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November 09, 2004

ice Magazine

cover story : Bon Jovi : Boxes Up Their Back Pages

bon jovi boxes up its back pages

38 Unreleased Cuts Highlight 50-Song Set

Bon Jovi followers who’ve kept the faith, lived on prayers or otherwise awaited special deliverance from the Jersey rockers will get their rewards November 16 when Island/Universal issues 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

The four-CD (plus one DVD) box set collects 50 tracks from 1985 to 2003, a whopping 38 of them previously unreleased; the remaining 12 are comprised of rare, previously released cuts. Guitarist and songwriter Richie Sambora tells ICE, "We knew that when we hit 100 million in sales, we were going to commemorate it and do something for our fans, and this became a way to do something differently."

The process began with longtime Bon Jovi engineer Obie O’Brien sifting through the vaults in search of gems, then passing what he’d found on to band members. "For each record, we always write more than 20 — and sometimes as many as 50 — songs," Sambora explains, "so we had a lot to listen to. You say to yourself, ‘I don’t even remember that song!’ Then there are others you hear and you say, ‘God, how come that one didn’t make it onto an album?’" Sambora and Jon Bonjovi are happy, though, with the songs they selected, which Sambora likens to "drafts" or "snapshots" of the finished songs with which fans are more familiar.

Most of the box’s contents, though, consist of songs intended for various albums but scrapped for any number of reasons, and it’s these that are guaranteed to delight the hardcore fans — and surprise the non-believers. "So many of these tracks are indigenous to their time period," says Sambora. "The way they were arranged and produced, [you can tell] they clearly come out of the ’80s, and there are others that would be early or late ’90s. They just have a different coloration. There are not a lot of songs we wrote in 1987 that would have made a record in 1983."

The four CDs of 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans are accompanied by a DVD featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the band and fresh interviews with individual band members. A hardbound collector’s edition of the box comes with a 64-page booklet offering photos and personal contributions from the group, as well as testimonials from fans.

–Gene Sculatti

Posted by riesambo at November 9, 2004 11:18 AM