Revisiting Bon Jovi album Keep the Faith as it turns 30

Virgin Radio

3 Nov 2022, 12:14

Credit: Mercury / Getty

Keep the Faith by Bon Jovi was released three decades ago, on 3rd November 1992. Featuring hit singles such as Bed of Roses, In These Arms and the album’s title-track, the record hit the top of the UK charts.

The band’s fifth LP came four years after previous studio album, New Jersey, and was the last record that featured all five original members, as bassist Alec John Such subsequently left in 1994. Bon Jovi had been on hiatus for a while since New Jersey, with Jon Bon Jovi creating Blaze of Glory, the soundtrack for Young Guns II. He also spent time away, riding his motorbike looking for song inspiration.

As well as there being plenty of excitement about Bon Jovi’s return with Keep the Faith, a lot of media attention was given to the fact that their frontman had chopped off his trademark locks and come back with a new look. His haircut even made headlines on CNN!

Keep the Faith was recorded in Vancouver with producer Bob Rock. Clocking in at over an hour, it brought about a shift in the band’s sound. Having been “kicked in the teeth by Nirvana”, Jon Bon Jovi wrote some “socially conscious lyrics and got a haircut.” He admitted he knew that he "couldn't re-write Livin' on a Prayer again, so I didn't try. And it paid off.”

Jon Bon Jovi penned most of the album’s songs on his own, while some were co-written with guitarist Richie Sambora, and with keyboardist Desmond Child and songwriter David Bryan.

Six singles were released from the album in total. Its title-track (above) was a top five hit in the UK, and reached the top of the charts in the US.

Bed of Roses was the album’s second single, peaking at number 13 on the UK singles chart. Its video features Richie Sambora playing guitar atop a mountain.

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and Dry County were also lifted from the record. The latter was nearly ten minutes in length, making it the longest song that Bon Jovi has ever recorded on a studio album. The radio edit, while shorter, was still over six minutes long.

Another single, In These Arms, landed in the UK top ten and remains a fan favourite to this day.

The video for the song shows Bon Jovi performing at a concert at their New Year's Eve show in Pennsylvania in 1992. The same show also featured on the band’s previous video for Bed of Roses.

AllMusic suggested that, as an album, Keep the Faith “blatantly brought to the surface the Bruce Springsteen influence that was always lurking in Bon Jovi's sound, and used it to frame [Keep the] Faith's more serious interpretation of the band's pop-metal groove.”

Commercially, the album was a hit. As well as hitting number one in the UK, the record also punctuated the top five of the US charts, went to number one in Australia and number two in Germany.

In terms of its legacy, Keep the Faith was placed at number 21 in Kerrang!’s Top 100 Albums You Must Listen Before You Die in 1998. It was also included in Classic Rock & Metal Hammer’s Top 200 Albums of the 90s.

It has sold over 12 million copies worldwide, and was one of five consecutive number one UK albums, starting with 1988’s New Jersey and ending with Crush in 2000.

The band also hold another surprising record regarding the UK charts. You can read about it here.

Happy birthday Keep the Faith!