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"One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001" Review 24 December 2001

Lovely summary of one of the world's best live bands so far

A review by Sanjeev Singh /

It's about time Bon Jovi released a live album. Everyone began to wonder if they ever would, seeing as how one was supposed to be released after the mammoth New Jersey tour that ran from 1988 to early 1990! At the time frontman Jon Bon Jovi said that it would be a complete package: horn sections; guest artists, covers and the lot. At the end, it never happened. Instead, what we have is ONE WILD NIGHT - LIVE:1985-2001.

Impressive title, but Bon Jovi are an impressive live band. In fact, as the title suggests, they've been rocking for almost 2 decades now, and honestly, can anyone out there - fan or no fan - compare another musical group to them live? The Rolling Stones are legends; U2? Aerosmith? Maybe. But as the demand for this album proved, nobody today will match Tico Torres on drums, Richie Sambora on guitars, David Bryan on keyboards and Jon as the charismatic leadman. Oh, there's Hugh Mcdonald on bass guitar (1995 to present) and his predecessor - Alec John Such (1985 - 1994).

Not surprisingly, the album kicks off with the now world wide hit "It's My Life", then gradually runs through the hits of the last few years. From "Livin' On A Prayer" to "Something To Believe In". From "Runaway" to "Just Older".

A nice touch was the inclusion of songs played from the 6 continents they've played over the years, hence the inclusion of "Rocking In The Free World", a Neil Young cover recorded in South Africa in December 1995. Since I'm from South Africa, it was very heartwarming to see that!

But perhaps the best song on the entire album is their hit from their 2nd album, "In And Out Of Love". The energy displayed on that song, taken from a 1985 show in Tokyo, really showcases what the band's capable of, showing their promise at an extremely young age. Perhaps then the only flaw is that some of the songs included should have been the ones recorded in their prime. For instance "Livin' on a prayer" should have been a recording from a concert in the 80's; "Keep The Faith" from the '93 tour and so. It's clear where they did do this, the songs stood out from the more modern recordings ("In and out of love"; "Saturday Night" and the 2 songs from These Days - "Something for the pain" and "Something to believe in" taken from 1995.)Let's face it, Jon's voice isn't as powerful as it once was in the early years (as is the case with all performers), so the songs would have sounded alot better from that era!

Other than that, no complaints. Yes, there are no ballads, but it's refereshing for a change. There's also a lovely 'bio' included by long time friend, Lonn Friend.

Sanjeev Singh

Rating: 8/10

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