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86 | Top 100
'Wanted Dead Or Alive'
Bon Jovi
This fourth chart entry for the New Jersey ‘hair-metallers’ came straight after their smash hit Livin’ On A Prayer. It also started the Western theme that would crop up in later songs culminating in the soundtrack to Young Guns II
Bon Jovi
Song facts
Composer Richie Sambora/Jon Bon Jovi
Genre Rock 
Album Cross Road
Year of release 1987
UK Chart Position 13
that Jon Bon Jovi worked on. Like fellow Jersey singer Bruce Springsteen, the band often sung about people living on the fringes of society such as the ‘steel-horse(d) cowboy’ in this track.
“Wanted Dead Or Alive” is taken from 1986’s Slippery When Wet which Desmond Child helped out on. Child had written for groups like Aerosmith and although only Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi are credited for the song you can be sure that Child had a large part in it.
The song has had a long-standing relationship with MTV as is the longest-running number one video of all time on the channel. The very successful ‘Unplugged’ series was also inspired by a 1989 appearance of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora who played two acoustic tracks: Livin’ On A Prayer and Wanted Dead Or Alive.

Jon Bon Jovi on writing Wanted Dead Or Alive
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi talks about the illegal activates that inspired the writing of Wanted Dead Or Alive


Other versions
 New York City ska revivalists The Slackers featured a cover of Wanted Dead or Alive on their Wasted Days album in 2001.

This is, to me, a real classic has never dated, is loved by old and young, and relates the real feeling the band had at that stage in their career


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