Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bon Jovi: Thank You For Loving Me

One thing about the rockers, they often are the best ballad vocalists. Today’s example, as we continue with our Thanksgiving theme, is no exception. From the 2000 LP “Crush,” Bon Jovi shines on “Thank You for Loving Me,” a song co-written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Today’s feature is a live version only featuring Jon and Richie.

As great a song this is, it did not chart very well. In the United States it appears that the single only received a modicum of Top 40/Contemporary Hit Radio (#57) and Album Oriented Rock (#40) airplay. The song did much better on Adult Contemporary radio where it peaked on the Hot AC charts at 15. This situation was repeated in a number of other countries. The exceptions included the UK where it peaked at 12 on the Top 75 charts and in Argentina where it was a #1 record.

The Studio Release of "Thank You for Loving Me"

Having spent the beginning of my career as a radio programmer, I can tell you the charts don’t always indicate the quality of a release and they are often influenced by independent variables. While I do not know the situation with “Thank You for Loving Me,” some of the variables could have been the following:
  • the time of year the single was released,
  • the amount of promotional money the record label was spending (hiring independent promoters to work the record),
  • competition with other acts the record label is promoting (it may not be their priority single – so it is not worked as hard),
  • a lack of support from other media (i.e., MTV & VH1),
  • whether the band is supporting it with TV appearances and a tour, and
  • a minimum of secondary and major market airplay – which means the markets that drive sales are not being exposed to the song.
A number of these factors could create a confluence of a perfect storm that prevents an honest to goodness hit from becoming one. The release of the single on December 12, 2000 - which was too close to Christmas - was probably a major problem for this tune's success. A November release would have greatly enhanced airplay and sales. The moral to this story is – not everything that is good charts very well and not everything that charts very well is good.

Actually, I can see this being a giant country hit, and it would work very well for a female artist – perhaps Shania Twain. It is one of those tunes that with a change of instrumentation could transition as a crossover hit. Additionally, if I were its producer, I would have a key change with the chorus after the short bridge. If someone takes my suggestions on this, let me know as I would be interested in tracking its success on the country side of things.

The author with Jon Bon Jovi during spring 1987

As for Bon Jovi, I had a chance at meeting Jon Bon Jovi during spring 1987 and found him a very congenial fellow. It was one of the highlights of my career.

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