ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003
By Steve Newton
Eighties L.A. glam-rockers Mötley Crüe borrowed well from their ’70s New York counterparts, KISS. The Crüe took a bit of KISS’s makeup and leather outfits, and a lot of its penchant for on-stage theatrics. Both groups had a habit of recording horrible ballads that became huge hits (KISS’s “Beth”, MC’s “Home Sweet Home”). But the main similarity between the bands is the fact that each started its career with its best-ever album, and went downhill musically from there. Neither could ever rekindle the hungry spirit of their respective first recordings, KISS and Too Fast for Love.
As if to acknowledge the superiority of its early work, Mötley Crüe has included two complete versions of its debut on this four-disc boxed set. (The title is in terribly poor taste, considering Crüe singer Vince Neil’s 1984 car crash, when his drunk driving seriously injured two people and killed Hanoi Rocks drummer Nick “Razzle” Dingley.) As well as the 1982 Elektra Records version of Too Fast for Love, the group has included its own 1981 Leathür Records pressing, so you get to hear how the quartet sounded before becoming remixed major-label upstarts.
The Mötley albums that followed Too Fast—Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain, and Girls, Girls, Girls—are included here in full, as are the bonus tracks that were added when all four discs were expanded and reissued in ’99. Fans of the band’s later work—such as 1989’s hugely successful, made-in-Vancouver Dr. Feelgood—will have to wait for the inevitable MTCYCT, Volume 2.
But by then the Mötley boys will certainly be scraping the barrel for worthy boxed-set material. Even the used-record stores have stopped accepting 1994’s umlaut- and Neil-less Motley Crue title.