BON JOVI Shares Lyric Video For New Single 'Living Proof'

May 17, 2024

BON JOVI has released the official Nevil Bernard-directed lyric video for the band's new single "Living Proof". The track is taken from BON JOVI's upcoming 16th studio album, "Forever", which will arrive on June 7. The new LP is now available for pre-order where fans can find exclusive colored vinyl options, CDs, cassettes, and limited edition signed copies. An extremely limited run of Ocean Waves colored vinyl will include a one-of-a-kind instant photo of frontman Jon Bon Jovi.

"We bring back the talk box, the idea based on Peter Frampton and Joe Walsh and our using it first on 'Livin' On A Prayer'," Jon Bon Jovi said about "Living Proof". "This is a big ol' rock song just the way you like it."

"Forever" features Jon Bon Jovi once again alongside fellow founding BON JOVI members, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. They are joined by bassist Hugh McDonald and guitarist Phil X.

"Forever" is a celebratory album that takes stock of the past and likes what it sees, while keeping one eye on the future. But it's also a defiant record, the most compelling evidence yet that BON JOVI — inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2018, with more than 130 million records sold and dozens of unassailable radio hits to his credit — has nothing left to prove. "Forever" features twelve new songs, including the hit lead single "Legendary".

Jon Bon Jovi's story is one of longevity. Forty years since the release of his namesake band's debut album, Bon Jovi is not only still standing, but thriving. He's stared down the toughest decade of his career — one beset by a global pandemic and his own harrowing vocal injury — to emerge with a timeless new album, "Forever", and a life-affirming discovery: Jon Bon Jovi is happy again.

"For the first time in 10 years, I have joy," Jon says. "I had lost touch with it for a number of reasons, and I'd set out to find it while writing and making this record. At the completion of the project, I realized I was at peace. I really found joy."

Produced by Jon with John Shanks, "Forever" takes stock of the past and likes what it sees, while keeping one eye on the future.

"'Forever' is an opportunity to show that you can look back with one foot firmly entrenched in the future. And that only comes with age, wisdom, and experience," Jon says.

It also helps to have people you can count on by your side. While BON JOVI's last album, the socially conscious 2020, was written almost entirely by Jon alone — "I was the narrator. It was what I saw happening when I turned on my television," he says — "Forever" is a fully collaborative effort, underscoring the bond between Jon and his band of brothers.

"It is absolutely an inclusive record," he says. "If '2020' was 'me,' this album is 'we.'"

"Legendary", which Jon debuted live at the gala honoring him as the 2024 MusiCares Person Of The Year, speaks to that union. The song is a rousing testament to the enduring relationships with his family, both those at home and in the band. "Got what I want/cause I got what I need," he sings over Torres's thumping beat, "Got a fistful of friends that'll stand up for me."

"I've come to realize in this chapter of my life that what matters is that handful of people that truly stood by your side. It's not just my band, but my wife, my kids, my longtime engineer and friend," Jon says. "Out of all this pain and suffering that I've been through in the last decade, I've wrapped my arms around all of these moments and learned that what matters is what you've got. And what I've got has been pretty good."

Jon doesn't mince words when talking about the vocal problems that plagued him beginning in 2015. He says matter-of-factly that he was singing out of tune but, for the life of him, couldn't figure out what was wrong. Finally, a doctor diagnosed an atrophying of one of his vocal cords and the singer underwent major surgery to have a permanent implant affixed to the damaged cord.

But the outcome wasn't a sure bet. To get back to singing at the level he demands, Jon committed to a rigorous daily schedule of vocal exercises. "It's been 21 months of recovery so far. There's no miracle, but there's steady progress," he says. "Recording 'Forever' in the studio in Nashville, I could take my time. And when we rehearse as a band, we make great strides. But I don't know the end game."

To listen to "Forever", though, is to hear an artist confidently in the zone. He throws himself headlong into the daring opus "Seeds", a mesmerizing composition about perseverance brought to life with rich strings and sharp metaphor. In "I Wrote You A Song" — one of those lyrical lightning bolts that came to Jon while he slept — he delivers one of the album's vocal highlights over Bryan's stark piano. And with "Walls Of Jericho", he adds the most epic arena anthem to the BON JOVI catalog since "Bad Medicine".

A pair of tracks on the album directly chronicle the band's history, which is also honestly retold in the four-part Hulu documentary "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story". "We Made It Look Easy" charts BON JOVI's hard-won evolution from New Jersey bar band to stadium headliners, while "Living Proof" evokes the group's storied past through a signature sound: a TalkBox guitar intro reminiscent of "Livin' On A Prayer".

The chorus of "Living Proof" drives home one of "Forever"'s overarching themes: "This family tree got nothing left to prove now," Jon sings. "Me and you/We're the living proof."

When Jon, a 2009 inductee into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, wrote those lines, he says they encapsulated everything he was feeling more than 40 years into a rock legacy: "I thought, 'That pretty much sums it up for me.'"

But having nothing left to prove doesn't mean not challenging oneself. "Forever" contains some of the most soul-baring songs Jon's ever written. "Kiss The Bride" he wrote especially for his daughter and is destined to be heard at every wedding from here to eternity. "My First Guitar" is the tale of the cheap but cherished Univox he played as a teenager, sold to a neighbor, and was recently reunited with. And "Hollow Man", which caps the album, is about submitting himself freely and openly to the muse.

"That's me with my hands and eyes towards the sky, saying, ‘I'm an empty vessel. Fill me up,'" Jon says. "I am the hollow man."

In a telling moment, he punctuates one line of the song — "Anyway, I got you to smile…" — with a warm chuckle.

It's the sound of a man, no longer hollow, having fun again. He's successfully navigated obstacles, both universal and personal, and is able to smile about it all.

"Over the course of my life, I've had love and loss all happen more than once," Jon says. "With this album, I'm telling you the truth."

"Forever" track listing

01. Legendary
02. We Made It Look Easy
03. Living Proof
04. Waves
05. Seeds
06. Kiss The Bride
07. The People's House
08. Walls Of Jericho
09. I Wrote You A Song
10. Living In Paradise
11. My First Guitar
12. Hollow Man

Guitarist Richie Sambora left BON JOVI mid-tour in 2013 in order to spend more time with his family. His exit came after he missed 13 shows on the band's 2011 tour when he entered rehab.

Sambora joined his former bandmates onstage in 2018 when they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Last November, Sambora told People that a BON JOVI reunion tour was not out of the question.

Photo credit: Mark Seliger

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