Skid Row is an American band specializing in heavy rock metal formed in 1986. It became extremely successful in the 1980s and 1990s, releasing its first three platinum albums. Fans from the US and other countries worldwide couldn’t hide their amazement when the band sold over 20 million albums worldwide. By 2010, the band had five members, namely:
- Rachel Bolan (bass)
- Rob Afusso (drums)
- Sabo “The Snake” (guitarist)
- Sebastian Bach (vocalist)
- Rob Hammersmith (drums)
Today, the band has five full-length albums and a live album to their name, though Sebastian Bach is out. Johnny Solinger replaced him. If heavy metal and rock music is your ultimate music genre and Skid Row is your all-time favorite band, these five albums will get you humming all year long.
5. Skid Row (1989)
According to the Metal Kingdom report, “Skid Row” was the first album that brought the band to the limelight. It was a debut studio album that Atlantic Records released on January 24, 1989. At the time, Doc McGhee was the band’s main signing manager before handing over the band to Atlantic Records. The studio album was shot in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, by Michael Wagener, who was the band’s producer. Thanks to their tours as an opening act, the band managed to join Bon Jovi and Aerosmith in 1989-1990. It is not surprising that the album ranked at number six on the Billboard 200. It was later certified five times by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It didn’t take long before Skid Row graced rock magazines.
The 39.38-minute-long album has four singles:
- Youth Gone Wild
- 18 and Life
- I remember You
- Piece of Me
All the singles came alongside music videos and received applause from MTV and other leading music channels.
4. Slave to the Grind (1991)
On June 11, 1991, Skid Row released its second album- “Slave to the Grind.” As expected, fans expected the album to feature singles with hard rock, but that wasn’t the case. The band dwelt on heavy and soft rock instead. According to Return of Rock, “Slave to the Grind” ranked number one on the Billboard 200 in the era of Nielsen SoundScan. Did you know that this album sold more than 134,000 copies in its opening week? Furthermore, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album twice in 1998, selling up to two million copies in the US. The albums most popular singles include:
- · Slave to the Grind
- Monkey Business
- Wasted Time
- In a Darkened Room
- Quicksand Jesus
The album was shot in Scream Studios (Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles) by Atlantic Label and Michael Wagener (the then producer).
3. Subhuman Race (1995)
On March 28, 1995, Skid Row released its third album- “Subhuman Race.” Unlike what fans expected, this album doesn’t sound like Skid Row. It sounds more like a grown-up record. According to some sources, the band confessed to having burnout. The bassist (Rachel Bolan) confessed that the label ended up nudging them back to work too soon. It’s like the relationship between the band members started fraying, making it difficult to get work done. The second thing that affected the band’s recording of “Subhuman Race “was transitioning from the then producer- Michael Wagener, to Bob Rock.Even though Rachel had negative things to say about the album, ironically, it generated positive reviews from fans. The album starts with “Medicine Jar” and ends with “Ironwill.”
2. Thick Skin (2003)
It’s one thing to go on an eight-year break. It’s another to make a great comeback after resting from burnout. That was exactly how Skid Row’s “Thick Skin” album played out when it was released in 2003. No one would’ve imagined the rock band would bounce back after the former lead singer- Sebastian Bach, was fired. But, like any other rock band to ever live, they had to move on. This time, Rachel Bolan and Snake Sabo wrote most of the songs in that album. The songs sound more like a natural evolution from “Subhuman Race.” The new singer- Johnny Solinger, is an excellent shriek executor. He throws in the shrieks in the right places. He knows how to pull off both extremes, making him the perfect replacement for Bach.
The best songs featured on this album include:
- Thick is the Skin
- See You Around
1. Revolutions per Minute (2006)
Of all Skid Row’s albums, “Revolutions Per Minute” seems to be the one that brings out the band’s greatest talent. It’s like reuniting with Michael Wagener to put this album finally paid off when it was released on October 24, 2006. Shot in WireWorld Studio, Nashville, Tennessee, the heavy metal album has 12 songs, the most popular ones being:
- Shut Up Baby, I love You
- Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me
- You lie
This album is well-produced, and the material is written well. Moreover, it depicts how Skid Row has developed its sound and not produced a clone of their highly successful debut album. These songs were composed as a power ballad and were written by bandmates Rachel Bolan and Dave “The Snake” Sabo. Besides a well-composed material, this album has a bit more distortion along with a fierce attitude. The songwriters have used a simple approach to writing and playing, making music sound wonderful. Expect the tracks to sound like you’re in a concert hall with backup choirs having you humming to the melodies after the album has ended.
No matter which music territory Skid Row explores, they always do it with passion, skill, and conviction. It’s one band that’s proved glam metal can be daunting and edgy without getting self-parody. The band is an epitome of success with mild episodes of life challenges. Even though it took an 8-year break to cool off, we hope it will keep gracing our playlist with great heavy metal. So, if you’ve never heard about them or have listened to their songs before, these five albums will be worth your time.