In an interview with Forbes, Nikki Sixx was asked to name which songs he is most proud off and he answered with “Kick Start My Heart” and “Life Is Beautiful”. If you note, both of the songs are outcomes of the lifestyle he lived.
So I’ve decided to go through all of the Crue releases and pick a song or two from each album that I click repeat on and that normally doesn’t get the live treatment or the press. I’ve already covered some of Nikki Sixx’s best lyrical lines. You can check it out here.
TOO FAST FOR LOVE – 1981
“Merry Go Round”
It’s one of my favourite tracks on the album. The overall feel, the muted distorted arpeggios clashing against the acoustic arpeggios and the aggression in the drumming is enough.
“Count the times he lay at night thinking, am I going down now”
Written about a person that lived in Sixx’s apartment block who mentally checked out of life.
“It’s not easy putting on a smile”
Tell that to all of the Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat users, who seem to put up a smile every single day, while their whole world could be falling underneath them.
The drum groove that kicks the song off is simple and then the sad sounding pedal point minor riff kicks in. Musically it’s very mature. The whole section before the chaotic solo from Mick Mars is the style of music Muse would write decades later.
How good is that Chorus, with the stop start riff over a simple vocal line?
“Starry Eyes, wo oh..”
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL – 1983
“Knock Em Dead, Kid”
That intro riff from Mick Mars and the build-up from Tommy Lee is a foot stomper. It’s a call to arms.
“In the heat of the night
You went and blackened my eyes
Well now I’m back, I’m back, I’m back
And I’m coming your way”
Lyrics about a fist fight. Nikki took a few hits and now he’s back for retribution. Brilliant
This one is one of those gems that is forgotten, telling a story about the bands early days.
“Danger, you’re in danger when the boys are around”
The Motley Crue lifestyle. It was danger. Hotel rooms got destroyed, cars got destroyed, Razzle died, Nikki Sixx died.
THEATER OF PAIN – 1985
The reason why I really like the song is the music. The riffs are foot stomping brilliant and Tommy Lee again sets up the groove. Lyrically, it’s about the show and the party with groupies afterwards.
“This deadly sin is all we know”
The drugs, the alcohol, the groupies. That is all they knew back then.
“Raise Your Hands To Rock”
It’s a brilliant appropriation of the Seventies Rock movement. Cinderella did something similar with “Coming Home” three years later. At just under 3 minutes, it feels like it wasn’t finished properly.
“I remember standing tall telling you
I’m gonna be a rock n roll star
When someone said Sit down, boy
“You already are”
Even when you make it, you still need that validation that you are a star.
“Fight For Your Rights”
“Martin Luther, brought the truth
The colour of our blood’s the same
So break the chains and solve the pains
And we all become one race”
The lyric message was too serious for the era. By 1985, we all wanted to “Smoke In The Boys Room” and get laid. No one wanted to hear serious lyrics about racism and equality.
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS – 1987
“Dancing On Glass”
Man, that riff from Mick Mars, is sleazy and dangerous. “Am I in Persia or am I just insane” is a lyric from “Dancing On Glass” and in 2005, the SIXX AM song, “The Girl With Golden Eyes” has the lyric “She speaks to me in Persian, tells me that she loves me”.
There are plenty of other brilliant lyrical lines about Sixx’s drug life.
“Valentines in London, found me in the trash”.
“One extra push, last trip to the top”.
“Silver Spoon and needle, witchy tombstone smile
I’m no puppet, I engrave my veins in style”
They already had the ultimate road song in “Home Sweet Home” so maybe it was a wise decision to keep another song with the same theme off the follow-up record. Regardless, “Rodeo” is one hell of a song and you can hear that Mick Mars is all over this one. This one is more Bob Seger’ish.
“Laughing like gypsies, from show to show, living my life like a rolling stone
Travelling man, never at home, can’t find love so I sleep alone, this whisky river has a long way to flow”
RAW TRACKS – 1988
It’s a Tommy Bolin cover, but man, it sounds like a Motley Crue original. It ‘s a perfect selection. It was originally done for a compilation album, appeared on the Raw Tracks Japanese EP of 1988 and then the song re-appeared on the “Decade Of Decadence” album three years later.
“She’ll talk to you in riddles
That have no sense, or rhyme
And if you ask her what she means
She says, she don’t got no time”
It’s like Nikki Sixx wrote the above lyrics.
DR FEELGOOD – 1989
“She Goes Down”
Any song that begins with a zipper going down and a woman’s laugh is a song to be heard.
“Flat on my back she goes down
For backstage pass, she goes down”
The Crue lifestyle again.
“Time For Change”
Cliched, but a great listen. The whole “Dr Feelgood” album to me is Mick Mars’s album. He became a force to be reckoned with. Every song except “Kick Start My Heart” featured him as the main musical writer. It’s no coincidence that the album became Motley Crue’s only number 1 album.
“Now it’s time for change, nothing stays the same”
Like “Fight For Your Rights” the message was a bit too serious for the rock fan at that point in time.
DECADE OF DECADENCE – 1991
“Rock N Roll Junkie”
The song was a leftover from the “Dr Feelgood” sessions. I would have included it, instead of “Sticky Sweet”.
The sleazy bass intro and Tommy’s in the pocket shuffle makes this song groove. Anyone seen the “Ford Fairlane” movie with Andrew Dice Clay. This is the song played at the start when Vince Neil (playing the rock star) chokes on stage. It’s a throwback to the Seventies Classic Rock. Lyrically it’s all about groupies.
“She’s a rock ‘n’ roll junkie
That’s how she gets her kicks”
The music is fantastic and this is that time when I dig a song purely because of the music.
MOTLEY CRUE – 1994
The self-titled album is the forgotten album in the Motley Crue revisionist history. It’s like 1993 to 1996 never happened.
“Power To The Music”
“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”
When I first heard this song, the message was load and clear. The record labels might have put their support behind new musical movements, but rock music was far from dead.
The groove on this song is addictive. It’s bluesy, swampy and dangerous, especially the whole outro section.
“You’re the monkey on my back and it’s time for you to go”
Guess we’ll never know.
“Til Death Do Us Part”
This song is a classic. The music alone is worth the price of the album.
“I’ve walked my walk, talked my talk and I’ve lived and died in my songs”
It’s the best piece of advice I have ever received. Own whatever I do. Make no excuses.
“You know I’ve lived a few mistakes and I stand by them”
How else are we going to learn and get better in life if we don’t make mistakes.
“Droppin Like Flies”
Another serious song about our environment that somehow doesn’t work for the Crue fans. Great song by the way.
We’re barely hanging’ by the skin of our teeth.
We’ve all raped it, the future’s wasted.
We can’t save it now
QUATERNARY – 1994
A classic instrumental. Mick Mars wrote it and its got Gary Moore’s “Parisienne Walkways” and “Still Got The Blues” all over it. Bob Rock encouraged the guys in the Motley Corabi version to write a song each, so he could see what each guy brought to the band.
GENERATION SWINE – 1997
“Let Us Prey”
Ahh, a good old tune about the entity we blame when we do something wrong. The good old fallen one.
“Preachers do my bidding yet blame me for their sins”
How funny is that line?
GREATEST HITS – 1998
It was interesting to hear what step Motley Crue would take after “Generation Swine”. I must stay hearing “Bitter Pill” and “Enslaved” was promising. Not the best songs, but a step back in the right direction.
“So be sure that you are making the best, making the best of life
And that you have the truth is all within yourself
And don’t be a slave to someone else “
SUPERSONIC AND DEMONIC RELICS – 1999
It’s about Matthew Trippe, the person who reckoned he was Nikki Sixx while the real Nikki Sixx was too drugged up during 1983 to 1985.
NEW TATTOO – 2000
It’s a big F.U to the label machine and at the problems the band got from Elektra in the Nineties.
“So you loved to hate us in your private jets
Funny how you bitched and moaned
‘Cause you got fat and rich”
“Sold my soul while you sold records
I have been your slave forever”
“What are you fat cats doing anyway?
Take our money and flush it down the drain”
I got a lot of time for this power pop punk rock song purely for the lyrically line “Dot.Com, Dot.Cum”
“Got a date with my modem line
Internet jet set
My Credit cards in debt”
Classic Nikki Sixx bubblegum lyrics.
SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES – 2008
“The Animal In Me”
I am into this song more for the musical feel and groove than the lyrical message.
SEX – 2012
So the Crue decide it’s better to release one song (instead of an album) and then organise a tour behind it.
“What gets me off is a little neglect”
ALL BAD THINGS MUST END – 2015
So since the one song initiative worked before, lets repeat it for the song that would represent the final tour.
“So here we are, beat up and bloody
We fought each other from the gutter to the top
Not sentimental in the least way
Let’s pull the plug on this before it starts to rot”
Apart from fighting the establishment, the guys in the Crue loved to fight each other, namely Vince Neil vs Nikki Sixx or Vince Neil vs Tommy Lee.