Selling over 28 million copies, Bon Jovi
's third album, Slippery When Wet, became their most successful record, ushering hair metal into the mainstream. Sambora had a hand in composing nine of the ten tracks, enjoying not unsubstantial royalties from what became the highest-selling album of 1987 in the U.S. As a result of this success, Sambora found himself in the media spotlight more than ever and his relationship and subsequent breakup with Cher
were widely reported. Following an extensive promotional campaign for 1988’s New Jersey, Bon Jovi
went on a well-deserved hiatus. While Sambora's 1991 debut solo album didn't enjoy the same commercial success as Jon Bon Jovi
's Golden Globe-winning 1990 release Blaze of Glory, Stranger in this Town allowed him to return to his beloved blues roots. With his hero Clapton
contributing a deft solo to "Mr. Bluesman," there was the implied sense that Sambora had achieved yet another lifelong ambition.
A full seven years passed before Sambora issued his sophomore solo album, Undiscovered Soul. In the interim, Bon Jovi
issued the successful studio albums Keep the Faith and These Days, and consolidated their global position with a world tour that visited 43 countries. Although 1998's Undiscovered Soul was considered to be a less strong set than his debut, most critics acknowledged that it was a more ambitious effort, showcasing a versatility of approach that found power ballads sitting next to arena rock material.
The June 2007 release of Bon Jovi
's country-influenced tenth album, Lost Highway, coincided with a difficult period in Sambora's personal life. Following the breakdown of his marriage with actress Heather Locklear, his father passed away, and this turn of events led to a period of alcohol dependency and rehab. Building on the eclecticism of Undiscovered Soul, his third solo album -- 2012's Aftermath of the Lowdown -- found Sambora in determined mood when it eventually arrived. It was another opportunity for him to explore areas of music that Bon Jovi
had neglected to visit, and included material that was comparable in style to artists as diverse as Coldplay
and David Bowie
. ~ James Wilkinson, Rovi