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Red, White, & Crue

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There is no shortage of Motley Crue hits collections out there, but this one just might be the definitive. All the essentials are on disc one, which is generously crammed with choice cuts from the Aqua Net years, before Vince Neil outgrew the spandex and Tommy Lee found his true calling in amateur porn–from the sleek glam rock of ”Too Fast For Love” and strip-club anthem ”Girls, Girls, Girls” to the runny mascara ballad ”Without You” and comedy hocus-pocus of ”Shout at the Devil.” Having just barely survived the ’80s, the band gets inexplicably serious on the second half of the collection, delving into such utterly forgettable noise as ”Planet Boom” and ”Generation Swine.” But there’s no reason to fret–the compilation is merely doing its job and succeeds brilliantly in tracing the rise and fall of a band whose legacy is turning out to be far greater than anyone ever imagined. – Aidin Vaziri

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  • Whether you’re a new fan of Motley Crue or a lifelong diehard fan, you must get this album. It’s a steal; you’re getting 2 CDs for the price of 1! You get all the greatest songs and 3 new ones in one collection. This album takes a good portion from every studio and compilation album. This is the band’s 4th “greatest hits” album, and it’s by far better than all the previous ones. Here’s how “Red White & Crue” stacks up against those others.

    DECADE OF DECADENCE (1991): Contains the best 2 songs from the band’s first five albums and some new songs. This album is excellent except I would have preferred the album version of “Kickstart My Heart” over the album’s live version.

    GREATEST HITS (1998): This album leaves out “Live Wire,” and leaves out the classic 1983 “Shout At The Devil” track in favor of an inferior 1997 version of the song.

    20th CENTURY MASTERS-THE MILLENIUM COLLECTION: THE BEST OF MOTLEY CRUE (2003): This album leaves out important songs like “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, “Live Wire”, and “Dr. Feelgood”, the band’s biggest hit ever.

    RED WHITE & CRUE (2005): All the best songs from all the albums. This is the complete anthology of Motley Crue–Case Closed.

    Posted on February 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I feel odd even WRITING this review–even odder than I did when I picked up this CD set.

    In short, I never liked Motley Crue in their heyday. When I was in high school, cranking up the Cramps or the Flesheaters on my Walkman, a friend of mine praised the Crue, while I thought they stunk. MTV didn’t help either, rotating “Home Sweet Home” endlessly (and unfortuantely all of the hair rock power ballads to follow). While my friend Frank praised _Shout at the Devil_ and denied that there had ever been a band called Brownsville Station and insisted that “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” was an original Crue, I scoffed at his inferior musical tastes.

    So why the hell would I even bother LOOKING at this collection? To tell you the truth, the omens came threefold–first, I got into Brides of Destruction. I saw the video for S.T.F.U. on Headbangers’ Ball and loved it. When I got it, I found out that the outfit was lead by Nikki Sixx, and though it didn’t make me like the album any less, I’d still grimace a bit and say to myself, “This band has a member of the Crue in it.”

    Then, when I went to see _Evil Dead: The Musical_, “Kickstart My Heart” was played during the intermission. Listening, I realized that this was one Crue song that I didn’t mind so much when Frank forced some Crue on the turntable. In fact, I kind of liked it.

    Last, this CD set was basically for free at a sale I came across at a CD store. Enough said–I figured that I could find at least two or three tracks that I liked.

    But in listening to this collection, I’ve come to realize that the Crue was a band that suffered for its desire for fame. They can no doubt rock – “Kickstart My Heart” remains one of my favorites, and “Live Wire” is a juicy one. But other times their songs felt very off-the-mark, sometimes starting with a good hook but falling off very quickly. “Toast of the Town” was like this, as well as “Hooligan’s Holiday,” and “Planet Boom” just plain fizzled out. Some songs suffer for trying to sound too pop, and they just come across as empty.

    I don’t think this set turned me into a Crue ‘fan,’ nor am I sure that it was supposed to, and possibly a Cruehead may think that this collection is just blast after blast of Crue par excellence, but I did come out of it highly pleased with some select tracks, but also kind of thinking that they were a band who had the wherewithall to strike up hook after hook but forwhatever reason fell flat a lot of the time. Rather than distinguish themselves as a singular band in rock mythology, I think they ended up forging themselves as the prominent name of a name brand of rock, for though they proved themselves to be the better of the whole hair-metal pop-rock genre, they never fully came together to do solid music.

    But then again, they had the fame, money, booze and women, and I was just a raging gutter punk, so they may be able to say that the last laugh was theirs.

    Posted on February 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Vince Neil (vocals), Mick Mars (guitar), Nikki Sixx (bass), Tommy Lee (drums). Home town: Los Angeles, CA.

    THE DISCS: 37 songs on 2 discs. Digitally remastered sound. A nice tri-fold CD case with a 14-page booklet. The booklet includes a brief band retro by ‘Rolling Stone’ writer David Wild, band pictures, and song listings – including the year written and from which album the song came from). Disc 1 contains 20 songs ranging from 1982-89 (“Too Fast For Love” through “Dr. Feelgood”). Disc 2 contains 17 songs – covering all kinds of goodies – from bonus songs from previous “Greatest Hits” releases, as well as late era Crue albums from the 90’s, as well as the ultra heavy “Motley Crue” album featuring Vince Neil’s replacement for a year, John Corabi. If you dig deep, you’ll see this collection is really an ode to Nikki Sixx – who is on 33 of the 37 song writing credits (Mick Mars is on 16, and perhaps appropriately Vince Neal on only 7 songs). There are 4 cover tunes (“Helter Skelter”, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, “Anarchy In The UK”, and “Street Fighting Man”), all but the latter were fairly successful. While most of the 90’s era songs can’t touch the tracks from the 80’s, I feel the best songs from the late era Crue are well represented here. Footnote – Mick Mars is a severely underrated guitar wizard.

    ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Too Fast For Love (4 songs), Shout At The Devil (4), Theater Of Pain (2), Girls, Girls, Girls (4), Dr. Feelgood (6), Decade of Decadence (2), Motley Crue w/John Corabi (2), Quaternary (2), Generation Swine (3), Greatest Hits (2), New Tattoo (2), Unreleased/New (4).

    COMMENTS: The Crue represented 80′S “glam rock” at it’s ultimate best. The Hollywood bad-boys ripped it up on stage as well as behind the scenes. Always seemingly in trouble – anywhere in the world. They rocked the house down – show after show. They had SO many great tunes and the standards are all here (“Live Wire”, “Looks That Kill”, “Too Young To Fall In Love”, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, “Home Sweet Home”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, “Kickstart My Heart”, “Dr. Feelgood”, “Primal Scream”, “Hooligan’s Holiday”, etc). Fond memories of Mars shredding his guitar; Sixx on steady bass, Tommy Lee pounding the skins upside down, and Vince Neil leading the way with his high pitched wail. “Red, White & Crue” (2005) is easily the best 2-disc Crue compilation of the band to date. Any other Crue compilation (“Decade Of Decadence”, “Greatest Hits”, “Millenium Collection”, etc) are now considered mute. All the studio albums are represented here on “Red, White & Crue”. It’s a great recollection and history of the band. If you are fairly new to the Crue – “Red, White & Crue” is THE place to start. Sure, Motley Crue has several ‘Best Of’ packages and for those fans that have much/all their material – this release may or may not be considered essential. I say – trade in your old Crue compilations for this one. It would have been great to see a few obscure favorites of mine like “Red Hot”, “Dancing On Glass”, “City Boy Blues” or “Ten Seconds To Love”… but I won’t look this gift-horse in the mouth. Thank you Hip-O Records for making all but 3 of these tracks the ’studio’ version (only 3 re-mixes and NO live recordings). The selection of Crue tunes here are first rate (5 stars).

    Posted on February 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • /me rolls eyes.. another band releases a greatest hits album. This is now the third such release by Motley Crue, following 1991’s “Decade of Decadance” & 1998’s “Greatest Hits”. There was also 1999’s “Supersonic & Demonic relics” album, which was a greatest hits (sort of) of a bunch of oddball songs scattered all over the place on soundtracks, bsides, etc.. Then there’s the Music to Crash Your Car to box sets, so Motley has really been releasing their old material over and over again, as there’s been only three actual new albums of material since the 1991 greatest hits albums (those being 94’s brilliant yet underappreciated “Motley Crue”, 97’s mostly awful “Generation Swine”, and 00’s “New Tattoo”, which was dreadful). So in the last 14 years, we have gotten 3 studio albums, 3 greatest hits albums, one live album (99’s Entertainment or Death), and a box set. Not a lot of new output, and an awful lot of recycling of material.

    What’s my point in bringing all that up you might ask? It’s that I feel that Red White & Crue might be the best of the group. Sure it was put together to have something that the “reunited” Crue can tour behind (although it’s just Tommy Lee coming back, the rest were already there). However, if you don’t have any Greatest Hits motley crue albums, this is probably worth it. Over time I had bought all of these albums, but as I sit here in 2005, the only actual Motley Crue album I still own is the one they did with John Corabi, I dumped all the rest of them, as I never listened to them. I’d want to hear the hits, and that’s about it. So that’s what this package is. It covers all their best hits from all their albums. Surprisingly, they include John Corabi material (unlike some bands who ignore things like that – I speak of Van Halen ignoring the Gary Cherone album). Disc 1 is a bit more solid than Disc 2, but overall, it’s a wonderful collection of songs marking the progression of Motley Crue from their earliest days to what they’ve become. It even covers the atrocious New Tattoo album, which does have two decent songs on it (one is included here), plus there’s the usual “three new tracks” (which are OK, nothing terribly groundbreaking, and one is a Stones cover anyway). As usual with a Greatest Hits package, there will be songs that people are mad that are left off, and this is no exception (I actually would have liked to have had “First Band on the Moon” from the New Tattoo album, as well as couple more songs from the Corabi album (Loveshine, Uncle Jack), but it is a very good selection of songs overall.

    This is a two CD package at a price that a lot of single CD’s are sold for. As I write this (on Feb 12, 05) , Amazon is selling it for $14.99, which is a decent deal for about two and a half hours of music.

    So in summary, I give this package a 4 out of 5. I was originally going to give it a 3 due to Motley re-releasing their stuff a lot, but that’s not really the fault of this package, which is what I’m reviewing, not Motley Crue the people. :) As I said above, if you don’t own any Motley, you should get this, it should do you quite fine.

    Posted on February 9, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • So the question on all your tongues is, is the new Motley compilation any good?

    Let’s talk about the album step by step, starting with the three new songs. If I Die Tomorrow was written with the pop-punk upstarts Simple Plan, but it’s still Motley. Mick’s guitar makes it Motley. It’s good to hear Tommy back on drums, but they sound a little too processed. Up next is the controversial Sick Love Song. Is it Tommy playing drums at all? Tracii Guns of Brides Of Destruction said that Tommy hates the song and it’s actually Josh Freese on drums here. As for the song, it’s a little pedestrian, with the verses almost rapped out. I don’t like this one. Last up, we have Street Fighting Man, a Stones cover. Vince’s voice is pretty shot here. It’s pretty hard to listen to. I’d say of the new songs, If I Die Tomorrow is the only one worthy of the name Motley Crue. (A fourth new song, I’m A Liar (That’s The Truth), is on the Japanese issue of this album, and also the UK 7″ single)

    The packaging is excellent, a mirror of the recent Van Halen best of in the deluxe digipack. Cover is striking. Artwork is all in black, white and red…perfect for the title. You also get two CDs for the price of one. That’s pure marketing genius. You could either go out and buy the old Greatest Hits, or buy this for the same value, and get twice as much music.

    And the music? Well, you get the three new songs as mentioned.
    But what do you get as far as the rest of the album?

    You get:

    1. Toast Of The Town, their first indi single. It was recently restored to its proper place on the Too Fast For Love album, but as their first single it definitely has a place on this anthology.

    2. A generous slice of music from every album. EVERY album. Including Decade (Primal Scream, Home Sweet Home ‘91, which was the superior mix). You get the two “new” tracks from the old greatest hits. You get tracks from Generation Swine, and New Tattoo. Heck, even the self-titled release and Quaternary, both with Corabi on vocals, are represented.

    3. A rare track. Black Widow was never released on a Motley CD, until now.

    4. New pics (cool ones, too) and good liner notes. The liner notes don’t cover anything up like the VH ones did. Tommy leaving the band, and Vince getting fired are documented. The only thing that saddened me was not seeing Randy Castillo’s name in the booklet. It’s hard being the guy who replaced Tommy Lee, but it’s even harder being dead, so they should have given the guy some respect.

    What didn’t I like? One qualm:

    Use It Or Lose It? Why? One of the weakest songs in Motley history must have had a soft spot in someone’s black black heart, for it to be included here.

    It’s best to think of this album as an anthology. There are some rare single edits and mixes, the afformentioned unreleased track, three new ones, and everything arranged sequencially. It’s well done, much more so than Van Halen’s in every way, shape and form.

    And as for the single CD prince for almost 2.5 hours of music? Make mine Motley.

    Posted on February 9, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now