Review Summary: Makes a wonderful stocking stuffer for any Bon Jovi fan, though most of them now-a-days are middle aged mothers.
It is quite obvious that Maxwell Shindippon didn't actually listen to this compilation, since this is aimed exclusively to the Bon Jovi fan base. This is not a release for the people who go out of their way to 'listen to it several times and wonder why this guy hasn't been assassinated." This copy that I have in my possession was purchased as a Christmas gift to my mother, who has been a rabid Bon Jovi fan from the beginning. In which case I grew up listening to the finer arts of Arena Rock, becoming a casual Bon Jovi listener even to this day. Being a fan myself, I decided to get a special sneak peak for what she has in stored.
This compilation represents two milestones: 1. The Twentieth anniversary for the band. 2. Selling over 100,000,000 albums worldwide. This contains over 50 tracks sprawled out on 4 discs (38 previously unreleased, 12 demos/compilation), as well as a DVD documentary with well over an hours worth of material. The effort here is flawless, not just some cash grab as some other box sets has conceived. The packaging is well put together. Perfect for showing off the fan boy in all of us. The wide variety of material contains good song quality for the most part, even though this spans 20 years worth of rare tracks.
Jon Bon Jovi seems to lack the eye of picking the best material for their albums (the proof is when he originally wanted "Livin' On A Prayer" off of Slippery When Wet, then became one of their biggest hits). This just proves it as the majority of the material here could have fit along side the juggernaut studio albums Bon Jovi has released. There are plenty of the fun arena songs that are found around here for those who miss those days. "Out of Bounds," "Edge of a Broken Heart," and "Radio Saved My Life Tonight" brings back the nostalgia of the Slippery When Wet and New Jersey days. There are also a wide variety of the 'take it or leave it' ballad material with a few surprises such as the Tico Torres fronted "Only In My Dreams." What is also a good change of pace, there are plenty of blues influenced rock that deserves a mention.
Let me start my closing paragraph by stating my rating isn't the average score of the all the songs put together. Even I will admit there are plenty of average songs scattered through out. My rating comes from the overall complete satisfaction of the product itself. This well crafted box set will not convert any haters or bring in any new fans. It is nothing more than a well deserved thank you to the dedicated fans for showing their support over the bands long run in the music industry. To that I'll say cheers and you're welcome.
Merry Christmas Mommy!
Edge of a Broken Heart
Someday I'll Be A Saturday Night (demo)
Only In My Dreams
The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
We Rule The Night (with props to Richie Sambora for the metal-esque riff)
Taking It Back