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This is a fairly sizable drop in quality compared to the previous albums. Some of the songs here are the typical Mötley Crüe awesomeness, but there’s a large amount of filler in here as well that gives the album a lot of difficulty. As always, the album is full of great riffs, even on the weaker tracks. But a good riff isn’t enough to keep the song enjoyable if the rest of it is really weak. Of course, this is the time when the band were totally overboard with addiction, so you can imagine where their priorities were set at the time.
The problem with the poorer songs on this album is that they’re so damn repetitive and sound largely the same. But before we dwell on that, lets look at the good stuff.
The opening song is “Wild Side”, and wow! This totally rules! Killer speed metal riffing going on here, with cool breaks and awesome hard lyrics. Following this is the instantly memorable title track, and this one sort of sets the tone for the style of the rest of the album, but it does it right. Sleazy, bluesy riff work, jam-packed full of hooks and a fun, simple chorus that sticks like glue. This is what they seemed to be aiming for with the entire album, and it’s a great idea. If they’d done it properly, the album would have totally ruled. The other song that follows this formula with success is “All in the Name of…”, which has one of the coolest riffs Mick has ever put out. The song is memorable and stands out amongst the crap, aside from the really silly lyrics which appear to be about Vince having sex with a fifteen year old. “You’re All I Need” is this albums power ballad, and is the 3rd single from the album. It never made it as big as “Home Sweet Home” - namely due to it’s nasty video and brutal lyrics - but I actually prefer it. The lyrics tell a dark tale that flows beautifully with the equally beautiful music. My favourite Mötley ballad, and easily one of the greatest ballads ever written.
The last standout track is the live cover of “Jailhouse Rock”, which is a great metallization of the classic rock n’ roll song.
The rest of the album though, hmmm…As I stated before, these songs are immensely repetitive and samey. “Dancing on Glass”, “Five Years Dead” and the rest all have a cool riff each and a catchy chorus, but that’s it, they’re just repeated throughout the whole song. Mick Mars will put out a nice solo every now and then, but really, the songs simply don’t go anywhere and sound very unfocussed. Even the band themselves say that this was potentially the end of their career, had they failed to put out the singles.
The production is great though, once again at the hands of Tom Werman. This would be the last Crüe album he’d produce, before the band hired Bob Rock instead, and Werman would then go on to produce Poison’s second album (a great album by the way, at least Poison never allowed drugs to come before the quality of their music).
So overall, if you’re a Crüe fan then you must own this anyway. To the more casual listener, try and pick it up cheap. Some great songs to be found, but plenty of filler as well. The remastered version has the awesome ballad “Rodeo” as a bonus track as well, so go for that one. Apparently Mick Mars can barely remember recording this album…Good stuff.
Motley crue is generally one of the more commonly known 80s metal bands, and this album is what cemented their popularity in the 80s. The problem it’s their last release to have that 80s metal feel their previous three did. After this they released Dr.Feelgood, which, as good as it was, wasn’t metal but just glam rock and balladry, almost reminiscent of poison. None the less, this is still a very solid album that will show you what the drugged up Motley Crue was good at. Rehab sucks.
The guitar work on this album is the same as it always is for Motley Crue, good but not excellent. Mick Mars still doesn’t really show any magnificent soling originality in this and he relies a bit on the trend of the year to get the job done. His riffs on the other hand, are solid and extremely satisfactory, especially his riff for “wild side”.
Tommy has never been an excellent drummer, we all know that, but his drumming fits the songs well and it doesn’t really ruin the songs at all, keeping an interesting rhythm for most of the songs and even being able to survive through Wild Side, their fastest song on the album (for the most part).
Nikki Sixx’s bass is irrelevant blah, blah.
Vince Neil keeps his trademark snare of a voice, this is the last time we hear his hard vocals before going to the constant high pitched moan heard on the albums after this, and so I guess in comparison, they are excellent vocals.
The lyrics are still in the vein of Motley Crue’s older releases. Violence, Drugs, Sex, anger the good ol days right? But there are two ballads on the album whose lyrics kind of clash with the overall feeling and kind of leave you confused. Other then that, the lyrics for the other songs are satisfactory and don’t make you gag with horrid cheesiness a la Poison (this opinion may differ on the song Girls, Girls, Girls).
The production is still fairly raw and sounds like Black metal compared to the overproduction of Dr.Feelgood, but that’s a good thing I think. The overall tone of the album gives you that raw, LA life feel which Motley Crue is supposed to give you every time, but as I mentioned just now, they lost after this album.
While listening to this album, it is like a roller coaster ride that never really gets to the height it starts at. It starts off with four pure metal songs, and then goes into the ballad “Nona”, and after that, it never really gets to the same point of heaviness. "Five years dead" starts off pretty heavy and is metal, but then breaks into some poppy verses and choruses almost killing its metal-ness. After that, “All in the name” is just Glam rock; it isn’t really heavy or anything just really glam rock. Then “Sum thin for nuthin” brings up the heavy up a little bit, but never returns to the pure metal of the first bit of the album. After that, it’s the boring ballad “You’re all I need”, a fairly heavy ballad, but at this point you know that the album isn't going to get anymore metal as it is the last track on the album.
Overall, it is still a pretty solid album with some 80s metal anthems and the like, but you can really start to hear where they started to betray their 80s metal roots and conform to the poppy-glam rock style of the 80s made famous by Poison and Bon Jovi.
Motley Crue's Girls, Girls, Girls album remains to this day one of the most underrated Crue albums. There is a simple explanation if you think about it. Motley Crue started to break away from their heavy metal roots and do what most bands were doing in this time period -producing glam albums. The biggest beef people have with this album is that it only has two hits on it. Wild Side and Girls, Girls, Girls; two very awesome respectable Crue songs. There are other album just like this, having only one or two hits, and yet the album still sounds good. Some examples are Poison - Open Up And Say Ah! and Dokken - Back From the Attack. The truth is those two albums, and Girls, Girls, Girls, has a load of good songs, awesome riffs, etc. but they are masked because of the lack of hits.
So what songs are good on this album? Well of course are two hits Wild Side and Girls, Girls, Girls. Other good songs are Dancing On Glass, Five Years Dead (while a good song strangely sounds like Girls, Girls, Girls), All in the Name Of..., and Sumthin' For Nuthin. All these songs have decent guitar parts, proclaimed to have been written Mars while drunk.
Neil's vocal performance is good as usual and he manages some weird high parts at the end of Dancing On Glass that are most excellent. Sixx blends his bass parts well with the music. However there is not much action from Tommy on this album. It's like he just does what he is supposed to, no more, no less. The only really bad song here is Bad Boy Boogie which has a very bad blues style riffs and solos. You're All I Need should be the third "hit" on this album. It is a very underrated Crue ballad. But of course what would a glam metal album be with its soft ballad guitar parts, desperate vocals, and intense guitar solos?
Nona is a pretty weird song, seeing as how it only lasts a minute and some. Supposedly it was written for the movie "Out of Bounds." Another okay song is the live bonus of Jailhouse Rock. It is done really fast, which is pretty cool, but in the end this song wasn't made for an album. Bad production makes it sound like the music was recorded in a high school gymnasium. Die hard Crue fans should respect this album for just about every song that this album has to offer. While the rest of us will just replay Wild Side and Girls, Girls, Girls over and over and over...
Okay, I'm trying to figure out what went wrong here. This album manages to suck majorly, with some of the most hideously boring songs the band ever did put out, even though it sounds pretty much exactly the same as Theatre of Pain or Too Fast For Love, or even Shout At The Devil at some moments.
And I guess that's the problem, they just ran out of ideas. They recycle old songwriting ideas and concepts, that just come off as too damn forced and boring. Dancing On Glass, Five Years Dead, Sumthin' For Nuthin' (worst song title ever? Quite possibly), and so on, this just doesn't cut it.
But it didn't have to suck this badly, cause it's quite obvious that they hadn't lost the songwriting skills. They still had it in them, and they kick the fact right in your face with the first two songs on here. Wild Side and the title track are classic fucking Mötley Crüe, and some of the best shit they ever did. Especially Wild Side, which is easily in their top 5 material, and with a mean, vicious attitude never before seen in the band. Follow that up with one of their catchiest sex songs, Girls, Girls, Girls, and you got one fuckin' killer opening to this album.
But unfortunately, the quality just doesn't remain. These two killer tracks gave the listener false hopes. Instead of continuing to rock, they give us boring, plodding tune that the world would be better off without.
All of the other songs sound like old classic Crue tunes, only it seems they tried to make the songs as perfect as possible, that the rocking energy that was evident on stuff like Take Me To The Top just vanished.
Also, the sex subject is getting really fucking lame here. Bad Boy Boogie, All In The Name Of... and Sumthin' For Nuthin', oh how I loathe those songs. Aside from the fact that they suck extremely much, I can't read the lyrics without cringing. It's really ridiculous- though it would get even worse on the next album...
There is, though, one more worthwhile song on here, the closing ballad You're All I Need, which is a pretty well done emotional ballad. Home Sweet Home, this is not, but it's not On With The Show either. And then the remaster also has the monstrously awesome live cover of Jailhouse Rock, which owns you in every way possible. Everybody in the whole cell block was dancing to the jailhouse rock! Fuck your stupid sex songs, guys. Elvis knew how to rock, take some advice from him. Or at least look at your own first three albums.
No, I'm sorry to say it, but this just doesn't cut it. Mötley Crüe forgot how to rock, sad but true. Well, either that, or they didn't want to- cause they still had it in them. I'm gonna go listen to Wild Side and the title track over and over and pretend that the other songs don't exist.