“Dr Feelgood” came out on the first of September, 1989. 29 years ago. God damn, where did the time go.
I remember walking down to the local shopping centre as it had a Brashs store and Rings Music World for purchasing music. Normally I purchased most of my music from Rings, but in 89, I started to use Brashs. To be honest, I was scared to enter the Brashs store as it looked too slick and modern for a metal head to be in. Plus Rings was an independent record shop, while Brashs was a large retail empire, that eventually went bust in the mid 90’s.
The album cost me $19.99. I pay that much a month now for my whole family to listen to music via Spotify.
The stories around the band, was on the scale of what “Game Of Thrones” is today. The drug overdoses, the death and subsequent return from death for Nikki Sixx, the drugs, the crashed cars, the lawsuits, the drugs again, the imposter, Vince escaping jail, the women, the drugs again times two, the partying, the clashes with the law and the eventual “sobriety”.
“Dr Feelgood” had to be number 1. If the music didn’t do it, the stories would have.
From the start of the Dr Davis call in “Terror N Tinseltown” which segues into the thundering rolling E note that kicks off “Dr Feelgood”, you knew this album was an assault on the eardrums. Even Lars Ulrich heard the sonic power of this album and he knew he wanted to work with the producer for the next Metallica album.
Any fan of music could relate to “Kick Start My Heart”. The lyrics are generic enough to be about any life situation that gives you a high. And the iconic whammy bar dives in the intro outlining a high speed bike changing gears is brilliant studio work.
Nikki Sixx also has a great knack for doing tongue in cheek break up songs. “Same Ol Situation” is about losing your girl to another girl and “Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away” doesn’t need any more explaining.
“Sticky Sweet” has a wicked solo section, “She Goes Down” has a great bass and drums verse section after the solo section, which ends with the sound of a zipper going down, “Slice Of Your Pie” is so Aerosmith, but it’s the Beatles “She’s So Heavy” outro that hooks me, while “Rattlesnake Shake” has a riff reminiscent to the 60’s blues guitarists that influenced Mick.
“Without You” was written from the point of view that Tommy Lee could not live without Heather. Well, he did live without Heather and still does to this day and became even more famous because of his leaked relationship videos with Pamela Anderson.
“Time For Change” sees the Crue addressing social issues, something they would explore a bit more on the Corabi 94 album with “Droppin Like Flies”, “Misunderstood”, “Hooligans Holiday” and “Uncle Jack”, but the piece de resistance is “Dr Feelgood”.
Sonically, its heavy and pleasing on the ear drums. It has a lot of groove. And lyrics that deal with a drug boss called “Dr Feelgood”. You can create a comic book character based on the lyrics of the song. Descriptive all the way down to the type of car with primed flames.