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Sunday Old School: Motley Crue

Photo of 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?

Live Wire

Take me to the top

On with the show

Shout at the Devil

Looks That Kill

Rockstar_Scribbler's avatar

David S. Grant (aka Rockstar_Scribbler) is the author of several books including Rock Stars, Happy Hour, and Corporate Porn. For more information please go to www.rockstarbooks.net or www.davidsgrant.com. You can also follow David on Twitter @david_S_grant.

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11 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Motley Crue"

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Anonymous Reader
1. cfhvdpfbdtgstkrts writes:

wow really shocked to see Motley Crue in this segement, but really pleased. while I dont care for much of the 80s glam/hair bands, I love the first 5 Crue albums

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 1:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar


2. hellrat writes:

Yeah Dude! fvckin TFFL and Shout were part of pulling me through the gates of Metal back as a 8-9 year old grom back in the early 80's...fvckin awesome!

had a few pretty good tunes since then, but nothing can touch those two first records...how about ol' Mickey's guitar tone on them two releases? fvckin bad a$s...

thanks Oz mate!

NP---Knock 'Em Dead Kid---which, if i recall correctly, was dedicated to the LAPD in the liner notes :)

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 11:45 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

3. Diamond Oz writes:

If you look closely Hellrat, you'll see I didn't write this :P

Agreed though, good job Dave!

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 12:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar


4. hellrat writes:

Ah Hell! Good fvckin grief!!

Profound apologies RS!!

just took it for granted that the SOS work horse was at it again...did notice the style seemed a bit inconsistent with Oz usual writing ;)

Please forgive me both of you, i obviously wasn't quite awake yet! :)

Thanks for the contribution David, please do some more SOS articles...hey, and Cynic again as well!

Oz probably doesn't mind a little R&R either... ;)

quite sorry again Dudes...cheers!

NP----Bastard---Shout at the Devil

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 1:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. travlow1 writes:

Glad to see motley crue on here. Wish there was more of the 80's metal glam on here. I am a real believer of that sh it. I listen to all forms of metal. I don't discriminate.

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 1:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. R Tenney writes:

Same as above,these guys were popular in my cassette player through Jr. High and H S. Maiden Priest Saxon all gateways. Good read. Brings back memories.

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 1:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
METAL213's avatar


7. METAL213 writes:

They should put Skid Row in this little segment sometime too

# Jan 30, 2011 @ 7:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. lumpus5 writes:

motley crue are gay as hell

# Jan 31, 2011 @ 1:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Metal_loving_asshole's avatar


Motley Crue are probably the best glam band by far. Better than Twisted Sister and Poison and all the rest. (Always had a soft spot for glam, never admired it as much as thrash or any other metal, but still prefer it to mainstream music any day whatsoever).

So what if people call the Crue gay? Just look at their image - It's gay as hell! They don't really dress up like that anymore, but when I saw them last year at Sonisphere in Knebworth I was impressed. There's better singers than Vince Neal, but he's kinda like David Lee Roth in some ways - Good showman, keeps the crowd moving, plus his voice kinda "fits" in with the band.

Even though he resembles a mutant-zombie-alien-skeleton, Mick Mars is one of my most favourite guitarists, at least in terms of glam guitarists. And there's so many of them. Tommy Lee's a good drummer (he even nailed Pamela Anderson) and Nikki Sixx is... Probably better at being a celebrity than a bass player, but he's still got some good chops.

Crue Rule!

\m/ -- \m/

# Feb 2, 2011 @ 7:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Metal_loving_asshole's avatar


10. Metal_loving_asshole writes:

* Vince NEIL!!!

Oh yeah, and there's been few people who have died for about 5 minutes and actually come back to life like what Nikki did due to heroin. I know Kat Von D and all that L.A./Miami Ink stuff is mainstream bullsh** but the fact that Nikki has nailed her makes him even cooler.

He's what, 52? Could have sworn he looks 32. :-o

# Feb 2, 2011 @ 7:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Metal_loving_asshole's avatar


11. Metal_loving_asshole writes:

Ok so maybe Dave Mustaine and Phil Anselmo have "died" and came back to life. But I've never met anyone who has.

Still have respect for Nikki.

Damm I've gotta stop all this replying to myself!

\m/ -- \m/

# Feb 14, 2011 @ 8:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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