In Bon Jovi’s case, a simple hair cut had a surprising effect, along with a strong album in Keep The Faith. Jon’s new look helped kids to accept that this wasn’t the “same old hair band” and coupled with some musical changes (Keep The Faith’s drum beat being more hip hop based and use of a grungier verse) and the videos they put out helped keep them top of the charts. Always was a cheesy as hell ballad, but the video starring a young Carla Gugino also helped… Aerosmith didn’t really “change” what they did, but presented it in a new way. Their video budgets were high and used cutting edge ideas for scenes including the ban Living On The Edge for example used the treadmill idea that later became famous by Jamiroqui and OK Go first, they had Tyler naked and via green screen a demon “come out of him” and most importantly, they cast up and coming/recognisable faces from movies to tell the story in the video. Alicia Silverstone was known as “The Aerosmith Girl” before Clueless and appeared with Stepen Dorrf, Jason London and Liv Tyler in Cryin, Amazing and Crazy, while Living On The Edge had Edward Furlong who had not long been the lead in Terminator 2, the then biggest movie in history. It make Aerosmith seem much younger having the mix of hi-tech, great songs and hot teens in their videos, enough to get people over the fact they were in their 20th year. They also made fun of themselves somewhat by appearing in Wayne’s World 2 and Dude Looks Like A Lady was a part of Mrs Doubtfire, while Joe Perry did the theme to the Spiderman cartoon… All these helped to get more kids interested in them. At the end of the day though, the quality of the albums released from 91 to 95, Get A Grip/Big Ones for Aerosmith and Keep The Faith/These Days for Bon Jovi were what saw them through. Both released popular greatest hits during that period that got people into their older stuff, but viewed through the lens of the band as they were then, not when they released the earlier songs. Living On A Prayer with short haired Jon was infinitely cooler than poodle hair Jon…
Bon Jovi, hands down. I won their greatest hits at a party one time, listened to it, and liked one-and-a-half songs on the record. I had already liked “Wanted Dead or Alive”—a great marriage of lyrical content and musical approach/style—and I liked the non-chorus parts of “I’ll Be There for You,” but that’s it. I feel they’re overrated because they’re just not good songwriters. The band released their first four albums in the ’80s, from 1984 to 1988, including their two biggest sellers in the U.S.: 1986’s Slippery When Wet (12 million albums sold in the U.S.) and 1988’s New Jersey (7 million albums sold in the U.S.).