If you're a Bon Jovi fan, there's a good chance you've already heard The Circle, either when it leaked last week or because it's already been officially released in a few markets. If you haven't heard the album, there's a good chance you've heard other fans calling it the best album in 14 years or more. If you hadn't heard any other Bon Jovi fans talking about the album until you read this post, then welcome to the world wide web -- I'm flattered my blog was the first page you visited. :P
So while we're all feeling warm and fuzzy about the new album, and while more and more O2 dates seem to keep popping up, it's good to see that the fan backlash about the European ticket prices, especially for the O2, getting some outside coverage. After making Perez Hilton last week (even though he couldn't resist an unnecessary swipe at Bon Jovi for the effort), articles have appeared in The Sun and Contactmusic, among other sites. The more stuff like this is talked about, the more likely we are to bring about change.
I've heard some fans defending Jon and the band on this issue. How dare we criticise the band, they say. We're clearly not real fans if we can't just appreciate the fact that they play concerts at all. You can't blame Jon because he doesn't have anything to do with prices. Other artists charge high prices too but Bon Jovi are worth it because they're the best band in the world. Et cetera.
Sure, AEG and the O2 want to get some of their money back after the untimely death of Michael Jackson before his 50-show residency. But Jon Bon Jovi is the CEO and face of a very lucrative business. If he wanted to do something about ticket prices, he could. He doesn't. I know people need to make a living, and that for musicians, the real money now lies in touring and not record sales. But Bon Jovi do not need to bleed their fans dry to make money.
This is not just about the O2 either. It is about getting a fair deal for all Bon Jovi fans -- no matter where they live and whether they are in the fan club or not -- on this tour and into the future. It's about making sure the passionate supporters who have made Bon Jovi the success they are today, get the chance to experience them at a reasonable price.
But as I was saying, ticket prices aside, I think this really is the best album since These Days, and probably the first time since then that they've been able to put together 12 good songs. (I do still enjoy the balance of Bon Jovi's work this decade, but IMO there have always been a few glaring clunkers per album prior to The Circle). I'm still so in love with The Circle it's ridiculous. Tony Kuzminski has been a little more tempered in his review on antiMusic and The Screen Door, but it's worth the read.