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BON JOVI
ONE WILD NIGHT

Island Records 548 909-2
Produced by: Obie O'Brien

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Themselves
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 55%

  1. It's My Life
  2. Livin' On A Prayer
  3. You Give Love A Bad Name
  4. Keep The Faith
  5. Someday I'll Be Saturday Night
  6. Rocking In The Free World
  7. Something To Believe In
  8. Wanted Dead Or Alive
  9. Runaway
  10. Just Older
  11. Something For The Pain
  12. Bad Medicine
  13. One Wild Night
    Ltd. Bonus CD (Oz only)
  14. One Wild Night
  15. It's My Life
  16. Livin' On A Prayer
  17. Just Older
  18. Sleep When I'm Dead

This is by definition a lazy record.
I had some problems with this release before I even heard it. Now I have those problems are only exasperated.
A Bon Jovi live album has been promised on and off for the best part of ten years. For traders and bootleg fans, there are a ton of great show recordings out there and for general collectors - if you compile the B-Sides of the band's many CD Single releases, there is at least 2 or 3 CDRs worth of live tracks available.
That is why this release is so disappointing and as I put it - lazy on effort.
Years after the promised release we finally get a compilation of just 15 tracks - two of which are covers - already widely distributed as B-Sides.
In fact, much of the album has already appeared in one territory or another.
There is a little talk that this album is more for the US domestic market. Rubbish I am afraid. This release has been vigorously marketed worldwide and was also released worldwide on the same day.
Just how many shows would the band have recorded in their 17 year plus career? Why not a double album?
At the very least this should have been a double CD of all original Jovi tunes.
Have I mentioned the number of songs they have missed off? Another reason to justify a double release.
It gets worse.
My pet hate of live albums. Fading out the audience between tracks. Damn, I hate that so much and it really has a profound effect of stamping out any of the atmosphere that the songs might be building. It almost strips the album back to a simple Greatest Hits status. There is a risk when compiling live albums with tracks from various era's. It can give the appearance of not maintaining consistency. It's only made worse here with the fade in and out's. How fake...
Bu then there is the songs themselves. Now why would a band largely ignore it's most classic and energetic live era, when the band were in their prime, and instead concentrate on culling selections mostly from the last 18 months?
If that was their intention, why not call it Crush Live and do a separate Greatest Hits Live release?
At their stadium rocking best between 1987 and 1993, Bon Jovi were arguably the best live band on earth.
Take a look at their sadly lackluster performance on the Crush Live DVD and Video from August 2000 and can easily see the difference.
There is not one single track on this album culled from 1987 - 1994!! I can't believe that.
Take a listen to the half assed version of It's My Life on this album and it doesn't get much better.
Like many other tracks, the atmosphere is stifled, the vibe close to zero.
There is no denying the pedigree and class of just about every track here - they're all classics. It is that fact that makes it so much more a let down.
The album was said to be a 'rockers only' release. That wasn't necessary, as the band have some classic ballads that go down a storm live. But with the inclusion of one the band's least known ballads - Something To Believe In, they forgo that previous statement anyway.
The production is one area where I can compliment. There is no obvious signs of over-dubbing or sound alterations - aside from the annoying fade ins and outs.
The songs are at least nice and live sounding and evenly mixed, even if there are far better versions of these classics out there.
Sorry to say so, but rather than invest in this - go buy yourself a few CDRs and trade the bootlegs and CD Singles that give far superior examples of the band at their live best. It is said that there will be a 20th Anniversary box set in 2003. Take note now guys - there will need to be substantial more effort put into that than what has been put into One Wild Night in order to satisfy the fans.
The exclusive Aussie version is a little better.
The one and only gig of the band's recent 'huge' tour of Australia was recorded for a live TV broadcast that has never happened. But 5 of those recorded tracks have found their way onto a limited edition bonus CD for Australian fans. The tracks are: One Wild Night, It's My Life, Living On A Prayer, Just Older, Sleep When I'm Dead.
Of course (sadly) 4 of these live bonus tracks are already on the first CD, but at least these versions have a little more life in them. The band clearly lifted a little for their one Australian audience and the recording shows. One other added bonus - you can even hear the audience... It's My Life and Living On A Prayer are easily superior to the versions on the regular release.
BOTTOM LINE: What could have been an instant masterpiece is instead an example of what could have been.
A poor selection of performances and the 'cash-in' factor of only being a single CD and the fact several great songs are missing will leave most fans disappointed. A classic live band have been portrayed as a band aging before their time is done. A double CD, more exclusive tracks and more selections from 1987-1992 period would have seen this a much tastier proposition.
PRODUCTION: 75% SONGS: 90% VIBE: 10%ATTITUDE: 20%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Ideal for only casual Bon Jovi fans, as others are likely to be disappointed.
RECENT DISCOGRAPHY:Crush . One Wild Night



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