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Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue
by Zane Ewton

Preparations are underway for the reunited Motley Crue to come to your town with all the pomp and circumstance relegated to these sorts of affairs.  Far too much talk has been given to the offstage behavior of this band so it is appropriate that we now have Red, White & Crue, a focused overview of the Crue’s music, the hits with a few of the misses.  
The two disc set covers tracks from the band’s debut, Too Fast for Love, to the sans-Tommy Lee album New Tattoo.  Anyone who has ever heard of the 1980’s will definitely be familiar with songs from the first disc.  Motley Crue is one of the most popular and enduring bands of the 80’s primarily because the music is so memorable.
Motley Crue’s first two albums set the benchmark for what rock would be in the 80’s.  The band came out as a rough and rowdy rock band.  This is evident on some of the most exciting music the band has done in “Live Wire”, “Piece of Your Action”, “Too Fast For Love”, “Looks that Kill” and "Shout at the Devil”.  But the band has never been perfect (a trait that may be the reason they have been so popular for so long) and songs like “Toast of the Town” and “Black Widow” demonstrate that well.
With Theatre of Pain the band softened their image and the songs.  This only meant increased popularity as “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” became big hits and are still being overplayed on the radio today.  
Disc one closes out with the hits from Dr. Feelgood, the pinnacle of Motley popularity, including “Kickstart My Heart”, “Without You”, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”, “Same Ol’ Situation” and the title track.
The 1980’s were arguably the decade of Motley Crue, they can be blamed for hair metal but they were still better then all of the bands that were riding on their coattails.  Who remembers those other bands anyway?
The second disc focuses on the band’s 90’s output and is more of a mixed bag.  “Anarchy in the UK” was a pointless remake but “Primal Scream” and “Home Sweet Home (’91 Remix)” are strong additions to the successful formula.  If the talk about Motley Crue’s antics has been overblown, then the talk about grunge killing hair metal can also take a rest.  Just because the “scene” has changed doesn’t mean the currently unpopular bands need to become boring.
With Vince Neil out and John Corabi in, the Crue became a faceless band not helped by the middle-of-the-road songs.  “Hooligan’s Holiday” and “Misunderstood” lacked energy but “Planet Boom” is just embarrassing.  A reunited Crue failed to make any headway with Generation Swine even though “Afraid” and “Beauty” are memorable songs.  Also included are the two new tracks found on Greatest Hits, “Bitter Pill” and “Enslaved” both produced by Bob Rock, evidenced by the back to basics approach in each song.
Motley Crue’s last studio album, New Tattoo, focused on what brought the band to the table in the first place but “Hell on High Heels” is to run of the mill to be exciting.  “New Tattoo” is a good ballad, even better since the band does not overdo the slow songs.
Three new recordings are a bonus for the compilation.  “If I Die Tomorrow” is not good.  “Sick Love Song” is better.  The Rolling Stones cover “Street Fighting Man” could have been worse.
Motley Crue has made an impact on rock and roll.  They defined an era and have written some great rock songs.  All of the pieces are in place.  Vince Neil is an instantly recognizable vocalist, Nikki Sixx is a strong songwriter, Mick Mars is an exciting guitarist and Tommy Lee should really stay behind the drums.  Up to their full potential, this is the kind of band that could do some massive damage on tour and in the future.  Maybe it is time to be exciting again.

CD Info 

Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue
Label: C

Disc 1
Live Wire
Piece Of Your Action
Toast Of The Town
Too Fast For Love
Black Widow
Looks That Kill
Too Young To Fall In Love - (remix)
Helter Skelter
Shout At The Devil
Smokin' In The Boys Room
Use It Or Lose It
Girls, Girls, Girls
Wild Side
You're All I Need
All In The Name Of...
Kickstart My Heart
Without You
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S)
Dr. Feelgood
Disc 1
Anarchy In The UK
Primal Scream
Home Sweet Home - ('91 remix)
Hooligan's Holiday - (Brown Nose Edit)
Misunderstood - (Successful Format Version)
Planet Boom
Afraid - (Alternative Rave mix)
Generation Swine
Bitter Pill
Hell On High Heels
New Tattoo - (single version)
If I Die Tommorrow - (previously unreleased)
Sick Love Song - (previously unreleased)
Street Fighting Man - (previously unreleased)

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