For My Sunday Song #182, we are discussing “Primal Scream” by Motley Crue. The song is one of three new songs that were released on the band’s 1991 greatest hits package “Decade of Decadence”. The song was released as a single, but only reached #63 on the Billboard Hot 100, but made it to #21 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. Those low ranking surprised me as this is one of the best Motley Crue songs ever.
The song was written by Nikki Sixx and is pretty much about his childhood and his rather rough upbringing. His abusive childhood was both physical and emotional and luckily he escaped out of it, but not without major mental issues and drug addiction throughout most of his life. Nikki also has said the song is based off a book by Arthur Janov called “The Primal Scream. Primal Therapy: A Cure For Neurosis.” And if you listen to the song, you will hear a shout out to Janov. Nikki has a way of capturing his pain and turning it in to some great music.
The song opens with a primal drum beat by Tommy Lee and Nikki with a great little bass line. Mick’s guitar comes screaming in and then Vince’s vocals come in angry and primal in nature. It is a heavy song with a lot of pure, raw emotion being delivered. An energy that conveys the stark, disturbing childhood Nikki faced and how he persevered by fighting it head on. Mick does a great solo, but the best part is that primal scream by Vince towards the end after the last verse. That made the song for me. It was short and sweet, but just what the song needed. This is a darker, more edgy Motley Crue and I am totally okay with that. Actually, I would like more of that.