Without doubt, the year of 1989 belonged to New Jersey rockers Skid Row, who released their debut album to massive acclaim.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Skid Row (USA)
ALBUM: Skid Row
SERIAL: A1-81936 (LP), A2 81936 (CD)
CD REISSUE: 2009, Warner Music Japan, WPCR-13577
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Sebastian Bach – vocals * Dave Sabo – guitars * Scotti Hill – guitars * Rachel Bolan – bass * Rob Affuso – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Big Guns * 02 Sweet Little Sister * 03 Can’t Stand The Heartache * 04 Piece Of Me * 05 18 And Life * 06 Rattlesnake Shake * 07 Youth Gone Wild * 08 Here I Am * 09 Makin’ A Mess * 10 I Remember You * 11 Midnight/Tornado
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Without doubt, the year of 1989 belonged to New Jersey rockers Skid Row, who released their debut album to massive acclaim. Formed by guitarist Dave ‘Snake’ Sabo back in 1986, the Jersey boys earned their stripes on the legendary and tough Jersey circuit.
By 1987, the band had bought in Sebastian Bach to replace Matt Fallon on lead vocals, while Sabo managed to convince Atlantic Execs that they were worth signing. By 1988, the band had enticed Michael Wagener to oversee production, the album released the last week of January 1989. The rest as they say is history.
The songs on the album are the epitome of hair metal in my books. Sebastian Bach’s long hair, Sabo and Hill’s energetic playing and their severely serious attitude made them darlings of MTV. Hard to tell who they were trying to emulate through this debut album era – Guns N Roses or Bon Jovi? In the end, they sounded like neither!
Ballads such as ’18 And Life’ (MTV’s most played video of 1989) and the exceptional ‘I Remember You’ both made the charts with ease, plus of course who could forget their hair metal anthem ‘Youth Gone Wild’ – one of the best remembered hard rock tunes from that year. For me though, it was other rock blasters which sold me on Skid Row back in the day. For instance, the opening brace of ‘Big Guns’, ‘Sweet Little Sister’ and ‘Can’t Stand The Heartache’ is one of the best opening combinations on an 80’s rock album, period!
When compared to the rest of the Skid Row discography, this one sounds positively ‘lite’ against the heavyweight efforts of ‘Slave To The Grind’ and ‘Subhuman Race’. The Bon Jovi association was an interesting one. Yes, they toured with BJ during their ‘New Jersey’ tour, but disputes arose as to the publishing royalties of this album, considering the Skids waived their rights completely to Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, and then lo and behold – the album sells 5x Platinum! The things we do to get a deal huh?
However, I understand an amicable resolution was arranged, but not until after it had been dragged through the press. The band returned to the studio in 1990 for ‘Slave To The Grind’, then went out on a world tour in 1991 and 1992, culminating in an appearance at 1992’s Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donington. ‘Skid Row’ the album – is an absolute worthy contender here at GDM.
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