I know, I know, these guys were pretty big following the release of their debut in January 1989. SKID ROW was a huge success spawning three Top 20 hits: 18 and Life, I Remember You, and Youth Gone Wild while selling over five million copies and reaching number 6 on the Billboard Album Chart. It was also a HUGE hit with me and my drinkin’ buddies in the NAVY. WE FREAKIN’ LOVED THESE GUYS!
I still do. I believe their first three albums are as strong as any metal bands first three albums including releases by Metallica, Megadeth, Black Sabbath and other legends. I believe SKID ROW, their most successful release, is the weakest of the three while SLAVE TO THE GRIND and SUBHUMAN RACE are groundbreaking, ball shaking, earth quaking, ear shattering slabs of metal masterworks.
While SLAVE TO THE GRIND became the very first heavy metal album to debut at Number One on the Billboard Album Chart and was the very first CD I ever bought, I still think it underachieved. I think it should have been considered the best metal album of 1991. Yes, even besting METALLICA’S BLACK ALBUM, GUNS N ROSES USE YOUR ILLUSION I AND II and OZZY’S NO MORE TEARS. It’s that FUCKING good! The song SLAVE TO THE GRIND is an anti-establishment anthem.
It should have outsold their debut but it wound up selling only two million copies in the U.S.
If you haven’t spent any quality time with SLAVE TO THE GRIND get either version (the explicit with the song GET THE FUCK OUT) or (the clean with BEGGAR’S DAY) and turn that shit up!
Now if you still have that shit cranked you may want to be careful with SUBHUMAN RACE. It is heavy as hell and hard to quantify. Fast and furious tunes like BONEHEAD, SUBHUMAN RACE, and MEDICINE JAR will blow your eardrums OUT! Just plain heavy songs MY ENEMY and BEAT YOURSELF BLIND will make you wanna punch somebody square in the face and strangely, beautifully arranged songs like FIRESIGN and EILEEN will make go WHOA what was that?
In my opinion SKID ROW should be considered among the best heavy metal bands of the 90’s, not a hair band or glam band. A HEAVY METAL band that didn’t get the respect it deserved way back then and certainly don’t get it now.
I Remember You gentlemen. Thanks for the metal!