"Wanted Dead or Alive
" is a song from Bon Jovi
Slippery When Wet
song was written by Jon Bon Jovi
and was released in
1987 as the album's third single. The song peaked at #7 on the
Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the third single from the album
to reach the Top 10 of the Hot 100. Slippery When Wet was the first
hard rock album ever to have 3 top 10 hits on it.
The song's title pays homage to Jon's admiration for Old West
heroes, and how he identifies with them as being hated (wanted dead
or alive). On the band's Behind the
special on VH1
, it is even
revealed that the band had originally planned to do an Old West
-themed album in the 1980s, but scrapped
the idea. Jon Bon Jovi said during a concert in Detroit, Michigan
on February 20, 2008 that the song "absolutely positively was
influenced by [Bob] Seger's
'Turn the Page
for the song is black and white and features footage from the
band's massive 1986-1987 world tour, including shots from Chicago's UIC Pavilion, Rochester, Minnesota's Mayo Civic Center, and other venues.
The video strongly
captures the grueling life-on-the-road feeling, with several shots
of the exhausted band members on their mammoth 1986-87 Slippery
When Wet World Tour.
The audio for the video is slightly different from the one on the
album - specifically at the end, where instead of Jon singing "I'm
a cowboy, I got the night on my side, I'm wanted dead or alive,"
the music simply fades out.
performed the song
in the sixth season
. In 2006, the
song was covered by Chris Daughtry
the fifth season
by Daughtry on American Idol Season 5:
CD. His version went to #43 on the Billboard Hot 100
the first week of its
release. He had also managed to beat out Taylor Hicks
' version of "Takin' It to the Streets
debuted at #69 that same week.
also performed a cover of
the song on his 2005 album Anywhere But
recorded a ska cover of
the song on their 2001 album Wasted
covered the song
on the 2001 album "Dancin' With Thunder: The Official Music of the
In 2004, Beanie Sigel sample
the song for the track of his album,
The B. Coming
. The song was moderately
successful in the underground scene.
rerecorded a version of the song
in an epic guitar synth medley mixed with original music. The 14
minute piece was only released as a single in 1989 because of the
On June 30, 2008, Gabe Garcia
the song on "Nashville Star
covered this song on
their 2008 album Rethroned
. Marco Hietala
does the lead singing on this song.
The Lost Trailers performed the song at their Summerfest
Wanted Dead Or Alive in popular culture
- The song is heard in the Miami Vice
episode "El Viejo."
- In The Same Episode of Saturday
Night Live, there is a sketch where 2 men who call themselves
"Jon Bovi", go into a recording studio and ask for a contract. One
of the songs they start to play is "Wanted dead or alive"
- In the 11th episode of the 2nd season of the television show
American Dad! entitled "American Dream Factory," Roger uses the line "I've seen a
million faces and I've rocked them all" after a performance with
the band he stole from Steve.
- The song is featured in the movie Wild
Hogs when John Travolta's character steals a motorcycle back
from a bike gang.
- This song is featured as playable content in the video game
- Featured in the TV series Supernatural, in the third season
finale "No Rest for the Wicked". Characters Sam and Dean Winchester
sing along to a portion of the song.
- The song was also featured during the final scenes of the
opening episode of American Idol
Season 8 with a group of auditionees singing it in turn.