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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.