Lost & Found: Bon Jovi’s eponymous debut album

Bon Jovi’s first album doesn’t instantly point to the likely creation of a global hair rockin’ monster, but it’s still an enjoyable debut. It struggles to know what kind of album it wants to be, and hindsight throws up stacks of muscular metal clichés, but in 1983 fewer of them existed, and the exuberance and youth of Jon Bon Jovi carries a lot of regulation thumpalong stadium tunes without resorting to dragging them with him. Opener – and debut single – Runaway, with its Hold The Line synth riff, is a decent melody; there are further signs of the rock god learning curve with the relentlessness of Come Back, the harsh guitar and huge drums of Breakout and the anthemic quality of Roulette. Album closer Get Ready is the biggest of them all, even shovelling in some charming but mostly unnecessary piano glissandos. It loses its focus with over-egged power ballad Love Lies, while the electronic rock of She Don’t Know Me – written by Mark Avsec of Donnie Iris & The Cruisers rather than the band themselves – is toe-curling. The more upbeat Burning For Love nearly falls into the same hole but is saved by a superb guitar solo. While the singles failed in the UK, the album managed three weeks on the chart in 1984. The slow-growing monster eventually conquered the world with third LP Slippery When Wet in 1986.

Matthew Rudd

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