Many commercial metal bands that garnered mainstream attention in the ‘80s and ‘90s suddenly became tamer and more calculated. In addition to handlers and label executives who urged groups to tone down their sound to reach the next level of popularity (see Motley Crue, Ratt, Guns N’ Roses and Dokken for starters), musicians feeling the power of a good ballad naturally gravitated towards what was earning them hits and scoring them chicks. Perhaps sensing the dawn of a new era of music, Skid Row took the opposite route for their second album, Slave to the Grind, which came out on June 11, 1991.
The record was heavier and grittier than their 1989 self-titled debut, which included the hit singles “18 and Life,” “I Remember You” and “Youth Gone Wild.” It might have seemed like a bold, even foolhardy move since the debut disc catapulted Skid Row from the clubs to the sheds and arenas and eventually sold 5 million copies in the U.S. But the band didn’t care.