Saturday, October 22, 2022

"18 and Life" by Skid Row

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3960
Date:  07/08/1989
Debut:  91
Peak:  4
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Pop Bits:  While "Youth Gone Wild," the first single from Skid Row's self-titled debut album, didn't necessarily burn up the charts (#27 Rock/#99 Pop), the band's association with Bon Jovi and exposure on MTV helped the LP quickly go gold. It was a good result for a new band, but things would explode for them with the release of this next single. Boosted by a popular MTV video, the power ballad would take off and get to #11 Rock while cracking the Pop Top 10. The single would sell well enough to go gold. It would end up being the band's biggest hit. The same day this song got to #5, the album would reach its peak of #6. Around that same time the album would hit the double-platinum mark.

ReduxReview:  I remember liking this song quite a bit, but I don't think I bought the album until after the next single was released. This song definitely had a dark theme and it seemed to resonate with a lot of younger listeners. It was a well written tune with a great vocal from Sebastian Bach. It ranks right alongside the best glam metal songs of the era.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Music folklore had it that this song, written by band members Rachel Bolan and Dave Sabo, was based on a news article about an 18-year-old guy named Ricky who accidentally shot his friend with a gun that he thought wasn't loaded. Ricky was then given a life sentence for the killing. However, turns out that wasn't the case. In an interview with the Professor of Rock (I highly recommend his YouTube channel), Sabo stated he had initially intended to write a song about his older brother Rick who had served in the Vietnam War and was highly affected by the experience. Sabo worked with Bolan on the tune, but it just wasn't coming together. They then decided to change the story and have the song be about a young guy that due to alcohol accidentally shoots his friend. The video for the track, directed by Wayne Isham, basically followed the story found in the lyrics. However, MTV wasn't keen on the video and the message it might be sending out and initially rejected it. Isham and the band then did some editing to get it accepted by the channel. It was a wise move as the video became hugely successful on the channel, which helped the song become a Pop Top 10 hit.


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