Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” is one of the biggest rock songs of the ’80s, but did you know that Loverboy’s Mike Reno might be heard on the track?
Reno was speaking with the Chuck Shute podcast (as heard below) when the subject of backing vocals came up, and it was there he revealed that he may be part of the Bon Jovi classic.
According to the Loverboy vocalist, it was not uncommon back in the day that if you were working out of the same studio as another artist you might pop in and even do a solid if they needed assistance.
He explained to Shute, “It was one of those things where there were two studios in Little Mountain, so if you drop by to say, ‘Hi,’ there’s usually a bunch of people around and it’s a nice thing to do is to pop by and say ‘Hi,’ and when you’re there, if someone comes in and says, ‘Can you sing, ‘Who-oah Living on a Prayer,’ you don’t say no, you just go in and do it. You do it 10 times and you’ve got yourself a hundred voices.”
Bon Jovi did work out of Little Mountain Sound Studio in Vancouver while recording their 1986 album, Slippery When Wet, and Loverboy had utilized the same studio for 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It and 1987’s Wildside albums.
When asked if he’s on “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Reno stated, “I’m pretty sure I am. I wouldn’t doubt it. I don’t know, I did a lot of things like that I remember and a lot of people did it for us too. They’d come in and they’d sing ‘Lovin’ Every Minute of It,’ so it’s whoever was around.”
Shute brought up album credits, but Reno explained, “It’s just freebies. You don’t ask for anything. You don’t ask for money. You’re just doing favors for everybody. It’s kind of like a barn raising, a good ol’ fashioned barn raising.”
“Livin’ on a Prayer” became Bon Jovi’s first Mainstream Rock chart topper and the second straight Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 after “You Give Love a Bad Name.”