On May 13th, 1989, Bon Jovi went to number one on the U.S. singles chart with “I’ll Be There For You.” The power ballad comes off the multi-platinum selling album New Jersey, and was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
New Jersey debuted at #8 on Billboard 200, the following week reached #1 and spent four weeks at #1. It eventually sold 7 million copies in the United States. The album also debuted at #1 in Canada, the UK, Switzerland,Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. New Jersey also holds the record for the heavy metal album to spawn the most Top 10 singles, with five singles charting on the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in United States. No other heavy metal album has ever equaled or broken this feat.
“I’ll Be There For You” became the band’s third single from the album when it was released as a single in 1989. As the band was at its peak popularity at this time, the song quickly climbed to the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their fourth and final number one single. The song has remained as one of Bon Jovi’s signature songs and a classic in the power ballad genre. The song was also a peek into a more mature sound heard on their following albums Keep the Faith and These Days.
Some think the verses have an eerily and uncredited similarity (both musically and melodically) to John Lennon‘s Beatles‘ track “Don’t Let Me Down.”