Released in 1986, “You Give Love a Bad Name” is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi, the 1st single from their album Slippery When Wet. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child in New Jersey, in Sambora’s mother’s basement, about a toxic girlfriend and a love story, based on looks, gone bad. It reached #1 song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 29, 1986 and was Bon Jovi’s 1st #1 hit of 4 in the US.
Desmond Child had already written the song with a different name, If I was a woman (and I was a man), for Bonnie Tyler, but was disappointed with the charts (only #77 on the US Billboard), so decided to rewrite it for Lover Boy with Bon Jovi, but eventually decided to keep it because they liked it so much. It ended up being a game changer for the band and especially for Jon Bon Jovi, a total success.
It was a huge success in the US, less abroad, but also reached #2 in the Netherlands and Canada, #4 in Belgium, #6 in Finland and #7 in New Zealand, while in the UK, it only reached #14, as in Sweden.
The melody of “You Give Love a Bad Name” originally written for Bonnie Tyler under the title “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)” had very different lyrics. Dissatisfied with its success in the US and the UK, Desmond Child re-wrote the song with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora with a different tempo of 123 BPM.
The music video for the song used all-color concert footage (the only all-color video song from Slippery When Wet) and photogenic shots primarily of Jon Bon Jovi, as well as other band members in concert.
The video is a live-concert footage of the band performing at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.