Excerpt from this week's Rockstar Ramblings:
What is the greatest glam trifecta, three albums back to back to back by one glam/hard rock artist, of all time?. This particular list thrives on longevity, ability to put together “full” albums without filler, and popularity during their reign versus one hit wonders and magical “one off” albums never again to be duplicated by the artist. Let’s get the rules out of the way. NO Van Halen. When we cover the best “six pack”, the six greatest consecutive albums we can discuss early Van Halen. For now let’s try and keep an even playing field. No Aerosmith allowed. Nothing against the band, just don’t like American Idol. Also there’s the whole should they be lumped in with eighties bands despite starting in the seventies. B-Sides and EP’s albums do not count. Because of this, Guns N’ Roses Lies is not allowed. Image and videos are important. MTV matters.
First a word about the honorable mentions: Interesting was how Motley Crue released Theatre of Pain between four trifecta eligible albums. Bon Jovi hit a grand slam twice, first with Slippery When Wet, and then Bad Medicine, but would drop off after (NOTE: Spare the comments NJ, no one likes Bon Jovi as much as you do). Cinderella deserves an honorable mention for their first four albums, and probably would rank #6 on my list. One of the more interesting bands is Def Leppard. You could debate Def Leppard for days (assuming you had enough whiskey), possible topics could include: Are the three albums On Through the Night, Pyromania, and Hysteria the greatest incremental three albums ever? Is this a glam band? Does Adrenalize even count anymore? Who was ever declared winner between Joe Elliot and Jon Bon Jovi in the eighties jeans rivalry?
On to my top 5:
5. Skid Row – (Skid Row, Slave To The Grind, Subhuman Race)
The self-titled album separated Skid Row from a group of bands that were getting more difficult to separate from. The initial album was released in the eighties and there was definitely a glam element to Skid Row, making them eligible.
Skid Row had a little more of an edge compared to some of the other bands. If you were a male and were carrying Poison, Def Leppard, and Skid Row CDs, you would put the Skid Row CD on the top, covering the others. They were somewhere between Poison and Guns N’ Roses. A little dirtier than Poison, but not quite the GN’R mess; you could sense Sebastian Bach didn’t wash his hair every day. It was the ballads, “18 and Life” and “I Remember You” that would receive air play and be known by the denim jacket crowds. Obviously Bach and company owe a thank you to all of the bands before them that made the power ballad popular. “18 and Life” had a video that should receive the Ultimate Bad Ass award for the kid in the video who gets thrown through the glass door and then pushes his friend when he tries to help him up as if to say, “What, you think this is the first glass door I’ve been thrown through!” That is an Ultimate Bad Ass. My take on Skid Row’s “I Remember You” video is that the disheveled guy walking around staring at the picture of the girl was part of a Ponzi scheme, and his girlfriend left him after he lost all of his money. Who would have thought “I Remember You” would be relative today?
In 1991, their second record, Slave To The Grind, would do exactly what they said it would do and that was make their music more “heavy” and it did just that, solidifying Skid Row as leaders in the eighties heavy metal scene. The album would go to number one behind hits “Monkey Business” and “Wasted Time”. Bordering on speed metal in some parts of the album, you will also find the angry treats: “Riot Act” and “The Threat” buried deep within and the party song “Get the Fuck Out” which was only available on some releases of the cassette/CD.
The next album, Subhuman Race, continued to build on the angst and speed metal brand of rock. Critically, this was their finest work and demonstrated the talents of Sebastian Back, his ability to wail out “Big Guns” and then “Beat Yourself To Death” seamlessly.
With these three albums Skid Row (almost literally) gave their fans a 1-2-3 punch with these albums. Throw out the B-Sides album and here is a band that went from hard rock to heavy metal to speed metal and kept their fan base.
Read the full column at MetalUnderground.com
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