Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Motley Crue – 1994 – Power To The Music, Hooligan’s Holiday, Misunderstood – John Corabi Era – Part 1

They should have changed the name.  Called the band Hammered or S M C L or Wild Side or something like that.  It’s another Bob Rock production.  He does an awesome job (lets just forget St Anger) at getting / capturing the bands at their best.  He even demanded that Lars take drum lessons before recording his drums for the Black album and for James to take singing lessons before doing the vocals for the ballads.

Gerri Miller was Metal Edge to me.  She was on every story or on every interview that mattered.  The below excerpts are taken from Metal Edge circa 1994.

“POWER TO THE MUSIC”
Groove-laden and funk-edged, this album opener started out as a repetitive detuned riff  dreamed up by Nikki,  and “pushed John [Corabi] to the limit vocally. We were going, ‘Push your throat till it blows out.’ He never sang like that before.” 

Hey, listen people, we’re victimized, circumcised, crossed the line of no return.
The critics say we devastate, socialites just masturbate.
Won’t the losers ever learn?
Who said the music’s dead in the streets?
Don’t know what they talk about.
They gotta put a bullet in my head if they want to keep me down.
Let me hear it.

This came out at a time where the airwaves were ruled by Grunge.  You can tell the band is angry.  The song is heavy.  It’s got groove.  You can feel the anger.

Who said the MUSIC’s dead in the streets?  Rock music was alive and well.  Just because the labels abandoned it, it didn’t mean that the audience abandoned it.  For the labels to kill rock and metal, they had to put a bullet in the head of every fan.

Mothers tell their sons of cyanide and suicide,
Blame it on the devil’s tongue,
Suck me like a parasite, military 3rd Reich.
Blood burning bastards wasting blood.
Who said the music’s dead in the streets?
Don’t know what they talk about.
I want my music waking up the dead.
Don’t tell me to turn it down
Turn it down.

I love the lyrics in this verse.  This is a grown up Motley Crue.  A pissed off one.  Telling the  3rd Reich label heads to suck em off.  If you are a fan of The Scream, you can hear John Corabi’s influence all over this song.  He wasn’t just a fill in, he was a contributor. He got the raw end of the deal, blamed for the fall of Motley Crue.  He made them relevant.

“HOOLIGAN’S HOLIDAY”

The kick ass kickoff single went through a major metamorphosis from what it was originally. Initially a demo sort of like ‘Highway Star ” recorded by Nikki and John at Nikki’s house.  It was brought to the table, “but everyone was not too high on it.” Their attention turned to other tunes, “but we felt strong about it. We had agreed we’d try anything anyone wants to try. We totally rewrote it—only the chorus and title are the same.” It took just two hours to record, and the results “f.ckin’ floored” Nikki. “It’s amazing what you can get out when everyone’s putting in 100%,” he notes. ‘The song no one wanted to try became the first track. Shows you gotta try everything.” As for the title, the phrase came from a broadcast during the L.A. riots: “It’s a hooligan’s holiday out there.” Nikki then made a correlation to an Aerosmith title. “If they’re on a permanent vacation, we’re on a hooligan’s holiday,” he says. “It’s not a very serious song.” Three other versions exist. One is shortened, for radio, “which we hated doing so we called it 4Brown Nose’ version. It’s us laughing at ourselves.” There’s an 11 minute extended version and a seven minute  “Derelict Vision” club mix by Skinny Puppy, with a companion video version too graphic
for TV.  

The “Hooligan’s Holiday” video, based on tho movie A Clockwork Orange, features performance sequences and scenes showing Nikki and Tommy dressed as Teddy Boys, a type of hooligan in London in the late 1950s. 

Drop dead beauties stompin’ up a storm, lines of hell on our face.
Bruised bad apples crawling through the night, busted loose, runaway, oo, runaway.

Everybody wants a piece of the action.
Everybody wants a piece of the pie.

Cross-eyed derelicts comin’, iron horse between our legs.
Tattoos, black manes flowin’. Everyday’s a holidays.

It’s a riot.  It’s a free for all.  The wronged (the bruised  bad apples) are rising up.  Its angry.  The injustice.  I feel like i am at rock concert, where the crowd loses control.  I like the reference to Piece of Your Action and Slice of Your Pie.

“MISUNDERSTOOD”

A 40 piece orchestra flavors this killer combination of beautiful melodic acoustic music and blistering rock, the oldest song on the album, ‘it’s my way of looking at life,” says Nikki. ‘People often say life’s misunderstood them. I always thought. That’s bullshit.’ It’s up to you to live life to its fullest. You have to go for it as much as you can.” Song lyrics like Doin’ time in a broken home” and “I’m an angry man, always had to fight to survive my past” are taken from Nikki’s own experience. “I think it’s relatable to fans—we’ve all gone through that with parents. It’s a deep song,” he says. It has a lot of abusive notes in it. It’s not a happy song.” The orchestra’s involvement was planned from the outset.
They hired a conductor, who worked on arrangements.

Little old man contemplates suicide twice a day
Life’s passed him by
Little old woman scared and blind, left alone in desperate times
Life’s passed her by

Little boy with vacant eyes, daddy won’t be home tonight
And he don’t know why
His mother, she sits alone tangled in the web she’s sewn
Lives lie to lie

This is Motley Crue reincarnating itself as Led Zeppelin.  It’s an epic song and its a grand statement.  They could have went with the pop format but they went with their instincts, their gut feeling and this is the product.  The acoustic verses and then the drums kick in references Stairway To heaven.  The behind the beat drumming references Kashmir.  Good music is good music.  It doesn’t fit in any genre, and this is what the Motley Crue album did.  It started a new modern rock/metal genre.  It was way ahead of it’s time.

Power to The Music

Hooligan’s Holiday

Misunderstood

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2 thoughts on “Motley Crue – 1994 – Power To The Music, Hooligan’s Holiday, Misunderstood – John Corabi Era – Part 1

  1. Pingback: John Corabi and That 1994 Motley Crue Album | destroyerofharmony

  2. Pingback: Motley Crue Tunes That Didn’t Get The Live Treatment | destroyerofharmony

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