January 1988 and one of my first purchases that year was Skyscraper by Mr Roth! We all know the deal with Halen and Dave back in the 80s so I won’t really go there! Dave though stepped up and released one of my favourite all time great solo albums (Eat Em And Smile) after leaving Van Halen! Check out my review on this site of Eat Em and you will know my deal!
Great anticipation awaits so when I purchased Skyscraper on Cd(one of my first cd purchases ever back in 88) I was surprised by the sound! Dave was always changing it up. But man did he ever change it up! 80s polish,very slickly produced by Dave and co produced by Steve Vai!
But who cares there’s Dave on the cover of Skyscraper climbing some big ass mountain in a country known as somewhere so this pic tells us that Dave is still out there !
Wonder what one of the Picasso Brothers has up his sleeve …
KNUCKLBONES-wow man Dave is streamlining his sound! Gone is the live hard hitting sound of Eat Em And Smile in is a more technically 80s sounding record borderline almost sterile sounding! (Drums are soundings Ummm different)Who cares though it’s freezing time in Tbay in this January weather of 1988 and Daves cooking a batch of new tunes! Steve Vai rocks the guitar like you knew the mother would right! Vai is awesome in Roths band! Whitesnake? Don’t get me started man! Dave leads the parade and You can feel it right down to your Knucklebones!
JUST LIKE PARADISE- Brett Tuggle cranks the keys on this radio/video smash aroo that was I betcha the highest charting single off of Skyscraper! But man the sound of the production is weak but whatever Dave pulls of one catchy chorus that even if your yelling out ‘Commercialism’ during this track when all is said and done your still mumbling well after the song is done….’this must be just like living in paradise’ Case closed! Also the vid is you know full of selling points for the tour ….boxing ring! Stage kicks,Vai double necked hearted guitar! All the trimmings ….
BOTTOM LINE- ahh there we go. Dave fires up the musical bong and takes a hit and lays into the Bottom Line which easily could have fit on the Eat Em album! Billy Sheehan and Steve Vai along with Gregg Bissonette take the reigns on this one and rocket it skyward. Super duper cool rock song! Love the middle part where it sounds like the song is ….wait? Is Dave backward masking his music! Ha…..
SKYSCRAPER-I’m Falling Fallin Fallin……The title track and its a tour de force of 80s production. Dave goes all tech and Stevie Vai is on board as well! Did you know that the backward message at the end of the song says “Obey your parents and wear a condom! “Hahahaha …that goofy Dave he may go all gloss and shit but he has his sense of humour!
DAMN GOOD- Vai lays down some excellent acoustic guitar and its a exact opposite of Skyscraper(the tune) no frills just solid acoustic picking by Mr Vai! Dave’s just chilling and reminiscing about those Damn Good Times! Great tune!
HOT DOG AND A SHAKE- Yep Dave and Stevie dump the acoustic and now rock it up looking for a Shake to go with that Hot Dog! Ha! This is late 80s Vai goes wanky with his whammy bar and its the tour opener of The Skyscraper Tour! Lyrics are goofy,song is goofy but hell its Roth so goofy to me via Dave = Street Cred!
STAND UP- keyboards drive this tune! Too be honest I kinda skipped this track…
HINA-oh yeah man now we’re talking Hina is a great great track! Vai does some real cool fucking around at the start of the track on his guitar and Gregg Bissonette joins in and than Billy Sheehan is grooving da bass and than the Ringmaster himself David Lee telling us ” he’d like to get know the natives but he’s only flesh and blood”! Umm what? But cool regardless! During the chorus Dave is singing “Come back back back back…. What a great fucking track! One of the DLR BANDS best tracks!(EVER!)
PERFECT TIMING – keyboards drive this tune! Too be honest I kinda skipped this track….did I just not type this two songs above? More importantly there is no actual bass on this tune! Brett Tuggle and his Casio Keyboard give Mr Sheehan the day off and I guess that may be one of the reasons Billy bolted after its release.
TWO FOOLS BORN A MINUTE-guess that makes Dave 3! He says it not me! This is cool Shuffle Demon Dave! Rhyming off cool lingo lines. Guitars are real good courtesy of Steve and some real quick bass runs by Billy and toss in a side order of horns and boom classic send off and viola Dave 1988 is off and running…
IN CONCLUSION- Dave/Steve/ Gregg and the soon to leave Billy put out a album totally different than Eat Em! At the time I was like Huh? But over time make that 27 years time maybe that was Daves plan! Put out first actual full solo album release sounding like previous band(Van Halen)and when all the fan boys (myself,my younger bro Todd,Tbone and his brothers) lap it up its time to change gears and these fanboys will follow and follow we did but it came at a cost(kinda). Today I still find I can listen to this album but I will skip but Hina is the winner but there are a few misses as well and if you read this you will know what I’m talking about!
Still though…Skyscrapers a interesting record almost Dave and Steve kinda getting a little serious at times here maybe they should have called this THE JOSHUASCRAPER! after that U2 album(Joshua Tree)
Never the Less it was a pretty good to start 1988 with the Diamond One!