The power ballad "I Remember You" is one of Skid Row's biggest, most iconic songs, but in a recent interview with Professor of Rock on YouTube, guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo revealed that the song almost didn't make their 1989 self-titled debut.
"'I Remember You', believe it or not, almost didn't make the record," Snake said. "It's a true story. Rachel [Bolan, bass] and I had written it more as [an] exercise [for] that songwriting muscle, which you need to do as a songwriter.
"So, we didn't think that we wanted that song. We were like, 'Yeah, it's OK', and the rest of the band and our management were like, 'You both have lost your minds! That song has to be on the record!' And we're like, 'OK, I guess.' [It] shows you how wrong we were."
In 2019, Bolan recalled that he and Snake actually put up a major fight trying keep the ballad off the album. "Snake and I fought tooth and nail not to put 'I Remember You' on the record," the bassist told Ultimate Classic Rock. "But I'm glad they overrode our decision. Because the label wanted it on there, and our management was telling us, 'You guys are absolutely crazy if you don't put this on there.' And we were like, 'Nope, we don't want to be a ballad band.' Because back then, that's what was breaking all of the bands at the time."
Released on November 18th, 1989, "I Remember You" became the second consecutive Top 10 single — following "18 and Life" — off Skid Row, which eventually went five-times platinum, and according to Bolan, the song marked the band's real breakthrough. "'18 and Life' did a lot for us," he said, "but when 'I Remember You' came out, things really, really changed at that point. You couldn't go out to the garbage and throw your garbage out without someone hiding in the bushes. I was like, 'Wow, I actually have to move out of the condo that I rent,' which I really liked. So we were all buying houses and stuff like that. It was crazy."
Looking back on the song's ultimate smash success, Snake agreed in the Professor of Rock interview that "I Remember You" belonged. "The way it came out was such an eye-opening experience, I think to both Rachel and I, once we realized that we needed to put it on the record," he admitted. "Everybody's performances on that song are just amazing."