Slippery When Wet

Released on August 18, 1986

Little Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada



01. Let It Rock - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambira - 5:26

02. You Give Love A Bad Name - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 3:43

03. Livin' On A Prayer - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 4:09

04. Social Disease - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 4:18

05. Wanted Dead Or Alive - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 5:09

06. Raise Your Hands - Jon Bon Jovi, RIchie Sambora - 4:17

07. Without Love - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 3:31

08. I'd Die For You - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child - 4:31

09. Never Say Goodbye - Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora - 4:49

10. Wild In The Streets - Jon Bon Jovi - 3:56



Jon Bon Jovi - Lead vocals / Guitar

Richie Sambora - Lead guitar / Backing vocals

Alec John Such - Bass guitar / Backing vocals

Tico Torres - Drums / Percussion

David Rashbaum - Keyboards / Backing vocals / Horns


Additional personnel

Tom Keenlyside – Saxophone



Bob Rock

Tim Crich

Bill Scheniman



Bruce Fairbairn




 Chartname                                                       Peak position                                    Weeks in chart

US Billboard 200

German Top 100

U.K Top 100









You Give Love A Bad Name

released in July 23, 1986


US Billboard Hot 100

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100


Livin' On A Prayer

released in October 31, 1986


US Billboard 100

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100


Wanted Dead Or Alive

released on March 02, 1987


US Billboard 100

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100


Never Say Goodbye

released on June 15, 1987


US Billboard Album Rock Tracks

German Top 100

U.K. Singles Top 100
























































The Videos


  • after the embarassing experiences they had to make with most of the videos to their first two albums Bon Jovi decided to take the reins by themselves. They hired video director Wayne Isham who would become Bon Jovi's video director for a whole decade.


  • Instead of following bogus storylines, the concept of showing an energetic and engaging live performance was brought to the table. For the first single, You Give Love A Bad Name, they built a big stage that made Bon Jovi look like headliners in an old auditorium in Los Angeles. Furthermore, the bands name was painted on the floor so that everyone could immediately see who that band was when the video would be shown on TV. Tickets were given away for free and the live performance got cut together afterwards.


  • Livin’ On A Prayer was filmed at the same occasion, but edited differently: The first half of the video shows the band (in black and white) setting up and preparing for the show and by the time the second chorus kicks in, the video gets coloured and the audience is present. However, a full-coloured video version has appeared in a few TV segments throughout the years.


  • Wanted Dead Or Alive was shot on the road, is held completely in black and white, and shows the band’s road fatigue and physical exhaustion on the long and grueling SWW tour.


  • A video for Never Say Goodbye was produced as well as one for Wild In The Streets. While the first one actually was released as a single in the UK, the band stopped the record company from doing so in the US. Jon later-on recalled: “At that point, instead of wearing out the album – and it could’ve had Never Say Goodbye next, then probably I’d Die For You and maybe Wild In The Streets – we pulled the plug of what was the biggest album of the year.” The band was clearly too exhausted to continue promoting another album cut by mid/late 1987.


  • All the videos, including a live performance of Livin’ On A Prayer from Nassau Coliseum, were released on the Longplay VHS/Laserdisc “Slippery When Wet – The Videos”. They were accompanied by backstage footage of the band’s 1987 Japanese tour.





  • After 7800° Fahrenheit failed to chart the success the band and their record label hoped for with their third album they were in a make-or-break situation. If Slippery When Wet weren't a success the record label would have concentrated on other artists. Jon later on said: “We knew that the all important third album was a situation where you’re going to achieve greater success like your peers we’re having or you’d be relegated to the theatre circuit.” Richie furthermore added: “We needed to pull this next album through to make sure that there was gonna be a Bon Jovi and there was gonna be a band – and at that point I felt it was ‘do or die’!”


  • This is the first album where songwriter Desmond Child worked with the band. He should become their number-1-songwriting-partner for the rest of their career. Right on the first afternoon Jon, Richie and Desmond crafted You Give Love A Bad Name which would turn out to be the band's first number one hit.


  • The melody of the chorus of You Give Love A Bad Name had already been used by co-writer Desmond Child for the Bonnie Tyler song If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man). Child stated that he was dissatisfied with the chart success and rewrote it with Bon Jovi.


  • Livin’ On A Prayer was another collaboration of that team. Richie had been working with a friend on his album all through the night and, after having gotten really drunk, he sat down on the piano and came up with the chord progression for the song. The next day he showed it to Jon and Desmond and the song evolved around that progression. Initially, Jon wanted to pass on the song to the soundtrack for the film “The Disoderlies”, because he didn’t think the song was that good and he dreaded singing the high notes after the key change. It was Richie Sambora who finally convinced him to put it on the record.


  • Wanted Dead Or Alive was heavily inspired by Bob Seger’s song Turn The Page. On the Fahrenheit tour Jon had heard that song on the tour bus in the early morning hours when he hadn’t been able to sleep and instantly got hooked on that theme. When he was talking to Richie about the concept, he played the signature lick on the spot and the song was finished within two or three hours.


  • As fast as they had written the song, as hard they found it to capture its mood in the studio afterwards. After many unsuccessful takes their producer, Bruce Fairbairn, stopped the sessions and took them to a nearby restaurant where they emptied a few bottles of wine. Afterwards the team returned to the studio and nailed the song on the second take. Jon still jokes about how Fairbairn had told them a lesson that night.


  • Never Say Goodbye was very much influenced by Southside Johnny’s tune Hearts Of Stone and it’s rumored that Richie Sambora had penned most of it and related the lyrics to Jon and Dorothea, whose relationship had been going through a rough time in the mid-80’s. There also is a demo version with Richie on lead vocals around, something that had rarely been the case on any other Jovi tune.


  • As the demo process was finished the band played the songs to some teenagers hanging around in the local pizza parlour to hear their opinions which songs should be included. They got in the Bon Jovi history books as the "pizza parlour jury".


  • The song Edge Of A Broken Heart was written for Slippery When Wet but didn't make the record. It was finally featured on the 1987 soundtrack to the movie Disorderlies and became a fan favourite eversince. After it was included on the Box Set and Jon officially apologized for not being on Slippery the fans hoped once again that they might play this song live. But to this day it has never been performed live.


  • Demo tapes from that era had leaked afterwards, covering almost all evolution stages of the songs for that album. Early songs that were either dropped during the recording process or never released with full production were: Stand Up, Deep Cuts The Night, Right Side, The Promise, Lonely Is The Night, Take Me Home, Never Enough, Game Of The Heart


  • The album was originally meant to be named Wanted Dead Or Alive but then they thought this name was too serious.


  • The idea for the title Slippery When Wet came when the band played poker in a local strip club in Vancouver and the girls showered on stage. When the guys tried to grab them their hands slid off.


  • The original album cover should have been a busty girl with the yellow Slippery t-shirt. But they feared that the album might have been banned due to the sexist cover so they simply used a wet garbage bag with the album title written by Jon with his finger on it. Nonetheless in Japan the first pressing was released with the original cover. 500.000 copies for the US market with the cover were destroyed.


  • Slippery is the biggest sellings album of 1987 in the US, it spent 8 weeks at the Billboard No. 1 and 37 weeks inside the Top 5.




  • Due to its unbelievable success, most of the album got played for a long time.


  • You Give Love A Bad Name, Wanted Dead Or Alive and Livin’ On A Prayer are all still part of pretty much every setlist and have, bar the very odd exception here and there, never been left off since their debuts in 1986.


  • Even though many nights weren’t documented in any way, it’s likely to assume that Without Love has never been played lived.


  • Even back then Social Disease was the rare song of that tour. It would appear a couple of times during the New Jersey tour as well. But after the show in Hammersmith Odeon in 1990 it has never been played live again.


  • Let It Rock was a staple during the Slippery and New Jersey tours but after that it would take 19 years until it reappeared twice during their 2010 The Circle tour (London and Paris). After that it was laid to rest again.


  • Raise Your Hands was often played as the opener on the tour but has only been done a couple of times during the New Jersey stint. It took until the European One Wild Night tour in 2001 that the song was played again and after it was a staple during the Bounce and Have A Nice Day tours it still is a regular song on the setlists until today.


  • Never Say Goodbye was the big ballad from early 1987 onwards on the Slippery When Wet tour and sung by Jon on a platform at the other side of the arena. After January of 1989, the original version has never been played again and got replaced by rare acoustic renditions, which were mostly done by Jon and Richie.


  • Wild In The Streets and I’d Die For You were both pretty much regulars up until mid-1995 and became rarities after that. However, Wild In The Streets was still quite present on the One Wild Night tour and both of them were done quite often on the European leg of the Have A Nice Day tour in 2006.


  • Half of the album has been played in different arrangements throughout the decades.
    • Livin’ On A Prayer was done in an acoustic way many times, most notably together with Wanted Dead Or Alive at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1989 and at the concert for New York in 2001. Furthermore, a version called Prayer ’94 was recorded and released on the US edition of the album Crossroad and another arrangement was produced on the This Left Feels Right album, where Jon sang the tune with Olivia d’Abo.


    • Wanted Dead Or Alive was played in the acoustic sets on the These Days tour where Richie’s solo got swapped for a piano solo played by David Bryan and was re-recorded for This Left Feels Right too.


    • You Give Love A Bad Name was the third song to be re-done for This Left Feels Right. This version was also played at the 2007 Unplugged concert.


    • I’d Die For You was re-worked into a ballad for the acoustic set on the These Days tour and similar, but more piano-driven version was played in Ludwigshafen, Germany on the Crush tour.