Bon Jovi – Bad medicine
I need a respirator 'cause I'm running out of breath
You're an all night generator wrapped in stockings and a dress
When you find your medicine you take what you can get
'Cause if there's something better baby well they hav'n't found it yet
In early September 1988, Bon Jovi reappered on 80s scene. They released “Bad Medicine” a couple of weeks ahead of the new album “New Jersey”. It had been a couple of years since the release of the previous album. They had just ended the worldwide tour that brought the album all over the world. It was the “Slippery when wet” tour. Bon Jovi had really found worldwide success, so they could probably slow down and enjoy their fame.
But they really looked forward to demonstrate that their success was not just a matter of luck! When we talk about the success of “Slippery when wet”, we mean hits like “You give love a bad name“, “Livin’ on a prayer” and “Wanted dead or alive“.
And so they returned to the studio with the goal of recording a double album in a few months. They did, in fact, but the result wasn’t quite what they wanted. So they cut most of the songs, and with the best songs they made a traditional album. That started great, of course, and entered the top ten from the day of release. And we know it sold incredibly well, and eventually made history, because it was the first hard rock album to have five singles (out of five) to make the top ten! And, I need to say, they overcame themselves, because the previous record holder was precisely “Slippery when wet”!
“Bad Medicine” is a song written by Bon Jovi and Sambora along with Desmond Child, a good musician who one day, many years earlier, became an exceptional author, because he had the fate to compose with Kiss “I was made for lovin’ you”, and since then he was considered a kind of rock and metal guru. And this was correct, because his advice on arrangements, solos, effects, have often determined the success of so many songs.
The song compares a relationship to an addiction, and was inspired by Richie Sambora. As he stated in several interviews, the song is somehow autobiographical! In fact, both “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There For You” (which will be released as a single about six months later) are inspired by Sambora’s total attraction to a woman (the same in the two songs) who left him because of his turbulent and crowded love life. And Sambora discovers that he can’t do without her, who has now become a medicine for his pain, but actually a medicine that hurts him more and more, and yet this medicine is the only thing the great guitarist wants.
The video is also special. Bon Jovi wanted to make a live video, but in a particular way, and so they gathered a few hundred fans, gave them cameras, and they told them to shoot everything they wanted, because the best footages would fit into the video of the song. Bon Jovi may have been expecting teenagers who shyly film their way to the stage, but he soon realized he had professionals in front of him armed with light sets, umbrellas, tripods, and other various equipment! On the other hand, the prize – joining Bon Jovi as part of the crew – justified everything!
Bon Jovi on Wikipedia