David Lee Roth


David Lee Roth - Skyscraper ©1988 Warner Bros.
1. Knucklebones
2. Just Like Paradise
3. The Bottom Line
4. Skyscraper
5. Damn Good
6. Hot Dog And A Shake
7. Stand Up
8. Hina
9. Perfect Timing
10. Two Fools A Minute

Admit it. At least a tiny part of you would like to have been David Lee Roth in the 80s. The man personified to a T exactly what that rock n roll, excessive lifestyle was all about, only done with this "aw shucks", California surfer boy mentality that darned near made it clean, but still pleasantly raunchy. Besides, the guy had more buxom babes on his arms in one video than you will in your entire life so you are naturally a bit envious deep down. But then again, he was dumped not only once, but twice from Van Halen and is probably scheming at this very moment on how to revive his career from "where are they now" status, so don't feel too jealous of him.

Part of Roth's appeal to the decade of the 80s is his ability to precisely make music that belonged in parties, fast cars and teenage boys fantasies. For Skyscraper, he assembled a perfectly fabricated band to back up his anthemic songs, including the prerequisite guitar god in Steve Vai, and penned a handful of songs that fit precisely the musical bill expected of him. Naturally you had the penultimate radio anthem in "Just Like Paradise" with all its big choruses, songs about "Good Times" (which actually features some exceptional acoustic guitar playing from Vai), goofy tunes like "Two Fools a Minute" or "Hot Dog and a Shake" and secondary anthems such as "Perfect Timing" (just in case "Just Like Paradise" didn't do the trick). All the playing is perfectly in place and the production is sparkling and sterile. But darn it, Skyscraper is also one of the best hard rock 80s albums of the entire decade, derivative and predictable as it is. It is a fun, good times oriented party record that is light on profound self importance and heavy on rock swagger.

That said, I found this CD in a discount bin for a buck and trust me, I wouldn't have wanted to pay any more than that for it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

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