For people who only know Bon Jovi from their "Have A Nice Day" and beyond years, "Cross Road" is a very good collection of tunes for them to check out. It gives the listener a solid set of their most popular tunes from their hair band heyday before they got all earthy/Mellencampy. This album is by no means a complete gathering of their greatest tunes. It leaves out at least two songs ("Living In Sin" and "Born To Be My Baby") and instead fills those holes with the dismal "Prayer '94," the forgettable "Always" and the harbinger of things to come, "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night." "Someday" is actually a very good modern roots rocker, but people don't buy greatest hits albums for the new songs. People buy this album for songs like the original "Livin' on a Prayer," "Wanted Dead Or Alive," "Bad Medicine," and "I'll Be There For You."
Lesser known tunes from their earliest offerings(particularly "Runaway") signal the beginnings of a great band to come. Later songs such as "Keep The Faith" and "Bed Of Roses" reveal a band in rock decline and quickly headed for the adult contemporary sound. In short, "Crossroad" gives the listener a pretty good take on how a band from Jersey made it big, leveled off, then headed for the sweet and steady success of light rock. Just to shake things up a bit, "Blaze Of Glory" from Jon Bon Jovi's solo "Young Guns II" project is included. Sadly, we do not get a sample from any of Richie Sambora's solo works. He really is a much better guitarist than he's given credit for, and it would have been nice for one of his tunes to be included in this collection.
I grew up during Bon Jovi's prime, and am proud to say that I own original cassette copies of "Slippery When Wet" and "New Jersey." Although they weren't my favorite hair/glam/hard rock band (that was Def Leppard), they were still one of the best around at the time. Bon Jovi is no longer the band they once were, but for people who want to know where they came from, this is the album to pick up.
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Kendall Fontenot (kfontenot)
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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This best-of is loaded with the usual smash suspects plus three new cuts--the sub-Mellancamp "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night," the Bed of Roses-style ballad single "Always," and a low-key remake of "Living On A Prayer" titled "Prayer '94." Love 'em or not, there's no denying the loyalty of the fans.--Jeff Bateman