Skid Row – 1989 debut album still boasts a Heavy Metal variety


main-150Skid Row released their debut album, “Skid Row” on Atlantic Records, on January 24, 1989. The timing for this Heavy Metal band proved to be a successful one, for this “Skid Row” album sold in excess of five million copies, (going five times platinum in the U.S.A.). The time line of Skid Row becoming so popular, with their first two albums proves to be quite an accomplishment, (their sophomore album “Slave To The Grind”, (released in 1991), sold two million copies and hit #1 on the album charts in the U.S.A.).  1989 was the beginning of the Grunge Music era, with Nirvana and  Soundgarden already in the marketplace. Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots later garnered massive commercial media attention and a strong following of fans in 1991. Regardless of the changing landscape in the Heavy Music culture, Skid Row made a major mark in Heavy Metal history between 1989 – 1991, with their first two albums. It is a tremendous Heavy Metal achievement for Skid Row to sell seven million albums after their first two releases in the United States. Fast forward to 2009, I still will listen to the debut Skid Row album and continue to revel in it’s variety of Heavy Metal songs.

Skid Row is a band that I always referred to as Heavy Metal… Hair Metal can be a justified label for this band as well, with their look and the 1989 breakout release of “Skid Row”, this puts them in the correct time period for that genre. Sebastian Bach in my Metal opinion, bestowed some real flamboyant, powerful, Arena Rock, style of vocals on “Skid Row”. Sebastian Bach did not introduce anything brand new to Heavy Metal with his vocals, yet I always felt he could carry a note and sing with the best of this genre. What had always stood out with Sebastian Bach’s vocals, for me, was his undeniable enthusiasm and cocky confidence. (Two necessary characteristics to have, especially for a Heavy Metal front man). As a total Heavy Metal band, Skid Row certainly never lacked any of the pertinent skills necessary to get the job done. This original Skid Row lineup on “Skid Row” combined their musicianship to create eleven top tier Heavy Metal songs. Not a bad tune in the bunch, in my Metal opinion.

“Here I Am” is probably my favorite song on this album, it just flat out Rocks. This song was not one of the hits that made it to FM radio or MTV back in the day, still, this is my hit pick. “Makin’ A Mess” is another pick of mine that scorches with speed, without question the fastest Heavy Metal song on this album. As for the hits… “Youth Gone Wild” is the most memorable and pumped up – heavy song that I point out here. Even though I may not belong to any youth generation anymore, I still get psyched out of my Metal mind when this song is cranked up. Yeah!! “18 And Life” is another major single that received it’s just due on FM radio and MTV as well… the lyrics make sense, the song Rocks heavy, the combination of these two descriptions makes this song a winner for me. “Midnight/Tornado” is as good as it gets with 1980’s Heavy Metal… the guitar solo, it just brings it man. The lyrics are tidy, the song is heavy, the Heavy Metal power is on high… “Midnight/Tornado” does it for me. O.K., there is a ballad on this album, “I Remember You”. Now, I can make a list of Heavy Metal ballads that stretches from Boston to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that I cannot stomach… “I Remember You” is not one of them. Sebastian Bach sings it… Skid Row brings it. I have spoken my Metal mind on that one.

In Metal summary, “Skid Row” delivered the heavy, at times fast, a ballad and some extremely popular and powerful hits. “Big Guns”, “Sweet Little Sister”, “Can’t Stand The Heartache” and “Piece Of Me” are the four opening songs that are best described as a Heavy Metal continuum of solid songs. “Rattlesnake Shake” is no pushover song either. Heavy album, 1980’s heavy and by today’s Old School Heavy Metal standards… a Heavy Metal album worth passing along to the youthful Metalheads of 2009. Let the youth of today listen to this Skid Row album and they should go wild.

Here is the original Skid Row, as they appeared on “Skid Row”… useful information for a well balanced Metal Music diet: Sebastian Bach on lead vocals, Dave “The Snake” Sabo on rhythm, lead guitars & backing vocals, Rachel Bolan on bass guitar & backing vocals, Rob Affuso on drums & percussion and Scotti Hill on lead and rhythm guitars.

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5 Responses to “Skid Row – 1989 debut album still boasts a Heavy Metal variety”

  1. good energetic album.

  2. metalodyssey Says:

    You betcha… too short lived was this Skid Row lineup… this album does get me motivated.

    In Metal – Stone

  3. elabryth Says:

    I really dig the Bach-era Skid Row. They only got better in my opinion. “Slave To The Grind”, they just got heavier and more progressive (not in a Dream Theater way, in a talented way… movong on). With “Subhuman Race”, it is flawless. A brilliant, brilliant release. I believe that if Skid Row & Bach would have stayed together, they would have been one of those rare Metal bands, like Pantera, to not only survive, but thrive, in the ninties. Just a tremendous act that should have been so much more. Bach has done O.K. (Metal-wise) on his own. “Angel Down” is a really good album. Skid Row went on to become a Nickelback/Shinedown knock-off. If that’s what they want to do… fine. But, those 2 bands are already doing it, do something original. I would love to see what Bach & Skid Row could do today, but both camps say that will never happen. I used to believe that… now Dave Ellefson is back in MEGADETH. If that can happen, anything is possible.

  4. Good stuff, but I love Slave.

  5. yes slave..! riot act

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