It is unusual to focus on just one moment in a bands career, but Neil Daniels does just that with his latest book release, Let It Rock: The Making of Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet.
This book is an unashamed celebration of the landmark album Slippery When Wet; Bon Jovi’s most successful album to date, with sales of over 28 million copies since its 1986 release. Back then nearly everybody knew ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ and ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ as the music videos were on constant rotation on MTV, which was back when a music channel played music videos, fancy that.
However this is more than a ‘making of’ type book, because to put Slippery When Wet into context you need to understand what came before and after. And this is where Neil comes in. There is a track by track review by the author, fellow rock journalist recollections of the band’s tour of the album and a brief look at what the band did before and after Slippery When Wet. There is also a selected discography and a list of the ‘Slippery When Wet’ tour dates. My only complaint is the limited amount of images contained in the book, but don’t let that put you off, as this is very well researched and helps to explain the enormous success Bon Jovi experienced at that time. Neil has added current thoughts on the album from other top rock writers, the book also includes a foreword by former Kerrang! journalist and rock expert Paul Suter and an afterword by A&R supremo Derek Shulman who had the foresight to sign the band.
This album is still their best in my opinion, with the follow-up ‘New Jersey’ not far behind closely followed by the debut, which for me had lead me down the path of Insette hair spray and torn jeans in the first place.
Today Bon Jovi are a well-oiled money making machine that I haven’t really followed since ‘These Days’, but I enjoyed reading this book, so buy it, it will make a great summer holiday read.
Find out more about Neil and the books he has wrote at neildanielsbooks.com/