13 Amazing Bands Similar To Bon Jovi

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

The 1980s witnessed Bon Jovi’s rise to fame with the release of their third album, Slippery When Wet. This rock band that formed in New Jersey gave birth to popular songs such as “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “I’ll Be There for You.”

Bon Jovi has captivated fans for decades with its infectious blend of hard rock, power ballads, and glam metal. Throughout their career, they have released 23 albums and sold more than 120 million records worldwide. They have also received acclaim and accolades from various award-giving bodies.

With these achievements and recognition, it’s difficult to match what Bon Jovi has accomplished. But if you’re looking for bands that share a similar sound, you’ll appreciate our list of 13 amazing bands like Bon Jovi. Let’s get started!

Bon Jovi by Earl McGehee (CC BY 2.0)

1. Aerosmith

The legendary rock band Aerosmith has often been compared to Bon Jovi for its complex rock sound and devoted fan base. Both bands exemplified raw power and energy in their performances, becoming two of the most famous bands of their time.

Aerosmith’s lead singer, Steven Tyler, is known for his larger-than-life stage presence and powerful vocals that have captivated audiences worldwide.

Musically, Aerosmith delivers a classic rock sound with catchy hooks and memorable lyrics. Lead guitarist Joe Perry creates a dynamic partnership with Tyler that drives home their unmistakable style.

Some of the hits that made Aerosmith popular are “Dream On,” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” and “Angel.”

2. Journey

Formed in California in 1973, the American rock band Journey is known for its exceptional blend of classic and arena rock music. With popular hits such as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms,” Journey has found its place among some of the most influential ’80s rock bands.

Both Journey and Bon Jovi have vocalists possessing strong vocals. The former is fronted by the original lead singer, Steve Perry. His vocal range is unmistakable. Bon Jovi, on the other hand, is fronted by Jon Bon Jovi with his powerful voice. Their vocal abilities contributed greatly to their respective band’s success.

Over the years, Journey has sold an impressive 48 million records in the US alone. This remarkable achievement made them one of the best-selling rock artists of all time. It also earned them a prestigious spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

3. Guns N’ Roses

Another rock band that became popular in the late 1980s was Guns N’ Roses. The band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1985. Like Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses has that raw energy and a unique sound that added to their popularity.

The group’s debut album, Appetite for Destruction, was released in 1987 and featured hit songs such as “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle.” The band gained even more attention with their follow-up album, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II,” which included memorable tracks like “November Rain” and “Don’t Cry.”

Despite a well-known feud between Jon Bon Jovi and Axl Rose in 1987 when a fan compared them, both bands are considered icons of rock music history.

4. Def Leppard

The British hard rock band Def Leppard shares several similarities with Bon Jovi. Both bands emerged in the 1980s and achieved fame with popular hits. They also played significant roles in popularizing the pop-metal movement.

Throughout their career, Def Leppard released albums that were commercial successes and received acclaim. Some of these were On Through the Night (1980), Pyromania (1983), and Hysteria (1987). One of their most successful songs is “Photograph,” topping the Billboard Top Tracks chart.

Def Leppard and Bon Jovi impacted brutal rock music history by being listed among the greatest and most famous rock bands. They are beloved by audiences worldwide and continue to resonate within contemporary popular culture.

5. Whitesnake

The English hard rock band Whitesnake formed in London in 1978. They were initially created as the backing band for singer David Coverdale, formerly of Deep Purple.

Whitesnake’s legendary hits like “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love” cemented them as one of the top acts during their era.

Whitesnake is often compared to Bon Jovi as both bands exemplify a melodic hard rock sound. Their songs have catchy hooks, unforgettable guitar riffs, and resonant vocals from the lead singers. And their music is a combination of hard rock, heavy metal, and pop elements.

6. Poison

The American glam metal band Poison and Bon Jovi were formed in the same year and enjoyed success at around the same time. Their music is heavily influenced by hard rock and heavy metal with a catchy pop-like sensibility.

Poison is best known for their single “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their other hit singles include “Talk Dirty to Me” and “I Won’t Forget You.”

Throughout their career, Poison released 16 albums, live albums, and compilation albums. They sold more than 18 million records in the US alone and 55 million worldwide.

And with successful tours, it’s no surprise that Poison has cemented itself as one of the greats of glam and hair metal bands alongside Bon Jovi.

7. Europe

Known for their hit singles “The Final Countdown” and “Carrie,” the Swedish rock band Europe gained footing after winning the competition Rock-SM. The band’s music style has been described as glam metal, similar to Bon Jovi’s sound.

Europe’s breakthrough international success was their third album, The Final Countdown. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart. Its lead single, “The Final Countdown,” reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. This would become their most recognizable song.

If Bon Jovi had the songwriting team of Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora, Europe had vocalist Joey Tempest. Europe was initially a band that played covers until Tempest suggested writing their own material.

If you’re a fan of Bon Jovi and looking for new music recommendations, Europe could be worth checking out.

8. Skid Row

The hard rock and heavy metal band Skid Row emerged during the dominance of bands like Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi. Hailing from New Jersey, Skid Row was formed in 1986 by bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave Sabo, who was a member of Bon Jovi for a time.

Their eponymous debut album was released in 1989 and was a commercial success. It was certified five times platinum following the success of two of its hits, “18 and Life” and “I Remember You.”

Skid Row gained popularity quickly thanks to their energetic live performances. They were even invited to open for Bon Jovi on the first three shows of their tour!

However, tensions rose between the two bands after Skid Row’s frontman, Sebastian Bach, fell out with Jon Bon Jovi. This led to a feud between Skid Row and Bon Jovi that lasted several years. Thankfully, both men put the past behind them and opted for reconciliation.

9. Cinderella

The hair metal band Cinderella from the Philadelphia music scene and Bon Jovi are both rock icons of the 1980s. Both formed in 1983 and quickly gained attention and became part of the “pop-metal” movement.

Cinderella is known for its bluesy style of rock music. They often get lumped together with other bluesy metal bands from their hometown. Their second album, Long Cold Winter, explored this sound more profoundly and remained one of their most popular albums.

Despite going through some ups and downs, Cinderella remains an essential part of any playlist featuring rock music from the ’80s or early ’90s.

10. Van Halen

One of the greatest bands in rock and roll history is Van Halen. Formed in Pasadena, California, the band sold over 80 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling artists ever.

Van Halen’s breakthrough success came with their self-titled debut album. It peaked at #19 on Billboard‘s 200 and sold more than 10 million copies. It produced some of their well-known songs, such as “Runnin’ with the Devil” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love.”

Though Van Halen and Bon Jovi emerged in different periods, they exemplified guitar-driven rock. Van Halen’s music is characterized by its energetic guitar riffs, bold drumming, powerful vocals, and wild stage antics. Bon Jovi’s music, meanwhile, blends arena rock and anthemic choruses.

11. Warrant

Like Bon Jovi, Warrant is one of the bands that left a significant mark in the music industry. This American rock band was formed in 1984, and it’s known for its hair metal style of music.

Both Bon Jovi and Warrant contributed to the glam metal and hard rock genres of the ’80s and ’90s. They produced radio friendly-hits that remained popular decades later. Warrant released hit songs such as “Heaven,” which peaked at #2 on Billboard Hot 100, and “Cherry Pie.”

Through the years, Warrant has faced several challenges. First, they lost their original lead singer Jani Lane to a tragic death in 2011. Second, they faced constant changes within their lineup. However, they continued with their musical journey.

12. Tesla

Bon Jovi and the American rock band Tesla both rose to fame at the same time period. Tesla was formed in Sacramento, California, in 1981. They produced hit songs like “Love Song,” “Modern Day Cowboy,” and “Signs.”

Both bands enjoyed commercial success with the release of albums that charted well and produced hit singles. Tesla’s Mechanical Resonance and The Great Radio Controversy both sold millions of copies, establishing them in the rock genre.

Aside from being involved in writing songs with meaningful lyrics, the bands were also known for their energetic live shows. They channeled their raw passion into performances that their audiences would never forget.

13. Scorpions

The well-known German rock band Scorpions was formed in 1965. They have been around for over five decades, enduring a long career like Bon Jovi. They are known for their heavy metal music, electrifying live performances, and legendary status in the music industry.

Jon Bon Jovi himself had expressed regret about playing after Scorpions during a festival in 1989. When it was Bon Jovi’s turn to play, people started leaving. Jon Bon Jovi stated that the next time, he would never play after the German rock band. This was a testimony to Scorpions’ fantastic stage presence and high-energy performances.

You’ll enjoy watching Scorpion’s live shows if you’re a fan of Bon Jovi’s signature sound and high-voltage concerts. Their powerful vocals, intricate guitar riffs, and bold lyrics continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Bon Jovi

In conclusion, Bon Jovi is undoubtedly one of the most influential and iconic rock bands ever. They have produced some of the enduring songs that should be included in your playlist.

Better yet, add the songs that propelled the bands above into stardom. Whether you like Guns N’ Roses’ raw energy or Van Halen’s energetic guitar-driven music, we have something for everyone.

So expand your playlist with these rock bands that have been rocking stages since the ’80s. And oh, did we miss a band that should be on the list? We welcome suggestions.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.