Bon Jovi are back! Ok, well maybe they aren’t quite back, they just went back, riffled through their archives and called them new again. That’s ok with me though.
I love it when bands do this personally. Actually let me rephrase that… When I am a huge fan of a band, I love it when they release as much material as possible. I’m hoping that more bands will do this with their left over gems.
I recently read a story about U2 and how they went through and edited their latest effort “How to dismantle an atomic bomb” and they were struggling to get the “flow” of the album just right. To do that they simply cut songs and left them dead and bleeding on the floor — destined to be B-sides or lost artifacts. I understand the concept of an album that works as a whole and how the flow of the songs can make or break the “whole album” listening experience. I am a huge “album experience” fan but it pains me to hear about these musical deaths. I would be far more forgiving if they gave me 15 songs that didn’t quite “flow” instead of cutting 5 of them.
Now, I don’t know about you but if I am a fan of that group that kills good songs, I surely want to hear those songs! On the flip side, if I am the band, I would really want those songs to be heard by as many people as possible. Those songs are like their children and you would never want your children to be locked away in a dark closet for all eternity.
With “100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong“, the Jersey boys have gone back and recovered at least 40 “musical deaths” from their 20 year career, combined them with more demos and rarities and finally made them available for the fans to hear. I have, and probably always will be, a Bon Jovi fan because their music was the soundtrack to my childhood and a good portion of my current life. Nothing will ever replace Runaway or Living on a prayer and Blood on Blood for me because of the memories I have attached to those tunes. Some of my most memorable concert experiences come from the countless Bon Jovi concerts I’ve attended. When I go, I still can’t wait for that totally kick ass, rippin’ solo that Richie belts out during “Wanted dead or alive” every friggin’ time! Yeah!!
Anyway, my point is that I am a fan — a big fan. So this is a review from a fan and you need to understand that. Actually, if you are not a fan then you probably skipped over this entire review so let me simply say “just get it”. Go out right now and fork over your hard earned dough and get this box set. It is worth your money. In my opinion it is worth far more than what you will pay for it.
When I first heard about this project I thought it would be an overpriced collection of the B-sides that were already out there. Even worse I thought it might just be crappy sounding demos. Much to my surprise they took the high road and released mostly unreleased, high quality rarities that “got cut”. Even better, most of these songs sound great. The songs for the most part are nicedly produceded and mixed with only a few exceptions which still “work” because the songs are quality, not left over crap. Overall there might be 2-3 songs that I would skip over on a regular basis and even then they are not “bad”, they are just… well, not as good as the rest.
I am not going to go into anylizing individual songs right now because my opinion is personal on that issue. I am sure that everyone will have their own favorite songs so I don’t want to lead you in one way or another. If you want opinion you can click the link here for a great review and some detailed thoughts from another fan. The bottom line is that you won’t be let down one bit when listening to these disks.
As far as the entire package, you get 4 complete CDs stuffed full of tunes, a DVD of interviews and past footage, and a very attractive book of pictures and commentary on each song from Jon Bon Jovi. The actual box package is high quality and you can expect it to last for many years. I ended up paying for this set and I belive it cost me a total of $43. If you break that up I am paying $8.60 per disk and that my friends is a damn bargain. Each disk has been compiled to work as a single listening experience which is great in my mind. This was intentional so you won’t have one disk that sits and collects dust because it contains all the old songs, or all the ballads, etc.
Now, if you twist my wrist and make me come up with something to complain about I would have to say that the package could have used a few more upbeat tunes. I like all the songs but they tend to have a mid-tempo or mellow leaning for a good 60-70% of the tunes but they are all great songs. If you want to bang your head go buy the new Killswitch Engage album. I’ll forgive them for the mellowness because they included the great drivin-fast-in-the-car-rocker “The radio saved my life tonight”. This song alone is well worth the price of admission. Classic Bon Jovi and I am shocked that it never made any of their albums.
Second, I would’ve liked to hear some more older stuff. There are only a few songs that were born before 1995. Maybe this would be a great idea for a future box set? (Hint, hint)
The third and last complaint is that the DVD contains a lot of footage from the bands great and now out of print “Access all areas“. If you haven’t seen this classic documentary you won’t be disappointed because the footage is great and highly entertaining. If you are a fan then you already own “Access all areas” and they simply combine recent interview footage with clips from this tape. It would have been really cool to give you the option to either watch the new interviews by themselves, the interviews mixed with the AAA video, or simply give you the option to watch the entire AAA video since it is now unavailable except for on eBay. THAT would have been a nice plus and added bonus for this already amazing package but at least you have a nice mix of new commentary and classic Bon Jovi on one disk.
From a fan to other fans I have to say “go get this box set today” by clicking on the Amazon link above. If you are only a casual fan you will still enjoy each individual disk without a doubt. If you are not a fan, this collection will not convert you — just continue on with your life — the new Eminem album awaits you. (Which sucks by the way)
For me though, nothing can beat a band that plays their own instruments, writes their own songs, sings in amazing harmony and can write songs that you can relate to. If you give these 50 songs a chance they could become the soundtrack to the current part of your life. The potential is there for sure. This fan is impressed and you will be too.Powered by Sidelines