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  #11  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bonjovi90 View Post
Ebbin getting fired because Bounce didn't sell well could have been a reason - but on the other hand it's not his fault that the band didn't come up with hit material for the album. Without Max Martin, they probably wouldn't have had a hit on Crush either. Well, that's how it works everywhere. When a football team doesn't deliver, the coach is the first one to get sacked as well.

When Shanks came on board, they had a hit with Who Says You Can't Go Home and the following album was their first one to launch at number one if I remember correctly. That might've been a reason for him to stay.

Shanks definitely gets more hate than necessary amongst fans, but him being there is at least very closely connected to the point when it all started to go wrong with the band.
At that time, they were still trying to be hip and chasing hits. Shanks' sound was something they deemed to be current and I'm sure the band was absolutely fine with that. But the problem was that Shanks took that "wall of sound" to a new level and while they've had utilized loops and samples on the Bounce tour, they now needed more musicians to replicate the songs with multiple layers live. Jon's chance to go for his little own E-street band by taking Bobby and Jeff on tour with them.
But having Bobby as a permanent and Shanks taking over more and more control of the song production (also by doing tons of basic guitar parts) probably contributed to Richie feeling more disconnected with the brand that was Bon Jovi. We all know how huge Richie's ego is and in the long run, it surely pissed him off.

What I blame Shanks mostly for is that his way of producing songs has really watered down the quality of the songs. In fact, the songwriting hasn't changed too much over the course of the band's career. But since they've abandoned doing demos and all basic tracks are laid down by Jon, Shanks and a drum computer, there isn't much room for a song to develop. If someone like Tico and David only add their parts, they can put in a certain fill or vibe, but a song that's basically finished can only benefit so much from that. Dynamically, it can only evolve by them all being in a room and working on the songs. Remember that a song like Something For The Pain was re-done about 12 times? That's why it sounds different to anything. It developped and became something unique. Nowadays that's impossible.
I like the "New Year's Day" story, but it also brutally shows how stale the production process had become in the decade leading up that.
I'm sure that, at first, the band members were satisfied with that kind of production because of the frantic pace that the band used to have in terms of releases in the early 2000's. Have A Nice Day was practically done at the same time the stuff for the Box Set was done and re-worked. They surely welcomed that change of pace that this approach brought and then settled into it over the years.
And someone also brought up Jon's voice. I think that's a major factor these days as well. Not that only Shanks can hide it, probably any accomplished producer could do so. But I truly think that Jon is aware of how bad he sounds and might be embarassed to go into the studio with someone different.
I think 85 percent you're bang on but the biggest issue is we don't know the process. Articles confirm songs were extensively demoed for WAN and that wasn't a good album. We DO know how HAND was recorded (drum tracks later replaced by real ones and everything recorded out of sequence). Superman Tonight was done a similar way but We Weren't Born To Follow was recorded live on the floor with the whole band. I'm not sure his process is completely to blame if there's multiple pieces of evidence that the way we think it was done isn't the norm.

The biggest difference is the whole band not being present start to finish but for all we know they want it that way to spend more time with their families, they're much older now then the last time they did a full album together which was what, 2003? We paint Jon and John with a harsh brush when really the David and Tico might not want to be part of that process this far into the game.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:24 PM
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You have to look at the big picture:

After their big comeback with Crush, they had two major bombs in a row with Bounce followed by TLFR... [Bounce still might be their worst official release to date (especially if you adjust for the time/inflation) and although TLFR was just a compilation, it still had to have been a shot to Jon's ego. I think the concept was great, they just over did it with some of their song choices and the amount of songs they reworked]

After 2 major bombs, Shanks enters the picture and HAND brings them right back on top again. The song HAND was a modest hit followed by Who Says which was massive. It was the first #1 country hit and also won them their first and only Grammy. You couldn't go anywhere that summer without hearing that song. Especially in New Jersey where it became the state anthem (not sure if it still is)... Not only did Shanks get them there, he simplified the process using technology and taking on most of the record making process himself. Shanks is now the King!

Next came Lost Highway - I believe Jon when he said it was made for "artistic fulfillment"!!! The production was split I believe (it wasn't co-produced). Memory is one of my top 3 favorite songs to come from the post 2000 era and the album really is a fan favorite. Although Shanks was involved with half the album, I don't think of him when I listen to this album because he obviously wasn't full on involved.

The Circle - This is where things started to go wrong. Born To Follow was a horrible first choice of a single. Overproduced garbage... Working Man might be the worst song in the entire Bon Jovi catalog... but then we have some gems like Love's The Only Rule, Superman, and Bullet. The album did go to Number 1 (and the tour was massive) but it just lacked commercial appeal. I think Jon took all the blame for this and Shanks was off the hook.

The Greatest Hits - This is where things stated to majorly go wrong and where fans started getting upset. The fans wanted a big rocker and we thought we had it with a title like What Do You Got. Jon wanted Always Part 2. We got neither. Although the song grew on me over time, I still think this was their second worse choice for a single. It's a lazy song in my opinion. No real hooks, the vocals have zero passion, and there is zero range. This is when I realized that if Jon wants to bring a ballad or love song to that next level, he'll need to sing the **** out of it. Even the more recent stuff like Real Love / Blind Love will never be Always or BOR unless he does the above.

After a month of WDYG, the album drops and we get the 4 bonus tracks including This Is Our House... And this is where fans start to flip out over this guys overproduction style. These songs are like a clone army of HAND Part 11, 12, 13 & 14.

What About Now - Do I even need to go any further? This is what ruined his reputation with fans. I don't need to go into detail. We all remember how this story goes.

In summary, I think Shanks is a well rounded musician who understands most instruments, who also embraces technology, which are good things... but because of the above, I think he fails to understand all songs. He doesn't adjust his style and put that personal touch that each song deserves. I don't think he feels songs. He's all about the instruments and technology so it's just the roll of the dice unintentional process. Great songs were ruined by his production. I'm With You, Devils In The Temple, Roller-Coaster. Just overproduced, too electronic. We Don't Run is a perfect example. The Burning Bridges version was perfect. I don't know why he had to remaster it for THINFS but I refuse to listen to that version. It's not even part of my shuffle. However on the flip side, he'll redeem himself with songs like Teardrop. He's just a hit or miss guy.

Unfortunately as Jon gets older, he doesn't want to be strapped to a studio. He's got a guy who he can trust, who understands him. He's safe... Albums don't sell anymore, rock bands are dead, he's too old for radio play, and his legacy expands 4 decades now which finally got him into the HOF. What's left? Oh, and lets not forget the fact that his voice is shot and he lost his musical partner.

Once you factor in the above, at age 56 Shanks is retirement for Jon. The best we can hope for is to roll the dice and wish that these two can give us just one more something. I really want Jon to wake up one day and say, even though I'll never be able to pull this song off live, lets use every studio trick in the book to give the fans X.
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain_jovi View Post
I think 85 percent you're bang on but the biggest issue is we don't know the process. Articles confirm songs were extensively demoed for WAN and that wasn't a good album. We DO know how HAND was recorded (drum tracks later replaced by real ones and everything recorded out of sequence). Superman Tonight was done a similar way but We Weren't Born To Follow was recorded live on the floor with the whole band. I'm not sure his process is completely to blame if there's multiple pieces of evidence that the way we think it was done isn't the norm.

The biggest difference is the whole band not being present start to finish but for all we know they want it that way to spend more time with their families, they're much older now then the last time they did a full album together which was what, 2003? We paint Jon and John with a harsh brush when really the David and Tico might not want to be part of that process this far into the game.
The question though is - how much do demos make a difference when they're actually done without Tico and Dave? As I said, the songs won't develop that way.

I agree with you that the other members welcome not having to be in the studio that much and spending more time with their families. But I guess they like it because the band has been churning out albums like crazy over the course of 13 years. No other band of their size and popularity has released remotely as much as Bon Jovi did. And we can't say that the quality has benefited from so many releases.
Had they taken a less-hectic schedule, I'm sure the band members wouldn't have minded spending more time in the studio. But when you're on the road every second year, I kind of get why you don't want to be in the studio all the time inbetween.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bonjovi90 View Post
The question though is - how much do demos make a difference when they're actually done without Tico and Dave? As I said, the songs won't develop that way.

I agree with you that the other members welcome not having to be in the studio that much and spending more time with their families. But I guess they like it because the band has been churning out albums like crazy over the course of 13 years. No other band of their size and popularity has released remotely as much as Bon Jovi did. And we can't say that the quality has benefited from so many releases.
Had they taken a less-hectic schedule, I'm sure the band members wouldn't have minded spending more time in the studio. But when you're on the road every second year, I kind of get why you don't want to be in the studio all the time inbetween.
I've never thought about it that way, I think you're right on all counts.
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2018, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdkopper View Post
You have to look at the big picture:

After their big comeback with Crush, they had two major bombs in a row with Bounce followed by TLFR... [Bounce still might be their worst official release to date (especially if you adjust for the time/inflation) and although TLFR was just a compilation, it still had to have been a shot to Jon's ego. I think the concept was great, they just over did it with some of their song choices and the amount of songs they reworked]

After 2 major bombs, Shanks enters the picture and HAND brings them right back on top again. The song HAND was a modest hit followed by Who Says which was massive. It was the first #1 country hit and also won them their first and only Grammy. You couldn't go anywhere that summer without hearing that song. Especially in New Jersey where it became the state anthem (not sure if it still is)... Not only did Shanks get them there, he simplified the process using technology and taking on most of the record making process himself. Shanks is now the King!

Next came Lost Highway - I believe Jon when he said it was made for "artistic fulfillment"!!! The production was split I believe (it wasn't co-produced). Memory is one of my top 3 favorite songs to come from the post 2000 era and the album really is a fan favorite. Although Shanks was involved with half the album, I don't think of him when I listen to this album because he obviously wasn't full on involved.

The Circle - This is where things started to go wrong. Born To Follow was a horrible first choice of a single. Overproduced garbage... Working Man might be the worst song in the entire Bon Jovi catalog... but then we have some gems like Love's The Only Rule, Superman, and Bullet. The album did go to Number 1 (and the tour was massive) but it just lacked commercial appeal. I think Jon took all the blame for this and Shanks was off the hook.

The Greatest Hits - This is where things stated to majorly go wrong and where fans started getting upset. The fans wanted a big rocker and we thought we had it with a title like What Do You Got. Jon wanted Always Part 2. We got neither. Although the song grew on me over time, I still think this was their second worse choice for a single. It's a lazy song in my opinion. No real hooks, the vocals have zero passion, and there is zero range. This is when I realized that if Jon wants to bring a ballad or love song to that next level, he'll need to sing the **** out of it. Even the more recent stuff like Real Love / Blind Love will never be Always or BOR unless he does the above.

After a month of WDYG, the album drops and we get the 4 bonus tracks including This Is Our House... And this is where fans start to flip out over this guys overproduction style. These songs are like a clone army of HAND Part 11, 12, 13 & 14.

What About Now - Do I even need to go any further? This is what ruined his reputation with fans. I don't need to go into detail. We all remember how this story goes.

In summary, I think Shanks is a well rounded musician who understands most instruments, who also embraces technology, which are good things... but because of the above, I think he fails to understand all songs. He doesn't adjust his style and put that personal touch that each song deserves. I don't think he feels songs. He's all about the instruments and technology so it's just the roll of the dice unintentional process. Great songs were ruined by his production. I'm With You, Devils In The Temple, Roller-Coaster. Just overproduced, too electronic. We Don't Run is a perfect example. The Burning Bridges version was perfect. I don't know why he had to remaster it for THINFS but I refuse to listen to that version. It's not even part of my shuffle. However on the flip side, he'll redeem himself with songs like Teardrop. He's just a hit or miss guy.

Unfortunately as Jon gets older, he doesn't want to be strapped to a studio. He's got a guy who he can trust, who understands him. He's safe... Albums don't sell anymore, rock bands are dead, he's too old for radio play, and his legacy expands 4 decades now which finally got him into the HOF. What's left? Oh, and lets not forget the fact that his voice is shot and he lost his musical partner.

Once you factor in the above, at age 56 Shanks is retirement for Jon. The best we can hope for is to roll the dice and wish that these two can give us just one more something. I really want Jon to wake up one day and say, even though I'll never be able to pull this song off live, lets use every studio trick in the book to give the fans X.

Great break down and I've not thought of Shanks as Jon's "retirement" but you may well be onto something with that concept. He has the wine and his philanthropic life to promote now. He recently added a home in Fla to his assets. (Typical US retirement state... that's a joke, kind of, maybe?? He did buy a home there though)

The only difference I'd note is that TLFR may have bruised Jon's name but any ego should have been Richie. Remember the video, they are starting the promo, sitting around a casino table with a few drinks - the conversation is how TLFR is incredible and Richie's brain child? Maybe that was the very early stages of the dynamic duo differences as well.

Last edited by golittleperson; 09-12-2018 at 04:11 PM..
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2018, 08:04 PM
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I know Jons not one to browse forums such as this and has traditionally been pretty poor at gaging fan temperature on the likes of ticket prices, but do you reckon he has any inclination as to our dissatisfaction with Shanks?

Surely there comes a point when you accept the big hits are a thing of the past and realise it is your hardcore support that will sustain you. His loyalty to Shanks surely jeopardises that very element of his audience.

Moreover is Shanks aware of his unpopularity? The guy seems so full of himself Id doubt he care either way..
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:11 PM
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I don't think either of them care. I've seen Shanks get defensive on Twitter and call some fans "armchair critics" but big picture the tours are selling well and they're probably chalking up the low album sales to the state of the record industry which probably isn't far from the truth. I don't think Jon's voice can handle an organic sounding record.
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2018, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Rdkopper View Post
You have to look at the big picture:

After their big comeback with Crush, they had two major bombs in a row with Bounce followed by TLFR... [Bounce still might be their worst official release to date (especially if you adjust for the time/inflation) and although TLFR was just a compilation, it still had to have been a shot to Jon's ego. I think the concept was great, they just over did it with some of their song choices and the amount of songs they reworked]

After 2 major bombs, Shanks enters the picture and HAND brings them right back on top again. The song HAND was a modest hit followed by Who Says which was massive. It was the first #1 country hit and also won them their first and only Grammy. You couldn't go anywhere that summer without hearing that song. Especially in New Jersey where it became the state anthem (not sure if it still is)... Not only did Shanks get them there, he simplified the process using technology and taking on most of the record making process himself. Shanks is now the King!

Next came Lost Highway - I believe Jon when he said it was made for "artistic fulfillment"!!! The production was split I believe (it wasn't co-produced). Memory is one of my top 3 favorite songs to come from the post 2000 era and the album really is a fan favorite. Although Shanks was involved with half the album, I don't think of him when I listen to this album because he obviously wasn't full on involved.

The Circle - This is where things started to go wrong. Born To Follow was a horrible first choice of a single. Overproduced garbage... Working Man might be the worst song in the entire Bon Jovi catalog... but then we have some gems like Love's The Only Rule, Superman, and Bullet. The album did go to Number 1 (and the tour was massive) but it just lacked commercial appeal. I think Jon took all the blame for this and Shanks was off the hook.

The Greatest Hits - This is where things stated to majorly go wrong and where fans started getting upset. The fans wanted a big rocker and we thought we had it with a title like What Do You Got. Jon wanted Always Part 2. We got neither. Although the song grew on me over time, I still think this was their second worse choice for a single. It's a lazy song in my opinion. No real hooks, the vocals have zero passion, and there is zero range. This is when I realized that if Jon wants to bring a ballad or love song to that next level, he'll need to sing the **** out of it. Even the more recent stuff like Real Love / Blind Love will never be Always or BOR unless he does the above.

After a month of WDYG, the album drops and we get the 4 bonus tracks including This Is Our House... And this is where fans start to flip out over this guys overproduction style. These songs are like a clone army of HAND Part 11, 12, 13 & 14.

What About Now - Do I even need to go any further? This is what ruined his reputation with fans. I don't need to go into detail. We all remember how this story goes.

In summary, I think Shanks is a well rounded musician who understands most instruments, who also embraces technology, which are good things... but because of the above, I think he fails to understand all songs. He doesn't adjust his style and put that personal touch that each song deserves. I don't think he feels songs. He's all about the instruments and technology so it's just the roll of the dice unintentional process. Great songs were ruined by his production. I'm With You, Devils In The Temple, Roller-Coaster. Just overproduced, too electronic. We Don't Run is a perfect example. The Burning Bridges version was perfect. I don't know why he had to remaster it for THINFS but I refuse to listen to that version. It's not even part of my shuffle. However on the flip side, he'll redeem himself with songs like Teardrop. He's just a hit or miss guy.

Unfortunately as Jon gets older, he doesn't want to be strapped to a studio. He's got a guy who he can trust, who understands him. He's safe... Albums don't sell anymore, rock bands are dead, he's too old for radio play, and his legacy expands 4 decades now which finally got him into the HOF. What's left? Oh, and lets not forget the fact that his voice is shot and he lost his musical partner.

Once you factor in the above, at age 56 Shanks is retirement for Jon. The best we can hope for is to roll the dice and wish that these two can give us just one more something. I really want Jon to wake up one day and say, even though I'll never be able to pull this song off live, lets use every studio trick in the book to give the fans X.
Sad but true. Maybe Jon should follow the lead of Billy Joel and stop making records. Hes acknowledged his best days are behind him and now only tours.
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  #19  
Old 09-10-2018, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Zakatar View Post
I wonder why Jon decided to dump Luke Ebbin (and Bob Rock / Peter Collins before him) in the first place? It's true Crush (and some songs on Bounce) sound a bit unfinished, but I find myself missing that more raw sound on those albums (and it's not like Ebbin can't make a song sound more polished, as his work on Richie's Aftermath of the Lowdown shows).

I agree Shanks shouldn't have performed at the RNRHOF and Phil X should be performing all guitar parts in the studio from this point on (except for any acoustic guitar parts Jon wants to record himself and unless by some miracle Richie ever comes back). I actually like Shanks' producation on HAND, LH, and TC, but it's just gotten boring and repetative as time has gone on.
Maybe he wanted a more modern or current sound? I don't know but that's what I think.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:05 PM
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and Richie, Richie is on another level of course!!!
Yeah, he's on another level, but only when he's not completely drunk.
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