What About Now?

I've never been an audiophile. I am not one of those people who can give you good recommendations for cutting-edge, new music. {I wish I were, because it sounds swell.} I've dated music purists who've scoffed at my taste and made me mix tapes and CDs in an effort to broaden my horizons. This was not a complete exercise in futility, but I still love bubble-gum rock.

It's only fitting that I love Bon Jovi, a commercially-successful, yet critically-disparaged band. Bon Jovi's trademark upbeat lyrics nearly always feature a down-on-your-luck, never-say-die, pull-yourself-up-by-the-boot-straps-with-a-bit-of-sass feeling. Cross reference Living on a Prayer.

I've seen the band in concert five times. I own every album. So when they released their newest one What About Now last week, of course I had to go buy it.

At Best Buy, I am stuck in a quandary. Do I buy the standard or extended version? I choose the extended version, but as I'm rushing out of the store, I begin to doubt the decision. Is it worth it?

So, I decide to call the expert, the person who loves music more than anyone else I know: Ryan. Here's his take: "The extended version almost always contains a few extra songs, which are usually turds because they didn't make the original album cut. They weren't good enough to make the album, but then they add them to the CD and call it the extended version. Turdlettes."  (My inner editor says, "I don't think that's a word," but I take his meaning.)

However, when I ask Ryan if he buys the extended version of an album from his favorite band, he immediately and unapologetically says yes. He loves the Smashing Pumpkins and he wants to hear any songs that they write, including the turdlettes. {Ahh. Validation. This was basically the conclusion I drew while in Best Buy.} 

So I'm listening to the CD. It's full of quintessential Bon Jovi. I am ready to line up on behalf of the working man and all star-crossed lovers. Then I get to track 8. The name of the song Army of One evokes the old National Guard recruiting slogan, but I'll give it a listen. Then...I get to the chorus: "Never give up, Never give up, Never, Never give up, Never let up, Ever, Never give in, You’re an army of one." And now, all I can think about is Galaxy Quest, the spoof on Star Trek, where the kitschy tag line is "Never give up, never surrender." Don't get me wrong. I like Galaxy Quest. But I hate this song. I don't know if that's ever happened. So here's my question. Jon Bon Jovi, how did a turdlette make it on to the actual album?

P.S. I'm still a fan.