You Give Love a Bad Name

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"You Give Love a Bad Name"
Artwork for U.S. vinyl single, also used for the album Slippery When Wet
Single by Bon Jovi
from the album Slippery When Wet
  • "Raise Your Hands" (US)
  • "Let It Rock" (UK)
ReleasedJuly 23, 1986
GenreHard rock[1][2]
Length3:42 (album version)
4:06 (full version)
Producer(s)Bruce Fairbairn
Bon Jovi singles chronology
"Silent Night"
"You Give Love a Bad Name"
"Livin' on a Prayer"
Alternative cover
Bon Jovi You Give Love A Bad Name.jpg

"You Give Love a Bad Name" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi, released as the first single from their 1986 album Slippery When Wet. Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child about a woman who has jilted her lover, the song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 29, 1986 and became the band's first number one hit.[3] In 2007, the song reentered the charts at No. 29 after Blake Lewis performed it on American Idol. In 2009 it was named the 20th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[2] Despite the lyrics of the chorus, the song should not be confused with "Shot Through the Heart", an unrelated song from Bon Jovi's 1984 self-titled debut album.


"You Give Love a Bad Name" was originally written for Bonnie Tyler under the title "If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)" with different lyrics. Dissatisfied with its success in the US and the UK, Desmond Child re-wrote the song with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.[4]

The song was written with several catchy repeated lines and associated hooks to appeal to mainstream audiences including the chorus as well as several bridges.

This song is written in the key of C minor and has a tempo of 123 BPM.

The album version of the song ends with the title being repeated until it fades.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song used all-color concert footage (the only all-color video song from Slippery When Wet) and photogenic shots primarily of Jon Bon Jovi, as well as other band members in concert. This video was filmed at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Bon Jovi was now being managed by Doc McGee, who realized that Bon Jovi needed a video for MTV. Doc hired video director Wayne Isham, who had directed videos for Doc's other band, Mötley Crüe. The two bands were competitive with each other and Mötley Crüe felt betrayed that Wayne would direct one of Bon Jovi's videos.

Wayne had the band's name painted on the stage and made sure that the band did not see it until they began shooting.

Bon Jovi had been opening for 38 Special, but became a headlining act after the video debuted.

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Reviews > Singles > Pop > Recommended > Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name (3:53)". Billboard. Vol. 98 no. 35. August 30, 1986. p. 83. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ a b " music". Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  3. ^ "Allmusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard singles".
  4. ^ Curtis Child (15 August 2013). "Desmond Child Special". YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Australian Top 50 (ARIA) Singles Chart: Week ending 29th March, 1987". Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  6. ^ " – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  7. ^ " – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. ^ "Radio2 top 30: 13 december 1986" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Top Singles - December 27, 1986". RPM. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  10. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – You Give Love a Bad Name". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bon Jovi" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  13. ^ " – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ " – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (B)". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ " – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name". Singles Top 100.
  19. ^ "Bon Jovi: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  20. ^ "Bon Jovi Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history". Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks for Bon Jovi. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  22. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending DECEMBER 6, 1986". Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  24. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1986 (Flanders)" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '86". RPM. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1986" (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1986" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 27 December 1986. p. Y-21. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  29. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1986 – TOP 100 POP SINGLES (As published in the December 27, 1986, issue)". Cash Box magazine. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '87". RPM. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  31. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name". Music Canada.
  32. ^ "Italian single certifications – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  33. ^ "British single certifications – Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 27, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type You Give Love a Bad Name in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]