Friday, April 3, 2020

Richie Sambora, 7 Years Gone

Firstly, I know I've been slack with blogging. With everything going on in the world at the moment, it's one of the things that has gone on the back burner for me, but rest assured I haven't forgotten about Bon Jovi. 😉

While I take some time to gather my thoughts (and the Bon Jovi content I've neglected to post over the past month), let's cast our minds back to this time seven years ago. It was a different world, and a different Bon Jovi. The second leg of the Because We Can Tour had just started... meaning we'd just been hit with that infamous show in Calgary in which Richie Sambora didn't turn up and the band ended up doing the gig with no lead guitarist.

Phil X, of course, replaced Richie for the rest of the tour, and every concert since.

"Like a moth dances with the light
Sometimes a shadow burns too bright
Shattered silence in the night
You wake up, move on..."
- Richie Sambora, Seven Years Gone

"Seven Years Gone" is probably one of the best tracks from the Aftermath of the Lowdown album. And even though Richie has become a somewhat polarising figure among Bon Jovi fans, depending on whose "side" you're on, there's no denying the guy had a significant hand in some great songs.

So here's "Seven Years Gone" just because it's been seven years and I wanted to post it:

And here's Richie performing "Seven Years Gone" on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2012:

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Limitless music video

Bon Jovi has released the official music video for "Limitless", the lead single from Bon Jovi 2020. You can watch it below:

When the audio came out, I mentioned that the verses and choruses seemed totally unrelated. I stand by that, but it does make a little more sense in the context of the video.

The band shots feature plenty of typical Jon gestures. The rest of the band doesn't have much to do (Would've been nice to get a Phil X solo in this song) but I guess this is confirmation that John Shanks and Everett Bradley are in for the long haul.

What do you think of the "Limitless" video?

In other news, Jon will apparently be recording "Unbroken" (which will also be on Bon Jovi 2020) with the Invictus Games choir.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

New Bon Jovi song Limitless out now

"Limitless", the lead single from the upcoming Bon Jovi 2020 album, has been released. You can listen to it below:

Well, based on early listens, I prefer the delivery of the verses over the chorus. But the song reminds me a little of "Because We Can" in that the verses and choruses seem to have nothing to do with each other. (Someone fill me in if I've completely missed the point.) I'm not head over heels about it right now, but I usually prefer the other album tracks over the lead single anyway so that doesn't necessarily mean much.

What do you think of the song?

Bon Jovi 2020 comes out on 15 May 2020 and is now available for pre-order from Bon Jovi's online shop and on various platforms. The track listing according to iTunes is:

  1. Beautiful Drug
  2. Unbroken
  3. Limitless
  4. Luv Can
  5. Brothers in Arms
  6. Story of Love
  7. Lower the Flag
  8. Let it Rain
  9. Shine
  10. Blood in the Water

If you want to hear how the winner of the Sing Bon Jovi Contest thought "Limitless" could've sounded before it came out, here's Jean Ramos singing along to the instrumental snippet:

Congratulations, Jean! 👏

EDIT: The "Limitless" music video has been released.

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Preview Limitless with Sing Bon Jovi Contest

Bon Jovi is yet to drop the lead single from their new album, but you can preview it with the Sing Bon Jovi Contest that Jon announced a couple of days ago:


You'll need to access the site on a mobile device, where you'll hear a snippet of instrumental and some lyrics appear on screen for you to sing along to (however you think they should sound).

The lyrics that appear are:

On a night like this
One prayer, one wish
Step out off the edge
It’s worth the risk
Life is limitless
Limitless, limitless

As far as I'm aware, you can access the preview and record a video of you singing it from anywhere. However, the contest is only open to US residents.

It's hard to tell from that little bit of the song whether I'll like the whole thing or not, but feel free to share any thoughts you might have on it.

Now here's something I neglected to blog about when it happened (What can I say? Life gets busy) but I thought it was pretty cool... Jon Bon Jovi sharing the stage with Billy Joel at the latter's Madison Square Garden concert.

Jon performed "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" and "Big Shot" with Billy:

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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Phil X & the Drills video Too Much For My Own Good

Phil X and the Drills have released their music video for "Too Much For My Own Good" featuring Taylor Hawkins (best known as the drummer for the Foo Fighters). The song is from the Drills' EP Stupid Good Lookings, Vol. 1, which came out in May this year.

Check out the "Too Much For My Own Good" video:

What do you think?

P.S. The video dropped a day ago but I'm posting it today, which happens to be Hugh McDonald's birthday so huuuuge happy birthday to Huey! 😀

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Jeanna de Waal & David Bryan perform If

The latest collaboration between David Bryan and his musical theatre partner Joe DiPietro is Diana: A True Musical Story, based on the life of Princess Diana.

Here's a video featuring Jeanna de Waal, who plays the title role, singing "If" from the musical. David accompanies her on the piano:


David also spoke to Rolling Stone about the Diana musical. Here's a snippet where he discusses the writing of the songs:
Bryan wrote different styles of music for each character. Diana’s songs are in a rock-pop style from the Eighties. Queen Elizabeth’s music sounds more regal, with horns and drums. Charles gets rock songs with strings and orchestrations. Parker Bowles gets what Bryan describes as a “light FM” sound. He made the paparazzi sounds like the Clash. “I tried to make all these styles live on top of each other, so in the songs there will be a part where the punk comes in and it’s over a classical piece and a rock & roll piece goes on top of that,” he says. “So in theory, it was easy in my brain but to do it was not so easy, but it’s fun.”
Broadway previews of Diana begin in March 2020.

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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Bon Jovi 2020 album preview & more

Jon Bon Jovi recently spoke with Pollstar about the upcoming album 2020, including some detail about specific songs. This part about the writing and recording of "Lower the Flag", which deals with gun violence, stood out for me:

I saw that Sunday morning, with [the] Dayton [shooting] and what had happened, and I just started strumming on the guitar, and it came and it came rather quickly over the course of maybe two days. I kept tweaking it, and I knew I had something. I was so proud of what I had but, I didn’t have a song title. I sat there and I said, “What the hell is the name of this song?” And I said, “It doesn’t really have a proper chorus,” and I was thinking of Neil Young’s “Ohio,” and telling a story. And I said, Okay well (singing) “Four dead in Ohio,” and then you go, “I guess that’s the name of this song.”  And then, when you really sit with that song, there is no second verse. (singing) “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” ... that might be a great hook, but it’s not a verse. And when I wrote this, I was playing it for a bunch of people, Shanks was one of them. And I said, “I don’t know why Neil, who’s so poetic and prolific, didn’t write a second verse and instead went for that.” And Shanks was like, “That’s a great hook.” I go, “Well, this song isn’t about hooks, it’s about telling this story.” And then I still had no title. That’s when I put the last line repeating what the first line did, and I said, “There’s the title, ‘Lower The Flag,’” because that’s exactly what the whole thing is about.
Even that bridge was just so different for me, (singing), “If there’s something we can talk about, let’s talk about it.” And the rhythm of that melody was something that I’d written, I got it, I did it and went in the studio with it. I had everything completely finished, and I went in with (bassist) Hughie (McDonald) and [drummer] Tico [Torres], me and Shanks. And I was playing guitar, and I’m playing the guitar on the record, and Tico starts playing, and we said, “[the drum] is not helping, it’s hindering the progress of the song.” We said, this isn’t a drum song, this isn’t what this should be. And so he flew all the way to California and didn’t play on it, because we knew what we had lyrically and just wanted to tell the story
The article mentions that Jon did a lot of writing on his own, and we've already heard that "Unbroken" sounds like solo Jon, but I do hope the album sounds like a band record. But I guess most of all I hope it's good. 😉

Here's Jon performing "Unbroken" at the Rockefeller Center. He was joined on stage by men and women who have served in the military:

No word on an official release date for the album yet, or a tour, but Phil X and the Drills are touring Europe in March 2020 so presumably Bon Jovi won't be on the road then.

CBS Sunday Morning also did a nice story with Jon and Dorothea recently about their work with the JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurants. They're opening a new one at Rutgers University next year.

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