The Crue Chronicles- Pt. I/IX
Location: Los Angeles, California
Rising from the ashes of classic American hard rock, a new scene of music was brewing in Los Angeles during the early 80's. Taking the attitude of punk, the look of glam rock, the mainstream sensibilities of pop, and the distorted punch of rock, glam metal was formed on the rough, dirty and drug infested streets of the Sunset Strip. Amongst the dozens of bands being formed, one group in particular would make such waves, their decadence, influence and popularity, would become things of legend. Formed by ex- London bassist Nikki Sixx, and featuring vocalist Vince Neil, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Mick Mars, Motley Crue has become one of the most famous glam metal bands ever to exist. However, in the year 1981, they were just four guys trying to find their way to fame. While taking over the Strip and playing sold out shows at famous venues such as The Rainbow and The Troubadour came with nearly no effort at all, the band just could not seem to find a label to support their raw and unpolished style of metal. Taking matters into their own hands, the band formed their own label Leathur Records, and went on to record and release one of the most definitive albums of the 80's, Too Fast For Love
While later records such as Theatre of Pain
would showcase the band with an ultra polished production and a more mainstream catering sense of songwriting, Too Fast For Love
displays the band in their rawest and most primal stage. While this can mostly be attributed to by the nature of the music, the filthy production found on Too Fast For Love
is a definite element that adds to the overall feeling of the record. Musically, it's quite obvious that the band was influenced by punk just as much as early metal, with songs like "Public Enemy #1" reeking with the easily identifiable punk "*** you" attitude. Album opener "Live Wire" is absolutely electric, with a fast and frantic tempo, quickly delivered verses, and an extremely catchy chorus. Every song manages to find a way to separate itself from the pack, whether it be the pyrotechnic guitar solos in the power ballad "Starry Eyes" or the wonderful galloping chorus on "Take Me To The Top".
Not only is Too Fast For Love
the high point in terms of song writing in the Motley Crue discography, but it also shows the band at their most technically proficient. Mick Mars guitar playing is absolutely incredible throughout, tossing around lightning quick guitar solos with ease. While he is often one of the more underrated guitarists of the 80's, his playing here is a fine combination of guitar shredding virtuosity with strong emotional impact. Closing track, "On With The Show" perhaps best shows this, with a fast fingered solo containing strong blues influence that the guitarist was raised on. Tommy Lee also proves to be an excellent, with his unorthodox style of beats and fills best seen on the tracks like "Come On And Dance" and once again "On With The Show". Nikki Sixx on the hand is barely an adequate bass player, but his lines are often so infectious, it doesn't make much of a difference anyway. Bonus track "Toast of the Town" shows him at his best, with an unbelievably catchy bass line during the bridge. Obviously taking influence from Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, Vince Neil's vocal performance is enchanting. Capable of performing a siren like screech ("Live Wire") or even a soft croon ("Merry-Go-Round) his versatile voice styling make this come together as the classic it is.
After the initial release of Too Fast For Love
in 1981 on Leathur Records, the album gain the attention the band was seeking, and in 1982 they were signed to major label Elektra Records. Although they released a string of classic albums, the band never quite could match the youthful exuberance seen on Too Fast For Love
, a quality that has made it incontestably a made it the classic record it is today.