Rock band Bon Jovi’s 1986 song “Living On A Prayer” remains as popular today as it did when it was first released in 1986. The lyrics tell about a financially strapped blue-collar couple named Tommy and Gina trying to make enough money to survive. Hence the title…”Living On A Prayer.” The instantly recognizable bass line is dynamic enough to pack a dance floor before the first note is sung. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi’s crystal clear tenor voice carries the melody over screaming rock synthesizers and guitars.
What distinguishes “Living On A Prayer” from so many other rock anthems is the key change near the very end of the song. The strength of that dynamic musical change takes the song to another, even stronger level of excitement just as you think the song is peaking. The fact that he can even still sing the song in the original key after thirty years later is astonishing on its own. The video, shot live at Madison Square Garden as part of a benefit for the victims of “Hurricane Katrina,” shows Jon Bon Jovi starting the song out a capella, and is quickly joined by the entire crowd before the band kicks in to start the song in its original form.
The full album, “Slippery When Wet,” written by bandmates Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora also contains the band’s two other most famous songs…”You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” “Living On A Prayer” is still one of the most popular songs we play at parties, and invariably gets the guests involved, singing along, just like the slightly larger crowd at Madison Square Garden. Definitely a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Let me know what you think.