Deep Album Cuts Vol. 49: Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe are currently on a highly publicized farewell tour that they promise for real for real will end with the band's last show ever ever on December 31st. It's hard to know if that really will be the end, but anything's possible, and in any event, it's a good time to look back at their catalog, especially since I've never really had much hard rock in this column, and pop metal bands are really good candidates for this kind of thing.

Mötley Crüe Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. Piece Of Your Action
2. Too Fast For Love
3. Come On And Dance
4. Public Enemy #1
5. Bastard
6. God Bless The Children Of The Beast
7. Red Hot
8. Ten Seconds To Love
9. Keep Your Eye On The Money
10. Fight For Your Rights
11. Raise Your Hands To Rock
12. City Boy Blues
13. Bad Boy Boogie
14. Nona
15. Five Years Dead
16. Sumthin' For Nuthin'
17. She Goes Down
18. Rattlesnake Shake
19. Sticky Sweet
20. Slice Of Your Pie
21. Angela

Tracks 1, 2, 3 and 4 from Too Fast For Love (1981)
Tracks 5, 6, 7 and 8 from Shout At The Devil (1983)
Tracks 9, 10, 11 and 12 from Theatre Of Pain (1985)
Tracks 13, 14, 15 and 16 from Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
Tracks 17, 18, 19 and 20 from Dr. Feelgood (1989)
Track 21 from Decade Of Decadence: '81-'91 (1991)

Mötley Crüe have made 4 albums since Dr. Feelgood, but I didn't feel the need to include that stuff. Crüe have done a better job of staying in the media spotlight, and occasionally scoring rock radio hits, than pretty much every other '80s hair metal band since the early '90s, but they've still been essentially a shadow of their former selves. After their first best-of compilation (from which I included the one new track not released as a single), their golden days quickly gave way to the John Corabi era and then a succession of comeback attempts of varying levels of success.

I read the band's infamous and engrossing memoir The Dirt ages ago, but obviously the music often took a backseat to the antics in that book, save for some interesting Nikki Sixx chapters that delved into his influences and obsessions. At the time, things like Spotify weren't around yet and the only album I was inspired to buy because of the book was Dr. Feelgood, mainly because "Kickstart My Heart" remains the one Crüe song I never tire of, so it was fun to finally delve into the earlier albums. I love the sleazy speedy sound of the early albums, and the increasingly bluesy guitar sounds as they went further into the '80s was interesting to notice.

One of the things that I find interesting about Crüe is that they're one of the few big guitar rock bands where the guitarist is the least famous member of the group. That's mostly down to the bassist being the songwriter (and also writing a bestseller and hosting a radio show) and the drummer becoming a tabloid star, though, nothing wrong with weird old Mick Mars, who's not an amazing guitarist compared to his contemporaries but has a pretty cool tone and aesthetic. Vine Neil is easily one of the lamest frontmen of a huge rock band ever, especially for someone who didn't play an instrument or contribute much to the songwriting, but his voice comes across better on the early albums, especially when he sells lines like "when she's hot, well damn, she's hot" with panache.

Some of my favorite surprises on the albums included a couple of 90-second curios, the mostly instrumental guitar overdub showcase "God Bless The Children Of The Beast" and the dreamy harmony-driven pop interlude "Nona." But at their best they are just a great bubblegum hard rock band, "Piece Of Your Action" and "Ten Seconds To Love" and "Five Years Dead" are killer tracks. And some songs, like "Raise Your Hands To Rock," verge on such a total Spinal Tap parody of the genre that they're entertaining in a different way.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
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