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A rawer, grittier Crüe - 91%

The_Blacksmith, March 17th, 2009

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.