Mötley Crüe

23 albums, 113 tracks

Hard RockHeavy Metal

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"Mötley Crüe"

Jun 14, 2019

Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood and the Waning Glory Days of Hair Metal

MattKanner
Written by @MattKanner from Portsmouth NH  / 6 mins read
#MötleyCrüe#Dr.Feelgood#GlamMetal#rock

I get a kick out of that scene in “The Wrestler” where Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are lamenting the demise of ’80s rock. After singing along to Ratt’s “Round and Round,” they list off a few of their favorite bands — Rourke’s character lauds Guns N’ Roses, and Tomei’s sites “Crüe” and “Def Lepp.” “Then that Cobain pussy had to come around and ruin it all,” Rourke complains. The Ram was right: Nirvana’s explosion in the early ’90s ended the era of macho party rock forever. Maybe the last great album of that particular genre (great by the lowbrow standards of hair metal, at least) was Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood, which emerged at the close of the decade late in 1989. Peaking at #1 on the Billboard charts and generating five hit singles, it was Crüe’s most successful album, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide. But it was also the last album released before front man Vince Neil left the band for a decade, and they’ve never come close to duplicating its success since. Still, Mötley Crüe is back on people’s minds due to the recent Netflix movie “The Dirt,” which is based on the band’s collaborative autobiography of the same name. The film chronicles the band’s stereotypical rock & roll indulgence — and the eventual tolls of all that excess — building up to the release of their Feelgood opus. So, it’s a good time to reflect on that album and the era of rock gluttony that climaxed with it.

The Prepubescent Rise of ‘Glam Metal’

During my childhood, there were three landmark albums that changed my listening life. The first was Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which came out in 1982, when I was 4 years old. The next was Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, which came out in 1987, a few days before I turned 9. The third was Nirvana’s Nevermind, which came out in 1991, shortly after I turned 13. Each of those albums steered my musical tastes in a totally different direction. But in between Appetite and Nevermind, a slew of glam-metal heroes filled my cassette tape cases. In retrospect, this music was just another subgenre of pop — not as fast as punk, not as heavy as metal, and generally lacking the lyrical integrity of either. It was pointless, misogynistic, mainstream party rock. And I loved it. These dudes had long and carefully groomed hair, they wore tight spandex and leather, and they often wore makeup, and yet their femininity seemed oddly masculine. I even thought it was cool when two of my favorite singers, Axl Rose and Vince Neil, had a public celebrity feud. Is there anything more macho than two rock stars threatening to kick each other’s asses? (Side note — I don’t know who would have won the fight, but Axl’s vocal prowess was vastly superior.) Of all the glam-metal albums I collected, Dr. Feelgood was probably my favorite (Poison’s Flesh & Blood would become a close second). The music had no message, but I didn’t care about that when I was 11. It was just a fun album. To quote Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler”: “Like there’s something wrong with wanting to have a good time!”

Does Dr. Feelgood still feel good?

I still have an appreciation for Thriller (the album, not the artist who made it), Appetite for Destruction rocks forever, and Nevermind will always be essential. But Dr. Feelgood? Not so much. Before sitting down to write this, I listened to the entire album from start to finish for the first time in probably 28 years, and man, it’s just… corny. I feel bad saying it, because I once loved this record, but it now holds very little appeal for me — not in terms of the songwriting, instrumental work, vocals, lyrics, nothing. Despite a feeble attempt at gravity in the closing track, “Time for Change,” the words are drivel. The comically blatant innuendo of song titles like “Slice of Your Pie,” “Sticky Sweet” (with Steven Tyler on backing vocals!) and “She Goes Down” tells you all you need to know. And to think Crüe made this album while all four band members were supposedly sober. The one song that comes close to holding up for me is “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).” But I do still have a strangely sentimental reaction to the cover art, which features all the obligatory hallmarks of a good glam-metal album: a sword, a snake, a skull, and some kind of reptilian wings, all against the canvas of what looks like the wall of a public restroom. Ahhhh, yis. Remind me to Google “Dr. Feelgood tattoos” after this.

A Legacy of Debauchery

It’s bizarre watching your childhood idols age badly. The internet is swimming with embarrassing videos of Vince Neil. Whether he’s drunkenly wrestling with Nicolas Cage in a casino parking lot, or drunkenly warbling his vocals during a live performance of “Kickstart My Heart,” just about everything he’s done over the last five years has been painfully humiliating. Not to mention that the once-studly blond heartthrob now lugs around a beach ball of a paunch, and his neck looks like a short stack of pancakes. His ongoing string of run-ins with the law stretches all the way back to the infamous 1984 drunk-driving crash that killed Razzle Dingley of Hanoi Rocks. That incident is compellingly portrayed in “The Dirt,” as are many of the band’s other exploits. In fact, the movie is surprisingly good. I used to love VH1’s “Behind the Music” series, and the episode on Mötley Crüe was indisputably the most entertaining, if only because they were the hardest-partying band of all the hard-partying rock bands of the ’80s. “The Dirt” offers few revelations for fans (everybody knows Tommy Lee treated women like shit as a rock star, but did you know that he also treated women like shit before he was a rock star?), but the film dramatizes these events in a way that humanizes the group, especially regarding the heartbreaking loss of Neil’s 4-year-old daughter to stomach cancer, Nikki Six’s crippling heroin addiction and near-fatal overdose, and Mick Mars’ decades-long battle with severe spinal arthritis. It’s hard to sympathize with a band that engaged in such mind-boggling decadence and misogyny, but they have faced repercussions. Mötley Crüe’s late-’80s apex was hair metal’s peak, and then things went downhill. Hopefully all those aging party-rockers have a good doctor — like Dr. Feelgood! (Sorry.)

Jun 07, 2019

Motley Crue releases the soundtrack album of their biographical film “The Dirt”

Soulbyweekly
Written by @Soulbyweekly from SoulByweekly  / 6 mins read
#MötleyCrüe#TheDirt#TheDirtSoundtrack#ClassicHardRock#GlamMetal#HeavyMetal#rock#80sMusic

The American biographical comedy-drama film ‘The Dirt’ that is directed by Jeff Tremaine was released in March 2019. The American heavy metal band came out with the soundtrack album of the film called The Dirt Soundtrack also in the same month through Motley Records and Eleven Seven Records, which was produced by Dave Donnelly and Bob Rock. This was inspired from their autobiography ‘The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band’ which they published in 2001 along with the American journalist and writer Neil Strauss. There is a total of eighteen tracks in the album, however, many other songs were featured in the film but not included in the soundtrack. However, some of the tracks which were included do not seem to appear in the film. It includes “The Dirt (Est. 1981)” that features the American rapper Machine Gun Kelly, “Ride with the Devil”, “Crash and Burn” and a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”. Inclusion of hits from their previous albums can also be seen, mostly from albums like “Too Fast For Love”, “Shout at the Devil” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The soundtrack album received decent ratings from various professional music critics. It received a rating of 3.5 out of 5 on AllMusic and 4 on Spill. Gareth Williams from Wall of Sound rated the album 7 out of 10. The album was featured in many music charts in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and Europe, and it reached the tenth position on US Billboard 200 chart, the highest position any Motley Crue’s album has reached in more than a decade since their album Saints of Los Angeles debuted at the fourth position in 2008.

A speed-metal track with a music video directed by the band members

“Live Wire” is the debut single by Motley Crue that was originally released in 1981 on their debut album Too Fast For Love, and now included as the fourth track of the new soundtrack album The Dirt Soundtrack as it appears in the original film. This is an extremely catchy heavy metal, speed-metal track. The song comes with a very appealing music video that was directed by the band members themselves. It showcases the band’s stage acts, sometimes more minutely with slowdowns, that include Nikki Sixx setting himself on fire and Mick Mars drooling blood. On the VH1 list of the 40 greatest metal songs of all time, it was ranked at the seventeenth position. Several other rock/metal bands across the world covered this song, including the American band Fozzy, Swedish band Refused and the Japanese band Vamps. This track appears in several video games as well, including Brutal Legends and Saints Row: The Third. The song reached the 24th position on the US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard) music chart.

The 80s song that received significant commercial success amidst controversies

“Shout at the devil” is the eighth track of the soundtrack album which was originally released in 1983, that was re-recorded later. The re-recorded new version has slightly different lyrics, and is shorter than the original one. This song became one of Motley Crue’s most popular songs and a live favourite. The song was written by Motley Crue’s bassist Nikki Sixx, however, there were controversies regarding the lyrics as many say that this encourages devil worship. Though Sixx was accused of exploring Satanism in the early days, he dropped all those accusations and said this was just to annoy people. Some references to Aerosmith songs can also be seen in the song. Musically being a glam-metal song, it is extremely appealing with strong percussion beats, distortion guitars and vocal screams. The song has appeared in several other media over the years, including being used as the entrance song for the wrestler Brock Lesner in UFC and in several TV shows like “My name is Earl”, “Stranger Things” and “Knight Rider”. The song was featured at the twenty third position on US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard).

A powerful glam-metal song with a very appealing music video

“Looks that Kill” is the ninth track of the soundtrack album that was also released in 1983 and was included in the Shout at the Devil album. It comes with very impressive and matured lyrics- “Now listen up/ She's a razor sharp/ If she don't get her way/ She'll slice you apart”. It is supported by a captivating music video where the band is seen in a post-apocalyptic setting and a group of women trying to flee while they are being trapped and put in a cage. Then the warrior queen is seen releasing the women as the band surrounds her, but she managed to disappear leaving behind a flaming pentagram. This catchy heavy metal song appeared in the music rhythm game Guitar Hero 5 and was used in the ‘V-Rock’ radio station in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. It also had been on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for ten weeks.

A tribute to various strip clubs

“Girls, Girls, Girls” is the twelfth track of the soundtrack album that originally was released in their 1987 album of the same name. Nikki Sixx co-wrote this song along with Mick Mars and Tommy Lee. It was recorded at different studios over several weeks. The song references many strip clubs that include The Tropicana, The Body Shop, Marble Arch and the famous Le Crazy Horse in Paris. The song was featured in several “telenovelas”, a Latin American television serial/drama genre including “Matriarcas” and “Wena profe” in Chile. The song reached the twelfth position on US Billboard Hot 100, nineteenth position on US Billboard Hot Rock Songs and 33rd position on UK Rock and Metal music chart.

The fifteenth greatest hard rock song as ranked by VH1

“Dr. Feelgood”, the fifteenth track of the soundtrack album was originally released back in 1989 from their studio album having the same name. VH1 ranked this heavy metal/ glam metal song as the fifteenth greatest hard rock song of all time. The song was recorded at the Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, Canada. The powerful intro bass, strong screaming vocals, distortion guitar tunes and the catchy music video all make this song very appealing to the listeners who like heavy music. An instrumental version of this song had also appeared in the film “Highlander: The Final Dimension”. The song also reached the twentieth position on US Billboard Hot Rock Songs.

Even By Eighties Standards, Mötley Crüe’s Shout At The Devil Is A Hilarious Heavy Metal Flop

When you hear the name Mötley Crüe, chances are the first things that pop into your head are buxom blonde strippers with fried hair dancing on the Los Angeles strip, shiny leather getups of the S&M variety adorned with little metal studs & an excess of cocaine that epitomizes the whole Sex, Drugs & Rock’N’Roll culture, right? Well, while the contents of Girls, Girls, Girls would eventually come to define the band as the go-to choice for exotic dancers from 1987-onward, the band’s earlier entries were far from the image of Heavy Metal godliness you envision when thinking about them, their second record Shout At The Devil being one of their biggest flops in terms of sonic identity; It’s thematically directionless, compositionally messy 7 has some incredibly laughable lyrics that display in exquisite detail how adolescent the scene was at the time, making their steady climb to success all the more captivating when looking back at such numbers – But why, then, am I taking a stab at such a universally-panned record when everyone already knows how cringeworthy it is to return to? To be honest, it’s really nothing more than a curious itch of mine, as I’ve been venturing into the deep past of today’s most famous musical acts in an effort to see if my prior prejudices were warranted or not, the progress of time helping me be more accepting of anachronistic music from which the modern Rock scene has evolved rather than simply ignoring music people tell me to overlook. You see, I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I was exposed to Punk music from a very early age & based my entire personality around being a crass individual with an anti-establishment mindset throughout the nineties & noughties, but I didn’t actually find a taste for Metal music until the early-noughties when music television channel VH1 started airing a series all about the greatest songs of Metal history, finding a world of magnificent demonically-themed music just begging for me to consume it over the course of a summer. In this series, Mötley Crüe accounted for a healthy handful of the tracks discussed, with their most famous pieces like “Kickstart My Heart” & “Dr. Feelgood” lighting up the pleasure centers of my Jazz Theory-trained brain, causing me to download as many of their tracks as I could off Kazaa & Limewire so I wouldn’t look like a fool when talking about Metal with my new hesher friends; Regrettably, I didn’t venture much further than their certified hits, leaving a major gap in my knowledge that has persisted until today, my interests leaning far more in the Black-, Doom- & Thrash Metal scenes of the overarching Metal genre since Glam- & Heavy Metal had long faded from popularity – So, without further ado, let’s take a look at one of the most unintentionally-comedic records I’ve ever lain ears on.

Written by camjameson from Extraneous Routes / Mar 11, 2019

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"Mötley Crüe"

Active

    1981–2015 2018–present

Label

  • Mötley
  • Eleven Seven Music
  • Elektra
  • Leathür
  • Warner Music Group

About

Mötley Crüe is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, lead singer Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars. Mötley Crüe has sold 100 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.
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