CD Review: Mötley Crüe – Greatest Hits

Motley CrueTrue to their name, (a Mötley Crüe is defined as a group consisting of many types or exhibiting great diversity of elements), bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitar player Mick Mars and vocalist Vince Neil have all made names for themselves due to 25+ years of media attention. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much left to add.

Among the stories of drug & alcohol abuse, rehab, womanizing, manslaughter, prison time and other sundry escapades, the band received their first splash of national press in 1982 during their first tour of Canada. Most notably, the, “Cruesing Through Canada Tour”, saw the band arrested at the Edmonton International Airport for charges of carrying, ‘dangerous weapons’ and ‘indecent material’ – the first for wearing their spike-studded costumes through customs and the second for possessing a briefcase full of porn. The following night, while playing, a bomb-threat was called into the venue, putting an abrupt end to the show. Both incidents were later found out to be PR stunts dreamed up by the band and punctuated by a drunken Tommy Lee throwing a TV from an upper story window of his hotel. Fortunately for the band, this kick-started a wildly successful tour and was just the beginning of Mötley Crüe’s tenure as one of rock’s biggest acts.

Greatest Hits marks Mötley Crüe's fifth compilation release, with a remix of, “The Animal in Me” serving as the only new track previously unreleased. After selling over 80 million albums worldwide some may see another greatest hits package as a blatant money grab but for those who have been waiting for the penultimate compilation of what Motley Crew has to offer, the time has arrived to pony up and make the plunge. I defy even the most adamant of those claiming to despise this infamous band not to be taken back to at least one beautiful memory of their own coming of age while listening to this album. Like it or not, if you were born in the last 30 odd years, Motley Crüe is a part of the soundtrack of our lives. “Girls Girls Girls”, “Kickstart My Heart”, “Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room”, “Dr. Feelgood” and “Home Sweet Home”, are all songs firmly embedded in our collective consciousness.

A surprising amount of loss and pain are found on this list of tunes. Lyricist Nikki Sixx paints a picture of aching melancholy with, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away), a song whose title is anything but subtle. The often overlooked, “Without You”, is a love song that could most certainly work as a first dance at a wedding. But the stand out among the down-tempo and perhaps the entire album is “Home Sweet Home”. We’ve all slow danced to this one at some point or at least imagined ourselves in the arms of the high school Prom Queen or King. “Home Sweet Home”, brings clarity in Vince Neil’s vocals rarely heard.

Some fans may be disappointed in the lack of a John Corabi track, (lead singer from 1992-1997), but then again some may not have a problem with the exclusion. Whether you are looking to kickstart your heart after or during a night of debauchery or you just want a review of what Glam Rock did for the love ballad, Mötley Crüe’s Greatest Hits is an excellent blast from the past. In each of these songs lies memories of drunken nights at the local pub, first loves, first fights or even a first slow dance at the junior high sock-hop.