proceeded to take all her clothes off. When she got in a shower and soaped herself up, we just about lost our tongues. We just sat there and said, ‘We will be here every day.’ That energized us through the whole project. Our testosterone was at a very high level back then."
The cover consists of a wet black garbage bag with the words "Slippery When Wet" traced in the water. The album originally was to feature a busty woman in a wet yellow T-shirt with the album name on the front of the shirt. This original version of the cover was swapped for the wet plastic bag cover just prior to release. The reasons most often given for the switch were record execs' fears that the dominant record store chains at the time would have refused to carry the album with a sexist cover, or Jon Bon Jovi's complaint that the record company had put a bright pink border around the photograph that the band had submitted.
In Japan, most releases of the album did include the original cover art.
Release and reception
|Robert Christgau||B− |
|Rolling Stone||(unfavorable) |
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The album was a massive success commercially. Between 1986 and 1987, Slippery When Wet produced an amazing string of hit songs, including three Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits, two of which ("You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer") reached No. 1, making Bon Jovi the first hard rock band to ever have two consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 chart hits. The third single "Wanted Dead or Alive" peaked at No. 7, making Slippery When Wet the first hard rock album to spawn three Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hits.
The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it Bon Jovi's first number-one album in the United States. The album also had impressive staying power, with 38 weeks inside the Top 5 of Billboard 200, including 8 weeks at No. 1. Slippery When Wet was the best-selling album of 1987 in the United States, and eventually reached Diamond certification by the RIAA and current sales stand at 12 million copies, making it the 48th best-selling album in the United States.
In the UK, Slippery When Wet received a 3x Platinum certification by the BPI. The album also achieved Diamond status in Canada, and 6x Platinum status in Australia.
The album was ranked 44th in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the Definitive 200 albums of all time.
|1.||"Let It Rock"||Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora||5:26|
|2.||"You Give Love a Bad Name"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child||3:43|
|3.||"Livin' on a Prayer"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child||4:09|
|4.||"Social Disease"||Bon Jovi, Sambora||4:18|
|5.||"Wanted Dead or Alive"||Bon Jovi, Sambora||5:09|
|6.||"Raise Your Hands"||Bon Jovi, Sambora||4:17|
|7.||"Without Love"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child||3:31|
|8.||"I'd Die for You"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child||4:31|
|9.||"Never Say Goodbye"||Bon Jovi, Sambora||4:49|
|10.||"Wild in the Streets"||Bon Jovi||3:56|
|1998 2-CD Special Edition Bonus CD PHCR-90015/6|
|11.||"Wanted Dead or Alive (Live at Wembley 1995)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora|
|12.||"Livin' on a Prayer (Live/US 1987)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child|
|13.||"You Give Love a Bad Name (Live/US 1987)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child|
|14.||"Wild in the Streets (Live at Wembley 1995)"||Bon Jovi|
|15.||"Borderline (Studio Outtake)"||Bon Jovi, Bryan|
|16.||"Edge of a Broken Heart (Studio Outtake)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora|
|17.||"Never Say Goodbye (Live Acoustic Version)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora|
|2010 special edition bonus tracks|
|11.||"You Give Love a Bad Name (Live Version)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child||4:10|
|12.||"Livin' on a Prayer (Live Version)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child||5:33|
|13.||"Wanted Dead or Alive (Live Version)"||Bon Jovi, Sambora||5:22|
In 2005, Slippery When Wet was re-issued as a DualDisc. The CD side contained a newly remastered version of the album, and the DVD side contained the same album in its original stereo mix, plus a slightly expanded 5.1 surround sound version. The expanded album included additional elements within many of the songs, in some cases increasing their runtime. The audio material is playable through a DVD-Audio player and standard DVD Players. The DVD side also included all 5 promo videos from the album:
- "You Give Love a Bad Name"
- "Livin' on a Prayer"
- "Wanted Dead or Alive"
- "Never Say Goodbye"
- "Wild in the Streets"
The DualDisc was released on September 20, 2005, the same release date as Have A Nice Day.
- Bon Jovi
- Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar on "Wanted Dead or Alive"
- Richie Sambora – lead guitar, backing vocals, acoustic guitar on "Wanted Dead or Alive"
- Alec John Such – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Tico Torres – drums, finger cymbals on "Livin' on a Prayer"
- David Bryan – keyboards, backing vocals, horns (horns credited as Lema Moon)
- Studio musicians
- Hugh McDonald - bass guitar (wrote and recorded the bass parts, uncredited) 
- Tom Keenlyside – saxophone
- Bruce Fairbairn – producer
- Bob Rock – engineering, mixing
- Tim Crich – engineering assistance
- George Marino – digital remastering
- Bill Levy – artwork
- Mark Weiss – photography
|Australia (ARIA)||6× Platinum||420,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Diamond||1,000,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Gold||7,500*|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||215,000|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||2× Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||3× Platinum||900,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||12× Platinum||12,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Harrison, Thomas (2011). Music of the 1980s. ABC-CLIO. p. 48. ISBN 9780313366000.
- Metal – A Headbanger's Journey, DVD, ASIN B000FS9OZY (2005).
- "Top 20 Hair Metal Albums of the Eighties – Guitar World". Guitar World. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- Slippery When Wet at AllMusic
- "Allmusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard albums".
- "Billboard 200 Albums : Nov 24, 2016 - Billboard Chart Archive".
- "Top 100 Albums". RIAA. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "Obituary: Bruce Fairbairn". 31 May 1999.
- "How Bon Jovi Changed the World With 'Slippery When Wet'". Observer. 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
- Giles, Jeff (August 18, 2016). "30 Years Ago: Bon Jovi Release 'Slippery When Wet'". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Top 10 Banned Metal Album Covers". The Gauntlet. 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- Matthew Wilkening (2011-07-11). "Bon Jovi – Most Shocking Album Covers". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 1779".
- "Slippery When Wet".
- Rolling Stone Album Guide
- Brodén, Victor. "On Bass: The Song Guys". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- Setaro, Shawn. "Inside The Business Of Bon Jovi With Bryan Reesman". Forbes. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- McDonald, Hugh. "Hugh McDonald Official Website - Discography". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Thompson, Bronwyn (January 29, 2008). "On A Steel Horse Bon Jovi Rides To Top Of The Charts". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
Slippery When Wet reached No. 1 in Australia when it was originally released and went on to sell six times platinum. It has sold 28 million copies worldwide.
- "Austriancharts.at – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Top RPM Albums: Issue 0786". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Sisältää hitin - Finnish Chart Archive". Suomenlistalevyt / Timo Pennanen. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Greekcharts.com – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "Charts.org.nz – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Los discos más vendidos". ABC (in Spanish). 11 November 1987. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Swisscharts.com – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Bon Jovi | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart
- "Bon Jovi Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Bon Jovi Chart History (Top Catalog Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. 1986-12-27. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 1987". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1987" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
- "Hitparade.ch – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1987". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "ARIA Report 28th January 2008 (Issue 935)" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Canadian album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Music Canada. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "Bon Jovi" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bon Jovi; 'Slippery When Wet')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for Hong Kong CERTIFICATION.
- "New Zealand album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bon Jovi; 'Slippery When Wet')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "British album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 9, 2012. Enter Slippery When Wet in the search field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 9, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH