Motley Crue. Just the name can strike a prominent fear in the hearts of those who cannot comprehend, understand, or accept metal for what it really is. The question, then, is what metal really is. Summed up in my first sentence. Motley Crue is the definition of the hair metal/heavy metal that headbangers have come to know and love. The legacy begins in 1981.
Franklin Carlton Feranna, better known as Nikki Sixx, left home at an early age with, quote, "A radio and an Aersosmith tape". While in his band, London, which also featured musicians such as Izzy Stradlin, Slash, and Fred Coury, Nikki decided to jam with Tommy Lee, of Suite 19, and they began to realize that something good had happened.
They met guitarist Bob Alan Deal, or as we know him, Mick Mars, after calling him in referral to a newspaper ad he had put out, which read, "Loud, rude, agressive guitarist available". Nikki and Tommy had both completely loved what they had seen in the guitar playing and in the man behind the guitar.
Tommy Lee and Vince Neil had attended the same high school, and after seeing him preform with the band, Rock Candy, Mars put forth the suggestion to hire Vince. At first declining, Vince Neil later became part of the soon to be metal revolution.
The band met their first manager, Allan Coffman. One thing led to another, and eventually, they had released their debut album, Too Fast For Love , in November of '81, with the album selling 20,000 copies.
Motley Crue quickly became well known for their excess of Girls, Sex, Drugs, Alchohol, and Metal, and it all showed in their music. Along with their excessive songs (with lyrics obscene to some), their look and their attitude gave them a reputation all around America. In '83, Crue released Shout At the Devil, which is considered one of the most influencial albums of the time, and went on to sell over 4 Million Copies. Crue released Theater of Pain 2 years later, and 2 years after that, Girls, Girls, Girls.
In '89, Crue released Dr. Feelgood which stayed at number one for 109 weeks.
Crue went on to release two unimpressive albums and in 1998 released greatest hits, which is filled with great tunes from start to finish.
Bitter Pill- A pretty average song. Not the way I'd choose to open up a Crue album with, especially a compilation. However, the lyrical work on this song is extremely well done and Vince Neil's vocal work on the track is good, despite the fact that Vince isn't exactly the greatest singer. The heavy guitar riffs in this are the high points. Everything else is pretty average, except for the arrangement, which is also impressive. The solo is a little better than average. A bit of a slow progression though.
Enslaved- A song that in my opinion is just so average that it shouldn't be on the Greatest Hits. This is one of the songs on the album that makes me kind of upset, for the simple fact that they failed to include tracks such as "Too Young To Fall In Love", and "Live Wire", but seem to want to include unknown Crue tunes instead. This song is not bad or great. It's about as in between as you get, but it doesn't sound like Crue and overall it doesn't belong on a compilation of a band with so many better songs.
NOTE THAT THE FIRST TWO TRACKS WERE NEWLY RECORDED
However, I still believe it should have been saved for the next album. If it can make it to a compilation, then it can improve a sucky album.
Girls, Girls, Girls Girls, Girls, Girls
- This is where the album kicks into gear. Motley Crue's anthem, and one of their popular songs as well. And for good reason. The lyrics define Crue as a band, and although I could think of those kind of lyrics just as easily if I was that highly sexual, the lyrical job is respectable for the simple fact that they are doing what they do best, and they are doing it well. The drums in this song are pretty simple but help the song flow nicely, and the bass really shines in some select parts. It's Mars, however, towards the end, with the progression of solos, that comes out on top. This track is based for the most part around one small collection of riffs and it is the lyrics and the upbeatness of it that makes you raise your fist and yell.
Kickstart My Heart Dr. Feelgood
- This is one of my favorite Crue songs. The lyrics are based around Nikki Sixx's death (caused by a heroin OD), and the short time after he was revived where he decides to shoot up some more. The lyrics then, as you would guess, are as strange as they are interesting and well thought out. Tommy's drumming sounds more simplistic than it really is, and the whole band does a commendable job on the song. The song begins to get slightly repetative until the bridge where the song slows down, and goes back into the original chorus. The end is a solo, where, just like "Girls", is well done.
Wild Side Girls, Girls, Girls
- Another Crue anthem
, they lyrics have references to every bad thing that can happen to you or someone else with the kind of wreckless behavior that the Crue promotes. And that is what makes Wild Side a classic track. Tommy's drumming is one of the higher points of this song, along with the overall arrangement and progression of the song. Every couple minutes or so, it goes into a mini-bridge which is slower, but has the same heavy Motley sound to it. Mick's guitars sound about as grungy as you'll hear them on the album. Vince's, well, bad ass sounding (kind of hard to describe) vocal performance is what ties it together. Of course, Nikki is great as always.
Glitter Generation Swine
- Jesus. This song makes everyone owe Motley Crue a big kick in the friggin ass. This is not a metal song. This is not a rock song. This is not a slow rock song, or an old school rock song. This is even too bad to be a pop song. This is basically the worst Britney Spears impression I've seen in a while, and just the fact that this is exactly the kind of crap Motley should be wanting to kick the *** out of makes it horrible! This is slower than "Home Sweet Home", and it was co-written by Bryan Adams, so don't give Crue all the credit for this song, because if we did they'd all be dead. The song uses a drum machine instead of Tommy, and I'm not even sure if Mick is featured. However, it does feature a ***ty symphony, and Vince Neil proving that he can't write a love song, especially with Bryan Adams. Everybody should steer clear of this song if they are in the mood to rock out and not have a hemerage from laughing too damn hard.
~0/5 (which is, by the way, the worst grade I've ever given a song)~
Dr. Feelgood Dr. Feelgood
- This is a well placed. It sure makes me feel good after Glitter. The guitar is about as heavy as "Wild Side", and Tommy's whole role in the intro and chorus mainly make this song cooler (not that he isn't good in the verses, because it's still awesome then as well). Nikki's bassline slightly differs from the guitar, however it is just as hard core and rockin'. The story-line to the song is basically the rise and fall of "Rat Tailed Jimmy", the local drug dealer, referred to as the infamous, Dr. Feelgood. One of the biggest parts of the mini-story that most people don't know is featured in the album Dr. Feelgood (at least from what my facts say). The solo particularly stands out right after the bridge which is a sort of repeat of the intro. An overall Motley classic and one of the greatest metal songs ever written.
Same Old Situation (S.O.S.) Dr. Feelgood
- This is one of the peppier songs on the album, that just makes you laugh and want to rock out. The track is basically, one of the funniest headbanger songs I've heard in a while. The lyrics are about a man who falls in love with someone who turns out to be a lesbian, and the irony of it in the lyrics is what makes it funny (you'd have to read the lyrics). The song is very simple, again based around one very simple sound. The overall progression of the song is good, and the whole band really does well on this song. The solo, like it usually is, is a very high point in the song. The bridge, featuring only Lee and Neil doing the chorus, is a bit unnecessary but it fits. No complaint here.
Home Sweet Home Theater Of Pain
- One of the few well done Motley ballads that are this slow and sappy. The opening keyboard intro is a classic, and it leads into an acoustic verse. Vince tends to really do well during this time period. The chorus is where Mick and Nikki chime in with the more hard-core sound. The second verse is basically a repeat of the first with the addition of drums. The solo fits the song well, though it can be a bit long. However, I have no real beef with it. After the solo, the song tends to be a bit drawn out, but still remains to be a respectable song, for the sole fact that Motley has proven that the greatest of the metal gods can have great ballads and not sell-out.
Afraid Generation Swine
- This is one I skip 19/20 times. The opening lick tends to get a bit overbearing, and just un-Motley sounding. The drumming is fine but it's the sound of the drums that is the worst part. The chorus is really the only part of the song I enjoy, other than the lyrics which seem good enough. Everything else about this song just screams out average, and another track I wish was replaced with something better.
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) Dr. Feelgood
- Basically a better version of "Afraid", but basically has the same exact problems with it as "Afraid", aside from Tommy's drums, which are pretty good on this track. The lyrical/vocal performance are better than the track prior and if Crue was going to include this song, they should have just completely left out "Afraid".
Without You Dr. Feelgood
- Again, this is basically a better version of "Afraid", and it comes pretty close to "Go Away Mad". The lyrics kind of give me mixed feelings. While they are pretty well written, it is just like every sappy song that just goes up the suck-o-meter for the sole fact that they think they will die without the chick they will break up with soon. This has basically the general sound of the two tracks preceeding this one. Again, should have been replaced with a better song. This song makes the album continually become less interesting and more overbearing.
Smokin' In The Boys' Room Theater Of Pain
- This is where the collection starts to heat up again. This is in my opinion one of the best covers done in the entire genre. The whole song is just upbeat and fun. The musical performance from everyone is top-notch Crue, and Vince did a great job making his voice fit the lyrics, if that makes sense to anyone. Mick of course, shines highest, along with Tommy. The whole song is great because of the unknowingness of what comes next, for the fills from Mick are always different. The solo is the best part of the song. The solo itself is good, however, the guitar trades off with a kazoo (or something like that) every other measure. An overall excellently done song.
Primal Scream Decade of Decadence
- This song gives me mixed feelings. I dislike this song as much as I like it. Nikki is definitely given a rare chance to be featured exclusively, which is good. The song itself, is all around fairly good and catchy, and the lyrics are pretty commendable. The change-offs makes the whole song kind of unexpected. The track is actually fairly good, but after "Afraid", "Go Away Mad", and "Without You", it just probably is not what you want to hear. However, this song comes out on top way over the other 3. It's actually a better tune than I made it seem, now that I reallly think about it.
Too Fast For Love Too Fast For Love
Classic Crue. What die-hard headbanger hasn't heard that opening riff. When in conjunction with Nikki it makes for one of the greatest Crue riffs of all time. Tommy's drumming really sticks out in this song, though. The lyrics are a bit odd however nicely done. The verse differs by quite a bit actually from the chorus and opening riff (which is featured throughout the song before the chorus), but in this song it is actually a good thing. The end is a little drawn out, however, the VERY end has a short solo done by Nikki, then Tommy, then Mick, until it fades out, making the end a lot more bearable, and fun to listen to.
Looks That Kill Shout At The Devil
- Along with "Wild", and "Feelgood", this song is about as grungy as it gets in terms of Crue. The lyrical/vocal performance is excellent and the guitar work is some of the best off of the album and this compilation. The progression of the song is pretty simple, as is the drumming, but overall, a GREAT song, and another classic.
Shout At The Devil '97 Generation Swine, Original Song on Shout At The Devil
- This song is basically a faster version of the original "Shout". I believe this is a live recording with the crowd subtracted. I personally tend to prefer this over the old one, because it gets done faster, and tends not to lag as much. I still like the old one, but the pace in "Shout '97" is much better. It's still a great song with some great performances by every member. A great way to end the album.
Motley Crue went on to release an unimpressive New Tattoo in 2000, and also released some compilations. Also, a biography on the band entitled, "The Dirt", was released and became a New York Times bestseller. After a short absence of the original members starting with New Tattoo, Motley reunited and recorded the hit single, "If I Die Tomorrow", which appeared on Red, White, and Crue. They toured "Carnival Of Sins", and the future looks bright for more of Crue to come, as well as Tommy Lee's work with a new supergroup featuring Gilby Clarke, and Jason Newsted.
So What Have We Learned About Motley Crue: Greatest Hits?
-Glitter is the worst Motley song written, in the eyes of many other than myself.
-Many good tracks didn't make it on the CD, and instead had some crappier songs.
+It also features some great tunes.
+It features two previously unreleased tracks.
+The arrangement for the most part is good. At least three of the crappier songs are right next to each other, so we can pick them out.
Motley Crue has shown no signs of stopping, and they still continue today to be one of the most hard rocking and influencial band of the genre. A succession of good songs on almost every album is what makes Motley Crue such a great band with such a huge fan-base. Motley Crue will go down as one of the most successful and famous hair-metal bands of all time.