The Ballbreaker Column

Bon Jovi: These Days (25 years later)

Twenty-five years ago, BON JOVI, their 6th studio album These Days with Tim Collins as a producer, was released, The album featured the debut of bassist Hugh McDonald. Alec Jon Such fired the year before.

I was 16 years old when this album came out. As a teenager in those days, music was the best friend and best escapism. If you go through what teens go through you, the music helps you get through tough times. I always read the lyrics. I love the songwriting team of Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora; As a fan, I hope that Jon, Richie, and Desmond get together again to write songs. What makes These Days a great album is the songs from start to finish.

The album kicks off with Hey God, a timeless song that even in 2020, we can relate to about whatever tough times have gone on in our lives. Something for the pain was the 2nd single released one of my favorite songs on the album. Loneliness has found a home in me/my suitcase and guitar are my only family/I try to need someone, like they needed me/I opened up my heart/but all I did, was bleeding. As a teenager, those lyrics resonate with you even to this day. That’s the thing about the songs on the album the band wasn’t thinking about whatever music trend was going on but just continuing to write great songs.

The first single “This ain’t love” released from the album did not fail to disappoint. Where do I start? I will begin with Richie Sambora. One of Richie Sambora’s most beautiful moments on the album. The guitar solo on this song is perfect. I love Jon Bon Jovi’s vocals. I am sure if you went through a break up in 1995 I know some people sang this song loud.
Read the lyrics, and anyone can relate to it. These days the title song the band tells a few stories throughout the song. We all want to be understood and live our dreams. Jon and Richie are great storytellers; the group was in a happy place at the time.

No breakups, divorces, or drama was going on with the band. I think fans would have expected the beautiful love songs from previous albums. It’s hard letting you go brings out heart and tears of having to let go of love—a beautiful Ballad with no drums or guitar solos, just string arrangement and acoustic guitars.
I love my guitar lies bleeding in my arms because of the title. It’s the coolest.

For the album These days, Bon Jovi wrote 40 songs. On YouTube, you can listen to the outtakes. The outtakes, it is easy to see why the songs did not make the record. The sequence of songs is essential. The last song on the album Diamond ring is a bit of a filler for me. I’m glad they made that song. The last song on the album then on the CD I didn’t have to skip over. ‘Hearts breaking even” and “If that’s what it takes” are the two songs from the album never performed live. These days is the one song that the band has played the most often. Besides that, Bon Jovi has not played any songs from these days since 2013.

Bon Jovi barely performs any songs from the album, which is a shame; These Days is a great Bon Jovi album. The songs still stand 25 years later; people can even relate to the songs. Give credit to Bon Jovi the music climate had changed.
I’m sure the band could have quickly gone ahead with the times and done a few grunge-like songs. The lesson from this album is about the songs, not what is trending. As a fan, if Bon Jovi had gone grunge, I would have hated this record. It is just not Bon Jovi. The album represents Bon Jovi in 1995, a band who was getting better as musicians and were not going to write or do another Slippery when Wet, In 25 years they have not done another album like These Days.

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By Angel Alamo

Angel is co-host on The Metal Summit & has been featured in Metal Sludge, sleaze roxx & other publications.