Taking it Back (and Tokyo Road) & The Radio Saved My Life Tonight | new series: The Box Set

“Japan always seems to be getting the best shows.
As if the deal was sealed, by that enthusiastic response on that very first world tour.”

video: The Radio Saved My Life Tonight, performed in Osaka (Japan!) with a speech at 3 minutes 10 seconds, about how Jon Bon Jovi (then still without band) started his career.

In 2004 Bon Jovi created a 4-cd (1 dvd) box set with unreleased work.
In this series I discuss all of the 50 songs.

Today I’m doing two songs.
Song number 3, Taking It Back.

And the second song on the first disc, a song they played many times on the tour that followed the Box Set release;


What is immediately apparent listening to this second song on disc one of The Box Set, is that the song is a finished, polished recording.
It was obviously not dropped until the very final stages of Keep the Faith (1992)

It’s one of Bon Jovi’s lighter songs, less heavy on the guitar and drums, and that always makes it a tough cookie when it comes to winning my love.
This song is no exception.

But nevertheless:
If you were in a position as a band, that you could drop catchy songs like this for your record?

Even I understand the level you were playing at.
The very highest.


What do you get if you mix AC/DC with Bon Jovi?
Taking It Back
One of the many amazing 90s songs that were released in 2004,
on the box set 100.000.000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

But the song that closest resembles “Taking it back” is one of their own.
On the album 7800 Fahrenheit (1985) there is the song “Tokyo Road”.

Tokyo Road studio version (official)

Tokyo Road played live in Japan 1985, including introduction of band

7800 Fahrenheit was the album right before their biggie Slippery When Wet (1986).
It “should have” been the big break for the band and then wasn’t.

And the reason expectations were so high, is related to Tokyo Road.

The first self-titled Bon Jovi album, Bon Jovi-Bon Jovi (1984) had not brought them “world fame” but nevertheless;
It had done exceptionally well.
Not just in sales, but the band had also toured the world.
Just check this site which still contains a list of all the continents and places the then relatively unknown band from New Jersey toured with just one album under their belt;

Especially in Japan, Bon Jovi had been hugely popular.
They had been kind of shook by the attention, but (of course) also flattered.

Japan 1985

With a debut album like that, expectations for their second album were high.
Ultimately their second album wasn’t the big breakthrough they all had been expecting based upon (among other things) their popularity in Japan.
But Tokyo Road on that second album 7800 Fahrenheit, was a reminder of how far they were on their way.
They had already toured the world!

And seven years later “Take me Baaaack, baaaacck, back; Tokyo Road!”
would echo in the song called “Taking it Back” (1992/ Box Set 2004)
A song about which Jon Bon Jovi said;
“We knew that we had to take control of our own destiny and songs like ‘Taking It Back’ were sung from the point of view of that chip’s back on my shoulder and I’m ready to launch into phase two of the band’s career.”

With regard to the topic (one night stand from Tokyo Road versus the fighter’s mentality of Taking It Back) the two songs Tokyo Road (Take me back) from the Fahrenheit album, and Taking It Back, the unreleased song from 1992, might seem worlds apart.
But they are brothers in arms.

Both were written at a time when Bon Jovi wanted to prove they belonged at the top.
And both songs were ultimately largely forgotten.

And yet: Their presence had been prophetic.

Bon Jovi kept coming back to Japan, every world tour.
And from what I think I see – Japan always seems to be getting the best shows.
As if the deal was sealed, by that enthusiastic response on that very first world tour.

And Bon Jovi did raise the bar with their Keep The Faith album;
They did take back, what was rightfully theirs.

The place at the top.

Rock Star Writer


Taking it Back (and Tokyo Road) & The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
is the third post in
The Box Set Series

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