Skyscraper (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Skyscraper album cover.jpg
Studio album by David Lee Roth
Released January 26, 1988
Recorded Spring - Autumn 1987
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
A Little Ain't Enough

Skyscraper is the second full-length 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 #6 on the Billboard Top 200 U.S. album chart during February 1988, en route to selling two million copies in the U.S. alone. The album features one of Roth's most popular international hit singles, "Just Like Paradise", which reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, it features the acoustic ballad "Damn Good", which reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Rock chart.

At the time of its release, the eclectic, quasi-psychedelic Skyscraper divided public and critical opinion.[1] Retrospective reviews tend to evaluate the album more favorably.[2]

Although Roth's 1988 Skyscraper Tour was successful, many fans and critics who had felt 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.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [2]
The Daily Vault C− [1]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars [3]
Robert Christgau C+ [4]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars [5]

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" is notable in that it 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
  • John Batdorf - backing vocals
  • Gary Falcone - backing vocals
  • Tommy Funderburk - backing vocals
  • Tom Kelly - backing vocals
  • Joe Pizzulo - backing vocals
  • Dr. Funk, PhD - bass synthesizer
  • Brett Tuggle - keyboards, programming, backing vocals
  • Todd Grace - programming, keyboard programming
  • Richie Raposa - programming, keyboard programming
  • David Lee Roth - producer, concept, cover design
  • Steve Vai - producer, engineer
  • Gary Wagner - engineer
  • Doug Parry - engineer
  • Magic Moreno - engineer, mixing
  • Steve Holroyd - engineer
  • Bernie Grundman - mastering
  • Marnie Riley - engineer
  • Stephen Shelton - engineer
  • Pete Angelus - concept, cover design
  • Galen Rowell - photography
  • Paul Levy - engineer
  • Bob Cats - mixing
  • Vigon Seireeni - artwork
  • Gina Vivona - artwork


Year Chart Position
1988 Billboard 200 6
Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Damn Good" Mainstream Rock 2
"Just Like Paradise" 1
Billboard Hot 100 6
"Stand Up" Mainstream Rock 5
Billboard Hot 100 64


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[6] Platinum 1,000,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] Silver 60,000^

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


  1. ^ a b The Daily Vault review
  2. ^ a b Allmusic review
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  4. ^ Robert Christgau Consumer Guide
  5. ^ Rolling Stone review
  6. ^ "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
  7. ^ "British album certifications – David Lee Roth – Skyscraper". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Skyscraper in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search