Skid Row, Slave to the Grind
Skid Row’s sophomore effort in 1991 made rock history.
With the use of SoundScan to measure album sales, Slave to the Grind debuted at number one—the first metal album to do so. This confirmed what fans had long known: Metal was selling much better than mainstream pop fans dared to acknowledge.
The cover had a personal connection for lead singer Sebastian Bach because his father, artist David Bierk, created the cover (and its wraparound extension into the album’s booklet).
At first glance, it seems to depict a mob preparing to torture some poor soul in ancient Rome or maybe medieval Europe. Only on closer examination is it clear that the scene is more modern, with at least one of the men wearing a business suit and another talking on a telephone.
Bierk died in 2002. Despite his long career and works in numerous galleries, he remains best known for this album cover.