For My Sunday Song #190, we are ending the 10 song Motley Crue set with the band’s most controversial song “Shout at the Devil” of the album of the same name. The song and album came out in 1983 and let me tell you, it upset a lot of people. Not us kids at the time, but the parents. The controversy only helped the band and the song. The song didn’t do great on the radio, but the album went onto hit #17 on the Billboard album chart and sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone.
The song and album were originally going to be “Shout With The Devil”, but Tom Zutaut who signed the band to Elektra was not having it. He was having a hard time selling the idea to the label. The fear of satanism and the uproar it could cause was not going to fly. However, during a drug filled evening, something freaky happened to Tom and Nikki when a knife and fork rose from the table and they stuck in the ceiling. I am sure it was the drugs talking and probably Tommy throwing up there, but whatever. They decided that it was not Shout With the Devil, but Shout At the Devil instead as they feared that shouting with the devil was going to get Nikki killed.
The album opens with the a spoken track called “In the Beginning” that was so freaking evil sounding that it was the perfect segue in to the song. The song is so heavy and bombastic that it oozes evil. Vince sings at such high notes that only the Devil’s Dogs can hear them. Mick Mars on guitar is nothing short of evil personified and rips through the strings like the devil’s pitchfork rips through your heart. As I kid, I was never concerned with it being a satanic song, I thought it was cool and guess what, I didn’t turn out evil and kill a lot of people…some maybe, but not a lot!!!
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For My Sunday Song #189, we are tackling one of the band’s signature songs, “Dr. Feelgood”. The song is the title track of the 1989 album and the band’s first album sober!! The band had some radio success as this hit #20 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs and it did go to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, but their success was really MTV and those videos. This one was played all the time!
Being newly sober, it was funny how many songs on the album were about drugs and OD’ing, but I guess that was still all Nikki and company knew. This song is no different. It is about drug dealers…not one drug dealer all of them as Nikki has been quoted as saying that “every good drug addict always has more than one.” The drug dealers gave Nikki his fix and they also gave him and Motley Crue a song to be remembered.
The song comes slamming in with Tommy’s drum beat that grabs hold and pulls you right in just like a good fix will do. Mick lays down a nasty guitar riff that is instantly recognizable. Already the addiction to the song is in full swing. The lyrics written by Nikki and delivered by Vince who captures the essence of the song and he sounds fantastic hitting notes he only now wishes he could still hit. Then Mick’s guitar solo comes in slow and dirty before he shreds the strings like the needles shred your arm. It is junky filled rush of a song.
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For My Sunday Song #188, we are going to pontificate on the greatness of Motley Crue’s song “Home Sweet Home”. How great is it you ask? So great that it got overplayed to death and now I am sick of it. However, that doesn’t make it any less great. The song is off the horrible album ‘Theatre of Pain’ which was released in 1985. The song was released as a single and did nothing on the radio. On MTV, that is a different story.
The song is a ballad and is about the band’s life on the road. After being out on the road for 18 months touring on the album ‘Shout at the Devil’, the band couldn’t wait to get home. When they got home, they were so bored they started getting in to a lot of trouble, but they did write this song. It was a song the record company didn’t want to release, but the band stuck to their guns and financed the video themselves. The video showed the band on and off stage from several concerts and the less happy life of road life. That video blew up on MTV, but the record company didn’t promote it on the radio so it flopped there and was never officially a hit. This song helped prove that all metal bands at the time, better have a freaking ballad on their album if they want to succeed.
The song opens with Tommy Lee on piano and like every ballad has its slow moments and those power moments that picked up the volume and tempo. It even includes a brilliant guitar solo by Mick Mars where he shreds the crap out of that guitar. The song then ends as it began with Tommy on the piano and then Vince humming the song before fading out. It was so popular for the band, that the last song they ever played when the broke up as band was “Home Sweet Home”. Now, we know that it actually won’t be the last song they played live as they are back and about to Tour…again.
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For My Sunday Song #187, we are going a little nuts with the song “The Wild Side” by Motley Crue. The song is off the band’s 1987 album ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ which went to #2 on the Billboard charts and saw three singles including this one. It sold well over 4 million albums in the U.S. alone and saw the band reach another level of success.
The song “Wild Side” is very similar to the song we did last week, “Saints of Los Angeles”. They both talk about their lives on the Sunset Strip and both reference the Lord’s Prayer. “SOLA” opened with Vince speaking it and “WildSide” was inspired by a school girl who Nikki asked to recite the Lord’s Prayer and then he incorporated some of the prayer in to the lyrics like below…
Who ain’t in heaven
Be thy name on the wild side”
The song is about the dirty side of the Strip with all the drugs, pimping, and many other abuses going on at that time in their lives. Heck, even Nikki wrote when he was severely hooked on Heroin.
Musically, it belts at as a rocker with a mean guitar riff by Mick Mars. The pace goes from fast to slow with tempos reaching 118 beats per minute at one time. There is actually no guitar solo in the song only many instances of Mick belting out some cool riffs and guitar parts. Tommy pounds away and you can tell it is him on those drums. Vince sounds great and still so young. And Nikki is always doing his thing. There is a blues sound to the song as well and ends with sirens, breaking glass, gunfire and lots of mayhem.
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For My Sunday Song #186, we are exploring the title track to the band’s 2008 album ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ and their last album at this point in time. The song was the debut single and was the first single released simultaneously as normal single release and a download through the video game Rock Band. A creative way to make some noise and get their name out there.
The album is loosely based on the band’s book “The Dirt”, I believe we have all heard of that book and Netflix movie. The song was written by every member of the band…not Motley Crue, but Sixx A.M.. That is Nikki’s other band and they pretty much had their hands in this entire album so really this is a Sixx A.M. album performed by Motley Crue.
The song is a rocker and anthem that celebrates the band coming up in L.A. and being rock & roll kings. It has references to playing at the Troubadour and all the partying and drugs they did back in the day. The Gang Vocal version opens with Vince softly speaking the Lord’s Prayer. And it has Josh Todd (Buckcherry), Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach), James Michael (Sixx A.M.) and Chris Taylor Brown (Los Gatos) on backing vocals. It comes at you like a fist to the face and all the Motley elements you want in a song including Mick’s guitars and Tommy’s drum sound. It was a welcome return to a band that needed a hit record.
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For My Sunday Song #185, we will discuss “Afraid” by Motley Crue off their 1997 release ‘Generation Swine’. This was the first single off the album and first single to feature Vince Neil back in the band. The song reached #10 on the rock charts, but I don’t remember much noise being made as music had changed significantly.
The song was written by Nikki Sixx and was about his relationship with Donna D’Errico. As she felt she was getting to close to him, she ended up running away. I think he feels she is so broken that she is incapable of a relationship. That fear of being too close to anyway; heck, I think that is something we have all felt at one time or another.
Musically, the song rocks out, they tried to modernize their sound to fit the late 90’s and they do a good job. However, it sounds like Motley Crue like it should. They didn’t try and turn it in to anything grunge thankfully as Grunge was kind of over at this point. The guitar work by Mick is great, loud and heavy, but has a melodic feel that gives the tune some solid emotion. Nikki and Tommy lay down the groove and keep a great rhythm. Vince sounds fantastic. The trademark little screams and it was nice to hear the band back together again.
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For My Sunday Song #184, we will discuss the rocking track “Kickstart My Heart” off their 1989 album ‘Dr. Feelgood’. The song was from the band’s 1989 album ‘Dr. Feelgood’ and was the the 2nd single from the album. And it did well. It was on constant rotation on MTV and reached #9 on the US Rock charts. It helped propel Motley Crue even higher in their rise to the top.
The story of the song is really well known, so nothin new I can bring to it other than rehash it. The song title of “Kickstart my Heart” is famously documented as a result of Nikki Sixx overdosing the paramedics having to use the paddles on him to jump start him back to life. Of course, Steven Adler from Guns ‘N Roses disputes some of the accuracies of that statement. He claims he assisted in bring him back and not so much the paramedics. Either way, still scary that he died and was brought back (on more than once occasion I believe).
Nikki had written the song, but didn’t feel it was good enough for the album until the band’s former manager read the lyrics, he told him to take it to the band. And thankfully he did as it turned in to one hell of a rock anthem.
The song kicks off with some cool notes on guitar by Mick imitating an engine revving up shifting gears and then another cool riff comes through electrifying the song and taking it to another level with breakneck speed. The driving riff, bass and drums makes you feel like you are speeding down the road ready to crash in to everything. There is a break and change in tempo before ripping it again. There is a voice box used on the guitar (like a lot of 80’s rock songs did) and the band crushes it from beginning to end.
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For My Sunday Song #183, we are going to discuss a song from the self-titled gem called “Hooligan’s Holiday”. The song was the first single off their 1994 album and was the first song the world got to hear with new lead singer John Corabi. The song did pretty well reaching #10 on the U.S. Rock charts, but overall the album was a dud, sales wise. I find it to be quite a satisfying record and one of Crue’s best although the band now ignores this album. But it is an album that shouldn’t be ignored.
The title of the song come from the news that Nikki was watching during the LA Riots where the broadcaster stated that the rioters were on a Hooligan’s Holiday. Nikki liked it so much he and John based a song around that concept. The song is basically about living large and doing whatever you want. What started out as a demo between John and Nikki that no one wanted to do, became the first single and one of the more popular songs on the album.
The song is a pure, fun, rock song. It sounds like Crue at a time when Crue were going through major changes with a new lead singer. It opens with Mick and Tommy hitting a few riffs and fills and turns in to a ball buster when the whole band kicks in. The song has balls and delivers quite a punch. John Corab’s gravelly voice gives the vocals an edge of rebellion and toughens up the sound of the band without the high vocals they would have had with Vince Neil. It was the perfect combination the band needed and for me a shot of adrenaline the band needed.
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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.
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For My Sunday Song #181, we are going to tackle the song “Live Wire” by Motley Crue. In fact, the next 10 songs will all be Motley Crue songs. I figured we will start with a bang and with very early Crue. “Live Wire” is off the debut album “Too Fast for Love” which came out in 1982 and reached #24 on the BillBoard Hot Rock songs chart. Not bad, but it was MTV that made them blow up, not the radio.
If you’ve seen the Motley Crue movie “The Dirt”, you will see that Nikki’s childhood wasn’t the greatest. This song is about that life and the domestic violence he was surrounded with. The way he was treated and his mom by his stepdads is played out in the song. The verse below spells it out nicely…well not really…
I’ll either break her face
Or take down her legs
Get my ways at will
Go for the throat
Never let loose
Goin’ in for the kill
Take my fist
Break down walls
I’m on top tonight
I have seen people say it is about rape and glamorizing that behavior, but that is far from the truth. The song was a way for Nikki to work through his demons and what he experienced as a child.
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