30 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

There are bands with debauched, drug-addled, party-fuelled pasts—and then there’s Mötley Crüe. But long before their epic antics were documented for public consumption—first in their 2001 memoir The Dirt, and then in the 2019 biopic of the same name—the Crüe was working LA’s Sunset Strip in the early ’80s, transitioning from the scrappy, fast-charged power pop of Too Fast for Love to the tuneful hard rock which they’d become known for on 1983’s Shout at the Devil. By the time they released 1985’s Theatre of Pain, which featured the anthemic power ballad “Home Sweet Home” and a rollicking cover of Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, bassist/songwriter Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil had not only defined themselves as bacchanalian bad boys, but they’d turned that decadence into high art—and became one of hard rock and glam metal’s most thrillingly theatrical acts. While 1989’s Dr. Feelgood was made during the band members’ quests for relative sobriety (“Kickstart My Heart” is inspired by Sixx’s two minutes spent legally dead after a heroin overdose and a subsequent dose of life-reviving adrenaline), line-up changes, solo projects, breakups and reunions would colour the next couple decades of the band’s legacy. They called it quits at the end of 2015, only to return to the studio a few years later to contribute three new songs to the Dirt film’s soundtrack, and announced in November 2019 their intention to hit the stage again.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There are bands with debauched, drug-addled, party-fuelled pasts—and then there’s Mötley Crüe. But long before their epic antics were documented for public consumption—first in their 2001 memoir The Dirt, and then in the 2019 biopic of the same name—the Crüe was working LA’s Sunset Strip in the early ’80s, transitioning from the scrappy, fast-charged power pop of Too Fast for Love to the tuneful hard rock which they’d become known for on 1983’s Shout at the Devil. By the time they released 1985’s Theatre of Pain, which featured the anthemic power ballad “Home Sweet Home” and a rollicking cover of Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, bassist/songwriter Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil had not only defined themselves as bacchanalian bad boys, but they’d turned that decadence into high art—and became one of hard rock and glam metal’s most thrillingly theatrical acts. While 1989’s Dr. Feelgood was made during the band members’ quests for relative sobriety (“Kickstart My Heart” is inspired by Sixx’s two minutes spent legally dead after a heroin overdose and a subsequent dose of life-reviving adrenaline), line-up changes, solo projects, breakups and reunions would colour the next couple decades of the band’s legacy. They called it quits at the end of 2015, only to return to the studio a few years later to contribute three new songs to the Dirt film’s soundtrack, and announced in November 2019 their intention to hit the stage again.

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