Motley Crue
One of the earliest L.A. metal bands to make it big off the Hollywood Strip. The band was formed from the ashes of several other bands including London, Sister (featuring Blackie Lawless and Chris Holmes ) and Rock Candi. The core of Crue has always been Vince Neil (Vincent Neil Wharton), Mick Mars (Robert Alan Deal), Nikki Sixx (Frank Feranna) and Tommy Lee (Thomas Lee Bass). The first gigs were on April 24th, 1981 opening for Y&T. In May of '81 the band records their first single, which is pressed to vinyl and thrown to the audience to promote the band. On June 6th, they play the Troubadour and none other than David Lee Roth takes a liking to them and gives Vince a great deal of advice about the music business. They quickly sign a contract with their new manager, Allan Coffman and record their first independent album which sells incredibly well in California. Soon after the band is signed to Elektra, the album remixed and released nationally and the rest is history.

Randolph “Randy” Castillo (Born: December 18, 1950) lost his battle with cancer and passed away on March 26, 2002. Castillo was an Albuquerque, NM native and had been the drummer for Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne and most recently Motley Crue.

Mtley Cre - Too Fast for Love
(Leathur Records) 1981

1. "Live Wire"
"Public Enemy #1"
3. "Take Me to the Top"
4. "Merry-Go-Round"
5. "Piece of Your Action"

6. "Starry Eyes"
7. "Stick To Your Guns"
"Come On and Dance"
9. "Too Fast for Love"
10. "On With the Show"

To Fast For Love
Mötley Crüe - Too Fast for Love (Motley Records) 1981

1. "Live Wire" (3:14)
2. "Come On and Dance" (2:45)
3. "Public Enemy #1" (4:20)
4. "Merry-Go-Round" (3:22)
5. "Take Me to the Top" (3:43)
6. "Piece of Your Action" (4:38)
7. "Starry Eyes" (4:30)
8. "Too Fast for Love" (3:22)
9. "On With the Show" (4:00)
10. "Toast of the Town" (3:35)
11. "Tonight" (4:27)
12. "Too Fast for Love" [alternative intro version]
13. "Stick to Your Guns" (4:23)

I bought this album back when I was in high school and we thought it was one of the heaviest and greatest albums to ever be recorded. "Too Fast for Love" is a classic heavy metal album. It not only helped define the sound of metal for the 1980's, but helped to open a door to an entire metal movement that exploded out of the clubs of Los Angeles, California in the early 80's. Mtley Cre, along with bands like Quiet Riot, Ratt and Stryper that shared the stage with them at such clubs as the Roxy and Gazzarri's in Hollywood, became giants of rock in the 80's with slick pop metal sounds. However, despite the glam and pop leanings on this album, the raw recording, the hyper aggression and the punk delivery made this a lethal heavy metal platter. "Live Wire" alone is one of the greatest metal songs ever recorded. The band's image at this time was pure metal as well. Long before the pink backdrops and glam outfits, the Cre were sporting leather and spikes. Unfortunately they were also adopting the 'satanic' image with the pentagrams and such. This, of course, had the band labeled as Satan worshippers by scoffers. While it was all just part of an act, it was a label that would haunt the band even after they dropped the image with their third album. I'd list my favorite tracks, but honestly this is a solid record from beginning to end, although "Merry-go-round" and "Starry Eyes" are more glam/pop influenced and less metallic than some of the rest of the tracks.

"Too Fast For Love" was originally released by the band on their own Leathur Records (I own a sealed copy of this version). The original release contained the additional track "Toast of the Town" which was left off when Elektra picked up the album for release. Fortunately it was added as a bonus track to the '99 remastered version released on Cre's own Motley Records. Elektra also opted to remix the album slightly and add in some additional percussion work. Some of those cowbells are just way on top of the mix and sound like they were added in at a later date. I much prefer the original mix to the remix. Also, the original into to "Too Fast for Love" was chopped off on the re-release. The original version was also included on the '99 CD reissue.

There are actually several different vinyl pressings of "Too Fast for Love" on Leathur Records. One pressing I've seen has the cover completely printed in black and white, while other pressings on Leathur have the logo and album title in red. Apparently in 1981, Motley Crue were selling out of these records faster than they could get them onto the shelves in the local record stores. From information I have read, the record sold an incredible 20,000 copies, before it was picked up by Elektra Records and completely remixed. The original mix has been unavailable on vinyl for decades and is a highly sought after item by Cre fans.

I grew up on the East Coast during this time, but was always fascinated with the Hollywood scene. I have since made many, many friends who grew up in the area during that time. These guys were in the bands, at the shows, etc. One such friend had this to say about Cre and this "Too Fast For Love":

Was it really '81? Man seems like yesterday. Our vocalist lived with his sister and she was dating some weird looking dude in this leather clad band that had just self-produced a single called "Stick to Your Guns". Mark (our singer) thought it was really dumb but I thought it had a good metal edge.

We saw them in a live show case at the Troub (or Gazzarri's I think) before they released their self-produced record and it was awful. Clearly their big strength (like KISS before them) was the look. The music was just your everyday vanilla/white bread metal. Not bad, just nothing special.

The musicianship (well, being a guitarist myself...) was marginal at best. In that regard the drummer WAS the show. Everybody else was just O.K., even a bit sloppy. The singer tried to work the stage but was kinda awkward and when he screamed he was a bit flat. The bass player was good, one of the better looking guys in the band, good stage presence, played his parts well.

Next thing I know this "O.K. but nothing special" band is everywhere. Their marginal songs with bad production are all over the radio, their faces are in every rock rag, they've got guest spots on all the local radio stations!

So what about the "real bands"? Like Ratt, or Snow, or DuBrow, or, or, my band...Hostage? LOL!

Love & Peace,
David Raymond Reeves (Neon Cross)

Shout at the Devil Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil (Motley/Beyond) 1983

1. "In the Beginning" (1:13)
2. "Shout at the Devil" (3:16)
3. "Looks That Kill" (4:07)
4. "Bastard" (2:54)
5. "God Bless the Children of the Beast" (1:33)
6. "Helter Skelter" (3:09)
7. "Red Hot" (3:21)
8. 'Too Young to Fall in Love" (3:34)
9. 'Knock 'Em Dead, Kid" (3:40)
10. "Ten Seconds to Love" (4:17)
11. "Danger" (3:51)
12. "Shout at the Devil" [demo] (3:15)
13. "Looks That Kill [demo] (5:06)
14. "Hotter Than Hell [demo] (2:49)
15. "I Will Survive" (3:19)

Motley Crue 1983

I was in high school when this disc came out. I was already a fan of the band having owned "Too Fast for Love" as a new release. However, this album just seemed so much heavier and nastier at the time. From the eerie opening, to the album's infectious title track to "Looks that Kill", the first single from the album. This was heavy metal in 1983. If you were a long haired, denim and leather clad rocker in '83, you were listening to this record. The original cover on the vinyl didn't feature the four mug shots as seen above, but rather was just a black cover with a varnished pentagram. Shock value for entertainment was the objective, not unlike a B-grade horror film. Unfortunately for the Cre, they were branded as devil worshippers because of it. Musically, the CD displayed some of Cre's best Hollywood club songs. The musicianship was improved, the production was raw and biting, but certainly not bad either. One top of memorable originals like those already mentioned, there is a powerful cover of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter," as well as scorchers like "Bastard" and "Red Hot." Mick Mars just tore it up on this record. It was that volatile mixture of his heavy guitar tones and Neil's high pipes that really made this album stand heads and tales above many of the other bands off the Hollywood strip.

In 1999, the Cre remastered and reissued Shout at the Devil on their own Motley/Beyond label with four bonus tracks: three demos, including versions of the title track and "Looks That Kill," and a previously unreleased song.

Six Feet Under covered "Bastard" on their "Death Rituals" CD.

Theater of Pain Mötley Crüe - Theatre of Pain (Motley Records) 1985

1. City Boy Blues (4:10)
2. Smokin' in the Boys Room (3:27)
3. Louder than Hell (2:31)
4. Keep Your Eye on the Money (4:39)
5. Home Sweet Home (4:00)
6. Tonight (We Need a Lover) (3:37)
7. Use it or Lose It (2:38)
8. Save our Souls (4:10)
9. Raise Your Hands to Rock (2:49)
10. Fight For Your Rights (3:50)
11. Home Sweet Home [demo] (4:24)
12. Smokin' in the Boy's Room [alt. mix] (3:34)
13. City Boy Blues [demo] (4:28)
14. Home Sweet Home [instrumental] (2:57)
15. Keep Your Eye on the Money [demo] (3:49)
Motley Crue

I remember the summer this album came out. I had just graduated from high school. I spent a lot of time down walking the boardwalks and hanging on the beaches of Seaside Heights and Wildwood, NJ. You really couldn't get away from this album. It was being blasted from just about every boom box on the beach and every game on the boardwalk. There was even "Theater of Pain" merchandise that you could win. People were loving it. I, on the other hand, was disappointed. I had long been a metalhead and a Crüe fan and this wasn't the leather-clad metal assualt of "Shout At the Devil" or even the punk/metal mix of "Too Fast for Love". Prior to the release of "Theater of Pain" in magazine interviews Crüe promised that their next release would be, "harder, faster, nastier". That is not at all what they delivered. No, this was pink spandex, polka-dot scarves, pop metal, from the bluesy opening to the Brownsville Station cover of "Smokin' in the Boys Room" to the sappy power ballad "Home Sweet Home". Where was the metal fury? It was gone for a glossy production and mainstream radio hits. Despite my initial disappointment, I eventually accepted the change and found an enjoyable, though slightly underwhelming record.

Crüe were wearing their Aerosmith influence on their sleeve with "Theater of Pain", from the Steven Tyler influenced stage cloths to the swagger of the music itself. "Home Sweet Home" was a huge hit for Motley and helped fuel the trend from power ballads being aired on MTV. I sort of saw the song as something similar to Despite being sticky sweet ballad the song is actually one of the better songs on the album. "Louder than Hell" is one of two songs that sounds like it could have been written from "Shout at the Devil". With a meatier guitar tone and less studio sheen, this song would have been one lean, mean metal monster. "Use It or Lose It" is the upbeat, speed rocker of the album much like "Livewire" and "Red Hot" was for past albums. Likewise, the riff behind "Tonight (We Need a Lover)" could have been a recycled, leftover from the "Too Fast for Living" days. So, "Theater of Pain" isn't the travesty I had originally thought it was, however, it certainly didn't have that grab you by the jugular, mean, metal edge to it either.

This era of Crue saw the band in complete self-destruction mode. The whole band is seriously lost in substance abuse, Nikki Sixx is addicted to heroin and nearly dies, Vince Neil kills Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle in a drunk driving accident and has to serve time in jail. The excesses of the 80's were taking control of the band. It's actually amazing that these guy lived, let alone continued to tour and make music.

The 1999 Motley Records re-issue is remastered and contains five bonus track. The 12-page insert includes lyrics and liner notes from Mick Mars.

Girls Girls Girls Mötley Crüe - Girls, Girls, Girls (Elektra) 1987

1. "Wild Side" (4:40)
2. "Girls, Girls, Girls" (4:30)
3. "Dancing on Glass" (4:18)
4. "Bad Boy Boogie" (3:27)
5. "Nona" (1:27)
6. "Five Years Dead" (3:50)
7. "All in the Name of..." (3:39)
8. "Sumthin' For Nuthin'" (4:41)
9. "You're All I Need" (4:33)
10. "Jailhouse Rock" [live] (4:39)
11. "Girls, Girls, Girls" [Tom Werman and band intro-Rough, instrumental] (5:36)
12. "Wild Side" [instrumental/rough mix] (4:06)
13. "Rodeo" [unreleased track] (4:11)
14. "Nona" [instrumental demo] (2:42)

"Girls Girls Girls" was a huge hit for Crue but frankly, I've always found this album to be a bore. It has a couple good pop metal singles in the title track and "Wild Side". "Five Years Dead" is a passable song. The rest isn't anything too exciting. Songs like "All in the Name of.." and ""Sumthin' For Nuthin'" come of as lightweight, generic, 80's glam rock. None of "Girls Girls Girls" stands up to the urgency, heaviness and strength of "Too Fast for Love" and "Shout At the Devil". "Jailhouse Rock" is a live version of the classic Elvis song.

In Nikki Sixx's bio, The Dirt, he had this to say about this record:
"Like "Theatre of Pain," "Girls Girls Girls" could have been a phenomenal record, but we were too caught up in our own personal bullshit to put any effort into it. You can actually hear the distance that had grown between us in our performance. If we hadn't managed to force two songs out of ourselves (the title track and "Wild Side"), the album would have been the end of our careers."

The 1999 Motley Records rerelease includes several bonus tracks. "Girls Girls Girls" and "Wild Side" are included in instrumental demo versions. "Nona" is an alternate, instrumental version of the album track, and "Rodeo" is an unreleased ballad.

Dr. Feelgood Mötley Crüe - Dr. Feelgood (Elektra/Motley Record) 1989

1. "TNT (Terror 'n Tinseltown)" (:42)
2. "Dr. Feelgood " (4:50)
3. "Slice of Your Pie " (4:32)
4. "Rattlesnake Shake" (3:40)
5. "Kickstart My Heart" (4:43)
6. "Without You" (4:29)
7. "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)" (4:12 )
8. "Sticky Sweet" (3:52)
9. "She Goes Down" (4:37)
10. "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" (4:40)
11. "Time for Change" (4:45)
12. "Dr. Feelgood" [demo] (4:42)
13. "Without You" [demo] (4:12)
14. "Kickstart My Heart" [demo] (4:28)
15. "Get It For Free" [unreleased] (4:14)

After becoming one of the most successful pop metal, arena-rock bands in the world with the likes of "Girls Girls Girls" and "Theater of Pain", the Cre go for a slightly heavier sound, although not really touching on the brilliance of their first two molten masterworks. Part of the reason for returning to a more solid sound may have been that the band was trying to clean up their act a bit and distance themselves from the controlling substances that were ruling them. Of course, I don't think they actually succeeded in doing this. How many other bands do you know of in which the singer kills a friend while driving intoxicated and gets off without jail time, the bass player overdoses, and both the singer and drummer make cheap porno flicks. These guys were the epitome of bad role models, yet "Dr. Feelgood" became one of the band's best selling records. Despite all this, the band did succeed in putting out a fun, rockin' record.

The Motley Records re-release (1999) features four bonus tracks. "Dr. Feelgood", "Without You", and "Kickstart My Heart" are demo versions, and "Get it For Free" is an unreleased track. I own this one on vinyl and on CD.

Motley Crue Mötley Crüe (Elektra) 1994

1. "Power to the Music" (5:12)
2. "Uncle Jack" (5:28)
3. "Hooligan's Holiday" (5:51)
4. "Misunderstood" (6:53)
5. "Loveshine" (2:36)
6. "Poison Apple" (3:40)
7. "Hammered" (5:15)
8. "'Til Death Do Us Part" (6:03)
9. "Welcome to the Numb" (5:18)
10. "Smoke the Sky" (3:36)
11. "Droppin Like Flies" (6:26)
12. "Driftaway" (4:05)

The Cre album everyone loves to hate. Motley Cre's 1994 album featured a new vocalist for the first time, John Corabi. Corabi's gnarly, gritty voice is far, far from the high, clean vocals of Vince Neil. That alone caused many fans to balk at this release before even giving it a chance. Cre's self-title CD was also their attempt to put out something less "pop" and more "intelligent". Being a move away from what people expect from Cre, the album wasn't well received by fans, myself included. However, with time, I've come to enjoy this album. The album rocks hard, has some great vocals and still has plenty of hook. Had this album been released with a different band name, I have no doubt that "Hooligan's Holiday" could have been a big hit. However, since this was Cre without Vince, it didn't fare to well. "Power to the Music" is a power packed opener that sets the tone for the rest of the record. "Hammered" absolutely annihilates. This is just a great song; heavy, fast and memorable. "Smoke in the Sky" is a fairly fast, heavy song as well. The obligatory ballads are also included here in "Misunderstood" and "Driftaway". Neither of them really do much for me, but they aren't terrible either. So overall, Motley Cre is pretty enjoyable CD. However, when I am in the mood to hear some Cre it's also not the first CD I tend to reach for.

There are yellow and red versions of the cover. The inside liner notes are slightly different in each version as well, with different pictures. It is rumored that the original cover was Nikki Sixx wearing a Nazi uniform. 500,000 copies were made with that design, but all destroyed.

Generation Swine Mötley Crüe - Generation Swine (Elektra/Motley) 1997

1. "Find Myself" (2:51)
2. "Afraid" (4:08)
3. "Flush" (5:02)
4. "Generation Swine" (4:40)
5. "Confessions" (4:20)
6. "Beauty" (3:47)
7. "Glitter" (5:00)
8. "Anybody Out There" (1:51)
9. "Let Us Prey" (4:23)
10. "Rocketship" (2:05)
11. "A Rat Like Me" (4:13)
12. "Shout at the Devil '97" (3:43)
13. "Brandon" (3:21)

The big Motley Crue/Vince Neil reunion disc. Ugh! This CD bombed BIG TIME and righteously so, this album SUCKS! I remember reading a quote by Tommy Lee in reference to why this CD sold so poorly. He basically accused his fans of being closed minded and having no taste. Whatever! Could it just be that the songwriting is so bland and full of copycat modern rock crap, that it doesn't even remotely sound like the band millions of fans adored? It isn't until track five that Vince Neil is even recognizable as himself. I mean, these songs could have been written for any vocalist, and unfortunately that is what Vince sounds like. The vocals are buried and subdued and almost totally unrecognizable as Vince. Also, where are the Mick Mars guitar solos? Where's the melody? What's up with the industrial sounding keyboard crap in songs like "Beauty" and "Glitter"? They even hired Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Charlie Clouser to bring some alternative styling to the band. Perhaps Crüe didn't want to sound like they were just rehashing old material. Perhaps they were trying to take a bold step in creativity and experimentation. Well, sometimes experiments fail. This one failed miserably. At least the cover art is kinda funny. I also sorta dig the new version of "Shout at the Devil." The jewel case makes for a nice paper clip holder as well. Can't really think of anything else good to say about it. Consequently, the "Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal" by Martin Poppoff rated this disc 9/10 saying that "Generation Swine" is, "noise metal with Cheap Trick, complexity with melody, the Beatles with Alice in Chains."

Greathest Hits Motley Crue - Greatest Hits (Motley Crue Records/Beyond) 1998

1. "Bitter Pill" (4:26)
2. "Enslaved" (4:32)
3. "Girls-Girls-Girls" (4:30)
4. "Kickstart My Heart" (4:43)
5. "Wild Side" (4:40)
6. "Glitter" [remix] (4:30)
7. "Dr. Feelgood " (4:50)
8. "Same Ol' Situation" (4:12)
9. "Home Sweet Home" (3:55)
10. "Afraid" (4:08)
11. "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" (4:40)
12. "Without You " (4:29)
13. "Smokin' in the Boys Room" (3:22)
14. "Primal Scream" (4:44)
15. "Too Fast for Love" (3:22)
16. "Looks That Kill" (4:07)
17. "Shout at the Devil '97" (3:42)

Motley Crue
Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Mick Mars & Tommy Lee

I am not a big fan of hits packages. I am more album oriented and prefer listening to the album the hit came off of, than a bunch or radio hits in a row. Many times I actually prefer the non-radio hits anyhow. This CD is no different, however the inclusion of a couple new tracks is cool bonus and a wise marketing decision to rope in the fans who already own every CD the band ever put out. The two new tracks, "Bitter Pill" and "Enslaved", while not having quite the same initial excitement as some of the band's peak material, are certainly enjoyable cuts recalling their more melodic, commercial recordings. I also applaud the inclusion of the "Shout at the Devil '97" re-recording. It was certainly the best song off the otherwise abysmal "Generation Swine." Other favorites here are "Live Wire," "Looks that Kill", "Dr. Feelgood" and "Wild Side". Least favorite track inclusion is the "Glitter" remix. (Thanks again Jeff)

Supersonic Mötley Crüe - Supersonic, and Demonic Relics (Motley Records) 1999
1.Teaser (5:17)
2.Primal Scream (4:45)
3.Sinners and Saints (2:26)
4.Monstrous (1:03)
5.Say Yeah (5:05)
6.Planet Boom (3:48)
7.Bittersuite (3:17)
8.Father (3:59)
9.Anarchy in the U.K. (3:21)
10.So Good, So Bad (3:56)
11.Hooligan's Holiday [industrial] (11:07)
12.Rock 'n Roll Junkie (4:01)
13.Angela (3:55)
14.Mood Ring (2:22)
15.Dr. Feelgood [live] (4:50)

"Supersonic, and Demonic Relics" is Motley Crüe’s odds and sods album. It’s basically a compilation of rarity tracks. What’s cool about these types of albums is that you can have all sorts of weird stuff that wouldn’t normally fit on a new studio album. What’s not cool about these types of albums is that you can have all sorts of weird stuff that wouldn’t normally fit on a new studio album. Crüe’s collection contains some b-sides, unreleased tracks, live songs, an industrial remix, a guitar instrumental and even a drunken jam. Of the actual songs, “Teaser”, “Primal Scream” and “Sinners and Saints” are all good songs. "Planet Boom", "Bittersuite", and "Father" appeared on the Quaternary EP.  Can’t say I particularly liked any of these, particularly "Planet Boom", which brings in Tommy Lee’s hip-hop influences. " Anarchy in the U.K." is a Sex Pistols cover, and not a bad cover at that. Megadeth also covered this song. "Hooligan's Holiday" is a loooooong, industrial remix by Skinny Puppy. I made it through that song once and never again. I found it to be a bit of a chore to listen to. “Rock ‘n Roll Junkie” is a song the band recorded for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane movie soundtrack. This too is a good Crüe song, although it has an unusual guitar tone. "Mood Ring" is a drunken jam. A funny listen into the band’s history, but not a track anyone will probably want to hear more than once. The CD ends with a roaring live version of "Dr. Feelgood", including the whole audience participation thing. Lots of fun. I personally found " Supersonic, and Demonic Relics" to be enjoyable, but I have this is mostly one for Crüe diehards.

New Tattoo Mötley Crüe - New Tattoo (Motley Records) 2000

1.    “Hell on High Heels” (4:15)
2.    “Treat Me Like the Dog that I Am ” (3:40)
3.    “New Tattoo ” (4:16)
4.    “Dragstrip Superstar ” (4:22)
5.    “1st Band on the Moon” (4:25)
6.    “She Needs Rock and Roll” (4:00 )
7.    “Punched in the Teeth by Love” (3:32)
8.    “Hollywood Ending” (3:43)
9.    “Fake” (3:44)
10.   “Porno Star” (3:45)
11.   “White Punks on Dope” (3:39)

To be honest, no Motley Crue album has really done it for me since “Shout At the Devil”. Those first two Crue albums had an attitude that was lost when the band gained popularity. The pop sheen took over for years and while I have found some of their other CDs to be enjoyable, none had that same vibe. I ignored this album for years, never giving it a listen, always assuming it was just another in a long line of Crue albums. Much to my surprise and delight I think Crue have a real winner with this one. This album displays that sleazy, street-attitude and pop-punk-metal vibe that I liked so much about “Too Fast for Love” and “Shout At the Devil”. Raunchy rockers like “Treat Me Like The Dog I Am” and single “Hell On High Heels” are quite good. “Dragstrip Superstar” also has that punk feel to it, while still retaining the sleazy, Hollywood strip vibe. Even obvious attempts at radio ballads like “New Tattoo” come off as listenable here. The album finishes off with a cover of the Tubes “White Punks on Dope”. “New Tattoo” may not top those old classics, but it is a good listen nonetheless.

New Tattoo was the first Crue album not to feature drummer Tommy Lee, with Albuquerque native drummer Randy Castillo taking over his position.

20th Century Masters
Mötley Crüe - 20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: The Best of Motley Crue (Hip-O) 2003

1. "Piece of Your Action" (4:40)
2. "Shout at the Devil" (3:15)
3. "Too Young to Fall in Love" (3:33)
4. "Home Sweet Home" (4:00)
5. "Girls, Girls, Girls" (4:31)
6. "All in the Name of..." (3:41)
7. "Kickstart My Heart" (4:44)
8. "Rock 'N' Roll Junkie" (4:02)
9. "Anarchy in the U.K." (3:20)
10. "Hooligan's Holiday" (5:49)
11. "Generation Swine" (4:41)
12. "Hell on High Heels" (4:15)

Far from a good representation of Cre, this "Best Of" disc leaves off some of their biggest hits including "Live Wire," "Looks that Kill", "Wild Side" and even their hugely popular cover of "Smoking in the Boys Room." However, for what it is, it's not a bad listen. Only the last three tracks are from Motley's later day outings, instead this compilation focuses more on the band's more popular 80's tracks. "Rock 'n' Roll Junkie," the band's contribution to the Ford Fairlane soundtrack, is probably the last really good track on here before the quality begins to slide. However, "Hooligan's Holiday" is probably one of the best songs off the band's 1994 self-titled CD. This CD was a free gift, which is how it made my collection. Had it not, I probably would not have spent a lot of cash on this cash-cow because it is just not a good career retrospective.

Mötley Crüe - Red, White & Crüe (Motley Records) 2005

1.      Live Wire (3:15)
2.      Piece of Your Action (4:40)
3.      Toast of the Town (3:14)
4.      Too Fast for Love (3:21)
5.      Black Widow (4:26)
6.      Looks That Kill (4:07)
7.      Too Young to Fall in Love [remix] (3:38)
8.      Helter Skelter (3:12)
9.      Shout at the Devil (3:14)
10.     Smokin' In the Boys Room (3:27)
11.     Use It or Lose It (2:39)
12.     Girls, Girls, Girls (4:30)
13.     Wild Side (4:40)
14.     You're All I Need (4:43)
15.     All in the Name of... (3:39)
16.     Kickstart My Heart (4:48)
17.     Without You (4:29)
18.     Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) (4:40)
19.     Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.) (4:12)
20.     Dr. Feelgood (4:50)
1.     Anarchy in the U.K. (3:20)
2.     Primal Scream (4:47)
3.     Home Sweet Home '91 (4:01)
4.     Hooligan's Holiday [Brown Nose Edit]  (5:20)
5.     Misunderstood [Successful Format Version] (4:58)
6.      Planet Boom (3:23)
7.     Bittersuite (3:19)
8.     Afraid [Alternative Rave Mix] (4:08)
9.     Beauty (3:46)
10.   Generation Swine (4:40)
11.   Bitter Pill (4:26)
12.   Enslaved (4:30)
13.   Hell On High Heels (4:16)
14.   New Tattoo [single version] (4:02)
15.   If I Die Tomorrow (3:46)
16.   Sick Love Song (4:18)
17.   Street Fighting Man (3:31)

Red, White & Crüe is a greatest hits compilation with a handful of rarities and three new cuts. Basically, it's sort of a mini-box set. The album brought together the original four band members, including drummer Tommy Lee, who left the band in 1999.

Disc one features cuts from the band's early heavy metal daze, including a couple of "Too Fast for Love"-era rarities; "Toast of the Town" and "Black Widow". "Toast" was on the original Leathur Records version of "Too Fast for Love" but was left off the album when it was picked up by Elektra Records for international distribution. The song also appears on the Motley Records remastered CD version of "Too Fast". "Black Widow", on the other hand, is a song recorded in 1982 and not officially released until this collection as far as I know. This song is sort of a ballad, though definitely not the sappy radio-type ballad that would plague pop metal in years to come. The first nine tracks represent the band's most metallic years between 1982 and 1983. These songs are delightfully under-produced and raw, which gave the band a killer metal edge. Of course, "Helter Skelter" is a Beatles cover given a nasty Crüe overhaul. If I had my way, I might have also included "Knock 'em Dead Kid" and "10 Seconds to Love" from this period as well. However, the tracks present are still a good representation of those early years.

The remaining eleven songs, including the novelty cover of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' In the Boys Room", are from the band's more commercial, pop-metal years. I've never been quite as fond of albums like "Girls Girls Girls" and "Theater of Pain" as their first two, but each has a handful of good to great songs. No doubt that "Wild Side" and "Kickstart My Heart" are both classics. I've also always thought that "Dr. Feelgood" had a vicious riff that was unfortunately brought down by a more polished production. Likewise, an up-beat song like "Use It or Lose It" would have benefitted from a rawer guitar sound and heavier production, as on "Shout At the Devil". "All in the Name of..." is a super-cheesy, glammed-up, fun, rock and roll anthem. Overall, disc one is a good overview of the band's 80's catalog. It's nice to see so much material from "Too Fast for Love" and "Shout At the Devil", two of the band's strongest albums in my opinion.

Disc two is, by all accounts, the weaker of the two discs. It is mostly represents the band's under-appreciated self titled album with singer John Corabi, the ill-received reunion CD "Generation Swine" and the underrated 2000 release "New Tattoo" with drummer Randy Castillo. Both of the two albums  that don't feature all four original band members are far stronger than the one album, "Generation Swine" that did feature the original band members. "Anarchy in the U.K" is a Sex Pistols cover that has also been covered by Megadeth, among others. It's not a bad cover and is a good inclusion on this collection. "Primal Scream" was the new song off the "Decade  of Decadence" hits collection. It's a hooky, hard rocker with a nice guitar solo and a hooky, sing-along chorus. The remixed version of "Home Sweet Home" also comes from the "Decadence" collection. I never was a big fan of this sappy ballad to begin with. The next two tracks are remixed versions of songs from the John Corabi-fronted version of Crüe. Frankly I think this version of the band was solid. It's unfortunate that fans couldn't accept the band without Neil behind the mic. Corabi has a nice raspy voice that works well with the 90's hard rock the band was cranking out. "Hooligan's Holiday" should have been a hit for the band. I wonder if the song had been released under some other band name if it would have done better. Who knows? Regardless, it's a good song. "Planet Boom" and "Bittersuite" are also Corabi-era songs, both fro the "Quaternary" EP. The former being a goofy rap-rock song that belongs on a Kidd Rock album, the later being a cool, bluesy Mick Mars instrumental. Tracks 8 - 10 are from the "Generation Swine" album. This was definitely Crüe trying to fit in with what was going on with 1990's radio. It didn't really work. The single "Afraid", here featured as a remixed version, actually charted for the band, but I don't think it really generated much interest. Fans, myself included, were not interested in hearing a Vince Neil-fronted Mötley do grunge/alternative rock and a new generation of fans had their own bands and weren't interested in dinosaurs breaking into their niche. The songs might have been better with Corabi behind the mic, and in fact Corabi claims he was responsible for a large majority of the material on "Generation Swine". Thankfully the band, minus Tommy Lee, returned to a classic hard rock sound on "New Tattoo". Three songs are featured here, all being as good as anything the band released in the 80's. "Bitter Pill" and "Enslaved" are both songs that were featured on "Greatest Hits" and are again featured here, making that "Greatest Hits" disc sort of worthless.

"Red, White & Crüe" features three new studio recordings. The album's lead single was "If I Die Tomorrow", a heavy, power ballad that was co-written by Nikki Sixx and the pop-punk band Simple Plan. The song was another attempt to update the band's sound. Unlike "Generation Swine", it worked and the song did fairly well for the band. As I recall the song received some airplay for this one and was generally well-liked by fans. A heavy modern rocker titled "Sick Love Song" and a cover of the Rolling Stones "Street Fight Man" round out the collection. For whatever reason, Tommy Lee does not perform on the cover of "Street Fighting Man"; drumming duties were handled by Josh Freese of The Vandals.

Really, another Crüe collection is unnecessary, but this is probably the strongest of their hits collections due to the sheer amount of material and all the early material included. This album was also released as a 3-disc set with a DVD and as a single disc collection.

Saints... Motley Crüe – Saints of Los Angeles (Eleven Seven Music) 2009

1.    L.A.M.F. (1:23)
2.    Face Down in the Dirt (3:44)
3.    What's It Gonna Take (3:45)
4.    Down at The Whisky (3:50)
5.    Saints of Los Angeles (3:40)
6.    Mutherfucker of the Year (3:55)
7.    The Animal in Me (4:16)
8.    Welcome to the Machine (3:00)
9.    Just Another Psycho (3:36)
10.  Chicks = Trouble  (3:13)
11.  This Ain't a Love Song (3:25)
12.  White Trash Circus (2:51)
13.  Goin' Out Swingin' (3:27)
Motley Crue 2009

"Saints of Los Angeles" is the first Motley Crüe album of all new material since “New Tattoo” in 2000 and their first with the original lineup since 1997's “Generation Swine”. The CD is a concept album based on the band’s best selling autobiography, “The Dirt”. The themes of the songs go along with the book telling tales of drug abuse, partying, girls, crashing, record contracts, the music industry, good times, bad times, etc. Musically, the band combine the old Crüe attitude with some the “Dr. Feelgood” song writing, while still keeping it fresh and modern sounding. Thankfully they stay away from dabbling in other music genres. There are no industrial influences, hip-hop leanings, etc. This is just straight forward hard rock circa 2009. The title track is just a monster of a song with a huge hook. It's no wonder that this song saw plenty of radio play around the world. Just about every song on “Saints of Los Angeles” is co written by Nikki's band mates in Sixx AM, which would explain the slightly more modern vibe to the record. However, it’s not so modern sounding that the band loses it’s identity. “Saints of Los Angeles” is Motley Crüe 2009. It may not rival “Too Fast for Love” or “Shout At the Devil” as the band's best material, but it's no slacker either.

Related collections:
Brides of Destruction | Vince Neil | Union

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