“Bad Medicine” is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child. It was released in September 1988 as the lead single from the band’s fourth album New Jersey.
The song is highlighted by a near constant keyboard playing by David Bryan that is well defined at the beginning of the song and at several interludes, as well as loud guitar playing by Richie Sambora, background singing in the bridge and chorus, and a loud fast-paced delivery of lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi. It is one of the more upbeat and hard rocking songs on New Jersey.
Towards the end of the song, Jon says he is running out of breath and has to go, but then relents, saying “I’m not done…one more time, with feelin'” and the band finishes the song with another repeat of the chorus.
There are two videos for the song, one with the band live in concert, and a more well-known live video in which a crowd of young people waiting in line to get into the video shoot is asked by Sam Kinison if they (the public) “can make a better Bon Jovi video than these guys can.” The crowd gives a very enthusiastic response, and members of the crowd are given hand-held cameras and invited onstage to help shoot the video.
“Bad Medicine” continues to see considerable airplay on many rock radio stations and has always been a live staple at Bon Jovi concerts. In concert, an approximately 1-minute interlude of the classic “Shout” is incorporated into the middle of the song. Although with the Circle Tour, “Bad Medicine” has been played with many more covers than just “Shout”.
The song was featured on the band’s compilation albums Cross Road and Greatest Hits, the live album One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001, the acoustic collection This Left Feels Right, as well as several concert videos including Live From London and The Crush Tour.
- “Bad Medicine” is part of Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits pack released for Rock Band 3.
- In the 2001 film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the song was played when Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) walks into Mooby’s restaurant, giving Jay (Jason Mewes) dreams about kissing her.
- In 2008, the Canadian hit show Degrassi: The Next Generation named an episode after this song.
- Mexican Wrestler Dr. Wagner Jr. uses the song as his entrance theme.
- The song was frequently sung by football (soccer) fans with the lyrics changed to “Your love is like Barry Venison” in honor of Barry Venison, the former Liverpool F.C., and Newcastle United.
- In The Simpsons episode called “Black Widower” Bart Simpson says “Bart no like. Bad medicine.” when Aunt Selma married Sideshow Bob.
- In 2017, in the Young Sheldon episode entitled “Spock, Kirk, and Testicular Hernia,” Sheldon enters Georgie’s room to help him study for a math test and the song can be heard as Sheldon enters his room.