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Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi

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Evyn Butler

Professor Powe

Music Appreciation


Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi 

“Wanted Dead or Alive” is a song by American rock band Bon jovi. The band was formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonaldPrevious bassist Alec John Such was dismissed in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013. “The song Wanted Dead or Alive” is from their 1986 album Slippery When Wet. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and was released in 1987 as the album’s third single. The song peaked at number 7 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart and number 13 on the Main Stream Rock Tracks Chart, making it the third single from the album to reach the Top 10 of the Hot 100. The song’s title pays homage to Jovi’s admiration for old west heroes, and how he identifies with them as being hated and loved at the same time. During an interview on Inside the Actors studio, Jovi said he got the Inspiration for the song early one morning when he could not sleep while riding a tour bus. Mixing of major and minor harmonies to make the song sound interesting. Heavy reliance on the C note (melody) and chord (harmony), which is a in the key of D Major — the “defiance” chord which communicates the rebel rock n roll spirit of the song. (2017). The whole thing is based on Dorian mode/harmony, which sounds a lot more distinct and exotic than standard major or minor tonality.

Work Cited

Koinuma, Ari. “Songwriting Analysis: Bon Jovi ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’” Ari Koinuma, 19 Apr. 2017,

“Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi Song).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Nov. 2018,



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