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About Mötley Crüe
Formed in 1981, Mötley Crüe epitomized the hunger and grime of Sunset Strip rock; at the peak of their fame, the quartet’s offstage antics garnered nearly as many headlines as their music, which fused the high energy of punk with the squealing guitars of metal and the audacious attitude of glam rock. Their 1981 debut, Too Fast for Love, melded metal’s larger-than-life presence with power pop’s hookiness; on Shout at the Devil, released in 1983, the band spread their wings and flaunted their darker side, as menacingly catchy tracks like “Too Young to Fall In Love” and “Looks That Kill” combined with the group’s outrageous looks—and a touch of occult imagery—to make Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee some of the early music-video era’s best-known faces. Theatre of Pain, released in 1985, turned up the glam, and its piano-led ballad “Home Sweet Home” remains one of hard rock’s most potent lighter-raisers; its follow-up, Girls, Girls, Girls, saluted the harder edge of rock-star living, strip clubs, and life on the bad side of town. After Sixx had a near-death experience in late 1987, Mötley Crüe took a break, re-emerging in 1989 with the towering Dr. Feelgood, which threaded the commercial aspects of metal and rock on the storming title track, the breezy “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away),” and the careening “Kickstart My Heart,” which addressed Sixx’s brush with mortality in full-throttle fashion. Mötley soldiered on during the decades that followed, releasing the tell-all autobiography The Dirt in 2001; Neil and Lee took breaks from the band’s relentless touring before the core four members reunited in 2004. Mötley Crüe may be elder statesmen of rock—The Dirt became a movie in 2019, and they’ve headlined multiple Vegas residencies—but they blazed a trail for bad boys from all genres.
- Los Angeles, CA, United States
- January 17, 1981