Bad Medicine (song)

Bad Medicine (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Bad Medicine

Artist = Bon Jovi
from Album = New Jersey
B-side = "99 in the Shade"
Released = 1988
Format = CD Single
Recorded = 1988
Genre = Hard rockcite web| url = | title = Allmusic - "New Jersey" - Review | work = William Ruhlmann | publisher = Allmusic | accessdate = 2008-04-07]
Length = 5:16
Label = Mercury Records
Writer = Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Desmond Child
Producer = Bruce Fairbairn
Certification =
Last single = "Edge of a Broken Heart"
This single = "Bad Medicine"
Next single = "Born to Be My Baby"
"Bad Medicine" is a number-one single by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child. It was released in 1988 as the lead single from the band's massively successful album "New Jersey". The song is 5 minutes and 17 seconds long.


The song climbed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, #17 in the UK and #15 in Australia.

Lyrical Interpretation

The song compares a love affair to a drug addiction ("now this boy's addicted cause your kiss is the drug", "your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need") and also has many tongue-in-cheek medical analogies ("Let's play doctor, baby cure my disease"; "There ain't no paramedic gonna save this heart attack"; "I need a respirator cause I'm runnin' out of breath").

ong Structure

The song is highlighted by a near constant keyboard playing by David Bryan that is well defined in the beginning of the song and at several interludes, as well as loud guitar playing by Richie Sambora, background singing in the bridge and chorus, and a loud fast-paced delivery of lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi. It is one of the more upbeat and hard rocking songs on "New Jersey".

Towards the end of the song, Jon says he's got to go and he's running out of breath, but then says "I'm not more time, with feelin'" and the band finishes out the song with another repeat of the chorus.


There are two videos for the song, one with the band live in concert, and the more well-known live video in which a crowd of young people waiting in line to get into the Bon Jovi live video shoot is asked by Sam Kinison if they (the public) "can make a better Bon Jovi video than these guys can." The crowd gives a very enthusiastic response, and members of the crowd are given hand-held cameras and invited onstage to help shoot the video.

The video was very groundbreaking at the time for using such a fan-inclusive approach to making a music video, and captured live shots not often captured by regular video crews.

The video was in color, although the quality given by the hand-held video cameras was not as superb.


"Bad Medicine" continues to see considerable airplay on many rock radio stations and has always been a live staple at Bon Jovi concerts. In concert, an approximately 1-minute interlude of the classic "Shout" is incorporated into the middle of the song.

The song was featured on the band's compilation album "Cross Road", the live album "", the acoustic collection "This Left Feels Right", as well as several concert videos including "Live From London" and "The Crush Tour".

The song was covered by the post-punk band Allah & The 72 Virgins on their 2002 album "Name Me With My Title".

The song will also be featured in the upcoming videogame Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades for the Nintendo DS

In other media

*"Bad Medicine" was featured in the 2001 film "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", in the scene where Jay (Jason Mewes) first sees Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) and fantasizes about her.

*"Bad Medicine" is sometimes used as entrance to the ring by Mexican wrestler Dr. Wagner, Jr.


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