Top 10 Albums That Helped Me Through The 90s – Number 1!

The 1990s were a tough time for a young Metal fan and these are the Top 10 albums of the era that helped me get through it! If I knew then what I know now things would maybe be different but these are all still amazing albums from that decade.

1: Skid Row – Slave to the Grind (1991)

Skid Row made mincemeat of the “difficult 2nd album” challenge with their masterpiece, Slave to the Grind. Released at the turn of the decade this album was essential listening throughout the 90s and still is.

The early 90s were a difficult time for the so-called Hair Metal bands that fared so well in the 80s. If Metallica’s stark real-life horror and Guns N’ Roses’ alluring and dangerous depiction of Hollywood “glamour” hadn’t been game-changing enough, alternative music was taking over and Grunge was rearing its ugly head. Skid Row’s answer to this was to come out fighting, channeling new levels of fury and power into their already accomplished Glam Metal.

I was a fan of the self-titled album but when this was released I was taken aback. What happened to this band? It still sounded like Skid Row but I was not expecting this band to come up with the massive palm-muted chug of the title-track. This was all very intense and, to be honest, I was a little bit intimidated!

There is a startling array of musical influence in here. Chunky down-tuned riffs cut into clean Hendrix Funk on Creepshow. The more familiar Glam territory of Psycho Love is interrupted by some evocative, mellow psychedelia. Fast paced Ramones style chargers jostle with wistful and heartfelt balladry. The guitar duo of Dave “Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill are also more assured and tasteful, confident enough to reign in the 80s flash which would not have fitted here. The album is extremely well paced and the songs are skilfully written and arranged.

The real X-factor in Slave to the Grind is vocalist Sebastian Bach. He is on winning form throughout this record, displaying a range and sense of dynamics that ensures the album crackles with energy. On The Threat the phrase “wrecking ball” is initially sung with a melodic, whoah-oh delivery while, before the 2nd chorus, the same phrase is given an exciting full roar. His wild performance, ad-libs, wobbly vibrato and unhinged crescendos come across as raw, natural and naively enthusiastic.

This was one of those albums that is so consistently good that every track is vying for your attention. Each song has, at some point, been my favourite from the album and there aren’t many albums I can say that about. Slave to the Grind is easily the best record of the 90s and one of my Top 10 all-time favourites.

Top 10 Albums That Helped Me Through The 90s – Introduction

Top 10 Albums That Helped Me Through The 90s – Positions 8 to 10

Top 10 Albums That Helped Me Through The 90s – Positions 5 to 7

Top 10 Albums That Helped Me Through The 90s – Positions 2 to 4

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7 thoughts on “Top 10 Albums That Helped Me Through The 90s – Number 1!”

  1. Great album. Love this one. In fact this is giving me a bit of a quandry when I get around to reviewing Skid Row — I really can’t decide if I like Sunhuman Race better. I love Subhuman. But this is a lean, mean metal machine.

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    1. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never heard Subhuman Race! I heard tracks off it when it came out and wasn’t fussed… but I’ve heard some tracks like Frozen since that have sounded good so I’ll definitely check it out if you rate it that highly!

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      1. I loved “Frozen”! Also a ballad called “Breakin’ Down”. If you find it cheap, definitely pick it up. I like every song on it, but some of my friends who never got into grunge rate it as “too alternative”. I do like the underdog albums, but I think they had a lot to be proud of it Subhuman. The title track is another great one, a fast thrashy one like “Slave to the Grind”. Hope you enjoy.

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      2. I’ve got to get a copy. The tracks I’ve heard were mostly live versions from Bring Em Bach Alive (or whatever it was called)! Really appreciate the recommendation and totally agree with you on underdog albums.

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  2. Well if you liked Bring ‘Em Bach, I think you will like this too. Bob Rock produced, and I think my only issue with this album is that he used the “Lars Ulrich St. Anger drum sound”. It’s not as pronounced as St. Anger, but same basic sound. However in my humble opinion Rob Affuso blows away Lars Ulrich on songs like “Slave” and “Subhuman” and another one called “Bonehead”. Also worth checking out is their greatest hits disc, it has some remixes from Subhuman and some live tracks as well.

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      1. I know for sure that the Ramones cover “Psychotherapy” is on both (unlisted on the greatest hits). If you can get B-Side Ourselves at a good price, go for it. It’s only five songs but they’re awesome. Come On And Love Me (Kiss), Little Wing (Hendrix), Delivering the Goods live with Halford, and What You’re Doing (Rush).

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