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November 25, 2004

Yahoo! Alerts 11/24/2004

Keyword News: [Richie Sambora]

Updated: 1:02 p.m. ET Nov. 23, 2004

Boxed sets always make good holiday gifts, and this season there are plenty of outstanding collections to choose from. The long-anticipated set from Nirvana and collections from Michael Jackson, the Beatles and the Grateful Dead are among the sets reviewed.

“100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong,” Bon Jovi Twenty years after roaring from the blue-collar bastion of Sayreville, N.J., Bon Jovi remains a hard rock institution, the only one of the ’80s hair bands to not only survive but thrive in the new millennium. This 4-CD set, and a bonus DVD, offer up 50 tracks that trace the band’s evolution from Jersey bar band to global phenomenon.

Bon Jovi closely follows the rules for all good box sets: virtually all the tracks are previously unreleased, eschewing album cuts that have been heard a million times before, and avoiding live filler. A 64-page book offers track-by-track notes from Jon Bon Jovi, rare photos and notes from fans on what the band has meant to them.

One of the best tracks is the opener “Why Aren’t You Dead?” A smart-aleck anthem in the tradition of “You Give Love A Bad Name,” this has the makings of a hit itself with its catchy chorus (“You said you couldn’t live without me/So why aren’t you dead?”) and a very mid-’80s “Slippery When Wet” vibe.

“The Fire Inside” is an early version of what would later become “Blood On Blood,” and “Out Of Bounds” is a stripped-down, aggressive guitar-heavy demo. Guitarist Richie Sambora’s own underrated vocal talents are showcased on “If I Can’t Have Your Love,” and keyboardist Dave Bryan shines on lead vocals with the Elton John-ish “Memphis Lives In Me.” (Memo to band: After hearing “Only In My Dreams,” renew that restraining order that keeps drummer Tico Torres at least 100 yards from the nearest microphone.)

Also interesting is a demo version of the smash hit “Always” which should be titled “Always: The Wedgie Version” because no human being with properly fitting underwear can hit the high notes Jon does on this track.
— Wayne Parry

Posted by riesambo at November 25, 2004 09:29 PM