'Bad Medicine' - Bon Jovi


Writers: Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child

Producer: Bruce Fairbairn

Recorded: Winter and spring, 1988, at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, B.C.

Released: October 1988

Players: Jon Bon Jovi--vocals, guitar
Richie Sambora--guitar, vocals
Alec John Such--bass, vocals
David Bryan--keyboards
Tico Torres--drums
Album: New Jersey (Mercury, 1988)

The first single from Bon Jovi's fourth album, "Bad Medicine" went quickly to Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released in October 1988.

Frontman Jon Bon Jovi and lead guitarist Richie Sambora had already written a draft of "Bad Medicine" when they brought in Desmond Child, who had helped on previous hits such as "Livin' On A Prayer" and "You Give Love A Bad Name," to help finish it. Child remembered, "I came in and wrote that 'B' section that kind of lifted it. It was like a deceptive modulation. It sort of modulated down, then it modulated back up to the regular key, and it sounded like you went somewhere when you actually didn't. But it was one of those things where my fresh take on it helped the song move to another level."

Producer Bruce Fairbairn was impressed with the song when the group first played it for him: "We were sitting around after dinner with a glass of wine and (Sambora) played me 'Bad Medicine' on the acoustic guitar, and he said, 'Bruce, this is going to be a big song--I know it.' The chorus sounded great, and the verses were a little sketchy at that point. Sure enough, it came along when we started working the song up. When we recorded it, we had a really good feeling it was going to be a great song.

Following up the success of its previous album, Slippery When Wet, which had sold more than 13 million copies, Bon Jovi felt considerable pressure in making the New Jersey album. But Fairbairn noted that "coming into New Jersey, they had a lot of confidence behind them, they were playing really well, and they were comfortable up at the studio in Vancouver. Everybody was still high from Slippery, and we had a lot of fun going into it."

New Jersey hit Number One on the Billboard 200, selling more than seven million copies.