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The second compilation released by 80s sleaze outfit Motley Crue can be summed up as a mixed attempt at getting back into prominence by making some compromises with the mainstream of the time. Like most compilations, we have all the obligatory hits that are supposed to please the tone deaf, radio bound masses. While one could go on for hours about the sheer energy and power of such classic rockers as “Kick Start my Heart”, “Wild Side”, “Home Sweet Home” and “Same Ol’ Situation” it is the other stuff that is supposed to be for the fans who already own these songs that require attention, and it is here where some serious issues come up.
“Bitter Pill” is plenty heavy and delivers the goods in the riffing and drumming department, but the chorus completely clashes with the heavier sections and the acoustic track that occasionally pops in does not agree with the rest of the sounds in the mix. All in all, not a bad song, but definitely not up to challenging the stuff these guys were putting out 10 years before. “Enslaved” makes the exact same mistakes that its predecessor did and mixes a heavy as hell set of power chords with a goofy and overtly quiet sounding chorus. Apparently this was the sound that was big at the time, which probably explains why I loathed the American rock scene during the lion’s share of the 90s. You’ve got repetitive riffing that guise as a guitar solo, clashing clean and dirty guitar tracks and a deliberately limited range in the melody to make it more universally acceptable to the current flock of lazy cover bands.
The “Glitter” remake is a complete and utter bore fest, not to mention that Vince’s attempt at mimicking an alternative rock singing style is grating as all hell. The rest of the Generation Swine material on here, though obviously not new to any Crue fan who possesses the full back catalog, is also worthy of mention as it clashes with the classic tracks on here. “Afraid” is muddy as hell and poorly mixed, which again was the big thing at the time, not to mention the equally commonplace yet absurd studio tricks used to make it sound modern. “Shout at the Devil ‘97” is here, as it was on Generation Swine, a sacrilege against the very core of what metal is about. You’ve got these lame as fucking hell Nine Inch Nails sounds that muddy up the mix, in addition to a very poorly mixed drum track. I also don’t take kindly to the practice of cutting guitar solos in the name of being more radio friendly, if the solo is good enough for the original, you either keep it or you expand on it when you remake the song.
In conclusion, once you get past all of the newer stuff on this album, be it the material from the album just before it or the new stuff composed for the album, you are left with nearly all the stuff that can be found on the “Decade of Decadence” compilation. Consequently this Greatest Hits compilation is utterly useless to any steady fan of the band who has the ’91 compilation and a few of the studio albums. If you were a fan of the Generation Swine release, you will like much of the new stuff appearing on here, otherwise steer clear of this release. If you are a casual fan of the band and want to get a compilation that is worthwhile, either get “Decade of Decadence” and be truly enriched or get “Red, White and Crue” and occasionally use the skip button where appropriate.
Mötley Crüe. What can be said about these guys? They have been around the block for awhile now, so it's safe to say that these boys have created some brilliant music over the years. The Crüe have destroyed the decade of decadence with their fun party anthems laced with sexuality and all that is good but the 90s were a bit rougher on the legendary rockers. After the great decade of sleaze had ended, it seemed that the Crüe's wild ride had ended. This could be the result of lack luster sales and less than stellar reviews of the 1994 self titled album or the plain fact that when Vince Neil quit (in reality fired), the band lost a big chunk of their fan base. But fear not, like all great bands of the past, a reunion would be in the works. With this in mind, another career retrospective was smart move.
Mötley Crüe's 1998 greatest hits package contained two new songs. This is a great way to entice hardcore fans to purchase this compilation knowing that they already own all these songs. The same scenario took place in 1991 with the release of "Decade of Decadence" but more on this subject later.
The first song off "Greatest Hits" is "Bitter Pill". This tune starts off very well and is surprisingly heavy. Tommy Lee is supplying some hard and heavy beats while Mick Mars is providing some fine and solid guitar licks. Vince Neil demonstrates his fine vocals skills that haven't been affected by his absence from the band. This song is a real winner. Next up it the second new track found on this compilation. "Enslaved", like the previous track is also a winner and as heavy. Vince Neil really shines here because there are fast and slow parts so he can showcase his vocal range. Again, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars showcase their splendid musicianship and abilities while Nikki Sixx is great on bass.
As mentioned before, the 1998 greatest hits resembles the compilation from 1991. They both contain two new tracks. "Primal Scream" and the cover of the legendary Sex Pistols song "Anarchy n the U.K." are found on "Decade of Decadence" while "Bitter Pill" and "Enslaved" are on "Greatest Hits". All the classic songs are also present on both including "Smokin' in the Boys Room", "Dr. Feelgood", "Wild Side" and "Girls, Girls, Girls". The 1991 had remixes and so does 1998 version. "Home Sweet Home ('91 Remix)" is found on one and "Shout at the Devil '97 " is on the other.
In conclusion, 1998's "Greatest Hits" by Mötley Crüe is very good for casual fans and rookies to the kings of sleaze but it's a toss up for the more serious fans that might be debating purchasing this compilation for only the two new songs. In my opinion, if this compilation can be found for a low price, it's a highly recommended purchase because the two new songs are great. "Bitter Pill" and "Enslaved" could have easily have been found on 1997's great reunion album "Generation Swine". This is an indication of the quality of the new tracks. Speaking of this album, material from it is present on this retrospective as is the case for all the Crüe albums (except the 1994 John Corabi offering "Mötley Crüe"). Songs that are present on this compilation are simply brilliant. Songs like "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)", "Same Ol' Situation", "Too Fast For Love" and "Looks that Kill" all demonstrate the genius that was and is Mötley Crüe. These tunes shaped a generation and are all found here to the delight and pleasure of all new and old fans. The only downside is the lack of material from "Too Fast For Love" and "Shout at the Devil".