A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Slippery When Wet contains a few enthusiastic references to teenage sex, sneaking around, and drinking. This was the top-selling album of 1987 and transformed Bon Jovi from promising Jersey hair-metal band to global superstars. What you won't find here are the darkness and rage so commonplace elsewhere in the hard rock/metal world: no slashers, devils, misogyny, or suicidal despair. Instead, the band's canny combination of powerhouse rock with simple lyrics of undying love and us-against-the-world romantic desperation (not to mention frontman Jon Bon Jovi's good looks) made it one of the rare metal groups to be a huge hit with teen girls.
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What's the story?
Bon Jovi -- frontman Jon Bon Jovi (né John Bongiovi), guitarist Richie Sambora, bassist Alec John Such, keyboardist David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres -- became superstars with this album, in which Bon Jovi and Sambora enlisted the aid of outside songwriter Desmond Child to create songs with mass appeal. Two of their collaborations, \"You Give Love a Bad Name\" and \"Livin' on a Prayer,\" along with Bon Jovi/Sambora's \"Wanted Dead or Alive,\" were huge hit singles. In contrast to the murderous rage, devil worship, and longing for death that define other metal bands, SLIPPERY WHEN WET is about such perennial teen themes as motorcycles, partying, and true lovers struggling in a hostile world, whether the problem is unemployment or parents who try to keep them apart.
Is it any good?
If you want deep thought and poetic lyrics in your Jersey rock, go with Bruce Springsteen. But the appeal of Slippery When Wet's loud, well-crafted music, heartthrob Jon Bon Jovi's singing, and poppy lyrics -- as in hit singles "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Livin' on a Prayer," and "Wanted Dead or Alive" -- made it the best-selling album of 1987, with sales of 9 million in the United States alone. The special edition, released in 2010, includes extra tracks with live versions of those tunes, showcasing the band's endearing chemistry and rapport with its adoring audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about regional music: What sets bands and artists from New Jersey apart?
Do you prefer this poppy type of metal to the darker versions?
Do you agree with the idea, stated in "Wild in the Streets" and implied elsewhere, that the teen years are the best of your life? What does that suggest about what you can expect for the rest of your life?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love '80s music and TV
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