I bought this box set because Bon Jovi has had some pretty good songs over the years that have been catchy.
I could have beat myself for not looking at the track listing, as I just assumed this would be a giant "Best Of" collection. In fact, Id only heard of about 3 songs on the whole 4 disks (YIKES)!!!
I was going to go ahead and re-sell it, as this is a lot of money to have tied up in something Im not truly interested in, but I figured since I would lose money on it anyway, that I would give it a listen first.
Im very delighted that I decided to do that.
The set is packaged very nicely, and includes a very nice large colored booklet that has very in-depth entries explaining why these songs were written, chosen for the box set, and why the box set has been released.
There are fan testimonials plastered throughout, and it is closed with personal, hand written messages from the band.
Musical highlights include the totally rockin' "Taking it Back", interesting demos of songs we know well (such as "Always"), some most excellent soundtrack material such as "Good Guys Dont Always Wear White", tracks featuring vocal performances by the guitarist, keyboard player, and drummer, a song written to Kurt Cobain's daughter after his death, and many, MANY other standouts.
One song that I believe is a lyrical GEM, quite possible one of the best rock songs ever written (lyrically) was "Last Man Standing". Writtin about the late Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, this song reflects on the direction the music industry is going. It compares the manufactured stars of today who lip synch to pre-recoded music and sounds to the old school artists who are/were singers, songwriters, and musicians.
"Come see those real-life caloused fingers wrapped around those guitar strings, kiss the lips where hurt has lingered, it breaks your heart to hear him sing, his songs were more than music, they were pictures from his soul....."
This is very much like a "Greatest Hits you've never heard" of Bon Jovi....4 disks worth!!! There are love ballads better than the ones Im used to hearing on the radio, and songs that ROCK as hard as Ive ever heard this band rock.
Possibly the biggest thing I gained was respect for the band. After watching the (almost hour long) DVD that is included, and reading the fan testimonials, I can really see how these guys strive to be great artists.
All in all, Im still digesting how cool this is, Im a HUGE fan of rock music, and its like being introduced to this awesome rock band, that has suddenly decided to give us its best work from the last 20 years, all in one shot.
If you're a fan of good rock and roll, give this a listen.