Slippery When Wet

Slippery When Wet

The original cover of Bon Jovi’s third album featured a busty woman in a wet T-shirt with the words “Slippery When Wet” on the front, framed by a hot-pink border. Executives worried stores wouldn’t sell it, so they changed it to a wet garbage bag with the title streaked in black. One image was fun and trashy (figuratively, at least); the other was tough and stoic. That the band can pass as both spoke to what a huge phenomenon Slippery When Wet became upon its release in 1986. The members of Bon Jovi had enough of a taste of heavy metal to sound contemporary (“You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Social Disease”). But compared to pinups like Poison and Mötley Crüe, the group could also evoke the sound and feel of classic rock (“Livin’ On a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive”). And on Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi even taps into Lynyrd Skynyrd-like nostalgia (the ballad “Never Say Goodbye”) and Rod Stewart-indebted swagger (the rave-up “Wild in the Streets”). And because Bon Jovi is, at heart, a pop band, the group pulls it all together with a seamlessness that makes you forget where they were coming from in the first place. And while a lot of their pop-metal peers ended up stranded on the last branch of an evolutionary tree, Bon Jovi—and Slippery When Wet—resonates both as a product of its time, and as another step in the continuum of loose-letting, party-hardy rock music.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada