Amazon, Amazon Prime, Elektra Records, Eugene B Sims, Eugeology, Generation Swine, Jon Lowder, Mötley Crüe, Mick Mars, Napster, Night FLight, Nikki Sixx, Raspberries, Rhapsody, Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain, Tommy Lee, Too Fast For Love, USA Network, Vince Neil
Sure, my love affair with Eugene’s choices waned a bit last week, but still, I’m having a winning record with the majority of stuff. And, it wasn’t a total waste, there were parts that I liked, right? Jon’s Monolithic Mega Month of Mayhem may be coming to an end and perhaps, just maybe he can get back on the train and catch up. Well, here’s this week’s take:
#24 – Too Fast For Love by Mötley Crüe.
I didn’t even hear of Crüe until after Shout at the Devil came out in 1983. We were on a family trip to Virginia Beach and I was watching Night Flight on USA Network (that’s what it was called back then). The videos for “Looks that Kill” and “Too Young to Fall in Love” came on and I was in awe at the vids and dug the music. It was rough, raw and punchy. At least I thought so back then. I didn’t realize that Shout was a polished as it was. That’s not a bad thing, I like polished.
Then quite a few years later, which could have even been around the time the Decade of Decadence 81-91 greatest hits album came out, I realized there was something prior to Shout from the band. “Live Wire” and “Piece of Your Action” were on that. I thought they were decent songs, but they weren’t “Shout at the Devil,” “Ten Seconds to Love” or “Knock ‘Em Dead Kid.” It was too raw for me. I borrowed a cassette from an ex-girlfriend and really disliked that album. I didn’t like the production and I didn’t necessarily care for the tunes. Well, in my quest to be more accepting of things I don’t normally like, I purchased the CD in 2003 (okay, call it my need to collect). I still really didn’t care for it, even after it was remastered.
So, Eug had it up next on our list. I said, “yes!” because it was one of the few that I actually own or have owned. Eug was happy about that, and then I told him that I hadn’t listened to it but maybe once or twice. I sent me a virtual smack. I deserved that I guess. On to the album…
I still don’t really care for it. Well, let me clarify that. I still don’t like the production and Vince Neil’s voice is only slightly better than amateurish. Overall, it’s not awful. But, I hate the chorus to the title track because it sounds like the Ramones doing hard and heavy music. The “gang” vocals sound like two people yelling in unison instead of sounding like a gang. His voice is powerful in spots and really crappy in others. Now, I understand that when they originally released the album it was mostly self-produced and when Elektra Records signed them, they rerecorded some of the album. I’m thinking once Vince learned how to actually sound like a professional singer, that’s where they rerecorded.
Many of the songs sound like trial runs of Shout songs. “Take Me to the Top” sounds like a mix of “Looks that Kill” and “Too Young…” Not a bad thing but I’d rather have the finished product. Well, kind of. I haven’t really cared for “Looks that Kill” for the last 25 years or so (overplayed). I still like “Too Young…” though.
Besides the bad production, the one constant that I believe has always been the best asset of Mötley Crüe is Tommy Lee. He was the best thing for them. Both in “show” and in talent. He’s a fantastic drummer; a beast, if you will. I got tired of watching his antics over the years but I loved watching him play. Not that I ever saw them live, but on videos and such.
Mick Mars was just coming into his flashiness, even though he was 60 when this album came out (I’m kidding). And the main songwriter, bassist Nikki Sixx, actually plays some riffs that aren’t just mimicking the guitar parts. You don’t hear a lot of that in future Crüe albums. He just plays underneath the guitar parts in most of the songs from here.
I know it sounds like I’m poo pooing on the album, but really, I’m not. It’s not a bad album, just parts that peeve me. I came to that conclusion on the seventh listen through. I don’t usually listen to reissues or at least the “bonus tracks” but on this one, I made an exception. The original release had ten songs. The “official” version had nine. So, even though they released “Stick to Your Guns” as a single, it was omitted on the Elektra version. The 2003 reissue (and what’s on Amazon Music and Napster) has the song back on there as well as a decent cover of The Raspberries’ “Tonight” and “Stick to Your Guns” b-side, “Toast of the Town.”
If you take Vince’s crapola vocals out, this is really a good album and I’m glad I gave it another chance or was required to as part of the research. It’s no Shout at the Devil (my fave by the band) or Theatre of Pain (my second fave), heck nothing up to Generation Swine, but it’s decent. Thanks, Eug. I want to read your take and Jon will catch up someday.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Plug me in, I’m alive tonight. Out on the streets again. Turn me on, I’m too hot to stop. Something you’ll never forget. Take my fist, break down walls. I’m on top tonight. No, no! You better turn me loose. You better set me free cause I’m hot, young, running free. A little bit better than I used to be. ‘Cause, I’m alive. I’m a live wire.” – “Live Wire” (Sixx)