Jon Bon Jovi Ironically Claims He’s Not Impressed With His Biggest Song

Jon Bon Jovi Ironically Claims He’s Not Impressed With His Biggest Song | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Damned TV / Youtube

Can a song become a global phenomenon despite the artist’s initial reservations? That’s the surprising story behind Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer”. This anthem of hope and resilience spent a whole month at the top of the US charts in 1987, selling millions of copies worldwide.

Believe it or not, Jon Bon Jovi himself, wasn’t exactly sold on the song at first. In a recent interview with People magazine, Jon revealed his initial reaction to “Livin’ on a Prayer” was far from enthusiastic.

Some might find it hard to believe. “Livin’ on a Prayer” is practically Bon Jovi’s calling card, a song instantly recognizable to fans across generations. “I wasn’t all that impressed… It was the simple chord progression, the melodies, and the lyrics,” the rock singer revealed.

The Secret Weapon in Hugh McDonald’s Bass Line

“Livin’ on a Prayer” wasn’t always destined for greatness. Though the song had potential, something was missing. The turning point came with an uncredited contribution from bassist Hugh McDonald.

“The bass line came to life in the demo studio,” Jon Bon Jovi explains. “When we took it back to the band and worked it up, that’s how it became what it is.” This seemingly small addition breathed new life into the song, giving it the momentum it needed to become a hit.

Jon acknowledges he underestimated the power of the song. “We knew what we wanted,” he reflects, “We just didn’t have it.” He admits his initial reaction was dismissive. “‘Yeah, it’s good. Good day. Good day at the office,'” he recalls thinking. However, time has shown him the error of his ways.  “It’s one of the biggest songs in our catalog,” he states definitively.

Doubts About Another Diamond

Jon Bon Jovi’s initial skepticism wasn’t reserved for just “Livin’ on a Prayer”. The band’s frontman also harbored doubts about another future classic, “Always”. This ballad, released in 1994, became a million-seller and peaked at No. 4 on the charts.

Despite its immense success, the frontman also initially dismissed “Always”. Speaking to People magazine, he revealed, “When I’d written that, we demoed it for a movie…and thought, ‘Yeah, that’s not very good’.” The band shelved it.

The song ended up shelved until a friend with a keen ear intervened. “An A&R guy who was a friend of ours was listening to some of those lost songs, and he said, ‘You know, this is a monster hit,'” Jon continued. Thankfully, this friend’s intuition proved correct, proving once again that even the best artists can underestimate the power of a song.

Listen to the songs below and try imagining a world without these iconic hits.