Back in July, there were speculations that Richie Sambora was planning to release a new studio album in the fall. You know, the one he’s been working on since the pandemic. Flash forward to November, four months later, and Sambora hasn’t released the album yet. What’s holding him back from releasing the dang thing? We’re not getting any younger and our patience level is dropping lower and lower by the minute.
What can I do to show Sambora that everyone is dying to hear new music from him? I mean, he wrote some amazing songs as a solo artist and during his time with Bon Jovi. I already wrote about my top 10 Richie Sambora songs, but I never wrote about my top 10 Bon Jovi songs yet. So, why not do that now? Besides, it would be a great reminder of how awesome Sambora is as a songwriter and the legacy he left behind in the music industry.
For most of my picks, I stuck to the “one song per album” rule. Also, I only included songs from Sambora’s time with the band, so nothing post-2013. Without further ado, let’s get on with the music!
10. “Wanted Dead or Alive” from Slippery When Wet (1986)
Yes, “Wanted Dead or Alive” is overplayed, but it’s a classic! Plus, have you heard Chris Daughtry cover this song on American Idol?!? He nailed it! “Wanted Dead or Alive” holds a special place in my heart because I’ve heard it so many times on the show. It represents the young dudes that dream about becoming cowboys, and that guitar lick is so cool.
9. “It’s My Life” from Crush (2000)
If I made this list two years ago, “It’s My Life” would’ve been my number one Bon Jovi song ever. However, after hearing Jon Bon Jovi butcher the song too many times, my love for it died down a little. A girl can only take so much terrible singing! On the plus side, the song’s message is inspirational and the chorus is insanely catchy. Also, Sambora’s talkbox solo is just brilliant!
8. “Something for the Pain” from These Days (1995)
“Something for the Pain” is a song that never would’ve made my list two years ago. But after listening to it over and over again on Spotify these past couple of weeks, the song really grew on me. The lyrics are depressing, but they’re relatable. “Loneliness has found a home in me / My suitcase and guitar are my only family.” My only complaint with “Something for the Pain” is that Jon sings over Sambora’s part during the bridge for the song. For heaven’s sake, that was Sambora’s time to shine and Jon couldn’t let him have the spotlight for 20 stinking seconds.
7. “Bullet” from The Circle (2009)
“Bullet” is the reason why I bought The Circle on CD. “We Weren’t Born to Follow” wasn’t enough for me to buy the album, despite how great it is. “Bullet” is very intense because it deals with gun violence. The harmonies in the song bring me so much joy because of how well Sambora and Jon’s voices blended together. “Bullet” is also one of the more rocking songs in the later part of the band’s career and I think it’s very underrated.
6. “Hey God” from These Days (1995)
“Hey God” is a rocking headbanger and its message is really dark. It’s hard to believe that this is the same band that wrote “Never Say Goodbye” from Slippery When Wet less than 10 years beforehand. The guitar riff is so tasteful and Sambora plays it like a boss. Bon Jovi played “Hey God” live in 2011 and there’s a live video where an audience member goes, “oh my god!” at the beginning of the song because he was so happy that they brought it back into the setlist. I would’ve done the same thing too because that song was meant to be performed in front of a crowd!
5. “In and Out of Love” from 7800° Fahrenheit (1985)
“In and Out of Love” is pure 80s hard rock fun! Tico Torres was pounding on the drums, Jon’s vocals were thriving, and Sambora was a rockstar. Fine, all of the band members were rockstars. I won’t only praise Samobora throughout this post. But seriously, I commented on the music video for “In and Out of Love” a couple of years ago, and my exact words were, “Richie Sambora – pretty boy that can play mean chords!!!!” Enough said.
4. “I’ll Be There for You” from New Jersey (1988)
Like “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “I’ll Be There for You” is highly overplayed, but I still love this song so much! The chorus is extremely catchy, it has a pretty melody, and Sambora’s backing vocals are incredible. Also, “I’ll Be There for You” is the first song I heard Sambora sing, so it’s very sentimental to me. A couple of years ago, I was watching Bon Jovi’s concert at Madison Square Garden from 2008 through YouTube, and I assumed that Sambora’s voice was very pleasant to match his pretty face. But, then I heard his version of “I’ll Be There for You,” and I was blown away. Talk about those growls, man!
3. “Roulette” from Bon Jovi (1984)
I’ve never heard “Roulette” until January of this year, so I’m amazed that this song made it to number three on my list. Like “In and Out of Love,” “Roulette” is pure 80s hard rock fun! I really enjoy singing “roulette” and “oooh” during the chorus. The band’s energy level was through the roof. Plus, I love the effect that Sambora does on the guitar to make it sound like a siren. Whether or not Bon Jovi can pull this song off live nowadays is debateable, but we’ll always have the memories of the good old days!
2. “Because We Can” from What About Now (2013)
I feel a little ashamed for putting a song that was featured on Sambora’s last album with the band on this list, but it is what it is! “Because We Can” was the first single released for Bon Jovi’s What About Now album and I hate to admit it, the song is freaking catchy. Ever since I heard it two years ago, the chorus has been stuck in my head nonstop. It’s an uplifting song that’s not done in a cheesy way, so I’ll give the band props for that! “Because We Can” is hard to listen to at times because again, it’s from Sambora’s last album with Bon Jovi and he looked so happy performing it with the band. I guess looks can be deceiving.
1. “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” from Keep the Faith (1992)
I wasn’t going to put a song that was on Sambora’s last album with the band as number one, come on! The number one spot goes to “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” from Keep the Faith. I love everything about this song. From the hand clapping to the chorus, to the vocals, to the harmonies, to the lyrics, to the guitar riff, to the drum parts, to the “woo” part. “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is just a good old time and it’s a great party song!
There you have it, people! Those are my top 10 Bon Jovi songs. Sambora co-wrote all of these songs listed, except for “In and Out of Love.” For those of you that like Bon Jovi’s music after Sambora’s departure from the band, props to you! Personally, I feel that there is no Bon Jovi without Sambora. But hey, we can’t agree on everything and that’s totally fine because the world would be boring if we did.
Will this post finally convince Sambora to release that studio album he’s been working on for so long? Who knows! I had fun putting together my list anyways. When Sambora is ready, he’ll release the album. But, I hope he does it soon before we’re all “dead”!
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