My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
I’ve decided that if I need a break from going in the order of the book (chronological), I will open to a random album. That is the case here.
Brief Background: Slippery When Wet was recorded in the first half of 1986 and released in August of that year. After their previous album essentially flopped, the band brought in Desmond Child to assist with writing for the album. Child assisted with four of the ten album tracks including “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer. The album has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and is one of the top 50 selling albums in the U.S. all time.
What I liked: The beginning of the album starts of strong with “Let It Rock”, “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”. These really are some pop-metal gems. And “Livin on a Prayer” is really a version of “Born to Run” done a decade later (and of course not as good). I also have to admit that seven year old me really loved the super-sappy “Never Say Goodbye” …. well 35 year old actually enjoys it a little bit as well. The album closer “Wild in the Streets” is pretty fun too.
What I Didn’t Like: The middle of the album is full of junk that feels like a bunch of filler. The exception is “Wanted Dead or Alive” which is just an awful song that should be banished to an uninhabited island with “Love Shack” and “Horse with no Name”.
My Overall Thoughts: As far as the hair metal bands go, the sound on here is pretty light. Most of the songs feature more soft keyboard than shredding guitars. This ended up being a smart career move for the band, who of all of the hair metal bands isn’t just doing nostalgia tours and occasionally still has a radio hit, but I digress. In the end, what sticks out the mos to me is that the lyrics are poor and the album sags under its own weight in the middle.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? In terms of albums sold, this album should be on the list. In terms of content though, I’m not convinced. I don’t think that anybody except hardcore Bon Jovi fans are going to sit through the whole thing. I think for an album to be great, it needs to be able to appreciated by a large variety of people and hold up outside of its niche. Therefore, this album doesn’t belong on this list.
Rating (Out of 5): 2.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (9/41)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%
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