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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.