Review Summary: Nikki's Songwriting Genius And Flaws Are Exposed For The World To See
It’s strange, Motley Crue’s rise to fame and fortune in the mid’ to late 80’s involved a slow, but steady advance from next to nothing (Too Fast For Love) through to becoming a major force, flying the flag for glam metal (Dr. Feelgood). Yet it is still widely accepted that Motley Crue could have been as big a Guns ‘N’ Roses, if not bigger than. Yet the exposed drug problems (namely Nikki’s heroin addiction), marital issues and deaths (singer Vince Neil spent thirty days in prison for killing Hanoi Rocks’ drummer Nicholas (Razzle) Dingly). It was also hoped that after a woefully mediocre third album (Theatre Of Pain, who, in my opinion was saved solely but the amazing song, Home Sweet Home) Motley Crue might pull itself out of its drug-addled, Jack Daniels infused rut and finally make the album that was destined to explode all over the charts, destroying everything in its way. Unfortunately, this is not that album.
Girls, Girls, Girls is a paradox, sure Wild Side, You’re All I Need and the title track are instant classics, bound to be on Motley Crue best of’s for all time, but the rest of the album, with the exception of Nona, is full of B-rate, songs-by-numbers style tunes. There is also evidence of Nikki, who essentially created the themes of Glam Metal, becoming a slave to cliché’s. A perfect example of this is in the song Sumthin’ For Nothin’ (yes, it is even spelled that way), a song about being a male gigolo, which could be acceptable, if the lyrics weren’t so horrible: ‘ Sumthin' for Nuthin’/Ya, in and out is never free/Sumthin' for Nuthin'/Satisfaction guaranteed’.
As Nikki writes in the Heroin Diaries: ‘I don’t know if these songs are even good or not. I know I should be getting myself into gear and making the songs I’m capable of writing, but I cant be bothered. I never thought I’d say that’. Either way, onto the tracks.
Opening the album this song blisters, in a good way. The dirty guitars, the shrill vocals and lyrics about living on the wrong side of life make for a perfect beginning of an album. If only all the songs could be of this quality.
Girls, Girls, Girls-
What needs to be said? This is an instant classic that sounds so sleazy in every way that it’s impossible not to like it. This song rounds out the very powerful one two punch that opens the album.
Dancing On Glass-
This is where the album begins to go downhill. While not an awfully terrible song, Dancing On Glass can’t stand up when compared to the first two tracks. A big plus in this song however, is the lyrics. Autobiographical in nature, the words depict Nikki’s knowledge of the danger he was in while addicted to Heroin.
Bad Boy Boogie-
A very bluesy track when compared to Motley’s previous work. This song is swung and while it’s a welcome change the lyrics fail to escape the cliché hole: ‘We do the bad boy boogie/bad is bad’
I could go on about the lyrics littering this song but I think you get the idea.
Now this is a very interesting song. Written for his grandmother after her death, Nikki’s serenade achieves what it sets out for, touching the hearts of those who’ve lost someone they love. The only bad point to this song is that if you don’t understand the subject behind this song, you probably won’t enjoy it.
Five Years Dead-
Virtually a clone (musically) of Bad Boy Boogie, Five Years Dead is another uninspiring song. But, with the lyrics being a step up from ‘Bad Boy’ that makes this at least a ‘half good’ tune.
All In The Name Of…-
Yet another ‘Song-by-numbers’. This time the subject matter extends to pedophilia, with Vince Neil crooning about a hot young girl he knows. Even announcing that ‘For sex and sex I’d sell my soul’
. Utter Embarrassment.
Sumthin’ For Nothin’-
Interestingly, Motley thought that it would be a good idea to put this song and All In The Name Of next to each other on the album. The subject matter is so similar that I could have sworn I put it on repeat. Again with the cliché. Fun, sure. Good, no.
You’re All I Need-
A great way to begin rounding out the album, You’re All I Need is Motley showing, unintentionally, what could have been. They were capable of writing songs of this quality, so why didn’t they? Either way, the glory of this song is undeniable, as if it’s easing the memory of the previous group of B-grade rip offs of themselves. Amazing.
A great cover, perfect playing and undeniably groovy, this song was put on the album for all the wrong reasons, stemming from Nikki’s inability to write enough songs for the album. Nonetheless the worth of this song is obvious and it lifts the prestige of Girls, Girls, Girls above the level of ‘what might have been’.
Girls, Girls, Girls could have been so much, so good, yet it stood as a testament to the potential of this band, who, after their fourth album didn’t need potential. They needed their masterpiece, which did end up coming after all, but only once every member of Motley was clean and sober.
-Wild Side, Girls, Girls, Girls and You’re All I Need are amazing, truly perfect songs
-Bluesy tone is a plus
-Better than Theatre Of Pain
- Songs are obscured by mediocrity
-Far too cliché for its own good
-Lack of urgency, Motley seems content to just ride the wave.