Slippery When Wet: Special Edition

Music review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Slippery When Wet: Special Edition Music Poster Image
Ultimate hair-metal album was top seller of 1987.

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Frequent cheerleading for teenage sex, drinking, and running "wild in the streets" -- mainstays of rock -- but there's nothing vicious or mean-spirited about the cheerful hedonism. The party mood is balanced by a strong sense of commitment and honor, in romantic and hometown relationships, even if you come from a place other people look down on: "Sometimes this town ain't pretty / But you know it ain't so bad / Just like a girl who looks so happy / When inside she's so so sad / In here we got this code of honor / Nobody's going down / You don't walk in vain / Through the kid's parade / 'Cause this is my hometown."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Whether motorcycle-riding, loner guitar heroes or lovers who cling to each other in the face of hard times and/or parental opposition, the characters in these songs may be hearty partyers but they're also honorable and committed to their communities and loved ones.


Violent images are metaphorical, e.g. "Shot through the heart and you're to blame / You give love a bad name" ("You Give Love a Bad Name") and "I walk these streets, a loaded six string on my back / I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back" ("Wanted Dead or Alive").


Positive, though not detailed, references to sex in the back seat of cars.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A number of songs contain references to drinking, sometimes by partying teenagers and sometimes by hard-driven guitar heroes.

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.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bysouplover98 September 25, 2013


Every song on this album is pure brilliant. Bon Jovi are much better for your kid than drug-taking Bieber any day. And I'm sure, whatever your age, you can... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDeetz January 17, 2021


I love 80s music!! Overall, any drugs or alcohol mentions will pass right over younger audience’s heads. This music is way better than any music from today!! If... Continue reading

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?

Music details

  • Artist: Bon Jovi
  • Release date: May 11, 2010
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Island
  • Genre: Rock
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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