Bon Jovi (album)

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Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi Album.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 21, 1984
StudioAvatar Studios (New York City, New York)
Bon Jovi chronology
Bon Jovi
7800° Fahrenheit
Singles from Bon Jovi
  1. "Runaway"
    Released: February 1983
  2. "She Don't Know Me"
    Released: 22 May 1984
  3. "Burning for Love"
    Released: 17 October 1984

Bon Jovi is the self-titled debut studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984. Produced by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album in which a song ("She Don't Know Me") appears that was not written or co-written by a member of the band. The album charted at No. 43 on the U.S. Billboard 200.[1]

Aside from the hit song "Runaway", songs from the album were rarely performed live after Bon Jovi released Slippery When Wet in 1986. However, on the band's 2010 Circle Tour, songs including "Roulette", "Shot Through The Heart" and "Get Ready" were performed. The album was ranked the 11th best rock album of 1984 by Kerrang! magazine.[2] The song "Shot Through the Heart" should not be confused with the much better-known "You Give Love a Bad Name" from Slippery When Wet.[3]


In 1980, Jon Bon Jovi (born: John Francis Bongiovi) began work at Power Station Studios, a Manhattan recording facility where his cousin, Tony Bongiovi, was a co-owner. Jon made several demos and sent them out to record companies, but failed to make an impact.

In 1982, Jon went to local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple". DJ Chip Hobart listened to the demos and loved "Runaway", deciding to include it on the station's compilation album of local homegrown talent. The studio musicians who helped record "Runaway" were known as The All Star Review. They were: guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, bass guitarist Hugh McDonald, and additional singers David Grahmme and Mick Seeley (Seeley also composed the distinctive keyboard riff that opens the song). McDonald would later replace Alec John Such as Bon Jovi's bass guitarist.

The song began to get airplay around New York. Jon signed to Mercury Records, part of the PolyGram company. He wanted a band name and the A&R staff at PolyGram came up with Bon Jovi.

In March 1983, Bon Jovi called David Bryan (then known as Rashbaum), who in turn called bass guitarist Alec John Such and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres. At that time Bon Jovi's lead guitarist was Dave Sabo, who later formed the band Skid Row. Sabo was soon replaced by Richie Sambora.

"We weren't a good band", Bon Jovi said in 2007. "We didn't become a good band until the third record, but we had a drummer who could keep time, which you should never take for granted. But I did okay for a 22-year-old. I'd only been in a studio for three years total prior to that record and I didn't know anything about comping a vocal – where you take a word or a line from one track and piece it together. I was thinking, My god, I'm so bad that they have to put my vocals together for me. The engineer was saying, Don't fret, Jon: even Freddie Mercury and the greats have to comp a vocal."[4]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[6]

AllMusic has retrospectively rated Bon Jovi three-and-a-half out of five stars. Leslie Mathew, who reviewed the album, said: "The songs may be simple and the writing prone to all clichés of the form, but the album boasts a pretty consistent hard rock attack, passionate playing, and a keen sense of melody."[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
3."She Don't Know Me"Mark Avsec3:58
4."Shot Through the Heart"
5."Love Lies"
Side two
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Rashbaum
7."Burning for Love"
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Sambora
8."Come Back"
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Sambora
9."Get Ready"
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Sambora
1998 Special Edition bonus CD PHCR-90011/2
1."Runaway (Live Le Zenith 1988)"5:18
2."Roulette (Live BBC Friday Rock Show)"5:39
3."Shot Through the Heart (Live Japan Tour 1985)" 
4."Burning for Love (Live Japan Tour 1985)" 
5."Get Ready (Live Japan Tour 1985)"7:04
6."Breakout (Live Super Rock '84)"6:26
7."Runaway (Live Super Rock '84)" 
2010 Special Edition bonus tracks
1."Runaway (Live Le Zenith 1988)"5:18
2."Roulette (Live BBC Friday Rock Show)"5:39
3."Breakout (Live Super Rock '84)"6:26
4."Get Ready (Live Japan Tour 1985)"7:04


Bon Jovi

Additional musicians


  • Larry Alexander
  • Jeff Hendrickson
  • John Bengelshmy

Album Design-Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz

Photography-Geoffrey Hargrave Thomas



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[14] Gold 50,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[15] Gold 10,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[16] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Allmusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard albums".
  2. ^ "Rock List".
  3. ^ Schonfeld, Zach (May 10, 2018). "Every Bon Jovi Album, Ranked: Celebrating 'Slippery When Wet,' 'New Jersey,' and All the Rest". Newsweek. IBT Media. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  4. ^ Blake, Mark (August 2007). "My brilliant career: Jon Bon Jovi". Q #253. p. 67.
  5. ^ a b Bon Jovi at AllMusic
  6. ^ "Rolling Stone Album Guide". Archived from the original on 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  7. ^ Australian Recording Industry Association (ed.). "The ARIA Report - Week Commencing ~ 28th January 2008 ~ Issue #935" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  8. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  9. ^ "New Zealand Charts - Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi (album)". Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  10. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  11. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Bon Jovi by Bon Jovi Search". The Official Charts Company. May 6, 2013.
  12. ^ "Bon Jovi Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  13. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. "1984 Billboard Year-End". Billboard. Google Books. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  14. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi". Music Canada. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  15. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1989". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  16. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bon Jovi; 'Bon Jovi')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 4, 2013. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Bon Jovi in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 July 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.