What do you get when you mix together one of the most legendary characters of the Old West, several of the hottest young actors of the Brat Pack generation, and New Jersey's favorite pop-metal superstar? You get Jon Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory," the chart-topping theme song to a neo-Western film that was, itself, inspired by a different Bon Jovi song.
The movie (Young Guns II) hasn't really stood the test of time (although it's now kinda fun to watch Kiefer Sutherland bringing the heat a full generation before anyone dreamed up 24's Jack Bauer). But the song remains a fan favorite, the perfect anthem for anybody who's ever wanted to be an outlaw, or a rock star… or both.
About the Song
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi (guitar, vocals), Jeff Beck (guitar), Randy Jackson (bass), Kenny Aronoff (drums), Aldo Nova (guitar, synthesizer), Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Benmont Tench (keyboards)
Blaze of Glory: Inspired by the film 'Young Guns II'
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
The history of rock n' roll has produced more than its fair share of outlaws. But the rebels of rock have nothing on the original outlaws of the Old West. Legendary figures like Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, and Billy the Kid have been inspiring reinterpretations in film, print, and music for more than 100 years now. By our reckoning, "Blaze of Glory" is locked in a dogfight with Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" for the much-coveted title of "greatest Billy the Kid song of all time."
On the Charts
"Blaze of Glory" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US in September 1990.
The song won a 1990 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in a movie; it was also nominated for an Oscar but lost out to Madonna's "Sooner or Later," a Stephen Sondheim composition that appeared in Dick Tracy.