Skyscraper (album)

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Skyscraper album cover.jpg
Studio album by David Lee Roth
Released January 26, 1988
Recorded Spring – Autumn 1987
Studio Capitol Studios, Hollywood,
Stucco Blue Studios, Sylmar,
Smoketree Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Hard rock, glam metal
Length 41:17
Label Warner Bros.
Producer David Lee Roth, Steve Vai
David Lee Roth chronology
Eat 'Em and Smile
(1986)Eat 'Em and Smile1986
A Little Ain't Enough
(1991)A Little Ain't Enough1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauC+[2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[3]
The Daily VaultC−[4]
Kerrang!3/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[6]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[7]

Skyscraper is the second full-length studio album by David Lee Roth, the original and current lead vocalist of Van Halen. It was released in 1988 on Warner Bros. Records.


Skyscraper was issued shortly after the commercially and critically successful Eat 'em and Smile World Tour of 1986–1987. Skyscraper hit No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 U.S. album chart during February 1988,[8] en route to selling two million copies in the United States. The album features one of Roth's most popular singles, "Just Like Paradise", which reached No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.[9] Additionally, it features the acoustic ballad "Damn Good," which reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Rock chart.

At the time of its release, the eclectic, quasi-psychedelic Skyscraper divided public and critical opinion.[4] Although Roth's 1988 Skyscraper Tour was successful, many fans and critics disappointed by Van Halen's post-Roth, keyboard-heavy sound expressed similar dissatisfaction with Skyscraper. Guitarist Steve Vai (who co-produced Skyscraper, and wrote a majority of its songs) and bassist Billy Sheehan, who formed the core of David Lee Roth's solo band, left the group over various controversies regarding Skyscraper.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by David Lee Roth and Steve Vai unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Knucklebones" (Gregg Bissonette, Matt Bissonette, Roth) – 3:18
  2. "Just Like Paradise" (Roth, Brett Tuggle) – 4:03
  3. "The Bottom Line" – 3:38
  4. "Skyscraper" – 3:40
  5. "Damn Good" – 5:49
  6. "Hot Dog and a Shake" – 3:19
  7. "Stand Up" (Roth, Brett Tuggle) – 4:39
  8. "Hina" – 4:41
  9. "Perfect Timing" (Roth, Brett Tuggle) – 3:41
  10. "Two Fools a Minute" – 4:29

CD reissue[edit]

All songs written by Roth/Vai unless otherwise noted.

  1. "California Girls" (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) – 2:50
  2. "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" (Leonello Casucci, Irving Caesar/Spencer Williams, Roger A. Graham) – 4:41
  3. "Knucklebones" (Bissonette, Roth) – 3:18
  4. "Just Like Paradise" (Roth, Tuggle) – 4:03
  5. "The Bottom Line" – 3:38
  6. "Skyscraper" – 3:40
  7. "Damn Good" – 5:49
  8. "Hot Dog and a Shake" – 3:19
  9. "Stand Up" (Roth, Tuggle) – 4:39
  10. "Hina" – 4:41
  11. "Perfect Timing" (Roth, Tuggle) – 3:41
  12. "Two Fools a Minute" – 4:29


  • "California Girls" is a cover of the Beach Boys song.
  • "Hina" features only one guitar track; it is panned hard to one side, while a delay effect then sends the guitar effects to the other ear, sounding as if Vai is playing along with himself.
  • Roth's management received a phone call asking for permission for "Just Like Paradise" to be used as the theme song of a new television show, Beverly Hills 90210. They rejected the idea without asking Roth first, so an original piece of instrumental music was used instead.
  • A brief sample from the introduction of the title track was used several times as incidental music in the Miami Vice episode "Missing Hours", (Series 4, ep.7) broadcast in November 1987.


The Band
Guest musicians
  • Gary Falcone – backing vocals on tracks 1 and 9
  • Joe Pizzulo – backing vocals on track 1
  • Tommy Funderburk, Tom Kelly – backing vocals on track 2
  • John Batdorf – backing vocals on track 9
  • Magic Moreno – backing vocals on track 10
  • Dr. Funk, PhD – bass synthesizer
  • Todd Grace, Richie Raposa – programming, keyboard programming
  • David Lee Roth – producer, concept, cover design
  • Steve Vai – co-producer, engineer
  • Magic Moreno – engineer, mixing
  • Gary Wagner – engineer
  • Doug Parry – engineer
  • Paul Levy – engineer
  • Steve Holroyd – engineer
  • Marnie Riley – engineer
  • Stephen Shelton – engineer
  • Bob Cats – mixing
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Pete Angelus – concept, cover design
  • Galen Rowell – photography
  • Vigon Seireeni – artwork
  • Gina Vivona – artwork
  • Eddie Anderson – personal assistant

Chart positions[edit]


Year Chart Position
1988 Billboard 200 (US)[8] 6
UK Album Chart[10] 11


Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Damn Good" Mainstream Rock (US)[11] 2
"Just Like Paradise" 1
Billboard Hot 100 (US)[9] 6
UK Singles Chart[10] 27
"Stand Up" Mainstream Rock (US)[11] 5
Billboard Hot 100 (US)[9] 64
UK Singles Chart[10] 72
"California Girls (1988)" UK Singles Chart[10] 81


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[12] Platinum 1,000,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "David Lee Roth - Skyscraper review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "David Lee Roth - Consumer Guide Reviews: Skyscraperkyscraper review". Robert Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  3. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5. 
  4. ^ a b McVicker, Ben (29 November 2011). "Skyscraper - David Lee Roth". Daily Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  5. ^ Zell, Ray (30 January 1988). "David Lee Roth - 'Skyscraper'". Kerrang!. No. 172. 
  6. ^ Willman, Chris (24 January 1988). "Havin' a Ball With David Lee, Megadeth and Metallica : Check List **** Great Balls of Fire *** Good Vibrations ** Maybe Baby * Running on Empty- Skyscraper review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  7. ^ Frost, Deborah (24 March 1988). "David Lee Roth - Skyscraper". Rolling Stone. No. 522. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  8. ^ a b "David Lee Roth Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-17. 
  9. ^ a b c "David Lee Roth Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-17. 
  10. ^ a b c d "David Lee roth Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018-05-17. 
  11. ^ a b "David Lee Roth Chart History: Mainstream Rock". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-17. 
  12. ^ "American album certifications – David Lee Roth – Skyscraper". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  13. ^ "British album certifications – David Lee Roth – Skyscraper". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Skyscraper in the search field and then press Enter.