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4.5 out of 5 stars44
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 20 October 2002
Sebastian Bach wasn't a shy bloke (I don't think it was his real name!). But for a short time he and his band struck a chord on both sides of the Atlantic, especially over in the US of A.
When they released this debut LP, a mini GNR-type explosion of hype erupted and easily impressed teens like me took notice. Seb was a pretty dude but a cool one as well. The chicks loved him & the guys wanted to be him. I was jealous.
When Skid Row released this LP, the hype was in overdrive & it became a bit of a rock monster. For some reason I truly believed that I was a Youth Gone Wild (despite my bank job & tidy long hair), and Ricky (from 18 And Life) became my hero. These 2 songs are now genuine rock classics.
Skid Row became overnight heroes and, until grunge spoiled it for everyone, they ruled the (rock) world.
Enjoy this LP before the sands of time make it impossible to find at even the most obscure of 2nd hand stores.
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on 24 January 2006
One of the best debut metal albums EVER! The guitar licks smoulder and Seb Bach's throaty screams just drip with passion and power,the songs are tight roaring anthems about teenage life on the streets.The anthemic 18&Life is for me,what got me into the band:a passion soaked metal ballad that you need to sweat to!!
The punky edge of Piece of Me,Big Guns,and Youth Gone Wild resonate attitude that can't be faulted or ignored.Dave "the Snake" Sabo should be up there with Slash and Ritchie Blackmore as a genius guitarist,his solid riffs and crystal clear solos get under your skin and stay there!!Memories of hot summers in the 80's,as a teen myself,living the wild life,with Seb and Nikki Sixx(Motley Crue)as my icons!!
A shame they only made two brilliant albums before Subhuman Race and the acrimonious split.Still in the words of the album's ballad I Remember You,Skid Row..always will.Please please reform.metal isnt like this anymore,and characters like Sebastian Bach are much missed.Go buy two copies,you will wear one out eventually!!
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on 1 March 2006
i remember hearing this for the first time,i was 11 years old,it had just been released,i was into guns n roses and motley crue,this was an album my cousin lent me,when i heard the opener 'big guns',i knew i was in love with this,there is not and i repeat there is not a bad song on here,classics such as '18 and life' and 'youth gone wild' are on here,this album is pretty much 17 years old and it still sounds timely and vutal and superb,skid row had the attitude of guns n roses and the riffs to match,this is a sensational debut,its a snazzy album,did i just use the word snazzy there?,its filled with cheeky innuendos that i didnt understand as a boy,i guess thats why my parents looked on in shock as i recited the lyrics around the house,anyway,get this,you will never ever regret it,hail skid row,i love you and always will
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on 19 July 2006
It's interesting reading all of the comparisons between the big bands, and particularly the comparisons with Roses. I was lucky enough to be at Wembley in '92 when Skid Row were supporting Roses. It should've been the other way round, Skid Row were awesome, kicked Roses ass. And I was there to see Roses. This album is the very best.
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on 22 July 2007
i remember when i was just 14 yrs old that was back in 90 late 90 i think it was sept 1990, anyway i went to this shop that i liked just cause it got rock cassettes so i bought it cause i was looking for hard rock cassettes and i found this tape. i went home and for the 1st time in my live since i got Iron + GNR + Motley i have to mention this i bought this album together with Dr feelgood. back to this album which now i have it on cd its killer vocals what got me into skid row then the twin guitars this is cd that since 1990 i got it on 2 tapes then moved to the cd back in 96 i think this is a cd that im sure no metal head will dislike its got its killer riffs and the best vocal from that era. also check out the 2nd cd by the skids its another masterpiece.
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on 20 February 2004
The initial reason for which I was drawn to this album is mainly because of my various other musical preferences such as "Poison", "Kiss", and "Slayer". By complete chance I heard "18 and life" on a MTV2 show and of course I was now inclined to buy this album.
At first I was wary that it was going to just be another metal band spawned from California in the 80's but this turned out to be the biggest misconception I have ever made in my 14 years of being. After hearing the album "Slave to the Grind" in all it's thrash metal glory, I thought I was onto something good with Skid Row's debut album. But, again i was wrong. I was not onto something good, but something absolutely phenomenal. Especially for a debut!!!
With the whole album barely reaching 40 minutes in length, some may say this is a fault. No. In this case it is most definitely short and sweet. Pure masterclass from start to finish with Sebastian Bach and the gang.
The album kicks off with the two anthemic songs "Big Guns" and "Sweet Little Sister" and continues with the perfectly crafted "Can't Stand The Heartache" (by no means a ballad!!) and "Piece of Me". Following on from this we have "18 And Life". Not only the best song on the album, but possibly one of the most prodigious metal songs ever. Beginning with a soft acoustic intro, it follows onto a complex and purely excellent song. You really do have to hear it to fully appreciate the complete brilliance of it. From here we rock on to "Rattlesnake Shake". A good song.(Of course!) "Youth Gone Wild" is next on the bill with it's compelling and catchy riff, which brings vague reminiscences of Motley Crue's "Too Young To Fall In Love". The next two tracks: "Here I am" and "Makin' A Mess" string the album album together very nicely. Next up is the acoustic ballad "I Remember You", which to be honest sounds far too mature for a debut album. Especially from the posse comin' straight outta California. A lovely song none the less. "Midnight Tornado" brings the album to a close in only the classiest rock and roll way. You will find yourself tapping your feet and playing some good old air guitar without even realising it!!
In conclusion to this review can I really do anything but tell you to order this CD right now?!? In all seriousness though, there is not a bad track to be found on this album, and the quality of the whole work is astounding for a debut album.
There is no way to describe this album other than:
" a true metal masterpiece "
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on 18 August 2007
I was first given this album to listen to by a friend of mine when I was about 10 or 11. It blew me away then and it still blows me away every time I hear it! Sebastian Bach's vocals are absolutely amazing and the crunching guitar riffs rock like a hurricaine!

How Heavy Metal should sound!
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on 19 March 2009
Must say this band and album still sound as good now as when i first heard it on a tape walkman ! This is a must buy for any fan and one of the better debut albums from a time when there were a number of "throw away" rock bands - This stands out as superiour
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on 26 February 2014
80s hair metal is kinda my forte really, but I really only got into it at the end of the decade around 87/88, so when Skid Row came along I was still taking baby steps with regards to finding new bands to listen to, whether they actually were new, or classic bands I was discovering for the first time.
I remember taking a punt on this album without ever hearing a single song. I bought a new cassette walkman .. for the young people out there, its kinds like an MP3 player, but you had to stick lumps of plastic inside them to play music ;) .., and thought I might as well buy a new cassette to test it out on the way home. I
Now, while I was a fan of Guns N Roses, most of my collection at the time was a bit lighter. Bands like Jovi, Poison and Heart made up the largest part of my collection, so when Big guns first came blasting through my earphones, I was quite taken aback by this "heavy" hitting blast of hard rock. To me this album was "heavy metal", but I loved it.
Whats funny looking back on it now that my tastes of rock and metal have expanded into other musical territories such as trad metal, thrash metal and just plain old METAL, I now realise that this album was more radio friendly rock than metal, and has more in common with Poison & Warrant etc than it has with Iron Maiden or Megadeth.
With their second album, they did move more inline with actual metal bands, but for me the sheer mix of heavy blended with that singalong pop metal that most hair bands perpetrated in the 80s, made this album something special.
There were those fast paced songs which were closer to the likes of Crue and GNR, the ballads which were worthy of Bon Jovi, and the snotty punkish attitude of a song like Piece of me. All of which made this a great album to just blast out. Anthems like Youth gone wild were just perfect for annoying the neighbours on a Saturday afternoon in the summer.
For me there is not a bad song on this album, and as much as I love Slave to the grind, this is the Skid Row I truly love.
The fact that the vocals of Bach were head and shoulders above so many of his contemporaries, just makes this that little bit more special.
Despite hair metal no longer being "in", several decades later this still sounds as fresh to me today as it did back then.
Its only sad that the name Skid Row no longer excites me. The band that now uses that name is not the band I love, but at least Seb has turned out some great music as a solo artist in the last few years. Now if only all parties could kiss and make up, and try to recapture the glory of this album.
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on 24 April 2012
When I was a teenager I loved this album. I'd never heard of Skid Row until a girlfriend played me a few of their songs, and soon after I went and bought their début album and was hooked on it straight away. I played it to all my friends, many of whom also loved it and went out to buy it.

Sadly, listening to it now, it's not quite the masterpiece I remember it being. Some of the lyrics are pretty trite, and several of the songs are a little dated and forgettable. However, that's not to say it's a waste of time - several tracks are still just as awesome as they ever were (particularly Youth Gone Wild and the absolutely superb 18 & Life), and gems like those more than make up for the album's shortcomings. Any fan of Guns N' Roses or other similar mid-late 80s rock bands will certainly enjoy this CD.

A great first album from an underrated band, it's well worth picking up for the few songs that rise above the rest and into brilliance. You might also try checking out the band's follow-up, Slave To The Grind - a little heavier, but slightly more consistent.
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