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Nikki Sixx once famously said he wanted to have a band that was a combination of the Sex Pistols, David Bowie and Black Sabbath. Nearly 33 years after their debut "Too Fast for Love", we are still waiting for that band to materialize. Motley Crue, with its purposely (and unintentionally comic) misspelled name is as quintessentially Californian as Hollywood, the Beach Boys and Van Halen and equally as cheeseball. Instead of achieving the admixture set forth by the former Frank Ferrana, the band displays a propensity for the shock of Alice Cooper, the glam of Kiss, the androgyny of the New York Dolls, the studs and leather of the Plasmatics, the simultaneous tenderness/toughness of Joan Jett, a dose of Crackerjack-box Satanic imagery and the accessible tunefulness of Cheap Trick fueled by an appetite for sleaze, unbridled rawness suffused with electricity and a desire to "make it." All of this contrived with the intention of being the heaviest and most outrageous band possible but suffering from lack of context and general obliviousness. They did not really create anything new, but instead synthesized this amalgam of influences into what was passably a new breed of heavy metal. In short, they were Reagan-era "punk rock" for people who never heard of either the Anti-Nowhere League or the new wave of British heavy metal, except maybe for Def Leppard and Iron Maiden, and who thought Slayer and Dio were too extreme for their comfort zones.
"Too Fast for Love" killed disco and sidelined prog-rock in the beginning of the '80's the same way Nirvana's "Nevermind" would kill hair metal in the beginning of the '90's. Both albums utilize a lethal cocktail of punk, metal, amateurishness, and lack of production ("Too Fast for Love" ironically being less polished than "Nevermind") to create a new template for popular youth rock in their respective decades (well maybe if you switched "Too Fast..." with "Shout at the Devil' and "Nevermind" with "Bleach", but you get the general gist...) In their '80's heyday, Motley Crue were feared by elementary school kids, loved by tweens and teens, and despised by parents and teachers across the United States. Most "true" metalheads and punks however, considered them an anomalous corruption of the genre, little more than Duran Duran with strange-shaped guitars.
Songs on "Too Fast for Love" can be categorized into "classic Motley", "predictable but not particularly memorable", "pop/Cheap Trick-inspired", and "tough ballad" with overlap between all 4 categories.
There are different versions of this record with different running orders and bonus material. The almost impossible to find first pressing on Leathur is obviously the most desirable but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. The ultimate legacy of "Too Fast for Love"? It kick-started a whole new sub-genre of hard rock (call it what you may: hair metal, cock rock, pop metal, whatever) and set its tone for almost a decade. It seems that bands that came after Motley took the worst elements of the worst songs on "Too Fast for Love" and amplified them to nauseating effect while ignoring the essential garage-iness of this release. To some it is a template, to some a much-needed escape from reality, but if one is to attempt to be objective, it is a glam/punk-influenced proto-hair metal release with appropriated and weak Satanic imagery, and an uber-raw guitar tone and songwriting prowess straight out of the L.A garage that spawned it. It probably transcended any expectations, influence-wise, or commercially, that the band might have had for it, paving the way for the paradoxically more focused and polished but looser follow-up, "Shout at the Devil", which really put them on the map, and into the homes and consciousness of the public in the era of malls, new wave, MTV, Tipper Gore, yuppies, feathery haired and earringed teenagers, and suicides allegedly influenced by heavy metal records.
When one thinks of Mötley Crüe, usually one tends to think of "Dr.Feelgood", "Theatre of Pain" or "Shout at the Devil", while the band's first shot at music, "Too Fast for Love", tends to be overlooked. This is really quite a shame, because as with the release of this album, Mötley opened the door for the entire glam metal genre. Not only that, but they had made a better record than Poison, Cinderella, ect. would ever put out in their entire careers.
With this record, recorded in only about a week, the band not only turned the metal scene on its ear, but did so pretty much on their own. They had no real major label backing, and gained popularity by word-of-mouth alone. Pretty astounding, considering these guys were, save for Mick Mars, only about 20 years old. It also managed to begin the divide of heavy metal fans into two main groups, that would last for the rest of the 1980's.
What we have here, is a solid album from start to finish. There is not one bad track here, and at no point should anyone get bored and want to skip songs. Songs like "Live Wire", "Too Fast for Love", and "Piece of Your Action" are fast, heavy, and raw. The slower songs, such as "Starry Eyes", and "On with the Show", while not as heavy, are still essential Crüe. Nikki Sixx is one hell of a writer, as he wrote the entire album by himself, except for three of the songs cowritten by Vince Neil. The lyrics are intelligent, albiet somewhat cheesy, and fit perfectly with the subject matter. The musicanship, while not mind-blowing (Mick is easily the best of the bunch here) is perfect for this first outing. Sixx's basslines however, are buried in the mix through most of the album. Save for a few quick bass solos, it almost seems like their is no bass guitar present at all. Lee dutifully keep the pace, with a few fancy fills thrown in for good measure. The drums, while nothing to write home about, are consistent and back up the band very well. Where Tommy Lee really shines is "Live Wire", and is his best performance on the album. Vince Neil's vocals are perfect for this record, and put real emotion into the songs (i.e. "On With the Show" and "Starry Eyes"). Their sound, although copied by every other L.A. metal band later on, was pretty unique in 1981. At times it sounds a little poppy, but this is not pop-metal. Rather, it sounds like heavy metal, with a little pop and punkish sound mixed in. I must also add that this album has stood the test of time incredibly well, even 28 years after the original release.
I must recommend the "Crucial Crue" version of this album, as it sounds better than ever, and has some pretty good bonus tracks as well. However if you can find a copy of the Leathur Records version, pick it up as it is incredibly rare and is worth quite a bit of money. In conclusion, this album is essential listening for any fan of heavy metal.
So, here it is, the first Crüe album, and arguably the first glam metal album. Without this, no Cinderella, Skid Row, Poison or Winger. For some, metal was better without this album or any of those other bands. I on the other hand love them all and anyway, back in 1981 the Crüe didn’t sound anything like Poison or Warrant or even Skid Row. Glam metal is often known for its glossy and clean production. The production on Too Fast for Love (courtesy of former Accept axeman Michael Wagener, who would later go on to produce albums by – amongst others – Skid Row) though is anything but glossy, it’s raw and gritty and a lot rougher than any of their later albums.
The music here is heavy, aggressive and sleazy. Still a far cry from the likes of Poison and Tuff or even the Crüe albums of the later 80s, but you can see the evolution. Mick Mars is a ballsy guitar player; his riffs deliver the goods in a spectacular manner. Be it the speed metal classic that is “Live Wire”, or the haunting melodies of “Merry-Go-Round”, it all rules.
Vince Neil handles the vocals perfectly, and as Snake Sabo once stated in his MetalSludge 20 Questions interview “Vince is THE definitive voice of LA metal”, a quote that’s hard to disagree with. He may not have the range of vocalists such as Phil Anselmo or Sebitchian Bach, but in terms of technicality Mötley Crüe always sucked anyway. What made the Crüe so awesome was the sheer attitude and balls their music had, and this album is the perfect example of that.
Nikki Sixx is a brilliant songwriter, his lyrics are rough and streetwise, and again, packed with the aforementioned attitude. As for Tommy Lee, well he’s just Tommy Lee really (that’s a good thing). Highlights of the album include “Live Wire” which as I mentioned before is pure speed metal, “Take me to the Top” is a more mid-paced rocker, but it’s catchier than the cold and the riffs are awesome. The title track has an awesome gang-shouting chorus, and more of Mick Mars’ sleazy riffs. The ballad like “On with the Show” provides an awesome listen as well, and is about the man himself, Nikki Sixx.
The albums artwork (a parody of Sticky Fingers by the Stones) rules as well, as does the bands image at the time. Leather, heals, make up, big hair and more leather; what else do you need?
All things considered then, this album is essential. If you’re a glam fan then you need to own the yard stick to which all later albums would be measured. If you’re a heavy metal fan who doesn’t have much interest in hair metal, buy it anyway. You won’t regret it. Best go for the 2003 remastered version which has some killer bonus tracks such as “Toast of the Town” and “Tonight”, as well as the video for “Live Wire” and some interesting notes in the album booklet. Its rock n’ roll and its heavy metal in its finest form.
The year is 1981, and metal was just about out of it's infancy stage, and was staring to become regocnized worldwide. Sub-genres were staring to emerge like crazy, speed metal, NWOBHM, thrash, etc. and Judas Priest had released a commercial landmark album the year before in the form of British Steel. This is where Motley Crue comes in. The LA metal scene was just starting to take form, and thus give birth to a more rockin' and laid back and cool type of metal known as glam metal. Motley Crue are considered to fore-fathers of glam, and rather if you like 'em or not, they are a very important band for glam metal, and heavy metal in general. They, along with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, etc. helped commercialize metal in the early 80s. They released quite possibly the first ever glam metal album in the form of Too Fast For Love.
Along with being the first glam album, this album is also one of the best within the genre. It has style, attitude and catchiness while still maintaining awesome ass riffs and great solos. The distortion also adds a bit of a raw sound to the album, which makes it that much better. There is hardly anthing wrong with this album, and it rocks from beginning to end.
Every song is great in their own right, but my favorite songs would have to be Public Enemy #1, Take Me to the Top, the title track, and Livewire. The formal three have nice riffs, and are very catchy, especially the title track with a nice chorus. Seriously, that shouting of "TOO FAST FOR LOVE!" totally rules and gives the song a mean attitude, and that is one of the key elements to a great heavy metal song, attitude. However, nothing else beats the excellence of the song, Livewire. This song is total fucking speed metal that has balls and aggression, and might I add, nice riffs. This song gives bands like Exciter and even Overkill a run for their money, and for a song that was written in 81, you can't get much heavier. This is easily the best song on the album, and Motley Crue proves that they know how to rock.
This album may not be respected much by fans of "extreme metal" fans, but if you're into glam metal, or even a fan of traditional heavy metal, you may take a liking to this album. It's one of the best glam metal albums, so if you're looking to get into this this form of metal, I'd recommend getitng this and their next release, Shout At the Devil. Both albums are absolute essentials.
I gotta admit it, folks, the first time I heard this I thought it was bad. BAD. The cheese factor was umbearable for me to take, but with many, many repeated listens I learned to appreciate it more, but I can't give it more than a 75 rating. It could have been better, the way I see it. Production wise, the thing is rawer than any of Crüe's later efforts, having a "cheap studio" live feel and a guitar tone that can slice steel and then some, so no complains there. The good: "Live Wire", "Take me to the Top", "Piece of your Action" and "Starry Eyes". The first being a completely over-the-top speed metal burner in the "something spawned by the goddamned demons that made judas priest possible" style (think the fast songs on Killing Machine). "Piece of your Action" is my favorite song of the album, evolving from a Highway Star-esque build-up and turning into a total early-80s rocker with the balls of a Yak. Hell yeah. Some high screaming in the middle, more Hell for me. And sure, it IS cheesy, but not in a way that it deserves to be in the next category. The cheesy: "Come on and Dance", "Public Enemy #1", "Merry Go Round" and the title track. They are not bad but I cannot include them on the "good" category simply because the riff work doesn't kill me (with the exception of "Come on and Dance" and it's bludgeoning main riff. How could a riff so damn annihilative can come in a song with such a chorus? :/ ) and the cheese factor is up a notch. Still, tolerable and a lotta fun. The bad (or the "ludicrously cheesy"): "On with the Show". This song I just cannot stand. Whatever tolerance limit I may have for cheeseball music, it is completely surpassed in a way it makes my toenails curl. A loser of a song, when is all said and done. But even with it's down points, I still recommend this. Oh, and if you search enough through file sharing (or live in the States and are lucky enough to find an original tape / vinyl) you may get the original Leathur Records version with a slightly different mix, vocals with more reverberance to them and an even RAWER guitar tone. As for the recording itself, it is what it is: great music to drive your car at high speeds, sip a couple beers with the buddies or doing the nasty with some big-titted bitch...it provides a great soundtrack to life's most fun moments, simply because is such a fun record.
Well, this album is a pretty good debut IMO if you don't listen to the ballads. They suck. Songs like Tonight (We Need A Lover), Starry Eyes, and On With the Show are pretty bad songs I think. The only good slower song on there is Merry-Go-Round because it kinda has a heavy chorus and has some good lyrics. Some of those might be on the re-release but I don't have my cd with me right now to check.
The album has some great hard tracks on it though. Piece of Your Action, Live Wire, Too Fast For Love, Come on and Dance, and Public Enemy #1 are a few of my favorite tracks from Motley Crue. Come on and Dance has riffs in it that could be a solo but to some people they might not be. The only downpoint of those songs are that Live Wire and Too Fast For Love don't include solos.
For the songs that do have solos, they're pretty much like any other Motley Crue solos. Piece of Your Action I think is the best solo on here. Fits the song perfectly and at the end Vince does an excellent scream to finish it off. For the rest of the instruments on here, Nikki's bass playing and Tommy's drumming are prefect to back up Vince's vocals and Mick's guitar playing. Overall I think this album is very good and certainly a must have for any Motley Crue fan or someone that wants to get into listening to the band.
Grah, I just wrote this damn review a few days ago. But it mysteriously disappeared, so it seems as though I'll have to rewrite it, so here we go.
Mötley Crüe is one of the classic 80s hard rock/metal acts that everyone has heard of, and all real metalheads should own at least one album from. Though both the first two are completely essential, and the third (Theatre of Pain) is pretty damn solid too.
On Too Fast For Love, they pretty much nailed the songwriting right away. The stuff on here is just what made Crüe the legends they are. Catchy, memorable and fun, balls-out heavy metal, with a solid hard rock vibe, and a pretty strong attitude. Perfect shit to sing along, headbang, air guitar and get drunk to, pretty much. Though as on any album by these guys, there is a slight filler factor. Though it's pretty small on here, consisting only of the second track Come On And Dance, which is just midpaced, plodding and hideously boring.
The rest, it ranges from good to absolutely fucking awesome. The good stuff consists of the three balladic songs on here. First Merry-Go-Round, which is very memorable from the start and then without warning kicks in with that crazy fucking guitar solo. Then the best of the ballad-bunch is Starry Eyes, which features far more emotion and better riffs than the other. On With The Show, the closer, is somewhat average, but by no means a bad song.
Then finally, we get to the absolutely awesome shit, that makes this album so awesome.
The album opens up with the best track on here, the crazy speed metal track Live Wire, which is one of the best tracks they ever did. Then Public Enemy #1, which has a lethal sense of melody and some nice galloping riffwork under the verses, and is just incredibly catchy.
Take Me To The Top is also awesome. Some of the most lethal riffs on the album, and also the distinguishable mood changes between the explosive sing-along chorus and the dark, powerful and amazingly sung verses.
Piece Of Your Action is the heaviest track on here, with a mean attitude found nowhere else on the album, and some razor sharp riffs. And watch out for the awesome solo section, that just builds up to that one explosive and intense lead. Great shit. Oh yeah, and check out Vince Neil's scream right after. Whoa.
Then there is also the title track, Too Fast For Love, which is insanely catchy with it's gang chorus and the mindblowingly groovy riffs and vocal lines. One of the definite highlights on here.
So yes, more than half of this album consists of complete fucking winners, and there's only one really weak track on here. In conclusion, you badly need this album, if some of the more praised releases in your collection include titles such as British Steel, Holy Diver, Wheels of Steel and the likes.
This is early 80s heavy fucking metal the way it was meant to be, and the instantly recognizable styles of each individual member works perfectly together to create a metal classic. Vince's voice is nearly feminine on some songs (not in the incessant falsetto way of many power metal vocalists however, not that there's anything wrong with that...), but as previously stated, he still got the fucking balls, and belts out some amazing vocal lines. The guitarwork of Mick mars is some of the best he ever laid down. They're perfectly backed up by the powerful, catchy drumming of Tommy Lee and the solid basswork of main songwriter Nikki Sixx.
The first two pieces of work these four guys put out are absolutely essential. This is the first, the rest is up to you to figure out.
This album has really aged well... from the time I got it on tape in '92 or thereabouts, to the time I wore out the tape and didn't listen for a few years, to when I got the CD re-release, to when I couldn't fucking find it anywhere so I didn't listen for a few years, then when I just downloaded the fucking mp3s. Still gotta get this bad boy on Leathur Records vinyl sometime ;-)
When all is said and done, a bit rock-and-rollish at times, but still definitely a metal album. Then again, so is Motorhead. And call me weirdo, call me crazy, but the vibe is there - there's definitely a similarity to their brothers in umlauts. The album isn't quite as raw as say, Ace of Spades, and the cheese factor is a lot higher, but this album has testicles the size of refrigerators and is not afraid to use them. Unlike the straight-up speed metal attack of their next album (Shout at the Devil), this is more midpaced, and "still fit to boogie, still fit to rock and roll" (to quote another early 1980s band with huge fucking balls and a rock star attitude... SAXON of course). The other comparison is of course that band that was burning up the east coast at around the same time... Fire Down Under, none other than Riot.
In fact, this album comes something to a middle ground between the bass-driven distortion cacophany of those crazy Brits, and the twin-guitar delusion of neoclassical splendour of Mark Reale and friends. This is one guitar, lots of fucking distortion, technicality takes a backseat to sheer fucking balls, a power trio with bleach-blond surfer vestigial pipes... telephone cord wrapped firmly around torso, hair adding seven inches to height listed on Frank Ferrana's driver's licence... a cocaine-fueled blitzkrieg, part New York Dolls, part Black Sabbath, enough influence from those leather-wearing gay-bar-frequenting motorcycle enthusiasts from Birmingham with their Hell Bent for Leather and their Tyrant and their stage antics and their screaming solos that never end... combine that with the cheese grater, the plastic fantastic that is Los Fucking Angeles, where neat bands out of Pittsburgh like Warrant go to die, where the streets flow with heroin and dropping dead in '87 is just another thing to add to your resume. This album has it all: a quintessential American heavy metal release, because fuck yes CHEESE is as much a part of metal as Iommi's legendary six-string sans-fingertip onslaughts. Teacher's Pet, anyone?
Okay, enough rambling, Batman, how's the actual music? Get to the damn MUSIC and quit making thinly veiled references to Judas Fucken Priest's legendary live release, that's another review for another day. The music on THIS particular LP is fun fun fun by the ton ton ton... from the opening speed metal burner "Live Wire", which is pretty much the second coming of Hell Bent for Leather, and just about as heavy and blazing as Overkill, Machine Gun, Outlaw, and Set the Stage Alight, to name a few speed metal burners of the era. Then, the rest of the album isn't nearly as fast, but still continues on, sounding like an Americanised version of Strong Arm of the Law or something. Not quite Fire Down Under in speedball intensity, but still, riffs up the ass, down the throat, coming in sideways from all angles, and so on and so forth.
Every song here is memorable in its own way... from the nasty Piece of Your Action with its long solo section and buildup riffage, to Take Me To the Top with its two distinct moods, and also Vince Neil's awesome vocals... technically, this guy is a slob on a stick, but man oh man, he's got the balls, the emotion, the makeup... OH DON'T YOU KNOW KNOW KNOOOOWWWW it's a violation!!!! Then "Too Fast for Love" is the ultimate gang chorus. Driving down the highway at 95 mph screaming out the title track at 1.30 am, ahh this is the life, Batman. THIS is the perfect combination of the socially acceptable stylings of Nightwish, and the horrendous cranial skullfuck renderment dismemberment of Overkill, why oh why must they be so ... hateful ... and do they spell their name with three Ls?? Hate this job, hate the games, hate the rules. Well, don't hate, but don't get stuck in operatic vocals either, instead listen to this album, and go on with the show, on with the show... and take me to the top!!! THIS is the soundtrack to punk kids half dead on chemical euphoria (the REAL kind, mind you), 310 dollar speeding tickets and no concept of linear time...
Focus, kid, focus. Back to the music. Starry Eyes is a cute little song with a main bludgeon riff that takes the balls to the wall attitude of Led Zep and throws in the metallic fervor of Black Sabbath, and Merry-Go-Round has that surprise Priest/Purple/etc solo section, except sufficiently filtered through the uglifier of medium talent and maximal adrenaline. On With the Show is pretty much the band's ode to themselves, including the line "Frankie died just the other night" (Nikki Sixx is Frank Ferrana, you figure it out).... everything here is good and enjoyable. And yeah, it's glam, but it's also heavy fucking metal.
I can't give this more than an 85... it wouldn't be fair to bands that Are Sexual Perverts (though guess where they got half their perversion, it was kind of a straight-to-the-top symbiosis, trading flaming boots for over-the-top screaming metal... while Lawless may have given Nikki part of his old schpiel, this is the band that begat the OTTness of Wacky Blackie and his skull-drinking chainsaw-crotching pals, Hell even Slayer got a piece of this action!). But still, you wanna rock and roll (that's right!), so long live rock and roll (fuck yeah) - this is heavy as fuck for 1981, I cannot mention this enough, this is pretty much indispensable. Forget the damn makeup, the umlauts, the fact that they'd descend into self-parody after Shout at the Devil, this is just something no metalhead should be without.