Bon Jovi – It’s My Life

Music video by Bon Jovi performing It’s My Life. (C) 2003 The Island Def Jam Music Group

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted
No silent prayer for the faith-departed
I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd
You’re gonna hear my voice
When I shout it out loud

[Chorus]
It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
(It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, “I did it my way”
I just wanna live while I’m alive
It’s my life

[Verse 2]
This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow’s getting harder make no mistake
Luck ain’t even lucky
Got to make your own breaks

[Chorus]
It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
(It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, “I did it my way”
I just wanna live while I’m alive
It’s my life

[Bridge]
Better stand tall when they’re calling you out
Don’t bend, don’t break, baby, don’t back down

[Chorus]
It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
(It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, “I did it my way”
I just wanna live while I’m alive
It’s my life

It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
(It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, “I did it my way”
I just wanna live while I’m alive
It’s my life

It’s My Life” is Bon Jovi‘s first single from the album Crush. It was released on May 23, 2000. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Max Martin.

The song charted in the top 10 across several countries (although it only reached number 33 in the US).[2] Though the band had moved away from the glam-oriented sound with 1992’s Keep the Faith, it has the distinction of making Bon Jovi one of the only bands once classified as 1980s glam metal to reach the top 40 in the 2000s, a testament to how the song managed to introduce the band to a new, younger fanbase. The song is arguably their most well known post-1980s hit single and it has been performed live at almost all shows since its release. This song appeared on Mitsubishi Motors promotional video in 2001-2004

Background

The song has many classic Bon Jovi features, such as Sambora’s use of the talk box, and a line in the second verse “For Tommy and Gina, who never backed down” refers to Tommy and Gina, a fictional working class couple that Bon Jovi and Sambora first wrote about in their 1986 hit “Livin’ on a Prayer“.

“It’s My Life” is also notable for its line referencing fellow New Jerseyan Frank Sinatra: “My heart is like an open highway / Like Frankie said / I did it ‘My Way‘.” Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora apparently had a disagreement over those lines, with Bon Jovi recalling:[3]

I had just come home from making U-571 and I said “Sinatra made 16 movies and toured ’til he was 80. This is my role model”. He [Sambora] said, “You can’t write that damn lyric. Nobody cares about Frank Sinatra but you.” And I wrote it anyway.

Response from fans

“Nobody had anticipated the song ‘It’s My Life’,” noted Jon Bon Jovi in 2007. “Except us. We knew we had a hit.”[4] The song became an anthem that appealed to many fans. As Bon Jovi later stated:[5]: “I thought I was writing very self-indulgently about my own life and where I was in it. I didn’t realize that the phrase ‘It’s My Life’ would be taken as being about everyone – by teenagers, by older guys, mechanics, whatever. ‘It’s my life, and I’m taking control.’ Everyone kind of feels that way from time to time.”

Music video

The music video was directed by Wayne Isham. Will Estes (as Tommy) and Shiri Appleby (as Gina) are the two main characters. At the beginning, Tommy is watching a video of a Bon Jovi concert on his computer when he is ordered by his mother to take out the trash. Suddenly, Gina calls, and Tommy starts running down to his apartment and obediently takes out the trash. He then runs through the streets of Los Angeles up to the concert, getting chased by dogs, running a marathon, posing for pictures, and jackknifing a truck. The video was inspired by the film, Run Lola Run.[6] Jon Bon Jovi met Will Estes on the set of U-571 and chose him to be in the video. The music video features the 2nd Street Tunnel as one of the main settings.

It is the most viewed video for Bon Jovi, with over 530 million views as of January 2018.

Track listings and versions

Major formats released for “It’s My Life”:

Official versions and remixes

The following versions and remixes were commercially released.

  • Main version — 3:46
  • Acoustic version — 3:41
  • Dave Bascombe Mix — 3:44

Acoustic version

A much slower, acoustic ballad version of the song is featured on Bon Jovi’s 2003 album This Left Feels Right, a collection of their greatest hits that were adapted into new formats. This version was also released as a single.

Awards

Won:

  • “Video of the Year” at the VH1 My Music Awards[7]
  • Chosen as one of the greatest songs of the year at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards

Nominated:

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2000–01) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[8] 5
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[11] 6
Brazilian Singles Chart (ABPD)[12] 54
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[13] 17
European Hot 100 Singles[14] 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[15] 6
France (SNEP)[16] 14
Germany (Official German Charts)[17] 2
Hungary (Single Top 40)[18] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 5
Italy (FIMI)[20] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[21] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[22] 3
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[23] 2
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[24] 3
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[25] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[28] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 33
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[30] 11
US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)[31]

Annual charts

Country Position Weeks
on chart
Australia[33] 24 16[34]
Austria[35] 2 34[34]
Belgium (Flanders)[36] 8 21[34]
Belgium (Wallonia)[37] 19 19[34]
France[38] 29 38[34]
Germany[39] 5 31[40]
Sweden[41] 5 21[34]
Switzerland[42] 3 33[34]

Decade-end charts

Year (2000–2009) Position
German Singles Chart[43] 53

All-time charts

Chart Position
Australia (ARIA)[44] 743
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[45] 381

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[46] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[47] Platinum 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[48] Platinum 50,000*
France (SNEP)[49] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[50] Platinum 500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[51] Gold 25,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[52] Gold 40,000^
Sweden (GLF)[53] Platinum 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[54] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[55] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[56] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

 

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