Sunday Old School: Motley Crue
Band Photo: Motley Crue (?)
The story of Motley Crue is not a well kept secret. In fact, turn on your television there is a twenty percent chance you will still see them right now. Albeit there is less than a one percent chance they will be performing. The band is made up of founder Nikki Sixx (bass), Vince Neil (vocals), Tommy Lee (drums), and Mick Mars (guitar).
In 1981 Motley Crue released the album "Too Fast For Love" on their own label, Leathur Records. A mix of hard rock, glam, and punk, "Too Fast For Love" (because it was their own label), was essentially a demo tape until Elektra picked it up and rereleased in 1982. The raw energy on this album laid the foundation for eight studio albums to follow.
"Shout At The Devil": This was Nikki Sixx’s black magic time. This is most often labeled as the greatest of the Crue albums from die-hard fans. Next, "Theatre of Pain": The album that established Motley as a glam band, too much glam for most. As if planned (probably not given the heroin usage at this time), "Girls, Girls, Girls" was the next album aimed at toning down the glam side, placing the focus on motorcycles and strippers. The next album became their most popular, "Dr. Feelgood." This is also the first album with the band was sober, coincidence? For those concerned about the strippers, they were still there. They never left after the "Girls, Girls, Girls" record.
After Vince left the band (or was fired), Nikki and Co. created a self titled album that sounded pretty cool, but just didn’t sound right without Neil. After several years the band got back together for "Generation Swine," an honest effort to grow musically and try new things. Despite a couple minor hits, it didn’t work. A few years later (without Tommy) the Crue would put out, "New Tattoo," an attempt to back to the original Motley sound, also just not quite there (which is probably directly related to a missing Tommy Lee). Most recently, Motley released "Saints of Los Angeles" (reviewed here), originally a record to compliment their autobiography, "The Dirt," their ninth studio album delivered, pleasing both their die-hard fans as well as a few critics.
It has been 30 years since Motley released their first album, "Too Fast For Love"; the album that resonated from the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, from a group of unique rockers that, although may not have been always original, always knew how to put on an entertaining show and market their sound as fresh.
Here is a look back at Motley Crue’s first album: "Too Fast For Love."
“Live Wire”: The only song released as a single. There was also a video; however, until recently this would hardly ever receive any air time. No one knew what to do with these guys. This lasted for a while. This is the strongest song on the record and is usually played live at concerts.
“Come On And Dance”: A ferocious chainsaw like starting guitar chord and the line “Well, Damn She’s Hot” qualified this song as edgy. It was clearly a different time.
“Public Enemy #1”: A great rhythm, hook, and lyrics of defiance put this in my top ten all time track 3 songs.
“Merry-Go-Round”: I don’t know exactly what the song is about, but it sounds lonely and sad. Also, one of the most difficult songs to get out of your head: Merry go round and round, Merry go round and round, Merry go round and round…see, now you deal with it.
“Take Me To The Top”: Sometimes you just need to see the video. See below for an early demo version. How Vince Neil hasn’t needed a hip replacement is baffling to me.
“Piece of Your Action”: Vince Neil’s chance to make every slightly overweight girl start smoking cigarettes to lose weight just in case down-the-line they would get a chance to hook up with Vince.
“Starry Eyes”: If Merry-Go-Round is too dark to be a ballad then this is their first attempt. No surprise that it falls short then, right?
“Too Fast For Love”: Strange placement for the song named after the album. Doesn’t matter, “She puts her leg up/Well, calls it good luck/Do you know what I mean?” Everyone just nods approvingly.
“On With The Show”: One of my favorite all time last track songs. Bitter sweet lyrics with an up beat ending and a “wink of an eye” ending. Fitting for a band from Hollywood.
Today, when the band isn’t traveling under the narcissistically named Crue Fest festival, the members can be found in side band projects Sixx A.M. and Methods of Mayhem as well as writing books and starring in radio and reality shows. Who would have guessed “Plug me in. I’m alive tonight” would lead to Dancing with the Stars?
Take me to the top
On with the show
Shout at the Devil
Looks That Kill
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