18 and Life

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For the Canadian television series with a similar name, see 18 to Life
"18 and Life"
Skid Row 18 and Life.jpg
Single by Skid Row
from the album Skid Row
Released June 16, 1989
Recorded 1988
Genre Glam metal, heavy metal
Length 3:51
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Rachel Bolan, Dave Sabo
Producer(s) Michael Wagener
Skid Row singles chronology
"Youth Gone Wild"
"18 and Life"
"I Remember You"

"Youth Gone Wild"
"18 and Life"
"I Remember You"
Music video
"18 and Life" on YouTube

"18 and Life" is a song by American heavy metal band Skid Row. It was released in June 1989 as the second single from their self titled debut album. The song was to be the band's biggest hit, reaching No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[1] It was named the 60th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[2] It was certified Gold on September 13, 1989, when it sold 500,000 copies.[3] The song also charted at No. 12 on the UK Singles chart.[4]

In April 2015, a newly re-recorded version with their new singer Tony Harnell was released as a free download on the band's website which is the only studio recording the band has released to feature Harnell on vocals.


The title of the song alludes to the subject of the song, "Ricky", being 18-years-old and having received a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum of 18 years (18 years to life) for the murder of another teenager.[5] The song also alludes to Ricky's youth being his undoing. The song was inspired by guitarist Dave Sabo after he read a newspaper article about an 18-year-old named Ricky who was sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting and killing his friend with a gun he thought was not loaded.

Chart performances[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1989–90) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[6] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 50
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[8] 17
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[9] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 4
US Mainstream Rock Tracks[10] 11

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 80

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AllMusic Billboard singles". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ "spreadit.org music". Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum database". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Skid Row chart stats". Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Wilbur R. Miller, The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia (2012), p. 1172.
  6. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles". RPM. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  7. ^ "Charts.nz – Skid Row – 18 and Life". Top 40 Singles.
  8. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Skid Row – 18 and Life". Singles Top 100.
  9. ^ "Chart Stats - Skid Row". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  10. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Skid Row > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  11. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 8, December 23, 1989". RPM. December 23, 1999. Retrieved November 22, 2017. 

External links[edit]