If you're like me, you grew up in the late 80's/early 90's and wanted to be in a band like Skid Row, Whitesnake or Def Leppard. At that time, these and other hair/glam/hard rock bands could do no wrong. From their wild hair to their sonic screams, you loved it all.
"Skid Row" is one of those albums that embodies that time of my life. From "Youth Gone Wild" to "I Remember You," the simple lyrics talked to every teenager growing at that time. There isn't anything great about any of the songs here, but they were the world to a lot of people back in '89. "18 and Life" is on the Classic Rock stations(as it should be) and I still know all the lyrics. You probably do too. These songs remind me of a fun time in life, when anything was possible.
Remember those times when you listen to this album. It's a time that seems long gone.
on December 22, 2003
Even when I'm not in a hard rock mood, I can always listen to this album all the way through. Most of their 'Big Haired' peers might've only had one or two other good songs on their albums, besides the hits. That should tell ya something.
1) Big Guns -- Dirty lyric-filled, loud, slightly bluesy pop/metal anthem. A great opener.
2) Sweet Little Sister -- Fast paced, heavy, but also extremely catchy and somewhat poppy tune.
3) Can't Stand the Heartache -- Only a teeny bit less heavy, but more of an arena rock 'post love' anthem. Very underrated and another highlight of the album you won't hear on the radio.
4) Piece of Me -- One of the hits/videos. Probably the toughest, heaviest song on the album. An angry sounding, almost straight metal tune about fighting and partying. It's still singable though.
5) 18 & Life -- The most well-known tune. A melodic but still hard-edged pop/power ballad about a suicidal guy named Ricky. A slight departure from what most of the era's bands' power ballads sounded like.
6) Rattlesnake Shake -- Yet again, a tough, streetwise hard rocker about an, umm, prostitute. Reminds me of something Guns N' Roses would do.
7) Youth Gone Wild -- Another well known, shout-along rebellious (yet fun) anthem. Loud and heavy, yet slightly melodic.
8) Here I Am -- Not one of my favorites. A non-hit, rawer metal anthem.
9) Makin' A Mess -- A fast paced hard rocker, but it strays from the 'Get Chicks and Party' theme of the album. A first person account of, what sounds like, spouse abuse. Told in an anti- kind of way, but not a ballad at all.
10) I Remember You -- The other power ballad of the album. A somewhat accoustic tune in parts, almost reminding me of Mr Big's hit "To Be With You." It still rocks, but it's probably the lighest song here.
11) Midnight/Tornado -- Yet another underrated rocker that got away. This one has more of a melodic, power rock sound to it. It's somewhat heavy as well, but it's one of those songs even someone who isn't a fan of hard rock could like.
Even though I'd technically call this a heavy metal album, it's actually pretty varied. It's a little harder and meaner than Poison, Bon Jovi or Def Leppard. It's not quite as rough and more melodic than Megadeth, Metallica or Guns & Roses. It's more pop than Judas Priest or Iron Maiden. Yet it fits enough into all the afforementioned styles to be recommended to fans of any or all of those bands. The closest equivalent is probably Motley Crue.
I highly recommend geting this album over their 'Greatest Hits', simply because there's a number of cool, severely underrated songs here that you won't find there, and are just as good as the 4 hits.
on April 20, 2000
This album is a classic! It belongs in every serious collection of music. I sincerely believe you don't have to be into "metal" music to appreciate this album. Sebastian Bach's voice is incredible, and he brings the songs on this album to life. It is easy to see why SKID ROW stood out in the crowd of fledgling bands that emerged at that time. The songs don't sound "all the same" and there's absolutely no "filler" in this album. You can expect to enjoy every song. Any fan of Sebastian Bach's vocals will especially appreciate this album since now, ten years later, they can listen to his first solo effort and hear him sing five of the songs from this album again, live, and better than ever. Add this album to your collection. It will be one that you find yourself playing again and again. If you like SKID ROW and related bands then you may be pleasantly surprised to find that many of your favorite bands have released new material in 1999-early 2000. Need a memory jog? Click over to my home page on Amazon. I have most of the bands reviewed or at least mentioned. Are you ready to rock? :o)
on July 2, 2006
This is the true and defining moment for the 80s and is an apropos summary for the decade. This album came out in 1989, after Motley Crue, Ratt, White Lion, Journey, and all the others had made their mark. The truth is this album tried to save the genre of album oriented rock (find a bad song on it and you'll have a thousand people telling you that you're crazy), tried to save glam metal (although they weren't exactly trying to get on the cover of a rock magazine every other week like Motley Crue) by having a look that matched the sound. This is good rock. You would be hard pressed to find another album from 1989 that influenced as many, sold as many, or was played as much (on the radio, home stereos, car stereos, etc) than this.
on April 14, 2005
Skid Row was one of the best bands of the pre-alternative "hair-band" era. It's unfortunate that Skid Row has been lumped in with bands like Warrant and Poison, because Skid Row rocked a lot harder than those bands. I would go as far as to say that Skid Row were second only to Guns N' Roses as the best mainstream rock band of the late 80s, early 90s. Skid Row has always had a knack for writing heavy, catchy, infectious riffs with good sing-along choruses. Sebastian Bach was, in my opinion, second only to Axl Rose as the best singer/frontman of the late 80s/early 90s.
Although Skid Row's debut is their best selling album, it's not their best work. It pales in comparison to their masterpiece "Slave to the Grind" (1991) and the underrated "Subhuman Race" (1995). Although it's still better than the Bach-less "Thickskin" (2003).
Skid Row's debut is slightly generic, although it's still a strong album. The highlights include the ballads "18 and Life," "I Remember You," and the anthem "Youth Gone Wild." The rest of the album is by-the-numbers standard 80s metal. But they're still all good songs.
If you want to check out Skid Row, I recommend the follow-up album "Slave to the Grind." But Skid Row's debut is still a good CD. If you are looking for a good 80s metal record, this album should please you.
on September 19, 2006
THE BAND: Sebastian Bach (vocals), David Sabo (guitars), Scotti Hill (guitars), Rachel Bolan (bass), Rob Affuso (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (1989) 11 tracks clocking in at approximately 39 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page foldout containing song credits/titles, song lyrics, one black & white band picture, and thank you's. All songs written by Skid Row members (though Sabo and Bolan wrote the vast majority; Bach has only 1 song writing credit on "Makin' A Mess"). Recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, WI. Released 1/24/89. Label - Atlantic.
COMMENTS: New Jersey's Skid Row put out an incredible first album amongst a sea of great pop/hair metal albums in 1989. Just to name a few of the others... Motley Crue (Dr. Feelgood), Whitesnake (Slip Of The Tongue), Mr. Big (Mr. Big), King's X (Gretchen Goes To Nebraska), Blue Murder (Blue Murder), L.A. Guns (Cocked & Loaded), Shark Island (Law Of The Order), Enuff Z'Nuff (Enuff Z'Nuff), White Lion (Big Game), etc. Skid Row's debut contained the 3 necessary elements of any 80's hard rock hair album: 1. Numerous hard rocking tunes (my favorite track "Piece Of Me", "Midnight/Tornado", "Big Guns", "Sweet Little Sister"); 2. A couple of heavy hits ("18 And Life", "Youth Gone Wild"); and at least one mega power ballad ("I Remember You"). Skid Row's album was absolutely memorable - if not by Bach's trademark high pitched howl, then by the huge chart success of 3 distinct songs (mentioned above)... "18 And Life" (reaching #4 on Billboard), "I Remember You" (#6), and "Youth Gone Wild" (#99). I always remember singer Bach being at the center of controversy... saying things he probably shouldn't have said... as a whole, the band acting like the bad boys of rock (i.e. Guns 'N Roses). I did however like this album way before all the bad press though. It was a rocking in-your-face album with crunchy guitars, gritty vocals and catchy melodies. If you were into the hard rock scene in the late 80's, you HAD this album. *Other notably albums from Skid Row include "Slave To The Grind" (1991) and "Subhuman Race" (1995)... the latter of the two being an underrated heavy metal gem. Skid Row's debut is the place to start though (4.5 stars).
on April 16, 2001
"...lived 9-to-5 and worked his FINGERS TO THE BO-O-ONE!!!!"
That, right there, in the opening line from the great and disturbing song "18 and Life," sums up Skid Row perfectly: They could start out a song nice & slow, almost innocent, and then in a matter of a split second, whip it into a frenzy of magnificent bombastic heavy metal proportions. Plus, all the themes of youth gone wild are here, with all of the pain, heartache, and yes, even tragedy of growing up. Here's a band who looked good, played hard, and were not afraid to reflect the honest truth of the horrors of growing up as inner-city youth. They were also immensely talented, almost frightening in their power and virtuosity.
Of course, most standout is Sebastian Bach's incredible vocal range and larger-than-life persona. His multi-octave vocal screech isn't so much screaming as it is full-throttle singing on all cylinders. However, that isn't what is most appealing about his vocal talents. Many heavy metal singers have high-pitched screechy voices, but Sebastian infuses his high-octane vocals with a tremendous amount of emotion. I think that is what really makes him one of the greatest rock 'n' roll singers of all time.
This is a great album. From the famous anthem "Youth Gone Wild" to the most powerful power ballads "18 and Life" and "I Remember You" to the near-thrash "Piece of Me," Skid Row were a band that combined raw talent, heart, soul...and especially ..., like hardly other band did at the time. I remember Skid Row, fondly. :)
on November 27, 1999
I cannot beleive that anyone would criticise this album, let alone give it only one star (A small galaxy of stars would be more appropriate).
When someone disagrees with me about an album I usually put it down to difference in musical taste, but here I cannot. THIS ALBUM RULES AND ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE IS WRONG! One or two people (Grunge or False Metal fans I suspect) insulting this masterpeice means it only got four stars before I wrote this review. That is not just annoying it is a MISCARRAGE OF JUSTICE! .
For those of you who like REAL ROCK MUSIC and don't own this yet, I got two words for ya:
For those of you who bought this album and liked it:
Awesome isn't it ?.
For those of you who DON"T like real rock music and are intent on insulting this album:
Go and listen to it until you DO like it! Insulting this album on the basis of the spelling of other reviews is very immature!
For those about to rock:
BANG! ......... WE SALUTE YOU!
on October 9, 2000
I'm tired of reading reviews of my favorite bands (Motley Crue, Skid Row, Kix, etc.) and seeing their sound described as "unfortunately dated". Of course they're dated! Part of the appeal of Skid Row's debut, for instance, is that it's deliciously 80's sounding. I mean, you don't listen to SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and complain that it's too 70's sounding. That's part of it's charm. Give it a rest people.
on November 28, 2004
It's funny that an album released at the end of the "hair metal" era, would eventually become one of the greatest albums of the genre. Released in 1989, Skid Row's self titled album is amazing from start to finish. Opening with the song that gets my vote for the best cut off the album, Big Guns is skid rows way of showing their admiration for thier favorite part of the female anatomy. From there album runs like a perfectly constructed mix tape. The songs build up in intesity through Sweet Little Sister, can't stand the heartache, and piece of me, before cooling off with their first single 18 and life. After that the process starts over again, highlighted by their "we're not going to take it anthem" Youth Gone wild, and capping with I remember you and Midnight/Tornado.
Aside from being great metal song writers, these guys were amazing musicians. Snake Sabo is a very underated guitar player, his solo on Here I am should be learned by any aspiring rock guitar player. The real gem of this band, of course, is Sebastian Bach. Or more fittingly, Sebastian Bach's voice. This man possesed one of the most powerful, and wide ranged voices in the history of music. The high note that he hits at the end of I remember you is mindblowing.
It's too bad these guys couldn't keep it together. They had amazing talent, and great songs.
If you need a boost to your CD collection, and want an album of solid rock and roll tunes, buy the album, you wont be dissapointed.