ONE WILD NIGHT – LIVE 1985-2001
Released on May 22, 2001 (Island)
With the 15th year anniversary of the release of Bon Jovi‘s One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 taking place yesterday, I thought that this would be a good time to review the group’s first live album.
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to live albums is a band delivering a live album consisting of tracks plucked from many different tours with a wide gap in years and varying line-ups. What this presumably tells me is that the group is not good enough to pull off a full show that can be recorded and offered to its fans. I get that many albums are recorded over the span of a few selected concerts and that the best songs from each show are selected to make what seemingly might feel like one continuous show. However, for most live albums, this means recording a couple of concerts from the same tour with the same line-up.
In the case of Bon Jovi‘s One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 live album, you have at least presumably three different tours represented, a gap of more than 15 years between the first recorded show (in April 1985) to the last one (in November 2000), and a change in the group’s line-up (bassist Alec John Such only plays on two of the live tracks while replacement bassist Hugh McDonald plays on all the other tracks). I simply do not understand why Bon Jovi would have elected to release a live album consisting of two live tracks recorded in 1985, four live ones from 1995-96 and the rest from year 2000. Why not record and offer an entire set from one tour instead? Why not treat your fans to a complete live show from a 1985 era set? Why not release three separate live albums — one featuring the 1985 setlist, one showcasing the 1995-96 setlist and the other highlighting the 2000 setlist? Sure, there would have been some songs such as “Runaway” that would have likely been repeated on those three live albums but it would be cool in any case to hear whether Bon Jovi would play the track live a little differently in a 15 year span.
I’ve only seen Bon Jovi in concert one time when they opened for Judas Priest back in 1986 but I would have thought that Bon Jovi would likely not open any show by playing both “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name” within the first three songs of their show. Yet, that is exactly what you might think by listening to One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 since those songs respectively appear as tracks number two and three on the live album. As it turns out from inspecting the setlist for both the Zurich, Switzerland show on August 30, 2000 and the Toronto, Canada concert on November 27, 2000, Bon Jovi opened with the two aforementioned songs during their Zurich show. However, the opening track “It’s My Life” on One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 was the seventh song played during the Zurich show and ninth song played at the Toronto gig. Funny enough, the song “One Wild Night (2001)” which was recorded in Toronto on November 27, 2000 and closes One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 was the first song played during that Toronto show! Clearly, Bon Jovi were not interested in providing a “real” or seemingly “real” concert feel to their fans on One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001.
While there is no question that the songs on One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 sound good including the covers of Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ In The Free World” and The Boomtown Rats‘ “I Don’t Like Mondays”, in my view, One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 gets a failing mark in terms of what it offers as a live album. One Wild Night – Live 1985-2001 is nothing more than a greatest hits package from Bon Jovi with live tracks selected from 15 years of the group’s 18 year career by that point. Apparently, Bon Jovi did not learn from that live album given that their subsequent live album Inside Out released in 2012 was recorded during the band’s Lost Highway Tour in 2008 and the Circle Tour in 2010.
01. It’s My Life (live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on November 27, 2000)
02. Livin’ On A Prayer (live in Zurich, Switzerland on August 30, 2000)
03. You Give Love A Bad Name (live in Zurich, Switzerland on August 30, 2000)
04. Keep The Faith (live in New York City, United States on September 20, 2000)
05. Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night (live in Melbourne, Australia on November 10, 1995)
06. Rockin’ In The Free World (live in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 1, 1995)
07. Something To Believe In (live in Yokohama, Japan on May 19, 1996)
08. Wanted Dead Or Alive (live in New York City, United States on September 20, 2000)
09. Runaway (live in Tokyo, Japan on April 28, 1985)
10. In And Out of Love (live in Tokyo, Japan on April 28, 1985)
11. I Don’t Like Mondays (featuring Bob Geldof) (live in London, United Kingdom on June 21, 2000)
12. Just Older (live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on November 27, 2000)
13. Something For The Pain (live in Melbourne, Australia on November 10, 1995)
14. Bad Medicine (live in Zurich, Switzerland on August 30, 2000)
15. One Wild Night (2001) (live in Toronto, Canada on November 27, 2000)
Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals, guitar
Richie Sambora – guitar, backing vocals
Hugh McDonald – bass, backing vocals
Tico Torres – drums, percussion
David Bryan – keyboards, backing vocals
Alec John Such – bass, backing vocals (9, 10)
Produced by Obie O’Brien and Bon Jovi (1 to 14)
Engineered, mixed and recorded by Obie O’Brien (1 to 14)
Produced by Richie Sambora, Luke Ebbin and Desmond Child (15)
Mixed by Dave Bascombe (15)
Re-mixed by Obie O’Brien
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, May 2016
Music video by Bon Jovi performing One Wild Night. (C) 2000 The Island Def Jam Music Group