What started off as a side project for Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, became a full fledged band and lasted 5 studio albums. They started off to only do a soundtrack to Nikki’s autobiography ‘The Heroin Diaries’ and then the rest is history. Sixx A.M. consists of Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba and James Michael.
It has been hit or miss with me for this band. I either loved it or it was so-so at best. Still, always some great songs on every album and all worth having, some just get played more than others. I have started collecting them on vinyl and there is only one I can’t get and that is ‘This is Gonna Hurt’, so Nikki – get that one out on Vinyl, would you please.
The band is now recording four new songs for a Greatest Hits album. So, until then, let us re-visit their albums and rank them from the best one to the wort one. And let’s get started…
WORST – PRAYERS FOR THE BLESSED, VOL 2 (2016)
The second album of a double album along with Prayers for the Damned was the final album (so far) by the band and not the best way to end. The power and heaviness of Damned was missing from this album. I guess with the title being Prayers for the Blessed it isn’t as dark as Vol. 1. If you click on the title you can read my review back when it came out. I rated it pretty good and it is, but my least favorite of the bunch.
It starts off strong with “Barbarians” and “I Will Not Go Quietly”, but by the second half of the album it starts to weaken and even loses me a little. But then again, anything after Damned would be a let down. It was really about the songs and the lack thereof. The songs seemed more like scraps leftover rather than a unique, individual album. But like I said it isn’t all bad, I do like the cover “WithOut You”. I have this on vinyl and it is a beautiful baby blue and white vinyl…really cool looking.
#4 – MODERN VINTAGE (2014)
The bands’ third album, but their first that is a straight up album and not based on any one of Nikki’s books. It is not as heavy as the two previous two and might be why it is towards the bottom because it is still a great album. Just missing a little of the ummph of the other two (is that a word??) It was so nice to see them continue as a band and do a real album project and see what would come of it. It is very promising of what they could do and what would soon come.
The songs…well, there are quite a few good ones. I really like the cover of The Cars song “Drive” for starters, but that ain’t the best one. The band released four singles (including “Drive”) and “Stars” as well as “Gotta Get It Right” were a couple of my favorites from the singles. Deep cuts…you have to go with “Let’s Go” as it was heavy and fast driving…more what I like.
#3 – THIS IS GONNA HURT (2011)
The band’s second album and this one was based on Nikki Sixx’s photography book called ‘This is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx” – now that is a mouthful. Like their debut, it is pretty dark in theme, sound and total sonics…which is wonderful. I can’t get enough of it.
The album opens with the title track “This is Gonna Hurt” and then slams into “Lies of the Beautiful People” which is one of my favorite songs by the band. The third single is as strong, “Are With You Me” is not as heavy and very melodic which I think is why I liked it. It showed off James voice. Another favorite is the piano ballad “Skins” with its haunting sound and it really shines. You really can’t go wrong with this one…but there are two still better.
#2 – THE HEROIN DIARIES (2007)
The debut album that was supposed to be a one off to have a soundtrack to accompany the book of the same name. The album tells the story of Nikki’s heavy drug use through music and spoken word. The man is lucky to be alive. I thought the spoken word would detract from the album, but it did the exact opposite for me. It enhanced it. It gave it that dark, rich imagery needed to convey the seriousness of Nikki’s dire situation he was going through.
The songs captured the spirit and essence of what he went through and you can feel the sadness and pain. Songs like “Life is Beautiful” and “Accidents Can Happen” really stand out along with “Tomorrow”. The album must be listened to in order to get the full affect and to see the progression of the story and that is another aspect I love about the album. A really strong album for me.
#1 – PRAYERS FOR THE DAMNED, VOL 1 (2016)
Yes!! Their best album by far. It is pure power and non-stop pounding from beginning to end. These songs also seem heavier than previous albums and is another reason this album is a must own. The heavy bass, the incredible guitar work & solos and the vocals are working perfectly and deliver everything and more you would want in a hard rock album.
The one thing I like about Sixx:A.M. is the darkness of the lyrics. With James’ vocals, you can feel the pain that is behind those lyrics. I am not sure why sadness and depressing lyrics make for great songs, but they do and I love it.
The best on the album and of all their songs is “When We Were Gods”…DAMN!!! The build up, the chorus, the entire song is perfection. I listen to this one to get me pumped and it does the trick. The album has many great songs including “Rise”, “Prayer for the Damned”, “I’m Sick” and “Belly of the Beast:”. It is one of those albums that keeps getting better with each listen for me. This is a must have in your Nikki Sixx collection.
And there you have it, the Sixx A.M. studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same band and that is all that matters really.