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'Bounce'-ing back & feeling Bon Jovial 8 October 2002
Bounce article from NY Daily News

Source: NY Daily News

If Jon Bon Jovi ever wanted to give a big, fat raspberry to all the critics who once wrote him off as a casualty of the grunge era, this could be his week.

Today, the rocker's eponymous band releases its 10th album, "Bounce." Retailers are expecting it to start high on the charts and go on to be one of the year's strongest sellers.

"Bounce" was released in Europe last week and has already topped the charts there, besting Elvis' hits package. A slew of television appearances over the next few days should goose domestic sales.

"We're kind of in a revival kick," says Vince Szydlowski, Virgin Megastores' senior manager of product. "The preteens who liked Bon Jovi in the late '80s are now in their 30s and getting kind of nostalgic. I think 'Bounce' certainly bodes well to take on Elvis and go to No.1."

After selling a combined 19 million copies of 1986's "Slippery When Wet" and 1988's "New Jersey," Bon Jovi lost a big part of its fan base with the rise of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. By the time the group released "These Days" in 1995, the LP barely hit gold status, selling 654,000 copies.

"We were less commercially successful in America in the '95-to-2000 period," admits Bon Jovi. "That's understood. But the truth is that the 'These Days' record and my solo record were artistic endeavors."

Although Bon Jovi remained strong in Europe, it wasn't clear that the band would revive its U.S. career. The release of "Crush" in 2000 proved decisive.

"He had taken time off to pursue movies, so that made it much more difficult to come back," says Szydlowski. "And the times changed from the mid-'80s. I hate to group them with the hair bands - they're not quite Poison and Ratt - but they rode that wave. And that wave went away for a good part of the '90s."

With its lead single, "It's My Life," making a defiant statement, "Crush" sold nearly 2 million copies in the U.S.

Bon Jovi says that he knew he'd reconnect if the band just made a straight-ahead rock 'n' roll record.

"I had such blind faith and naivete that I never doubted that 'Crush' would be successful," he says. "Bon Jovi is a brand name. You know it and you either like it or you don't, and that's understood."


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