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Skid Row – The Atlantic Years (1989-1996)

Skid Row
The Atlantic Years (1989-1996)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 November 2021, 12:44 AM

 
Overview

SKID ROW, back in their early years, became a successful band in the midst of the high flying reputation of the Hair Metal scene in the USA. The late 80s, right before things started to turn different in the local Rock and Metal scenes, saw the band hit the streets with ace singles such as the hard edged "Youth Gone Wild" and the emotional balladries, "18 And Life" and "I Remember You". The first full-length, "Skid Row", became a dominator, displaying the amazing fusion between Heavy Metal and the spirit of Hard Rock, American made.

Two years later, with the release of "Slave To The Grind", SKID ROW assaulted with sheer groove and heaviness, demonstrating an amazing wall of sound and street kind of attitude with hit songs such as "Slaves To The Grind", "Monkey Business" and the atmospheric "Quicksand Jesus". That mega album was a proof that SKID ROW is a mainstay of the charts, and the future looked oh so bright for them.

The band's sophomore was accompanied with a follower mini-cover fest, "B-Side Ourselves", which saw SKID ROW covering their favorite classic artists such as JIMI HENDRIX, JUDAS PRIEST, RAMONES, KISS and RUSH. No doubt, this is quite the mixture of influences and directions of both Metal and Rock, which are celebrated under a single platter.
 

 
Somewhat far from their sophomore piece, SKID ROW unleashed a dirtier approach towards their fusion of tough Rock and Metal, with their third "Subhuman Race". In a way, a different kind of SKID ROW, capturing a few hints and directions of what Metal music sounded like in the mid-90s, portraying glorious songs such as "My Enemy", "Firesign", "Eileen" and "Subhuman Race". Nevertheless, even in Metal's lower years of that era, "Subhuman Race" is a special kind of gem, where SKID ROW didn't really seem to be afraid of showing their uglier and darker image at work.

As a follower, and the final token from the band, under Atlantic Records, was the supporting live testament, which was partially captured in its finest form, within the rare "Subhuman Beings On Tour!!". Now it is available as part of the new package.

Sadly, right after that piece of evidence, Sebastian Bach was out of the band, a sad end of an era.
 


 5-CD Boxset

BMG, which has already proven itself with magnificent reissues, remasters and boxing the classics, are set to release a fine boxset, in both CD and Vinyl formats, of those glorious years of Skid Row, between 1989 and 1996, back when they were part of Atlantic Years – "The Atlantic Years (1989 – 1996)"
 


The Pros

The Boxset hosts 5 digipacks, conveying the band's first five outputs through Atlantic Records. Each record was remastered, I am glad to report that after listening to each of the record, both with headphones and speakers, the quality of the remastering, and the treatment of the live tracks, is excellent, certainly a pleasure for every fan and Metalhead that wishes to experience of past classics.

Another great aspect of the package is the availability of an EP, "Subhuman Beings On Tour!!". This live EP, which for SKID ROW was the final say in Atlantic Records, became quite the rare commodity since it was available only in Japan for years in CD format. Now, within this pleasure dome, it is available for the grab.

Looking within each of the digipacks, I found out that there is no actual booklet but rather an inwards folded inlay poster or back to back lyrics and credits. For those who have the original albums, commenting about the albums with the posters, you can always head back to your youthful days and just put up the poster on the wall. I am sure that those old memories will start to resurface through your mind.

The quality of each of the digipack is great, equal to any newly released digipack now in the market. The front and back graphics are top notch, high resolution, quite impressive to look at each of the records.
 


 The Cons

Nonetheless, I actually expected a booklet, since no matter if I have the original records, or not, except from the live albums of course, BMG in their past reissues, always took great care of their booklets. This time around the folded lyrics vs posters were that to my liking, even though a poster with a quality photo is always great.

In regards to the folded booklet, I also expected to have rare band photos on each of the albums, I believe that additional sets of photos would have also contributed to the importance of this package altogether. Furthermore, if there was a written intro, or even a small interview, from an original band member, commenting about each release of the band, it would have been a firsthand evidence from someone that was actually there. It worked amazingly well in most of the recent BMG reissues, and it could have added to the magnitude of the package as well.
 


 Summary

For any fan, collector and a Metalhead, or Rocker, this is the whole package of SKID ROW at their glory days, and a great opportunity to feel, and become a witness to the transition that Metal music was under back in that same period of time, between 1989 and 1996. BMG, as always in the past, made this festivity available under a single package.

You have my recommendation right there, get yourself a copy of this piece of the Heavy Metal legacy that came out of the US, SKID ROW were on top for a reason, and now it is available for the taking.


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
5-CD Side-Loading Boxset – Full Length Albums:
1. Skid Row
2. Slave To The Grind
3. B-Side Ourselves
4. Subhuman Race
5. Subhuman Beings On Tour!!
Lineup:
Dave Sabo – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Rachel Bolan – Bass / Backing Vocals
Sebastian Bach – Lead Vocals
Scotti Hill – Rhythm Guitar / Backing Vocals
Rob Affuso – Drums
Record Label: BMG
     


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Edited 16 January 2022
 

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