In 1984, Bon Jovi reached #39 in the US with "Runaway
," from their debut, self-titled album. The band was big in the New Jersey area, but got little attention elsewhere. The group was signed by a Polygram Records executive named Derek Shulman
, who told us, "I saw the drive and the ambition of Jon Bon Jovi, despite the fact that he could only sing five notes and most of them out of tune."
For the band to break through, Shulman thought the key was big choruses, and the man to deliver that was Desmond Child, who worked with Kiss on "I Was Made For Lovin' You
." Child got together with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, and the trio got to work. In our interview with Desmond Child
, he said: "The very first day we got together we wrote 'You Give Love a Bad Name.' Then a few weeks later we wrote 'Livin' On A Prayer.' It was a magical collaboration and there was instant chemistry between us."
Child later teamed up with Jon and Richie for many more Bon Jovi songs, including "Born To Be My Baby" and "Keep The Faith." He went on to write hits for many other artists, including Cher, Aerosmith, and Ricky Martin.