Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Motley Crue - Red, White & Crue

I'll be honest, I'm not a real Motley Crue fan. I'm a greatest hits fan, that can appreciate that these guys are the only 80's Glam band that's worth the platinum they've been issued. Also, just to clarify, I DO NOT consider G'N'F'N'R an 80's Glam band.

Of all the Ratt's, Poison's, Wasp's, and countless other 80's Glam bands, Motley Crue is the one worth knowing. All those other bands have one, maybe two decent songs, and on their best day could not honestly pull off a greatest hits album. If they were lucky, they could maybe do a best of, but who would buy them. The Crue, on the other hand, successfully pull off a double CD best of package that makes me want to be a better fan.

The cool thing about Motley Crue is that they got their asses handed to them in the 90's, and were up shit's creek until 2005 when they got their shit together enough to pull off this collection, plus record two new songs.

Red, White & Crue is the first Motley album I've ever bought myself. I use to borrow Decade Of Decadence from my dad's CD collection. He wasn't much of a fan, after all Glam was just a shitty rip off of all the great things from the 70's. However, my step-mom seemed to enjoy 80's music more than the classics at times. Now it's all classic, and that's kind of scary for me. However, I digress.

To this day I don't own a regular studio album. I should, but I'm lucky enough that I can just buy them for my son now, and borrow them when I want. He's become quite the Motley fan all on his own, also because of this CD.

The album opens with Live Wire, which is a bit of a rip off of a classic track by AC/DC. It has that same vibe, shares the same title, and lyrically shares quite a few markers. "Plug me in, I'm alive tonight / Out on the streets again / Turn me on, I'm hot to stop / Something you'll never forget / Take my fist to break down walls / I'll top tonight, no, no / Better turn me loose / Better set me free / 'Cause I'm hot, I'm young, running free - little bit better than it used to be / ('Cause I'm alive) Live wire / ('Cause I'm alive) Oh live wire / ('Cause I'm alive) Live wire / ('Cause I'm alive) I'm a live wire". But, a great track to open the album with. Then it's on to Piece Of the Action which is okay. I've never been impressed by this song and always considered it one of those songs that proved my dad was right. After that, Toast Of The Town comes kicking in. This one is a good pick me up after the last track, it's solid, rockin', and easily enjoyable.

Too Fast For Love is the first song on the album that I full out like, and will put on my Mp3 player. It's not musically great, but it's still fun all the same.

There are a lot of songs on this album that surprised the shit out of me when I bought it. Black Widow was one of them. I was expecting some kind of cheap Alice Cooper like knock off, after all Live Wire was a bit of a knock off of the AC/DC song with the same title. That's all cool with me too, because it shows where the Crue came from. But that's not the case with Widow. It is it's own beast, that only shares a title. Also, it's a rather beautiful song and Mick Mars' guitar work is top notch. This has actually become a favourite of mine.

I feel that I should mention that all of the songs have been digitally remastered, under the band's supervision. Which is why I all of sudden like Looks That Kill, even though I had always thought it was a weak sounding song. This was one of those songs that had turned me off of Motley, but on this collection it sounds awesome, and the production really makes a difference. The song doesn't sound flat, but instead has many mountains and valleys.

Too Young To Fall In Love (Remix) is my son's favourite Motley Crue song, or it was last I heard. You know how kids change their minds. Although, Ryan's been a fan of this one since we picked up this set. Personally it doesn't do too much for me, but that's because I'm a romantic, and think there's nothing better than being in love. There are two songs in The Beatles catalogue that I love and would cover any day of the weak. Helter Skelter is one of them, which caused some panic when I saw they put a cover of it on here. I had never heard their version, but to be honest it's pretty damn good. They did the song in their style, but it still sounds faithful to the original. I'm surprised that they didn't try getting a little heavier with it, but they did truly make it Hard Rock.

So, when I say what's you favourite Motley Crue song, to the average every day Joe, he's going to most likely say Dr. Feelgood or Shout At The Devil, which is the next track on the collection. Is it a good song? Damn skippy it is. Is it as good as people would claim? Not really, but when you think about it neither was Smoke On The Water, Paranoid, or We Will Rock You. But sometimes the best songs are the simple ones.

If you were wondering, Jane would most likely say "Home Sweet Home", but we're not there yet.

Instead we go to another cover with Smokin' In The Boys Room. I do like this song, but it's not one of those songs that I like the Crue for. In fact this one also turned me off of Motley for a while.

Use It Or Lose It is a rather heavy track, and I'm sure the remastering has a lot to do with that fact. When originally released in 1985, this song would have actually been a little ahead of it's time, and the production was not designed for that much double bass drum action.

Motley Crue was born in the strip clubs, and Girls, Girls, Girls is their tribute to those days. This song just reaks of all that dirty, sexy, smut that makes the mind race to tight little bodies with great curves swinging around from the brass pole. Wild Side is one of those songs that everything that is Rock N' Roll to me. This song is founded on the Alice Cooper laws of Sex, Death and Money, but it also contains the magic words laid down for me by my dad and uncle Paul, Drug, Sex, Rock N' Roll. "Name dropping no-names / Glamorize cocaine / Puppets with strings of gold / East L.A. at midnight / Papa won't be home tonight / Found dead with his best friend's wife / Take a ride on the wild side / Wild side". The track if fast, dirty, and comes right from the heart.

I like it better when Motley is being all Too Young To Fall In Love, because when they do fall in love we get songs like You're All I Need. I can only shake my head for so long, but in the case of this song I shake my head for about four and half minutes.

All In The Name Of feels exactly like a Kiss song. Hell, I wouldn't be surprise to hear that Vince and Nikki had been listening to the Love Gun album for two days straight before writing this track. That being said, I did enjoy the Love Gun album myself to some extent.

Of all Motley Crue songs the only one that absolutely must be on my Mp3 player at all times is Kick Start My Heart. There is nothing I enjoy more than barrelling down the street on my bike, knuckles white with a death grip, as I go flying along, heart pounding out of my chest, while Tommy's drums just drive me. To be honest this song makes me want to be an adrenaline junky. This also marks the first of five tracks on this collection that come from the Crue's greatest album.

Without You is another one of those ballads that I just shake my head about. Yes, it's pretty and nice and sappy, but that just isn't enough for me to let the song play. If you've read any of my reviews it shouldn't be surprising that I skip this one.

Don't Go Away Mad has got to be the greatest, polite, fuck you, I have ever heard. Even though a part like "That's alright, that's okay / We were two kids in love / Trying to find our way / That's alright, that's okay / Held our dreams in our hands / Let our minds run away / That's alright, now that's okay / We were walkin' through some youth / Smilin' through the pain / That's alright, let's turn the page / And remember what I say girl / And it goes this way", mixed with the softish vocals, and accoustic guitar could easily be mistaken for a sweet song. But when you pay attention to how Vince sings "Girl, don't go away mad / Girl, just go away / Girl, don't go away mad / Now girl, just go away / Here we go", you can clearly tell this song is him telling some specific woman out there "Yo! She bitch! Have a nice life! I'm going to get me some fresh pussy and another beer."

After all these years I'm really still not sure how I feel about Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.). It is a good track, but it's a little stock, especially in this collection. That being said, crank this bitch and sing along with the choruses.

The first disc of this double album collection ends with the title track from their biggest and best album, Dr. Feelgood. You should know this song, and if you don't "What is you major malfunction!?" How have you not got some groove on to this dirty little number, that makes drug dealers sound so sexy, in a very fun naughty way.

The second disc opens with a cover of Anarchy In The UK, which had been recorded for the band's last greatest hits package, Decade Of Decadence. It's a decent enough cover, that I find rather enjoyable. But, for the most part it's just another band covering Anarchy. It's hard to go wrong.

The one thing I both like and dislike about these discs is that the songs are all in order of original release dates. The down side is they use it to slip an older track in the second disc, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Primal Scream is the second track on the the second disc. It's also from the Decade colletion mentioned above. It's a decent enough song, and I'm pretty sure it's just a left over from the Feelgood sessions. It's one of those tracks that would have ended up sounding like filler, because of everything around it.

Now, it's on to a wee bit of dirty cheating. Home Sweet Home is the ('91 Remix). I never owned Theatre Of Pain, so I don't know much about the original. I'm just not cool with the fact that they stuck this song in here, and it's the only one out of order, remixes shouldn't count. Other than that I really do dig this song. It's honest, except for the placement in this collection, and it's pretty. I love a song that knows how to use a piano.

I like the fact that Motley didn't do anything different to the tracks that did not include the four core members. I think it's even cooler how many tracks they included from the time with John Corabi.

The first song is Hooligan's Holiday, which I love when riding my bike. It just get's the heart pumping and it's really good. It almost makes me feel bad that I was snotty about them replacing Vince, even though I really didn't care about Motley one way or the other at the time.

I'm not a fan of Misunderstood. It's okay, but it sounds like the Crue was trying to get themselves a piece of that unplugged/alternative movement. Think Mr. Big doing a Red Hot Chili Pepper's cover, and that might give you a good idea. I'm even willing to say it's a bit Extreme sounding, but without the insane guitar work.

I'm not sure why Planet Boom is on here. I do find it interesting enough to consider enjoyable, but I'm guessing Tommy needed his ego stroked a bit, to allow a song without him to get on here.

I am so glad Bittersuite was put on this collection. Holy shit is it fucking amazing. Getting to hear Mick Mars open up and let fly is just way too cool. It makes you truly understand how much his skills are wasted in Motley, and he could easily be out there playing some real musicians music.

Afraid is pretty bad ass. It's a little Alternative, but not horribly so. In fact it makes it sound Pop like, but in a creepy sadistic way. I think I would have liked to have heard Corabi sing this one instead of Neil.

When it comes to Beauty you can take what I said above, and apply it here. Then make it a bit more boring.

Generation Swine is a really fun song. Of the three tracks that made it on here from that album, this is the best.

I had no clue that Motley Crue released a Greatest Hits in 1998. When I think about it a bit I think I can picture the album cover, but I know it never impressed me much. It seems that the album contained two new tracks, and both were put on here. Bitter Pill and Enslaved are both okay, but they are filler songs. It's easy to see why Tommy left after this album. Not so easy to see why he did what he did after he left.

Based on the two tracks this collection offers from the New Tattoo album, I may be interested in checking it out one day. Hell On High Heels is very typically Motley, but it's one of those songs that captures the true flavour of the band. I also don't find myself missing Tommy's drumming at all on this one.

The track New Tattoo is a bit cheesy, but within the realm of 80's Glam Metal it makes perfect sense. I like the romantic sentiment behind the song, and can even overlook that it's a bit of an "A" typical ballad. It even has that accoustic twang to it.

After that the album finishes off with three new songs, one of which is a cover. The first is if I Die Tomorrow, which is a ballad, but only in lyrics. "I wake up to find myself / After all these years / And where all the time has gone / Still seems so unclear / 'Cause there's no one else / Since I found you /I know it's been so hard / You should know / If I die tomorrow / As the minutes fade away / I can't remember / Have I said all I can say? / ou're my everything / You make me feel so alive / If I die tomorrow". However, musically there is very little in the way of a ballad about this one. For the most part it's very thick and heavy. I can almost overlook the fact that Simple Plan is credited in the liner notes as well.

The next track, Sick Love Song is a lot more of what I'm talking about, when it comes to Motley Crue. It's fast, dirty, full of testosterone, and is what a love song should be. "Wake me up in the morning glory / can't get straight your lies and story / How do you mark your territory / When your trash becomes your treasure / Your immorals are my pleasure / Lose your mind and that's your lesure / Simply said, you're complicated / Understand you're overrated / More you talk the less you seem to say / We are miserable / You are drivin' me insane / This could be our sick love song / This could be your sign that things are going wrong / This could be our sick love song / Sick love song / Sick love song".

The album should have ended there. I'm not a huge fan of The Rolling Stones, and even less of a fan of Street Fighting Man. Motley's cover is okay, but what a weak finish to me.

All in all I really like this collection. I find the first and second disc are pretty interchangeable and depending on the vibe or feel you want depends on which disc you should listen to. I personally don't mind listening to both back to back.

8/10 - content

8/10 - production

8/10 - personal bias

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