Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name: 35th Anniversary

Flashback Fridays

July 23, 2021, marks the 35th anniversary of Bon Jovi’s classic hit You Give Love A Bad Name. The song is about a toxic relationship that causes the subject a lot of pain.

The music is Rock. The producer Bruce Fairbairn did an incredible job producing this classic from the 80s. The tune starts with a bang, then goes back to a gradual tempo increase during the verses to go up to an even faster beat during the chorus. The composition is dynamic and bold in its rhythm and flow. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora play the guitar with a bold touch. Tico Torres plays the drums impressively, drumming the segue into the chorus. Alec John Such is the bass player who adds another fantastic rock edge to the song. David Bryan plays the keyboard that adds those finishing touches of the tune with diverse musical notes. All these instruments combined create an edgy sound that works well with the content of the lyrics. The song has timeless music appreciated by many, even 35 years later!

Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Alec John Such sing with passion. Their voices are epic! They capture the pain and frustrations people feel from a bad relationship or a breakup. Each guy performs his part in sync with one another well.

Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora wrote the tune. The lyrics are expressive and full of passion. In short paragraphs, the verses describe the struggles of someone causing grief and the toxic partner in the relationship who causes heartache. The song expresses pain and heartbreak well. There is a mix of sadness, anger, and frustration – sentiments that many feel dealing with a toxic person in the relationship. The poetry is profound. The poetic structure of the chorus is ABBA, whereas the verses follow the AABB arrangement. There are impressive poetic techniques, such as symbolism and metaphors. The sentences “A school boy’s dream, you act so shy Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye” represents an illusion that someone may believe at first but soon realizes that’s it’s a façade. The metaphor “a loaded gun” is about the problems the partner will cause over time and will leave a deep wound to the soul/morale. 

Happy 35th Anniversary to You Give Love A Bad Name!

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