Slippery When Wet

This article is about the Bon Jovi album. For the Soundtrack album by Bud Shank, see Slippery When Wet (Bud Shank album). For the Commodores song, see Slippery When Wet (song). For the Nyanda EP, see Slippery When Wet (EP).
Slippery When Wet
Studio album by Bon Jovi
Released August 18, 1986
Recorded 1986
Length 42:22
Producer Bruce Fairbairn
Bon Jovi chronology
7800° Fahrenheit
Slippery When Wet
New Jersey
Alternative cover
Rejected wet T-shirt cover, used for the Japanese release
Singles from Slippery When Wet
  1. "You Give Love a Bad Name"
    Released: July 23, 1986
  2. "Livin' on a Prayer"
    Released: October 31, 1986
  3. "Wanted Dead or Alive"
    Released: March 2, 1987
  4. "Never Say Goodbye"
    Released: June 15, 1987

Slippery When Wet is the third studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 18, 1986 by Mercury Records in North America and Vertigo Records internationally. The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn. Recording sessions took place between January and July 1986 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, Canada.

Slippery When Wet was an instant commercial success. The album features songs that are considered Bon Jovi's most well-known tracks, such as the singles "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Wanted Dead or Alive".

The album spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart[5] and was named by Billboard as the top-selling album of 1987.[6] Slippery When Wet is Bon Jovi's best-selling album to date, with an RIAA certification of 12× Platinum, making it one of the top 100 best-selling albums in the United States.[7] The album was featured in the 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


Despite the moderate success of 7800° Fahrenheit, Bon Jovi had not yet become the superstars they had hoped. This made them change their approach for the next album, going for a more mainstream sound than their heavier first two albums. Hiring professional songwriter Desmond Child as a collaborator, the band wrote 30 songs and auditioned them for local New Jersey (including recording artist and Phantom's Opera vocalist Colie Brice) and New York teenagers, basing the album's running order on their opinions. Bruce Fairbairn was chosen as the main producer of the album, with Bob Rock as the mixer. The 1985 album Without Love which Fairbairn produced for Black 'N Blue, attracted Jon Bon Jovi for its sound quality, and he immediately sought out the producer.[8]

Writing and composition

Much of the album's content was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, except "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Livin' on a Prayer," "Without Love" and "I'd Die For You" which were co-written by Desmond Child. Child was brought in by the record company to help write some of the songs along with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. This was the first time Child worked with Jon and Richie. He came to New Jersey, where they worked on this in the basement of Sambora's mother's house.

Jon Bon Jovi was initially reluctant to include "Livin' on a Prayer" on the album, believing that it was not a good enough song. Richie Sambora was convinced it was a hit single in the making, and so the band re-recorded it, releasing the second version on the final album. It became one of the band's most popular and well-known songs.

One of the songs written during the making of the album was "Edge of a Broken Heart", which did not feature on the final version of the album. Jon Bon Jovi has since said that this track should have been on the album. He said "It was absolutely appropriate for the Slippery record - coulda, shoulda, woulda been on Slippery had cooler minds prevailed. Here's my formal apology." It was first released on the soundtrack to the 1987 movie Disorderlies and has since been released on the band's box set as well as the special 2-CD edition of Cross Road. It was also on the B-side for the Livin' on a Prayer single. The song has never been performed live by the band, despite being a favorite among the hardcore fan-base.

Title and artwork

The album went through various name changes during its inception including Wanted Dead Or Alive (an album cover was produced with the band dressed as cowboys; the artwork was later used for the single release of the track of the same name), with Slippery When Wet being the final title conceived. According to Jon Bon Jovi, the band decided to name the album Slippery When Wet after visiting The Number 5 Orange Stripclub in Vancouver.

The cover consists of a wet black garbage bag with the words "Slippery When Wet" traced in the water. The album originally was to feature a busty woman in a wet yellow T-shirt with the album name on the front of the shirt. This original version of the cover was swapped for the wet plastic bag cover just prior to release. The reasons most often given for the switch were record execs' fears that the dominant record store chains at the time would have refused to carry the album with such a sexist cover, or Jon Bon Jovi's complaint that the record company had put a bright pink border around the photograph that the band had submitted.[9][10]

In Japan, most releases of the album did include the original cover art.

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [4]
Robert ChristgauB− [11]
Rolling Stone(unfavorable) [12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [13]

The album became a massive success commercially. Between 1986 and 1987, Slippery When Wet produced an amazing string of hit singles, including three Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits, two of which ("You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer") reached No. 1, making Bon Jovi the first hard rock band to ever have two consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 chart hits. The third single "Wanted Dead or Alive" peaked at No. 7, making Slippery When Wet the first hard rock album to spawn three Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hits.

The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming Bon Jovi's first number-one album in the United States. The album also had impressive staying power, with 38 weeks inside the Top 5 of Billboard 200, including 8 weeks at No. 1. Slippery When Wet was the best-selling album of 1987 in the United States, and eventually reached Diamond certification by the RIAA and current sales stand at 12 million copies, making it the 48th best-selling album in the United States.

In the UK, Slippery When Wet received a 3x Platinum certification by the BPI. The album also achieved Diamond status in Canada and 6x Platinum status in Australia.

The album was ranked 44th in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the Definitive 200 albums of all time.

Track listing

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Let It Rock"  Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora 5:27
2. "You Give Love a Bad Name"  Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desmond Child 3:42
3. "Livin' on a Prayer"  Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child 4:09
4. "Social Disease"  Bon Jovi, Sambora 4:18
5. "Wanted Dead or Alive"  Bon Jovi, Sambora 5:08
6. "Raise Your Hands"  Bon Jovi, Sambora 4:16
7. "Without Love"  Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child 3:30
8. "I'd Die for You"  Bon Jovi, Sambora, Child 4:30
9. "Never Say Goodbye"  Bon Jovi, Sambora 4:48
10. "Wild in the Streets"  Bon Jovi 3:54

DualDisc edition

In 2005, Slippery When Wet was re-issued as a DualDisc. The CD side contained a newly remastered version of the album, and the DVD side contained the same album in its original stereo mix, plus a slightly expanded 5.1 surround sound version. The expanded album included additional elements within many of the songs, in some cases increasing their runtime. The audio material is playable through a DVD-Audio player and standard DVD Players. The DVD side also included all 5 promo videos from the album:

The DualDisc was released on September 20, 2005, the same release date as Have A Nice Day.


Bon Jovi

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Charts (1986–2011) Position
Australian Albums Chart[14] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[15] 2
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[16] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[17] 5
Finnish Albums Chart 1
German Albums Chart[18] 11
Greek Albums Chart[19] 64
Japanese Albums Chart[20] 10
New Zealand Albums Chart[21] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[22] 1
Spanish Albums Chart[23] 19
Swedish Albums Chart[24] 3
Swiss Albums Chart[25] 1
United Kingdom[26] 6
US Billboard 200[27] 1
US Catalog Albums[28] 3

Year-end charts

Chart (1986) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[29] 58
Chart (1987) Position
Australian Albums Chart[30] 3
Austrian Albums Chart[31] 10
Canadian Albums Chart[32] 2
Dutch Albums Chart[33] 22
Swiss Albums Chart[34] 4
US Billboard 200 1
Chart (1988) Position
US Billboard 200 98

Decade-end charts

Chart (1980–89) Position
Australian Albums Chart[30] 25


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[35] 6× Platinum 420,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[36] Diamond 1,000,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[37] Platinum 73,564[37]
Germany (BVMI)[38] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[39] Gold 7,500*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 215,000[20]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[40] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[41] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[43] 1.2× Diamond 12,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. Harrison, Thomas (2011). Music of the 1980s. ABC-CLIO. p. 48. ISBN 9780313366000.
  2. Metal – A Headbanger's Journey, DVD, ASIN B000FS9OZY (2005).
  3. "Top 20 Hair Metal Albums of the Eighties – Guitar World". Guitar World. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  4. 1 2 Slippery When Wet at AllMusic
  5. "Allmusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard albums".
  6. "Billboard 200 Albums : Nov 24, 2016 - Billboard Chart Archive".
  7. "Top 100 Albums". RIAA. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  8. "Obituary: Bruce Fairbairn". 31 May 1999.
  9. "Top 10 Banned Metal Album Covers". The Gauntlet. 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  10. Matthew Wilkening (2011-07-11). "Bon Jovi – Most Shocking Album Covers". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  11. "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 1779".
  12. "Slippery When Wet".
  13. Rolling Stone Album Guide
  14. Thompson, Bronwyn (2008-01-29). "On a steel horse Bon Jovi rides to top of the charts". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
  15. "Austria Top-40 - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)" (in German). Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  16. "Top Albums/CDs". RPM. March 14, 1987. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  17. "Dutch Charts - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)" (in Dutch). Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  18. "Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet" (in German). Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  19. "Greek Charts - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)" (in German). Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  20. 1 2 Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  21. "New Zealand Charts - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  22. "Norwegian Charts - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  23. "Los discos más vendidos". ABC (in Spanish). 11 November 1987. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  24. "Swedish Charts - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  25. "Swiss Charts - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (album)" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  26. "Chart Archive - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet". Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  27. "Bon Jovi Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  28. "Bon Jovi Album & Song Chart History - Catalog Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  29. "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. 1986-12-27. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  30. 1 2 Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 19701992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  31. " – Jahreshitparade 1987". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  32. "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  33. "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1987" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  34. " – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1987". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  35. "ARIA Report 28th January 2008 (Issue 935)" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  36. "Canadian album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Music Canada. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  37. 1 2 "Bon Jovi" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  38. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bon Jovi; 'Slippery When Wet')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  39. NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for Hong Kong CERTIFICATION.
  40. "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano.
  41. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bon Jovi; 'Slippery When Wet')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  42. "British album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 9, 2012. Enter Slippery When Wet in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  43. "American album certifications – Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 9, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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