Few would dispute the fact that no song defines Bon Jovi like “Livin’ on a Prayer” does. But that wouldn’t be the case had Jon Bon Jovi gone with his initial instincts.

The band’s namesake says when he was putting together 1986’s “Slippery When Wet,” he came very close to cutting the song from the album because he wasn’t sure it fit in with the rest of the material.

“Ultimately, the song was so unique,” Bon Jovi says. “It didn’t sound like anything. You know, ‘Runaway’ had eight notes, like a lot of songs on the radio at the time. Even ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ was reminiscent of other songs that were on the radio. ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ didn’t sound like anything. So, I was sort of indifferent. I thought, ‘Well, it’s different, but is it a rock song? Is it us?'”

However, after re-recording the acoustic-only demo with the band, it became clear the tune was destined for greatness, Bon Jovi says. His only regret is the song’s key change, which he says has bothered him “every night for 36 years.”

What song would you have left off “Slippery When Wet?” What’s the greatest Bon Jovi song of all time?

More about: