Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are both songwriters with bands from New Jersey, who spend significant amounts of time in their home state. While Bon Jovi was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, his band formed in nearby Sayerville. Springsteen was born in Long Branch, but is more closely associated with Asbury Park because he named his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
Due to their similar upbringings, both men frequently tell the stories of working class people and their fortunes in love. However, even though their musical styles fall into the category of rock music, the two men's initial musical styles were very different. Springsteen is typically categorized as heartland rock or simply rock, whereas Bon Jovi has explored glam metal, arena rock and pop rock.
In many ways, the two men are products of the musical scene they came up in. Bruce Springsteen's first album came out in 1973 and explored folk rock. Ten years later, Bon Jovi would form as glam metal started to enter the mainstream.
Are you a New Jerseyan at heart? Can you identify lyrics written by the Boss? Do you sing along to every Bon Jovi song? If you're a fan of either musician, you'll enjoy challenging yourself with this quiz!
Those lyrics begin "It's My Life." In the song, Bon Jovi sings "For Tommy and Gina, who never backed down," which is a reference to the fictional working class couple mentioned in "Livin' on a Prayer."
"Born to Run" was the result of Bruce Springsteen's desire to make the greatest rock record he had ever heard. Springsteen succeeded in his goal when The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it one of its 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
On November 29, 1986, "You Give Love a Bad Name" topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making it the band's number one hit. The song is a reinterpreted version of co-writer Desmond Child's "If You Were A Woman (And I Was a Man)," which was sung by Bonnie Tyler.
Bon Jovi wrote "Livin' on a Prayer" with Desmond Child. It is semi-autobiographic. The original idea was to have the couple named Johnny and Gina because Child was born John and his girlfriend was nicknamed Gina.
"Born in the U.S.A." is one of two songs that can trace its origins to an unfinished song called "Vietnam." The other song, "Shut Out the Light" would become "Born in the U.S.A.'s" B side.
Bruce Springsteen came up with the title "Badlands" before he created the lyrics. Springsteen's process for creating the song was to continue writing until he felt he had a song that deserved what he believed was a great title.
"Because We Can" was the first single off of Bon Jovi's 12th studio album, "What About Now." The song lent its title to the band's 2013 tour, which was called Because We Can: The Tour.
"Dancing in the Dark" was featured on the 1984 album "Born in the U.S.A." It was the result of music producer Jon Landau telling Springsteen that the album didn't have a single. In the music video, Bruce Springsteen dances with Courteney Cox, who was 20 years old at the time.
"Tunnel of Love" was recorded at Bruce Springsteen's home studio in Rumson, New Jersey. At the end of the song, amusement-park sounds are sampled. The sounds come from a family named the Schiffers riding a roller coaster in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
In 2014, Bruce Springsteen wrote on Facebook that "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)" appears to be a misfire in hindsight. In his reflection, he mentions that he and his band were aiming for "some vague sense of 'hipness' and an attempt at irony."
In 1988, Bon Jovi released "I'll Be There for You" on the album "New Jersey." The power ballad was the band's last song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is also somewhat controversial because musician Joel Ellis claims the band took parts of his unreleased song.
On Nov. 19, 1988, "Bad Medicine" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song spent two weeks at the top. In total, the song, which was the lead single from "New Jersey," spent 20 in the Hot 100.
Jon Bon Jovi originally wrote the song for the movie "Romeo is Bleeding." However, the song never appeared in the movie because Bon Jovi didn't like the film, so he exercised his right to remove it from the film.
"American Idol" judge Randy Jackson played bass on "Human Touch." The song was released on the album "Human Touch," which was released the same day as another album, "Lucky Town." Both were released on March 31, 1992.
In 1981, Bruce Springsteen wrote two songs for Donna Summer. The first was "Cover Me," but Summer never received the song because Jon Landau insisted Springsteen keep it. The second was "Protection."
The video for "Thank You for Loving Me" was shot in Rome, Italy at the Trevi Fountain. The song peaked at 57 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it reached the top 40 in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Australia.
"Fade Away" is about a love slipping away and not know how you can fit it. Steven Van Zandt counts it among his favorite Bruce Springsteen songs. The song was recorded at the Power Station in New York City.
In 2010, Bon Jovi was nominated in the Grammy category Best Pop Vocal by a Duo or Group. The band lost to The Black Eyed Peas, who were nominated for "I Gotta Feeling." The Fray, Hall and Oates and MGMT were also nominated.
In 1995, "This Ain't a Love Song" was released as the lead single from "These Days." A Spanish version called "Como Yo Nadie Te Ha Amado" was recorded by Mexican singer Yuridia.
The original version of "Glory Days" contains verse about Bruce Springsteen's dad's lack of glory days. However, it was removed for the released version to keep the song's tone nostalgic.
In 2009, Bon Jovi recorded a gospel version of "Keep the Faith" with the Washington Youth Choir. The song was available on the Walmart exclusive album "Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration."
Bruce Springsteen's "War" is a cover song. It was originally recorded by the Temptations. In 1970, Edwin Starr covered the song and took it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Springsteen's version was released in 1985.
In 1989, Bon Jovi released "Born to Be My Baby" and six other videos featuring songs from his "New Jersey" album on VHS. The other songs were two versions of "Bad Medicine," "I'll Be There For You," "Lay Your Hands On Me," and "Living In Sin."
"If I Was the Priest" is about a town where Jesus is the sheriff and the Virgin Mary runs a bar called the Holy Grail Saloon. Talent scout John Hammond said that he knew Bruce Springsteen was Catholic after hearing the song.
Bon Jovi recorded a Spanish version of "Bed of Roses" called "Cama de Rosas." An acoustic version was recorded for the album "This Left Feels Right," which was released in 2003. It also appeared on "Cross Roads," a greatest hits album.
"Secret Garden" was featured in the movie "Jerry Maguire," which came out in 1996, and "A Night at the Roxbury," which was released in 1998. Despite the song's popularity, Bruce Springsteen rarely plays the song live.
"Have a Nice Day" was the first single off the album of the same name. The other singles released from the album include "Who Says You Can't Go Home," and "Welcome to Wherever You Are."
In 2008, Bruce Springsteen released "The Wrestler." It is the title song of the Oscar nominated movie. Mickey Rourke, who starred in the movie, asked his friend Springsteen to right the song.
At a 1984 concert, Bruce Springsteen used the song to protest Ronald Reagan's borrowing of "Born in the U.S.A" for his re-election campaign. The song is about a laid-off autoworker who kills someone.
"Death to My Hometown" was inspired by Irish music. The song provides commentary on a society that ignores its working class. It is featured on Bruce Springsteen's 2012 album "Wrecking Ball.'
Bruce Springsteen first used the phrase "hungry heart" in an early version of "Stolen Car." Both songs were released in the 1980s on Springsteen's fifth studio album, "The River."
Two versions of "Who Says You Can't Go Home" were released in the United States. The rock version was put on the album as the fourth track. The 13th and final track on the regular album is the country version, which features Jennifer Nettles.
Bruce Springsteen won a Grammy, Golden Globe and an Academy Award for "Streets of Philadelphia." The song was written because "Philadelphia" director Jonathan Demme asked Springsteen to write a song for the film.
"Living in Sin" was the fifth and final single from "New Jersey." The song was released as a single on Nov. 11, 1989 and peaked at number nine. It spent 19 weeks in the Hot 100.
"Wanted Dead or Alive" is used as the theme for the Discovery Channel show "Deadliest Catch." Throughout the song, Bon Jovi compares his life to Wild West outlaws. The song is on the album "Slippery When Wet."