If you’re from New Jersey, chances are you are (or know someone who is) a Bon Jovi fan. They were perhaps the best of the big-haired arena-rockers in the late ’80s and ’90s, and still know how to pack ’em in to this day. And now, it looks like they’re reaching the rarified ranks of solid catalogue artists, thanks to a pretty wide series of reissues from Island and Universal Music Enterprises.
Amazon is listing reissues of ten Bon Jovi albums – everything from 1984’s self-titled debut to 2007’s Lost Highway – for May 11. (Sorry, fans of pseudo-compilation This Left Feels Right; no reissue for this one.) Thus far, they are listed as only having “extra tracks.” But if you’re a really big Bon Jovi fan, you want to know more. What’s that extra material about? Are the boys really recognizing their pre-Slippery When Wet material?
Hit the jump and get some answers.
Thanks to a bit of digging here and there, I’ve managed to scrounge up some potential details about these sets. I’m hoping for official confirmation of any and all of these facts soon:
- The extra tracks are going to be live. Bon Jovi singles were usually chock full of live B-sides from all over the world. Some of these even ended up on a compilation a few years back, One Wild Night 1985-2001. These bonus tracks are going to make up the bulk of the bonus content.
- Some remixing might be present. I’ve been told that one of the mitigating factors that kept Bon Jovi away from revisiting their first two records, Bon Jovi (1984) and 7800 Fahrenheit (1985), was their dislike of the mixes on the original records. Plans have apparently been underway for new, band-approved mixes of these two records (but only these two, as far as I can tell).
- The liner notes will drive you Wild. One of my favorite music writers, David Wild (a Rolling Stone and Huffington Post stalwart), will be contributing liner notes to these sets. I know this because he pretty much tweeted the whole thing back in February.
UPDATE (4/10): The live bonus tracks have been reported. Still trying to clamp down which ones have been previously released (there were a lot of live Bon Jovi B-sides) Here they are:
- Bon Jovi (1984): “Runaway,” “Roulette,” “Breakout,” “Get Ready” (possibly from England – there was an unspecified live version of “Breakout” on the flip of the “Runaway” 7″ in the U.K. and a live version of “Roulette” recorded for the BBC on the B-side to the “In and Out of Love” U.K. single)
- 7800 Fahrenheit (1985): “In and Out of Love,” “Only Lonely,” “Tokyo Road” (probably from Japan – a few singles list live B-sides from Japan around this time, although only “Tokyo Road,” recorded at an unspecified venue, made it to the other side of the U.K. 12″ of “The Hardest Part is the Night”)
- Slippery When Wet (1986): “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and an acoustic “Wanted Dead or Alive” (there were such B-sides during this period but none of them stated recording venues)
- New Jersey (1988): “Blood on Blood” and “I’ll Be There for You,” touted as “live extended versions” (probably from a show recorded at Wembley Arena which yielded some B-sides around this point, including “Blood on Blood,” included on the U.K. 12″ to “Lay Your Hands on Me.” There was also a show recorded in Florida in 1989 where the band played “I’ll Be There for You”; that version was included on a bonus disc with some copies of Keep the Faith.)
- Keep the Faith (1992): “Keep the Faith” and “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” (there was a show recorded in New Jersey in 1992, where a version of “Keep the Faith” was later used on the aforementioned bonus disc)
- These Days (1995): “This Ain’t a Love Song” and “Diamond Ring” (not at all sure – these may be entirely unreleased)
- Crush (2000): “It’s My Life,” “Just Older” and “Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars” (more than likely taken from a show in Osaka, Japan – those first two tracks were on a bonus disc edition of Crush and the last one was on the U.K. CD single of “Thank You for Loving Me”)
- Bounce (2002): “The Distance,” “Joey,” “Hook Me Up” and “Bounce” (by this point, there were not as many live tracks coming out, so these might be unreleased)
- Have a Nice Day (2005): “Have a Nice Day,” “Last Man Standing,” “Story of My Life” and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” featuring Jennifer Nettles (not sure if that last one is the studio version released as a standalone single – the live tracks might be from a show in Boston, as such a version of “Last Man Standing” ended up on the CD single to “Who Says”)
- Lost Highway (2007): “Lost Highway,” “We Got It Going On,” “Any Other Day” and “I Love This Town” (let’s hope, for the sake of the fans, that these aren’t just taken from the Lost Highway: The Concert DVD)
Again, hopefully an official announcement will present itself soon – especially since, you know, they’re supposedly due in a month or so. As always, keep it here for more news on this and all reissues!