Written By Jason Voorhees & Aaron Savage
Welcome back to another edition of top album lists here at Philly Rock Radio.
After tackling one of thrash metal's best in the previous episode; this week we will feature a band that is arguably glam metal's greatest of all-time. That band is of course Motley Crue.
Motley Crue spent their entire career drinking from the fountain of decadence. No band had more of an impact on the glam metal scene than these guys. The band was sleazy and dangerous. Motley Crue didn't just do drugs; they ingested ALL of the drugs. The group didn't just pimp women; they OWNED all of the women.
The glam metal scene was all about excess; and no band defined this more than The Crue. While their exploits and relationships outside of the band made for booming tabloid fodder; there is no doubting that their music was also amazing and they carved out quite an epic catalog over the years.
With that being said, we will attempt to rank the best of their catalog from worst to first. This will be no easy task but we feel we are up to the challenge. As always, there will be some surprises and there is sure to be some controversial picks. With that being said, it is time to take a dive head on into the world of The Crue. Without further ado, here is the catalog from worst to best!
9. 'Generation Swine' (1997)
The Crue were going through an identity crisis. After the 1994 self titled record didn't sell; they were experimenting with all different styles, trying to sound relevant even though they had no clue what they wanted to do. Most of the songs had been written with John Corabi who was fired during the sessions due to overwhelming pressure from the record company to bring Vince back. None of the songs fit Vince's vocal style and the album is a directionless mish mosh of noise. "Brandon", Tommy Lee's ballad for his son is one of the corniest and cheesiest songs ever written. Motley Crue's answer to grunge was sadly a total flop. Absolute crap.
8. 'Theater of Pain' (1985)
Some people will cry blasphemy for how low this album falls on the list. However; truth be told it's simply not that good. Overrated is more like it. The cheesy cover of "Smokin in the Boy's Room" is garbage and corny. In all honesty, the album is littered with filler. The band was too drunk and high during the record's production and the quality suffered. The songwriting is dull and the production is thin. The only saving grace is the stone cold classic "Home Sweet Home" which is arguably their best song. Certainly not the worst Crue record but definitely not near what they are capable of.
7. 'New Tattoo' (2000)
After the mess that was 'Generation Swine', this album was a return to the classic Crue sound. The band pushed reset and the decision paid off. While the production is a bit thin, the songwriting is much more creative and the results are mostly positive. There are a good amount of highlights including "Hell on High Heels", "Treat Me Like the Dog I Am", "Dragstrip Superstar" and "1st Band on the Moon'. The album also features two new ballads that scream classic Crue with "New Tattoo" and "Hollywood Ending." However; the true gem is the cover of "White Punks on Dope." Solid comeback record.
6. 'Saints of Los Angeles' (2008)
This is the album that die hards had been waiting on for what seems to have been a lifetime. It's almost like the band jumped in a time machine traveling back to a past that had given them so much success. This record truly flies under the radar among the band's catalog. It captures all of the good, the bad and the ugly. The title track harkens back to 'Dr. Feelgood', while 'The Animal in Me' and 'Down at the Whiskey' yell classic Crue. Solid record with very little filler. If there is one drawback; it's a little over compressed which causes it to sound a bit too loud and distorted. This would have been the proper follow up to 'Dr. Feelgood.'
5. 'Girls Girls Girls' (1987)
Undoubtedly the least satisfying album from The Crue's golden era. The quality begins to take a swan dive here. The record does have three of the greatest songs in Motley's catalog- "Wild Side", "Girls Girls Girls", and "You're All I Need", However; the album is compromised of mostly filler with the exception of "Dancing On Glass." Likewise, the album suffers from a very thin production sound. While many critics rank this record higher on the list, in reality it's just overrated. It only ranks this high because of the three classic killers that make their home here. Middle of the road and now we get to the cream of the crop.
4. 'Motley Crue' (1994)
If it was any other band name, this would definitely be #1! It's by far the heaviest, most musically complex and most diverse of any Crue record. Bob Rock's production on this album is phenomenal. For example, the drum sound is quite possibly the best ever to be put to an album. There are many highlights on the record. "Till Death Do Us Part" may be the best track on the album while there are tons of other stalwarts. The bottom half of the record is just as strong as the top; another credit to the elite songwriting. Unfortunately, this cannot be number one on any Motley Crue list simply out of principle. Excellent record, but not quite the tip of the iceberg for Motley.
3. 'Shout At The Devil' (1983)
Many critics will argue that this is Motley Crue's Mona Lisa. While it may be iconic as far as name value goes for Crue, it's simply not their best record. However, the album still kicks major ass. This was the next step up from it's predecessor 'Too Fast For Love.' It's a faster, heavier, darker version which includes some of the all-time classic songs. The title track may be one of the all-time greats of the glam metal genre. While tracks like "Looks that Kill", "Too Young to Fall In Love" and "Ten Seconds to Love" remain regular setlist favorites. If your looking for hidden gems there is "Red Hot", "Knock 'Em Dead, Kid" and "Bastard." An absolute game changer; close to the top but no cigar.
2. 'Too Fast For Love' (1981)
The birthplace for Motley Crue couldn't have been a more stellar debut! A raw and edgy record that's dangerous and sleazy to the core. This record represents everything that makes Motley Crue- Motley Crue. It's almost a punk album and all of their influences are more apparent here than on any other album. Motley pays homage and loyalty to bands like Cheap Trick, KISS, the Rasberries and more as they kick ass and take some names. Highlights include "Live Wire", "Take Me to the Top", "Piece of Your Action" and "Too Fast For Love." The ballad "On With the Show" also kicks major ass! This is the record that captures the core of the band...not much more to say than that! Now we're in the home stretch.
1. 'Dr. Feelgood' (1989)
This is the one that makes you feel good! 'Dr. Feelgood' is the mount rushmore for Motley Crue. The record captures Crue at their peak as songwriters. Likewise, the epic production enables them to sound sonically thicker; as well as having a better bottom end than any of their peers ever had. If your searching for evidence, look no further than Metallica who recruited Bob Rock to produce their masterpice "Black" album soon after 'Dr. Feelgood" was released. It's no wonder that this became their highest charting as well as selling record. Tons of hits and zero filler makes for a great recipe of success. This wasn't just the same ol' situation for the Crue; this was it's masterpiece!
Stories, news and reviews presented by the staff of Philly Rock Radio.