Bon Jovi, the band, hails from New Jersey where their handsome lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi was raised. After knocking around the Manhattan record studio scene, he was soon recording demos and recruiting a band. Key members included Ritchie Sambora (guitar), David Bryan (keyboards), and Tico Torres (drums), who continue with the band to this day. After several minor hits, the group recruited professional songwriter Desmond Child to help write songs for their third album, Slippery When Wet. Thanks to several monster hits, the album was huge seller and Bon Jovi kickstarted the “hair metal” craze that lasted for the next five years.

“You Give Love a Bad Name” was the lead single from Slippery When Wet and quickly went to number one. The album was late in the summer and went to number one in October, followed by a second stint from mid-January to late March 1987. Overall the album has sold over 12 million copies in the U.S. and was the number one album of 1987.

Livin’ on a Prayer” was another Child co-composition, and went to number for two weeks. The band’s “happy metal” image was cemented with the video featuring Bon Jovi clad in spandex and a harness to allow him to “fly” in concert. The band’s party image was an immediate hit with Metal fans, yet Bon Jovi’s good looks also made him a teen idol with girls too.

1988′s New Jersey was a popular follow-up in the same mold, and 1992′s Keep the Faith also sold well. In fact, Bon Jovi has continued to sell at Platinum levels for nearly every album recorded since, and in 2000 they had a big comeback hit with “It’s My Life.”

Bon Jovi very much set the stage for many bands to follow with their hair and their pretty faces and their music videos. Even just two years later the trend was already showing signs of repetition, but at least Bon Jovi had a sense of humor about it when they debuted their lead single from New Jersey with a video featuring comedian Sam Kinison.