Motley Crue?

iGougeriGouger Posts: 283
edited December 1969 in Off topic/NON-DINO Music Area
Some background: a family friend gave me a bunch of his old records because he no longer has a record player and I am fortunate enough to have inherited one from my late grandmother, and because this friend knows that I like hard rock & heavy metal. One of these records was Shout at the Devil.

I've never gotten into Motley Crue before listening to this album, so I didn't know what I was missing out on; as of my writing this, I am listening to the record for the third time in a row. I don't remember liking a record as much as this one since I first heard Jailbreak by Lizzy, although I wouldn't put Motley Crue and Lizzy in the same category genre-wise.

For a record released in 1983, it was like nothing else at the time--it was darker, edgier, and heavier than those released by Motley Crue's contemporaries like Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, and Def Leppard. Though not in the same class of lyrics as Iron Maiden and Savatage, this record had a certain distinct sound to it that I haven't heard replicated in other heavy metal bands of the time... (who listens to songs for lyrics anyway?) in other words, I would say that Motley Crue had a unique and individual sound and musical identity, which is about the highest compliment you could give a musician or a band.

In terms of songwriting and album pacing, I really thought that Shout at the Devil really delivered. EVERY SINGLE SONG is memorable and immediately grabbed my attention. Additionally, there's the odd cover song thrown in the mix ("Helter Skelter" by the Beatles) that sounds nothing like the original, and yet still rocks. The album rocks from start to finish and kept me interested all the way through; VERY FEW albums have the capacity to do that for me, and this seems like a mark of good songwriting. And as musicians, I felt that Motley Crue were more than decent as well. Vince Neil had the range and capability that Stephen Pearcy and Don Dokken never would have, and he came before both; Nikki Sixx is a competent bassist who could do more than say Ian Hill or Mike Anthony (listen to the basslines on "Shout at the Devil" and "Danger..." groovy!); and Tommy Lee comes up with some really groovy rhythms as well...

As for Mick Mars, I haven't seen any threads on the forums about the guy, and yet I find myself drawn to his playing for a variety of reasons. First of all is that tone... I admittedly am not a tone expert, but if I were to pick a straightforward metal tone, I would definitely want Mick Mars' tone from this record; it's heavy, crunchy, in-your-face, has tons of definition, and just sounds awesome to my ears. It's perfect for his extremely memorable and catchy riffs, which in my opinion stand toe-to-toe with anything that riff-master contemporaries Criss Oliva and Wolf Hoffmann ever did. And his tone doesn't sound too wet or dry for his solos. Speaking of which, I find that Mars is quite a competent lead player, combining aeolian, minor pentatonic, dorian, and harmonic minor scales across the album in a very melodic and ballsy way. He's also capable of rolling out subtle, clean arpeggiations like on "Danger" and "God Bless the Children of the Beast." Most importantly, he always played for the song and doesn't go off on endless wanking sessions. Although he didn't have the chops of his contemporaries like Randy Rhoads, Jake E Lee, or even some of his predecessors like Moore, Schenker, or Van Halen, he could play decently and I didn't feel like any of the songs were ever hindered by his playing--his playing always enhanced the song, which is what a guitarist should be aiming to do.

TL;DR: I was immensely impressed by Shout at the Devil and as soon as I finish listening to it for a fourth time, I'm definitely checking out the rest of their discography on Spotify. What's the general consensus on Motley Crue on this forum? Am I alone here and does everyone else hate them? :036: Or are there other fans out there?  :shred: Be honest, I won't be offended, and it's great to hear other opinions than my own.
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Comments

  • JoebuddhaJoebuddha Posts: 2,114
    I was 12 in 1983 and that was the first record I ever bought for myself. I still love it and I will still take Mick Mars over many of the Dino godfathers any day.
    That record and that band had a lot to do with my life and lifestyle through my 20's, moving to Hollywood, piercings, tattoos, my love affair with strippers and mud wrestlers.
    You should read their biography "The Dirt" it is honestly one of the most entertaining books I've ever read of any genre.
  • Black RoseBlack Rose Posts: 208
    I'm a fan

    I like stuff from all the albums Too Fast until Dr. Feelgood. Theatre of Pain is probably my least favourite from the classic period.

    Mick Mars doesn't get lot of respect, he is sort of lumped in with CC Deville to take it in turns in the stocks and have shit pelted at them or at least that's how it looked in the guitar mags but he has some cool solos and most importantly, awesome riffs! One of the best of the glam era for riffs I think. Plus he has a great sound on Dr Feelgood.

    One of the best ballads of the 80's I reckon is You're All I Need which is from Girls, Girls, Girls. It a typical love lost status quo glam ballad, its dark, with a good solo and great lyrics. Check it out if you haven't heard it already.

    Joe's right, The Dirt is a damn entertaining read, whether its true or not.
  • LerxstFanLerxstFan Posts: 4,698
    [quote author=Joebuddha link=topic=16625.msg251513#msg251513 date=1407116878]
    I was 12 in 1983 and that was the first record I ever bought for myself. I still love it and I will still take Mick Mars over many of the Dino godfathers any day.
    That record and that band had a lot to do with my life and lifestyle through my 20's, moving to Hollywood, piercings, tattoos, my love affair with strippers and mud wrestlers.
    You should read their biography "The Dirt" it is honestly one of the most entertaining books I've ever read of any genre.
    [/quote]

    12?! Crap! I was doing my first year in the Army...if it wasn't for Don and Rick I would feel really old!

    I love Shout at the Devil and Too Fast for Love. They were both gritty, loud and crushing. Mick is a fantastic player.
  • iGougeriGouger Posts: 283
    Listening to Too Fast for Love now. I would definitely say that riffs are a strength of Mick Mars. I like his diminished arpeggios on "Come on and Dance" and "Too Fast for Love." His playing on "Public Enemy" is very melodic too.

    I really think it's unfair to compare Mick Mars with CC DeVille... I always thought Poison as a whole were just in it for the money. Their music struck me as derivative and pandering to the pop-metal market, whereas Motley Crue had their own style. I hope I'm not insulting anyone here who really loves CC DeVille, but if I'm being mistaken or biased then link me a video that proves me otherwise and I'm all ears.

    [edit] Almost through with their first album. I DIG Mick's classical-sounding melodies on stuff like "Starry Eyes" and "On With the Show."
  • BreakfastimeBreakfastime Posts: 2,152
    Re-played the full album tonight  thanks to this thread. 

    One of my favorites (the BEST MC album imo), a real gem of pop/metal that stands up there w/British Steel and Rock and Roll Over
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    I remember seeing pics and hearing about then around the time of their first record. I bought it and was extremely disappointed. I thought with the exception of Live Wire it was a weak and not heavy record. I can't stand Kiss but I thought Kiss was heavier. Then I took a chance on Shout and felt that it delivered on the image the band was building. These guys really got me into BC Rich guitars too :)

    Can't say I liked their music after this but it's a solid record.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I was in my freshman/sophmore year of college in 1983 and was a die hard metal guy . I loved Van Halen , Scorpions , MSG , Pat Travers , Maiden , and Priest .

    I hated Motley Crue and was one of the assholes that threw beer bottles at the stage during their first tour . :laugh: Back in those days they had a place called CITY ISLAND in Harrisburg that was really out of control . One of the only things I remember about that concert was throwing beer bottles at the stage .

    I really like their book THE DIRT too .  Its gonna be a movie .
  • SirionSirion Posts: 3,115
    I rather like the Gx3 and Feelgood records; the first three I find to be very hit and miss.
  • [quote author=jebbudda link=topic=16625.msg251528#msg251528 date=1407160091]

    I hated Motley Crue and was one of the assholes that threw beer bottles at the stage during their first tour . :laugh: Back in those days they had a place called CITY ISLAND in Harrisburg that was really out of control . One of the only things I remember about that concert was throwing beer bottles at the stage .

    [/quote]
    Yeah, that pretty much defines the behavior of an asshole.
    Nice.

    Anyway....

    I never explored Motley Crue or really assumed they deserved much credit/attention from me. I am a little embarrassed because I always so heavily admonish people for judging with no basis for judgement and that's exactly what I did. *whoops

    So..... still having never really listened to any of their music, I took The Dirt with me 8 months ago to read on the beach whilst I honeymooned with the asshole from the above post who once threw glass bottles at other human beings. I'd heard it was a wild and fun read and knew it would be great for lazy days on the beach.

    That book made a fan of me before I'd even stopped to listen to the music. I now have two of their records. I love a lot of their stuff! It's fun, party music with a healthy dash of cheese. It's not going to win any awards for musical proficiency in my book, but with me you don't always have to be Uli for me to give you a thumbs up.  

    I love, love, LOVE Motley Crue. I even went so far as to send Nikki Sixx a piece of fan mail letting him know I was Motley Crue's newest fan.

    Incidentally, his bass playing may only be down the middle, but he's pretty much the brains behind that band. He's done most of the writing. The most musically proficient (in my opinion) on their instrument is Tommy Lee, the most endearing (from reading the book)is Mick Mars. Nikki Sixx is definitely the most complex and magnetic guy of the four. There are 3 type A personalities in that band so it's amazing how far they got. (aside from the partying.)

    I tried to get tickets for their final tour but they are so damn expensive, I had to pass.

    :ohyeah: :icon_syda: :icon_syda: :icon_syda: :icon_syda: :icon_syda: :icon_syda: :ohyeah:
    I LOVE me some Motley Crue!
  • OskyOsky Posts: 1,056
    Never liked Crue from day one and still don't. Other than a few half decent bits of slide playing I never rated the guitar playing, their songwriting leaves me cold and I find Vince's voice rather annoying. Oh and they owe The Sweet a massive debt both musically and style-wise... Kick Start My Heart is a total rip off of Hell Raiser and Tommy Lee's wardrobe and make up is Mick Tucker circa 1974 to a tee.
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,772
    A friend of mine who was heavily into Venom and early Slayer bought this album just because it had a pentagram on the cover  :rotflmfao:  Predictably, that wasn't the kind of stuff he expected and he gave me the LP (it's probably still somewhere in my parents' attic).  I thought it was listenable but overly simple and repetitive. Solid driving riffs, but crap vocals. I didn't care much more about that band.
  • iGougeriGouger Posts: 283
    It's good to see the different replies and points of view. The band seems to have a polarizing effect on people here, which I found interesting. I will have to try to pick up a copy of The Dirt if I can find it, as per your suggestions.

    Finished listening to Theatre of Pain and Girls Girls Girls. Overall, thought they were comparatively weaker albums than the first two but I still enjoyed them.

    What I'm noticing is that Mick Mars tends to employ tons of tremolo picking--he tremolo picks through at least a part of about 40-50% of the solos on a given album. Still really like his tone, though to my ears it doesn't sound as full and heavy on Theatre of Pain as on the first two albums.

    [quote author=Seven Moons link=topic=16625.msg251553#msg251553 date=1407184938]I thought it was listenable but overly simple and repetitive. Solid driving riffs, but crap vocals. [/quote]
    True how most of their songs are simple, but I'd say that most rock songs are simple anyway. Jimmy Page, Angus Young, and the Judas Priest guys get profiled here and seem to get a lot of respect though, and I with a few exceptions from Zeppelin's catalog, I can't honestly say that most songs from the Zeppelin, ACDC, or Priest are more complex than Motley Crue's songs. It's rock and roll anyway, and it's supposed to be simple, I would say. If I'm in the mood for more complex stuff, I'll put on Pink Floyd, Genesis, or Iron Maiden, etc, but in terms of compositional complexity, that just wasn't Motley Crue's selling point.

    As for Vince Neil's singing, I don't care for it too much, but I don't mind it either. I think he does a better job than Stephen Pearcy, Don Dokken, and Ozzy Osbourne in the singing department.
  • VandenbergVandenberg Posts: 3,895
    Strange things going on at the DRG, Motley Crue in NON dino area, and Robert Cray in Dinosaur rock guitarists, have we been hacked or the mods have all been uploaded with a brain fade virus  :biggrin2: :biggrin2: :biggrin2:

    As to the Crue, not a fave, but to be fair the old saying the cure don't rock if the cure don't roll springs to mind, as a metal band they had their moments.
  • [quote author=Vandenberg link=topic=16625.msg251558#msg251558 date=1407190500]
    Strange things going on at the DRG, Motley Crue in NON dino area, and Robert Cray in Dinosaur rock guitarists, have we been hacked or the mods have all been uploaded with a brain fade virus  :biggrin2: :biggrin2: :biggrin2:

    [/quote]

    :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:
  • [quote author=Osky link=topic=16625.msg251550#msg251550 date=1407182235]
    Oh and they owe The Sweet t massive debt both musically and style-wise... Kick Start My Heart is a total rip off of Hell Raiser and Tommy Lee's wardrobe and make up is Mick Tucker circa 1974 to a tee.
    [/quote]
    Meh. -  I don't care.  :036: Most bands borrow. Nikki Sixx has made it very clear that he was a huge fan of The Sweet at the time and like I said, he's responsible for the vast majority of the writing.
    I have noticed -just like you- that there are some pretty direct/derivative moments from them, though. That song Slice of Your Pie has an outro that is a DIRECT lift  from The Beatles' I Want you (She's So Heavy), Kickstart My Heart has that little revving mototcyle engine thing at the beginning that Montrose did on Bad Motorscooter, and it goes on and on and on. For me, it doesn't matter here. Sometimes that stuff really irks me but for Motley Crue- s'ok with me. They get a pass. I have a permanent soft spot for them. 
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