Deep Tracks: Bon Jovi – Shot Through the Heart

Hi Everybody! Robert is back with some more deep tracks this week! This time we get some Bon Jovi! Everybody knows their big hits, maybe a little too well. They were always on the radio and on MTV. Somehow, I did not get sick of those hits. However, they have many great songs that did not get radio airplay. I’m am thrilled that Robert is going to cover some of those songs.
Now here is Robert, presenting us with the first Deep Track of the week – “Shot Through the Heart”.

During the first half of my senior year of high school in 1986 Bon Jovi blew up. I mean BLEW UP! I had made a double sided cassette from a friend who owned the albums Bon Jovi and 7800° Fahrenheit – one on each side. I listened to both sides a few times, liked it, but was not overly impressed. Then, in the Fall of 1986 I heard a song on the radio that blew me away. The song was “You Give Love a Bad Name” and I was completely captured by the sound. I went back and listened to those first two albums again, bought their new album Slippery When Wet, and I have been a huge fan ever since. The years that I lived in Germany (1981-1987) MTV Europe was A. not available or B. not accessible, but our local American bowling alleys each had a video jukebox. My friends and I frequently went to one of these bowling alleys for lunch on school days. There were always about one hundred high school students there and we pumped the video machine full of quarters and played two songs on a loop for the entire hour: Kiss’ “Heaven’s on Fire” and Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name”- an indelible mark was left on my memory and musical choice forever.

In addition to this, Slippery When Wet was also the first cassette I bought after I met my future wife. She lived an hour’s train ride from me and I always had my walkman with me for the trip. Bon Jovi’s album was a constant companion on this trips and I quickly memorized and fell in love with every song. My love for Bon Jovi continued in college with the release of New Jersey, which also marks the first Bon Jovi concert I saw in 1988. I have never stopped enjoying their music and I still look forward to each new album (the next one is in March)! We are all aware that this is Return to the ‘80s , so I will limit these deep tracks to those four albums released in this decade. When I first started this deep tracks series, I was really thinking that I would leave out Bon Jovi – how many songs could I choose that would be considered “deep” tracks? After looking at the previous artists that I have featured on the deep tracks series and revisiting the Bon Jovi albums, I believe that there are plenty of great songs that are not routinely played on the radio and have not appeared on a Greatest Hits compilation. So, no more delay – five songs by the incomparable Bon Jovi that can be considered deep tracks.

Shot Through the Heart (1984)

One of my favorite living authors is John Irving. I have read and enjoyed all of his novels. One thing I like about books like A Prayer for Owen Meany, The World According to Garp, and Cider House Rules is that Irving works with a few themes over and over again. I think Bon Jovi does the same thing. The title here naturally reminds all of us of the mega hit “You Give Love a Bad Name”, and I think it goes beyond just the first line. The speaker in this song seems to be about done with his woman, “Would you be content to see me crying / After all those little games you put me through / After all I’ve done for you you’re lying / Wouldn’t it be nice to tell the truth?” He feels cheated, like he has given everything to her and now he is realizing that it has been a waste of time. It is a difficult situation and it hurts, but his mind seems to be made up, “Now you’ve come back to say you’re sorry / But I just don’t know who you’re talking to / It could be the man I used to be / But I’ve grown up and now I’m over you.” The theme of this song carries over to the 1986 hit where he is still feeling the pain of the break up, but he seems to have almost come to terms with it with, “. . . And you’re to blame, you give love a bad name.” The song has what has come to be Bon Jovi’s signature keyboard with guitar and drum bursts. The song is pure Bon Jovi and a perfect way to start some deep tracks.

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