The album was going to be titled Wanted
in homage to this song, and cover was set to have a cowboy theme. Photographer Mark Weiss did photo shoot with the band dressed in Old West garb
, but it looked ridiculous - their '80s hair belied the look.
"They needed a stronger image, so another photo was taken of a single lady wearing a cut-up shirt doused in water with the album title on it," Weiss told Songfacts.
With the new title Slippery When Wet
, Weiss did a new photo shoot at Bradley Beach in New Jersey with Angela Chidnese, a girl they found nearby, as the cover girl. That artwork was ready to go, but Bon Jovi's record company nixed it when retailers told them they might not stock it because of the cover. Weiss did a third shoot, this one of a garbage bag.
"I got a call from Jon saying, 'I'm coming over to your studio, and we're going to do a new cover. Just have a black plastic bag there for me," he said. "He walks in the door, and says, 'Hang up the bag, throw some water on it.' I sprayed some water on it so you saw droplets on the bag, and he just wrote 'SLIPPERY WHEN WET.' And he walked out! He didn't even stick around for the Polaroid. I sent it in, and that was it."