I remember when this album came out, I was in heaven to hear Vai play and the album is a must have for any guitar loving fan.
No Description AvailableNo Track Information AvailableMedia Type: CDArtist: ROTH,DAVID LEETitle: SKYSCRAPERStreet Release Date: 01/21/1988<Domestic or Import: DomesticGenre: ROCK/POP
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This is Dave’s most complete solo album to date. On this CD Dave strikes a perfect cord between being good old Dave having fun and musical master! I think having Steve Vai on guitar and co producing it helped big time! I have always believed “Damn Good” was one of Dave’s most underated songs of all time! I also think “Just Like Paradise” rocks! Even “Stand Up” has a little Dave humor to it.
1988 Fondly remembered for The Diamond’s best release of his less than lack-luster solo career. Steve Vai starts the disc out with a chicken pickin guitar opening that is least expected but he remains intune to where Roth is headed and explains why Vai was easily meant to support Roth instead of you know who. Vai and Roth sink deep into Pop territory for Just like Paradise while flexing their metal muscle on Knucklebones.Vai’s fifth grade composition Damn Good comes off with some Damn good results and the title track —- contrary to other reviewers finds Vai’s backward masking and recording quite adventurous for its time and if listened to with the proper surround sound equiptment will leave the listener in Awe.Perfect Timing is an excellent song that stands well on its own and should have been a single.Its competition OU812 flounders in comparrision to this Pop Metal Masterpiece.
I bought this disc the day it was released, and since then I’ve probably become the first person in history to wear out a CD. My dear old battered copy is scuffed, faded, skips all over the place in cheap CD players, its lyric book is faded from all the times I flipped through it, the works. Simply put, this wonderful little bundle is mindlessly cheerful, life’s-so-groovy-to-me optimism, done with that cartoonish sense of humour we’ve all grown to love so much… and it STILL manages to successfully slam the works of other so-called artists of the eighties like Bon Jovi with a ferociously fierce talent and creativity few had during that decade. No wonder Eddie Van Halen loathed it so much when it was released… because it and all of Dave’s other albums, as Eddie HIMSELF admitted, show who was the REAL heart and creative genius behind Van Halen! Every song is a winner from start to finish, there are gorgeous melodies everywhere that jaded headbangers will probably never understand or appreciate, and Steve Vai’s playing is stupendous. Roth reminds me so much of Led Zeppelin… back during the seventies, Led Zep (another fave rave of mine) were slammed ruthlessly by critics with each and every release, all whining about how “pretentious” and “unlistenable” the album was and how the last one was better, even though the same critics had slammed IT too! Same with Dave… each album he has done solo-wise is a masterpiece, and each one has been critically slammed, only to be praised when the next one came out in the precise same way. The only thing that kept Diamond Dave from being fully appreciated for being the multitalented musical genius that he was and is was the press’s and the public’s bias against him after Eddie did everything he could to ruin him (and now we all know WHO the real jerk was after 1996, now, don’t we?). The “Led Zeppelin 3″ of its time, SKYSCRAPER was a massive experiment for Dave as he challenged his audience with NEW strong points they never knew he had, one that was pulled off beautifully, and will hopefully one day get the critical applause and favour it so richly deserves. More, Dave! MORE!
Fans are split on David Lee Roth’s second studio album “Skyscraper.” Released in the spring of 1988, the album was a top-ten hit, platinum smash, and yielded the hit “Just like Paradise.” Unfortunately for Dave, however, “Skyscraper” saw Dave lose a lot of fans. It was his last hit album before his commercial decline. Bassist Billy Sheehan even admits to hating this album. Far from being universally panned, however, some fans have stuck by “Skyscraper.”
After leaving Van Halen, Roth’s task was to create a new band, to create a new Van Halen. Competing with Van Halen, Roth employed Steve Vai (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Gregg Bissonette (drums). This lineup, known as the “Eat `Em and Smile Band” released the classic “Eat `Em and Smile” in the summer of 1986. For “Skyscraper,” Roth added keyboardist Brett Tuggle.
Veteran Van Halen producer Ted Templeman was behind the helm for “Eat `Em and Smile.” For his second album, Roth opted to produce the album himself with Steve Vai.
In some ways “Skyscraper” and “Eat `Em and Smile” are as different as night and day. “Eat `Em and Smile” was in some ways like a seventh Van Halen album. Roth basically took the best musicians he could find to replace Eddie, Alex and Michael, and rather successfully, emulated Van Halen’s sound. “Eat `Em and Smile” is raw, organic and sounds live. “Skyscraper,” by contrast, is far more polished, glossy and filled with overdubs. The addition of a keyboard player also took the band in a more commercial, pop direction. Some fans rejected the new sound and revolted. Billy Sheehan notes that he likes the raw demos of “Skyscraper” far more than the finished product.
It is interesting to note that while Van Halen found multi-platinum success and praise with their keyboard filled, overtly commercial “5150″ (1986), Roth failed to do the same with “Skyscraper.” Far from being a fan favorite, “Skyscraper” is noted as being the album in which Roth “jumped the shark.”
All of this is a shame, because “Skyscraper” is a really good album. It is very glossy, but that’s not really a bad thing. “Skyscraper” isn’t a go-for-the-jugular hard-rock album in the vein of “Van Halen,” (1978) and “Fair Warning” (1981). Rather, it’s a sunny, California pop album. It’s also surprisingly diverse and creative, something that a lot of fans and critics overlook. While “Skyscraper” isn’t Roth’s magnum opus, it’s probably the most creative album he’s done. Most importantly, the album works because the songs are well written, with good hooks and strong melodies.
The mid-tempo, off-beat “Knucklebones” gets the album off to a good start. With its ultra-glossy trimmings, the tone is set for the album. “Just like Paradise,” was the album’s huge smash. It’s easy to see why this was picked as a single, as its hook is undeniable. It’s easily as memorable as anything Van Halen was doing at the time with Sammy Hagar. “The Bottom Line” is a hard-rocker, in the vein of “Eat `Em and Smile” and classic Van Halen. The album takes a complete left turn for the album’s avant-garde title track “Skyscraper.” Although many fans and critics don’t get it and label it “bizarre,” this is one of Dave’s most creative, ambitious, and intriguing songs. It’s an odyssey, a sci-fi epic with psychedelic trimmings. You don’t just listen to this song, you are thrust into it. The acoustic, melancholy “Damn Good” pays tribute to old friendships long gone. Did Dave have Van Halen in mind? Dave fans regard this as one of his best songs. It’s rather surprising that it was left off his 1997 best of album. And what would a David Lee Roth album be without sexual innuendo? “Hot Dog and a Shake” picks up the pace and features some really cool solos. “Stand Up” is an arena-rock style anthem about standing up for yourself. The added keyboards and gloss work well for this song. “Hina” is one of Dave’s most underrated songs. It’s spacey and epic, with a lot of effects bombarding the senses, much like the title track. But whereas the title track is a sci-fi epic, “Hina” seems to be more like a space-age love song. Who is “Hina”? She remains a mystery. The album comes back to the ground with the infectious “Perfect Timing,” a song that could have been a contender as a single. The closing “Two Fools a Minute” is pure Vegas, albeit with more a hard-rock edge. Although not the album’s strongest cut, it’s an interesting listen and a good way to close the album.
It’s a shame that more people didn’t recognize all the qualities and ideas that “Skyscraper” has to offer. It’s a great hybrid of sunny-pop, hard-rock, and avant-garde experimentation.
If you’re looking for straight-up, no-holds-bar rock n’ roll, you may be disappointed with “Skyscraper.” If you want something rocking, and a little off-center, try giving “Skyscraper” a try.