“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). 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.
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:
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.
“Nobody had anticipated the song ‘It’s My Life’,” noted Jon Bon Jovi in 2007. “Except us. We knew we had a hit.” The song became an anthem that appealed to many fans. As Bon Jovi later stated: “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.”
The music video was directed by Wayne Isham. Will Estes (as Tommy) and Shiri Appleby (as Gina) are the two main characters. In 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. Jon Bon Jovi met 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 in YouTube, with over 580 million views as of April 2018.
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