In 1984, Bon Jovi released their self-titled debut album, and the first single Runaway made it just inside the top 40 on the Hot 100 charts peaking at #39. Jon Bon Jovi actually recorded the song in 1981 for the so-called “Power Station Demos” at the very beginning of his career. The original recording featured vocals by Bon Jovi and the music was played by session musicians.
Two years later in 1983, Runaway became a surprise hit on WAPP-FM in New York. According to WAPP’s wikipedia listing:
In 1983, a then-unknown Jon Bon Jovi visited the station and wrote and sung the jingles for the station. He spoke with DJ Chip Hobart, who suggested Bon Jovi let WAPP include the song “Runaway” on the station’s compilation album of local homegrown talent. Bon Jovi was reluctant, but eventually gave them the song, on which Bon Jovi had used studio musicians to play on “Runaway” (which was written in 1980). WAPP worked with WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV) in nearby Secaucus, NJ on a music video show, Rock 9 Videos, for a short time in 1984. As part of a marketing effort, WAPP-FM launched a contest called “New York Rocks 1983.” Local music acts were encouraged to submit demo tapes to this competition. Among the tapes submitted to this contest was “Runaway”, but didn’t win the competition. Another act called the “Frankie Carr Band” won the honors.via Wikipedia
Bon Jovi released six more singles over the next two years before scoring another top 40 hit. However, it was worth the wait as their 7th and 8th singles were You Give Love A Bad Name and Livin’ on a Prayer from their third album Slippery When Wet. Both songs hit number one on the Hot 100 charts and solidified Bon Jovi as one of the top rock bands in the world in the mid to late ’80s.
In fact, every single released after these two number one songs in the ’80s was a top ten hit on the Hot 100 charts with Bad Medicine and I’ll Be There For You both hitting number one giving them four number one songs in the ’80s!
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