Bon Jovi's 'Livin' on a Prayer' topped the charts 30 years ago this week

PHOTO: Bon Jovi in Concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, August 1, 1987.PlayRon Galella/WireImage via Getty Images
WATCH Jon Bon Jovi Sings 'Livin' on a Prayer' at Wedding

Bon Jovi's landmark album "Slippery When Wet" marked its 30th anniversary last year, but this week marks the 30th anniversary of one the album's best known songs, "Livin' on a Prayer," topping the charts.

The album's first single, "You Give Love a Bad Name," hit No. 1 in November 1986, and "Livin' on a Prayer" reached No. 1 on Feb. 14, 1987, and stayed there for four weeks.

It's the band's longest-running top hit, and its lead characters, Tommy and Gina, have become part of rock mythology. In fact, Jon Bon Jovi name-checked the couple again in the band's 2000 hit, "It's My Life."

"Slippery When Wet" spent eight weeks at No. 1 and spun off another massive hit, "Wanted Dead or Alive," but "Livin' on a Prayer" remains Bon Jovi's signature song -- and the album is still the band's biggest seller. In fact, Jon Bon Jovi said he still remembers every detail about recording it.

"I don't really sit around listening to it, but Lord knows, I've heard a number of the songs still on the radio quite often," he told ABC News. "And it's almost surreal, because I can picture us in the rooms. I know why the key change in 'Livin' on a Prayer' happened and I know where. I know every incident that went down. I know why the album cover's a black garbage bag, with my fingers writing 'Slippery When Wet.'"

"I can't remember what I did yesterday," he added. "But I remember all of that detail because it changed all of our lives ... forever. And I'm so grateful for that moment, but I'm also so grateful that we keep having those moments."

He's not wrong: "Slippery When Wet" became the first of six No. 1 Bon Jovi albums, including their most recent release, "This House Is Not for Sale."