Livin' On a Prayer

Cross Road by Bon Jovi

1986, 1 track, 4 mins 9 sec

Anytime the name Bon Jovi is uttered, two things occur; An overdosed metalhead finally gets their angel wings & the sweet sounds of “Livin’ On A Prayer” instantly begin to ring in your head, a song so synonymous with the band’s name that it’s practically as recognizable a brand as McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign – All kidding aside, this track is incredibly noteworthy as being the posterchild for Glam Metal, so wholesomely uplifting & glittery that it’s often used as the final track at any special event you’ve been to, designed to leave audiences with a lasting glow of happiness as they finish their nights with a positive narrative of a couple persevering through hard times to come out on top in the end; Whether you’re a parent trying to make ends meet or a child learning to navigate the tough realities of today’s society, “Livin’ On A Prayer” speaks to everyone with a universal appeal that crosses Genre barriers & demographics, just as likely to be sung in a Hip Hop fan’s car as it is at Becky’s karaoke birthday.
So when you strip away the Bruce Springsteen-esque story of working-class lovers, what makes this song so special? Much of it stems from the incredibly catchy & delightfully goofy vocal riff sung through a talk box, a style of vocoder typically paired with a guitar to allow synthesizer-like effects to be played on string instruments with their voice as a tonal modifier. This gives “Livin’ On A Prayer” its signature electronic groove, played over an epic synth chord progression that just builds moment after moment, creating a sense of cinematic scale & epic importance that is both sonically & emotionally uplifting; Combine this with the overwhelming strength of your typical Arena Rock percussion with anthem vocals that are easy to sing along to & you’ve got yourself the recipe for a hit song – Although time has relegated Bon Jovi to meme-worthy status over the years, the easy joke to sling despite their continued fame, “Livin’ On A Prayer” remains a shining remnant of Metal’s cleaner moments, a driving force for your everyday nine-to-fiver trying to get through the work week & the blackest of Black Metal bands looking to expunge such overwhelming positivity from the world; That’s a pretty powerful position to be in when you really sit down & think about it.

camjameson
Written by @camjameson from Extraneous Routes

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Song Info

"Livin' On a Prayer"

Songwriter

Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child

Released

  • Aug 18, 1986

Formats

  • 7"
  • 12"
  • CD

Label

  • Mercury

Producer

  • Bruce Fairbairn

Genres

  • Arena rock

Wiki

"Livin' on a Prayer" is Bon Jovi's second chart-topping single from their third album Slippery When Wet. Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child, the single, released in late 1986, was well received at both rock and pop radio and its music video was given heavy rotation at MTV, giving the band their first No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and their second consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit.
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