Bon Jovi were very close to passing up one of their biggest hits.

During a fan Q&A session on the “Runaway to Paradise” fan cruise, frontman Jon Bon Jovi revealed that he almost didn’t include “Livin’ On a Prayer” on the band’s breakthrough 1986 album Slippery When Wet.

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“Ultimately, the song was so unique,” he explained. “It didn’t sound like anything. You know, ‘Runaway’ had eight notes, like a lot of songs on the radio at the time. Even ‘[You Give Love a] Bad Name’ was reminiscent of other songs that were on the radio.”

He continued, “‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ didn’t sound like anything. So, I was sort of indifferent. I thought, Well, it’s different, but is it a rock song? Is it us?

There was a reason, however, the song didn’t click with him.

“Granted, we wrote it on acoustic guitars, so there was no drum beat or anything,” Bon Jovi said. “There was no bass line.”

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Thankfully, Hugh McDonald contributed the uncredited bass line and the rest is history, though Bon Jovi admitted that the song’s famous key change is still tricky for him all these years later.

“I want you to know, every night for 36 years,” he joked.