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Ranking Bon Jovi’s Albums from Worst to Best

Bon Jovi, the iconic rock band hailing from Sayreville, New Jersey, has gifted the rock world with an extensive discography, ranging from their early explosive anthems to their more mature, introspective compositions. Their journey, emblematic of rock evolution, is etched into their substantial album catalog. One can’t help but reminisce about “Slippery When Wet”, the game-changing 1986 album that catapulted the band into global stardom, and brought us classics like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name”. “New Jersey”, the impressive follow-up, fortified their status as rock n’ roll heavyweights.

Departures from their signature sound like “Lost Highway”, infused with a country twang, or the introspective “The Circle” demonstrate the band’s commitment to sonic exploration. Electric and poignant all at once, “2020” offers biting commentary on the socio-political climate. On the other hand, albums like “Burning Bridges” and “This House Is Not For Sale (Live from the London Palladium)” offer an intriguing glimpse into the band’s ability to revisit their material from new perspectives.

Few rock acts have shown such audacity and versatility on the grand stage that Bon Jovi has, and their discography, filled with bold explorations and undeniable hits, is a testament to their incredible journey. So let’s get into it. From “2020” to “Slippery When Wet”, here are all of Bon Jovi’ albums ranked.

17. 7800 Fahrenheit

7800 Fahrenheit

Released: 1998

Label: Bon Jovi Profit Split (Catalog)

Named after the temperature at which rock melts, this album signified their titanic ambition to melt the rock scene. And boy, they did bring the heat! It was an important stepping stone in honing Bon Jovi’s characteristic arena-sound, fusing together melodic hard rock with pop sensibility. Tracks like “In and Out of Love” and “Silent Night” showcased Jon Bon Jovi’s expanding vocal range and Richie Sambora’s robust guitar work. Not quite the breakout success they were hoping for, it nonetheless solidified their presence on the rock scene with a respectable #37 climb on the Billboard 200. The themes were in-depth, covering the pressures of the ’80s, loneliness, and anxieties. A respectable effort, but paled in front of the colossal success that was to follow with their next album, “Slippery When Wet”.

16. What About Now

What About Now (Deluxe Version)

Released: 2013

Label: Island Records

Released on March 8, 2013, it is their twelfth studio album and it reached #1 on the Billboard 200, proving yet again their appeal wasn’t a mere ’80s phenomenon. The deluxe version packs an extra punch, offering four bonus tracks including fan-favorite “Every Road Leads Home to You”. The album’s lyricism addresses economic struggles and social issues, a departure from the band’s previous themes, revealing a more politically conscious Bon Jovi. Tracks like “Because We Can” and “What About Now” display their melodic-rock prowess, while “The Fighter” unveils the band’s acoustic finesse. Although the album received mixed reviews, blaming it for being too polished or ‘radio-friendly’, it is undeniable that Bon Jovi was not just surviving in the rock world, they were thriving and evolving with the times, delivering hits and packing stadiums. Contextually, the album is vital in understanding Bon Jovi’s transition into more mature themes.

15. Burning Bridges

Burning Bridges

Released: 2015

Label: Bon Jovi Profit Split (Burning Bridges)

It marked their last release on Mercury Records, wrapping up a 32-year run with an assembly of orphaned tracks and new tunes. By no means is this the pinnacle of their discography, but it delivers moments of striking candor. “We Don’t Run” genuinely bristles with defiant energy, while “Life Is Beautiful” stamps a reflective annotation in their musical journey. Though the album was deemed as “fan-oriented” by Jon Bon Jovi himself, it’s more of a bittersweet testament to evolving tides and a farewell to the past. It’s an interesting oddball in their discography, a marker of the end of an era and the anticipation of a new one. In the grand canon of Bon Jovi, “Burning Bridges” stands as a bridge between their past and future, an album that wraps up old business while slyly setting the stage for their next chapter.

14. One Wild Night 2001

One Wild Night 2001

Released: 2001

Label: Bon Jovi Profit Split (Catalog)

Features: “Obie OBrien”, Bob Geldof

It’s like a time capsule revealing the heart of Bon Jovi’s live act, a testament to their reputation as a band that can electrify an arena. The tracklist is speckled with their greatest hits like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “It’s My Life”, each performed with the raw energy that defined their live concerts. Also included is a kickass cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” that fans and critics alike have hailed. There’s an undeniable freshness to hearing these Bon Jovi mainstays belted out in various amphitheaters, stadiums, and even museums across the globe, albeit the sound quality varies from gig to gig. With “One Wild Night Live 1985–2001”, Bon Jovi prove that they’re as much about the live, sweaty, guitar-driven spectacle as they are about studio polish. This album is a must-have for die-hard Bon Jovi fans.

12. 2020


Released: 2020

Label: Captain Kidd Corp.

Originally slated for a spring debut, the release date was pushed back so the band could add two tracks: “Do What You Can” and “American Reckoning”, capturing the zeitgeist of pandemic-stricken America and the escalating Black Lives Matter movement. Jettisoning the quintessential party-rock persona, Bon Jovi showcased a newfound maturity and candor, particularly evident in “Limitless” and “Beautiful Drug”. These tracks, ensnared in infectious melodies, offered a naked portrayal of our current realities. Candid, introspective, and unapologetically raw, “2020” signified Bon Jovi stepping out of their comfort zone, assuming the mantle of rock ‘n roll activists. It’s an album that embodied the tumultuous year it represents, proving that Bon Jovi’s evolution as a band is far from over and rock music is not just about wild riffs, it’s also a powerful tool for reflection and resistance.

11. The Circle

The Circle

Released: 2009

Label: Island Records

Here we find them grappling with the weight of global issues just as much as personal ones. It’s 2009, the world has changed, and “The Circle” is Bon Jovi’s attempt, and largely a successful one, to change with it. Musically, it’s a well-crafted blend of their anthemic rock roots with a modern, polished shine. Standout tracks like “We Weren’t Born to Follow” showcase their rock bravado while delivering a message of defiant optimism. Critics opined that Bon Jovi was on an introspective ride, and this album definitely manifests that vibe. It is far from their mullet-shaking, crowd-surfing days, yet remains spiritually rooted in the Jersey soil. “Work For The Working Man” is a blue collar rallying cry, while “Superman Tonight” is a power ballad for the ages. In “The Circle”, Bon Jovi challenges themselves musically and thematically, yielding an album that speaks both to their longevity and their continuous evolution.

10. This House Is Not For Sale

This House Is Not For Sale

Released: 2018

Label: Bon Jovi Profit Split

Released on February 23, 2018, this album was a true manifesto of independence and resilience, an unequivocal statement that Bon Jovi was far from throwing in the proverbial towel. The title track, throbbing with defiance, is almost a battle cry, with Jon’s voice still sporting the ageless grit that made ’em runaway rockstars in the hair-metal days. “Knockout” is a rebellious jab at naysayers, while “Scars On This Guitar” becomes a touching homage to the power of music. “God Bless This Mess” is a reflective stance, an acknowledgement of the band’s tumultuous journey. The album, though missing Sambora’s fiery licks, shows that Bon Jovi has moved past mourning their old sound, embracing new sonic avenues without losing their quintessential punch.

9. Lost Highway

Lost Highway

Released: 2007

Label: Lost Highway PS (Audio)

Features: LeAnn Rimes

The boys from Jersey made no secret of their love for heartland rock, but it was still a bold move. “Lost Highway” is a blend of rock, pop, and country that is undeniably Bon Jovi but with a Nashville twist. This flirtation with country music wasn’t just a gimmick; the band earnestly delved into the genre’s storytelling traditions with tracks like “(You Want to) Make a Memory” and “Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore”, featuring LeAnn Rimes. Despite the eyebrows it raised, “Lost Highway” topped the Billboard 200, proving that Bon Jovi’s heartland rock ethos had the muscle to cross genres. This album was a risk, but it paid off, showing that these Jersey boys weren’t afraid to branch out, explore new territories, and still create a sonic impact.

8. Bounce


Released: 2002

Label: Island Records

Driven by the raw emotions stemming from the events of 9/11, “Bounce” is an album that exemplifies resilience, showing the band’s refusal to wallow in despair. This is a post-tragedy response packed with anthemic rock tunes, with Bon Jovi reverting back to their classic sound, but with an updated, harder edge. The album is a testament to the human spirit, mirroring the resilience and determination of a nation in recovery. Its title track is a punchy, energetic take on hardship, while “Everyday” and “Undivided” resonate with the unmistakable aroma of fresh defiance. Despite the darkness of its inspiration, “Bounce” is not an album of melancholy but one of strength, as it encapsulates the resolve of a band, a city, and a nation, standing firm in the face of adversity. Ultimately, this album is Bon Jovi’s triumphant affirmation of life, rebirth, and the indomitable power of rock and roll.

7. Have A Nice Day

Have A Nice Day

Released: 2005

Label: Island Records

Features: Jennifer Nettles

The title track, an anthemic powerhouse, not only became a radio staple, but its defiance-laced lyrics, teeming with social commentary, showcased a more politically aware Bon Jovi. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with its country-tinged rock reaffirmed their cross-genre appeal, rocketing to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart – the first rock band ever to hit that pinnacle. But it’s “Welcome To Wherever You Are” that pulls at the heartstrings, showcasing Jon’s soulful croons. True, some fans missed Sambora’s heavier, blues-infused riffs on this record, but the album still packs enough punch to be quintessentially Bon Jovi – hook-laden and arena-worthy, but unafraid to tackle the tough topics. Truly, a resilient chapter in their storied career.

6. These Days

These Days

Released: 1995

Label: Island Records

The lighter, glam-infused rock anthems made way for a darker, introspective style. The band didn’t hold back in confronting the grittier realities of life, a stark contrast to the unabashed optimism of their 80s hits. The title track “These Days” and “This Ain’t a Love Song,” which climbed to the top 20 on Billboard Hot 100, are prime examples of this. No longer the wild-eyed boys living on a prayer, Bon Jovi had matured, bearing the weight of the world on their denim-clad shoulders. Underneath the grungier guitar tones and world-weary lyrics, however, “These Days” managed to retain the root of what Bon Jovi were all about – raw energy, powerful choruses and that indefatigable rock spirit. Critics may argue its departure, but fans embraced this matured sound, making it a critical era in Bon Jovi’s illustrious career.

5. Bon Jovi

Released: 1984

Label: Island Records

Although not as commercially successful as their later offerings, this album was a statement of intent in an age dominated by new wave and synth-pop. Their working-class New Jersey roots are on full display here, which is clearly evident in tracks like “Runaway” — a defiant, fist-pumping rock anthem that encapsulates the spirit of 80s blue-collar defiance. The band’s raw talent gleams through charmingly rough edges, while Jon Bon Jovi’s voice, though not as refined as in later works, echoes with a gritty, unpolished edge that reverberates the earnestness of their sound. What “Bon Jovi” lacks in production quality, it makes up for in spirit, embodying an unfiltered snapshot of a band poised for rock ‘n’ roll immortality. While it may not have the finesse of their later work, the album’s punk-inspired energy and youthful fearlessness are a beautiful testament to their humble origins.

4. Keep The Faith

Keep The Faith

Released: 1992

Label: Island Records

The title track, a searing anthem of optimism, showcased Jon’s throaty, emotional vocals and a hook you couldn’t shake off if you tried. The album’s luscious mixture of energized rock tracks (notably “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”) and swooning ballads like “Bed of Roses” underlined the band’s skill at balancing anthems with heartfelt sentiment. Critics argued the record teetered dangerously on the edge of ‘over-produced’, but fans rejoiced in the polished hooks and larger-than-life choruses. With its introspective lyrics and mature sound, “Keep the Faith” represented a band evolving, proving they could hold their own amidst alternative rock’s rise without sacrificing their hard rock roots. It wasn’t just an album, but a potent assertion – Bon Jovi wasn’t going anywhere, and the world better buckle up.

3. New Jersey

New Jersey (Deluxe Edition)

Released: 1988

Label: Island Records

Released in the late ’80s, the peak era of the hair metal, “New Jersey” showcased the band firing on all cylinders. Seemingly every track was ripe for the stadium, with larger-than-life choruses and soaring guitars. The album spawned five Top 10 singles, including the massive hits “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There For You.” This record was not just big: it was monumental. It was the sound of a band that had completely mastered their craft and were unafraid to dial everything up to 11. Now, the “New Jersey (Deluxe Edition)” takes listeners on a nostalgic trip with bonus tracks and demo versions, offering a peek into the creative process behind the magic. Drenched in a torrent of melody, emotion, and explosive energy, “New Jersey” is Bon Jovi’s love letter to their home state, and serves as a testament to their enduring reign in rock ‘n roll history.

2. Crush


Released: 2000

Label: Island Records

This album represents a masterclass in adapting and surviving within an evolving rock landscape. The beautifully layered “It’s My Life”, co-written with Max Martin, the craftsman behind Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys’ hits, bore the mark of the early 2000s pop surge. Yet, they didn’t sacrifice their core, proudly embracing their roots in tracks like “Just Older” and “Two Story Town”. “Crush” proved Bon Jovi weren’t washed-up rockers from the 80s; they were shapeshifters, moulding their sound with the times without losing their essence. The album saw commercial and critical success, spawning multiple top-charting hits and grabbing a Grammy nomination. It’s the sound of a band hitting second gear, of a rock phoenix rising from the ashes — a reminder that Bon Jovi were, are, and will continue to be, rock ‘n’ roll lifers.

1. Slippery When Wet

Slippery When Wet

Released: 1986

Label: Island Records

Unleashed in the feverish hair-metal era of ’86, this album practically emptied out a can of hairspray onto the Billboard charts. Anthems like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” became defining moments of rock ‘n’ roll, custom-made for arenas and cherished by denim-clad fans across the globe. The band’s combination of raw, melodic rock interspersed with poignant power ballads such as “Never Say Goodbye” showcased their versatility, while tracks like “Wanted Dead or Alive” fused their Jersey roots with a cowboy ethos. Despite the occasionally cheesy lyrics, there was no denying the band’s knack for crafting infectious hooks and soaring choruses. Yet, beyond the chart-busting hits, the album’s underlying narrative of blue-collar struggles, dreams, and desires gave it an everyman resonance that arguably cemented Bon Jovi’s status as ‘heartland rock’ heavyweights. They say nobody’s perfect, but for many Bon Jovi fanatics around the world, “Slippery When Wet” comes pretty damn close.

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