REVIEW: Bon Jovi – “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” (1995 single)

BON JOVI – “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” (1995 Mercury single)

It’s impossible to acquire a “complete” Bon Jovi collection; trust me on this. Even Jon Bon Jovi doesn’t have a complete Bon Jovi collection. Up to a certain point in time, it’s fun to collect as many B-sides and bonus tracks you can get your hands on.

The second single from “best of” album Cross Road (1994) was “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”, and it was a pretty clear indication of where the band would go on their next album These Days.  But — surprise bonus — this single doesn’t have the studio version (that you already own) from Cross Road.  It has an uncredited live version instead!  Added bonus — Alec John Such on bass.  He had yet to be replaced (on stage, anyway) by Hugh McDonald.  This is probably the only live version of the hit with Such on bass.

Make no mistake, “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” is a great song.  There’s a Bon Jovi niche for acoustic rock songs with down-on-your-luck/inspirational lyrics.  “My life’s a bargain basement, all the good shit’s gone.”  This is Jon’s bread and butter.  He wouldn’t know a bargain basement if he was shopping for old Bon Jovi singles in one, but he does this kind of rock really well.  This is one of the last of his must-haves of the genre.

Another rare one, “Good Guys Don’t Always Wear White”, is a studio track with the well-worn cowboy motif.  It’s from the movie The Cowboy Way featuring Jon’s old Young Guns buddy Keifer Sutherland.  Unexpectedly, this one is an  intricate hard-driving rocker, with a Sambora riff that he could take pride in.  Tico Torres is absolutely on fire on the kit.  That guy can lay down a groove while throwing in challenging patterns just for fun.  Why can’t Bon Jovi rock like this anymore?  This track feels more honest than the hard luck songs.

Two more live songs finish the CD.  These two are from Montreal in ’94:  “With A Little Help From My Friends” (Joe Cocker style) and “Always”.  The reason Bon Jovi can get away with “A Little Help From My Friends” is Richie Sambora, who always brings the soul and the integrity.  That’s not to say that Jon sucks.  Check out the note he holds at 3:57.  The man had lungs back in 1994!  The demographics of the audience are obvious: “Always” is almost drowned out by a sea of high-pitched screams!  It’s one of their last ballads that really deserves that kind of cheering though.

A great single is one that you can list to independently of the album, and doesn’t sound like a bunch of miscellaneous bonus tracks.  This single is like that.  There’s no wasted space, no filler, and no tracks you can get on the albums.  The live stuff is high grade and the studio track is extremely valuable for its hard rocking nature.  This is more like an EP than a single, but it’s all semantics.  Let’s just call it:

4.5/5 stars

 

You say you don’t like my kind,
A bitter picture in your mind.
No, it don’t matter what I say,
I hear you bitchin’ when I walk away.
I’ll never be what you want me to be,
You tell me I’m wrong but I disagree,
I ain’t go no apology.
Just because I don’t look like you, talk like you, think like you,
Judge and jury, a hangman’s noose,
I see them in your eyes.
Good guys don’t always wear white.

 

29 comments

  1. SDIBSN is a song that got really old really quick. It didn’t take long for it to be really irritating as it was very clear that multi-millionaire JBJ still singing lyrics about being down-at-heel came across as a bit insincere, especially after all the shoe-gazing of the years leading up to this number. The fact that the awful Sleep When I’m Dead was still ringing in my ears from the previous album didn’t help.
    I did buy this single though for the Good Guys song as I always thought (after hearing it in the movie) that it deserved more exposure than it got and I’d loved their version of Friends on the Evening With… movie, so it was worth it. As for Always, it was OK, but that song got A LOT of airplay in the UK round that time, so I never really gave that one too much effort.
    Good Guys blows everything else away on this single set and it was the type of song that I wished they would keep on doing at the time.

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    1. Well that is an epic comment! I actually bought The Cowboy Way soundtrack to get Good Guys, without even hearing the song. I think the sticker price on that CD was $24. A fool and his money?

      Anyway, as soon as I got this single, I was able to get rid of the soundtrack. I don’t think I ever played any of it aside from the Bon Jovi song!

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      1. *Taking a quick look online for the Cowboy Way Soundtrack*I
        That’s not the worst sounding soundtrack in the world, but I can imagine it wearing thin, so trading to Crossroads sounds like a good bet. I never bought Crossroads as I had all the songs elsewhere after buying the singles.
        The singles were good at that point and did represent decent value for money. The Always and Dry County releases were excellent with some corking live material including the Basie Theatre (?) stuff with each band member taking a turn doing a lead vocal on a song. That was pretty good.

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        1. I have Dry County and Always! Although my Dry County is the edited version and so I don’t often listen to it.

          The Count Basie tracks were included on the 2 CD These Days, stuff like Tumblin’ Dice, all kinds of amazing stuff. Tico Torres sang “Crazy”.

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  2. The other thing that irritated me (and still does, I guess) was the fact that the photograph had JBJ doing his “I know I’m pretty, but I’m not the leader of a pretty boy band” thing where he has to be seen in profile looking everywhere other than at the camera or the rest of the band. Just seems so pretentious.
    JON! JUST LOOK AT THE F*CKING CAMERA AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE REST OF THE BAND AND THE WORLD!

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    1. Well that is true. Jon did go out of his way starting around New Jersey, of not looking at the camera. He used to say in interviews “Everybody knows what I look like, so Tico should have a chance to be front and center.” Stuff like that.

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      1. There’s the interview on one of the Jovi longforms where he talks about growing his hair out and having his back turned in photos or not smiling to play down the image. I think that’s artistically strong for a few photos, but after five years it starts to just look aloof and just plain damn rude. This is more so after you consider on the Blaze of Glory photos, and videos, you couldn’t stop the bastard smiling the million-dollar dental work or being front-facing!

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        1. And holy shit, did he have hair at Blaze of Glory. That length probably turned him off of long hair forever! Fuckin’ cool, though….

          Blaze of Glory is a peak for him of some kind. I don’t think it was appreciated in its time.

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  3. That was a good single Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night. I actually bought that CrossRoads for Sue at the time as I thought her apartment needed some rock! haha
    “Good Guys” was even a better track. Gave me some hope that they were going to rock an album out of the park with a song like that but a no they did not hahaha

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    1. Cross Road was a good CD to buy. It had two new songs, the Prayer 94 track, and all the big hits. Yeah strange that Good Guys was not an indicator of where they were going. They’ve never rocked that hard since.

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  4. “I have Dry County and Always! Although my Dry County is the edited version and so I don’t often listen to it.
    “The Count Basie tracks were included on the 2 CD These Days, stuff like Tumblin’ Dice, all kinds of amazing stuff. Tico Torres sang “Crazy”.”

    I seem to remember Tico singing Waltzing Matilda and there was a storming version of Stranger in this Town on Dry County. The Always set had Edge of a Broken Heart and Prayer’94, which was a good pairing.

    “And holy shit, did he have hair at Blaze of Glory. That length probably turned him off of long hair forever! Fuckin’ cool, though….
    “Blaze of Glory is a peak for him of some kind. I don’t think it was appreciated in its time.”

    He certainly was looking pretty during BoG. I suspect this is because they made him look like a right dirty hobo for his cameo in the movie! “I’M JON BON JOVI, GODDAMN IT! MAKE ME PRETTY!” The image of JBJ diamond white gnashers gleaming in the sunshine as he rides his massive motorbike in the Miracle video is only foreshadowed by the immortal BoG video with him standing in front of a burning Drive-in Cinema screen inexplicably built in the middle of the desert on a mountain in the BoG…

    I always blew hot and cold on BoG as an album, to be honest. There is some cracking stuff on there hidden away and the sound clips of the movie were a nice idea to keep the theme going as a listening experience. The songs are generally good and as a project to make one’s own mark away from a massive band, it was pretty bold, although the presence of all the guest stars does sort of take away from the sincerity, which is why I think I always preferred Richie’s Stranger in this Town.

    Stranger sounds like a record from a dude striking out on his own who wants to make something a little different whilst BoG is a bit stuck in record company points-scoring hell. Maybe that’s unfair since BoG was tied up with a major movie production and had a much higher profile, but I think that JBJ did great with it and it blew away much of what he produced over the subsequent decades.

    Went off track there a little… Sorry. Yeah, I think it was possibly underappreciated in it’s time to be fair and when you listen to it now, it does seem to pave the way for some of the changes of approach that came on Keep the Faith and even These Days. Santa Fe is very much Dry County’s big brother and You Really Got Me Now is a definite dry run for Sleep When I’m Dead. It’s an album that stamps a future for Bon Jovi probably more than anything on Stranger in this Town.

    Jesus, I’m I still typin’ and did I contradict myself?!

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    1. Jesus man you’re keeping me busy! LOL. What can I add to this? Stranger is a good album. I can’t remember how I rated it. I know my critique would be that it’s a little soft. But it’s got some serious soul on it too. Blaze of Glory shouldn’t really be considered a solo album. Jon always said Destination Anywhere was his solo debut. Now that’s an album I don’t very much care for.

      What else what else… well I love Blaze of Glory now. I was underwhelmed then but it’s been consistent love for a few years now. And interesting point about how it’s sketching out the future. I never saw it that way before. But you are 100% on the money. Contradictions and all!

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      1. The devil makes work for idle hands, what can I say?!

        Interesting about the BoG not being considered a solo album but I would argue with JBJ that the fact that he wrote all the songs on there kind of betrays it’s “solo album” aspirations. I remember thinking it was OK at the time but it could have done with a few more Born To Be My Babies and Homebound Trains on it, but after living with it a while, the second side of the album came alive and I started to make it a more of a go-to.

        As for Destination Anywhere, that was very dull and the movie that accompanied it just seemed a bit pretentious and overwrought. It sort of proved everyone right that JBJ was a bit miserable and needed his band mates to be any sort of “entertainer” in the strictest sense. I tried it, couldn’t warm to it and ended up forgetting it. I even gave away the VHS of the movie that I paid good money for… 1997 must have been a slow music year!

        Stranger is an album that took a few spins too. Again, it sounded so different to Jovi with the heavy blues and soul, but it just seemed a bit more genuine than BoG. It also proved what a lot of people suspected, that good ol’ Richie Sambuca could do fine on his own. In the UK, it was a little quiet on the promotion compared to BoG the year before, probably due to Stranger not being part of a movie promotion, but there was a reasonable amount of attention given to Ballad of Youth, which I always loved. Again, there are many hidden treasures on it and in interviews, Sambuca always seemed so enthusiastic and open about the project that it was infectious and did him a lot of favours.

        I don’t hear as much of Sambora’s solo thing in Keep the Faith and beyond as I do Jovi’s. Lookin at the credits of KtF, JBJ seemed to take sole credit on pretty much half the album. Bit of a shame really as KtF was only half good and had some real filler on there (as well as the ultimately fucking infuriating Sleep When I’m Dead). Maybe I should revisit KtF after a spin if Stranger?

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  5. This tune and Always started the Bon Jovi downfall. Can’t stand either of ’em. Good Guys is a damn good song, though. I wonder why that one never ended up on an album.
    These Days was the last good album they released and even that one is uneven.

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  6. Just listened to my new BJ single Bed of Roses. The live tracks sounded good. I’m kinda afraid that the upcoming 2020 is going to be a trainwreck….

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