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Bon Jovi's New Album Lays An Egg 22 January 2003
Toronto Star article

Source: Toronto Star

Bon Jovi's Bounce has become a surprise bomb.

When released Oct. 8, the album seemed to have every commercial advantage: it captured a band coming off an album (Crush) that had sold nearly 2 million copies; and it contained a 9/11 theme, which had struck a popular chord for other mainstream artists including Bruce Springsteen and Alan Jackson.

Small wonder the album opened with a bang at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200.

But there wasn't enough radio airplay to sustain its sales. The first single, "Everyday," plotzed in a spectacular way, failing to crack the top 25 of any U.S. radio format, even those primed for the band Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Rock. Within a month, the song wasn't being played anywhere, flattening CD sales fast. After 14 weeks, Bounce has crashed to No. 149, with total sales of only 487,217.

Island Records has tried to shore up sales by pushing the second single, "Misunderstood" to little effect. The song is being heard only on Adult Top 40 stations, where it rests at No. 27.

The tepid response from pop stations is a blow because the band is no longer perceived as "hard" enough to have great impact on rock formats. This, even though Bounce was conceived as a return to rock, featuring tougher guitars and more shrieky vocals. But, as is often the case in the image-oriented world of music, perception far outshines reality.

In a sense, the lack of buoyancy for Bounce conforms to an earlier pattern in the band's career. The success of the last album, Crush, represented a comeback for the group, fired by a single, ``It's My Life," which crossed over in a huge way from rock to pop. The band previously had been in a sales decline, moving just 654,000 copies of 1994's These Days, down from sales of 3 million and 1.5 million for their two previous works.

Bon Jovi remains a huge concert draw. But so far, the sales of Bounce makes the success of Crush seem less a sustainable comeback than a last hurrah.

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