Nobody really argues with Desmond Child when he knows he's got a hit on his hands. And you don't need to take our word for it, just ask Aerosmith ("Dude [Looks Like A Lady], "Angel," "Crazy"), Alice Cooper ("Poison"), or Joan Jett ("I Hate Myself For Loving You"). You can add Bon Jovi to that list, as well. The Grammy award-winning songwriter helped the boys from New Jersey compose many of their hits, including "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Bad Medicine" and—perhaps their biggest hit—"Livin' On A Prayer."
Howver, Child recently shared that "Prayer" almost didn't make the cut for Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet LP, because The Big Man in charge wasn't exactly feeling it.
"That song had a majesty, a kind of upward lift that just exuded hope. And at that time, Jon [Bon Jovi] was thinking about making a more hard rock record," Child recently told Rock Pages. "So when we wrote the song—the song is a bit sentimental. It's a bit soft. And he said, 'I was hoping we could rock harder'. And Richie [Sambora] and I literally got on our hands and knees and begged him to record it. I mean, half-joking, but half for real. Just record it! See what happens.
"As soon as they started recording it… magic! And everyone felt it, and there was no way of turning back. The song has a life of its own. It really does. So many people, so many generations know the song. Sometimes they don’t even know where the song came from or who the artist is. You know, that song is one of those."
Child continued by saying, "What I love about going to see Bon Jovi is that you'll see people there from so many generations. You'll see little babies on the shoulders, you know, with their head headphones on, and the parents are there rocking with their fists in the air. And then the grandparents are there. The great grandparents are there. Really old people, people of every color are there, you know, from all walks of life. And when they sing that song, they put on the lights. You can't even hear the band playing it because everybody sings, screaming it out."
We agree—it's hard to imagine Bon Jovi without their signature tune. Some songs are just once in a lifetime works of art, and "Livin' On A Prayer" is definitely, as Child said, "one of those" songs.