How Kiss’ Paul Stanley Was Involved in Bon Jovi’s Biggest Studio Album

Paul Stanley of the classic rock band Kiss had the opportunity to write songs for Bon Jovi. He turned down the offer. Despite this, he helped Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet become a classic album.

Kiss' Paul Stanley holding a spray bottle
Paul Stanley of Kiss | Michael Putland/Getty Images

What happened when Kiss’ Paul Stanley spoke to Jon Bon Jovi’s manager

In his 2014 autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, Stanley discussed crossing paths with the lead singer of Bon Jovi. “Jon Bon Jovi was a smart guy and always sat with us at the hotel bar and asked questions about how various production expenses broke down,” Stanley recalled. “He was intent on getting as much information as possible, and he asked business questions. Now that we were basically managing ourselves, we had the answers.”

Stanley had the opportunity to write songs for Bon Jovi. “Near the end of the tour, Bon Jovi’s manager, Doc McGhee, approached me,” Stanley wrote. “‘Would you be willing to write with Jon for their next album?’ ‘If you want to write with someone great,’ I said, ‘call Desmond Child.'” For context, Child is a superstar songwriter. He previously co-wrote Kiss’ “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” and he went on to co-write hit songs for Katy Perry, Ricky Martin, and Alice Cooper.

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How Kiss’ Paul Stanley reacted to ‘Slippery When Wet’

Stanley gave Child’s phone number to McGhee. “Maybe a year later, Desmond came over to my apartment and played Slippery When Wet for me, the album he ended up writing with Jon and Richie,” Stanley recalled.

Stanley had a strong reaction to Slippery When Wet. “I was impressed and called Jon afterwards,” Stanley remembered. “‘I think this could be a big album for you,’ I said. An understatement, to say the least.”

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The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’

Slippery When Wet became Bon Jovi’s most successful studio album in the United States. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for eight weeks. It spent 118 weeks on the chart in total. Two singles from Slippery When Wet — “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” — topped the Billboard Hot 100. Another single from the album — “Wanted Dead or Alive” — reached No. 7 on the chart.

Slippery When Wet was popular in the United Kingdom as well. According to The Official Charts Company, the record reached No. 6 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 141 weeks. Four singles from the album — “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and “Never Say Goodbye” — reached the top 40 in the U.K.

Slippery When Wet is a classic glam metal album — and it wouldn’t be the same without Stanley and Child.

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