Mötley Crüe (album)

Mötley Crüe (album)
Mötley Crüe
Studio album by Mötley Crüe
Released March 15, 1994
Recorded A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California, and Little Mountain Studios, Vancouver, Canada
1993
Genre Heavy metal
Length 60:23
Label Elektra
Producer Bob Rock
Mötley Crüe chronology
Decade of Decadence
(1991)
Mötley Crüe
(1994)
Quaternary
(1994)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[2]

Mötley Crüe is an eponymous album by heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. It was released on March 15, 1994, their sixth studio album. It was the band's first and only album released with singer John Corabi, and was the first album of new material released by the band since their 1989 album, Dr. Feelgood.

The album, which was recorded under the working title of Til Death Do Us Part,[3] was the first release by the band after signing a 25-million dollar contract with Elektra Records.[3]

Contents

Album

Background

Following the success of the Dr. Feelgood and Decade of Decadence albums and tours, the members of Mötley Crüe were tired and needed to take a break from the non-stop pressures of the road. Instead of being given a break, the band, then consisting of singer Vince Neil, bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist Mick Mars, and drummer Tommy Lee, had returned to the studio to begin work on the follow-up album to their 1989 album Dr. Feelgood on a two week on - two week off schedule. While working on new material in the studio in early '92, Sixx, Mars and Lee had a falling out with Neil that led to Neil quitting or being fired from the band, effectively leaving Mötley Crüe without a singer.[3]

Meanwhile, John Corabi was the singer in a band called The Scream when he read an interview that featured Sixx in an issue of Spin magazine. In the interview, Corabi found out that Sixx was a big fan of The Scream's first record, Let It Scream. Corabi wanted to get in contact with Sixx and thank him for the compliment, as well as possibly opening the door for collaborating with Sixx on material for the next Scream album, so he had his manager get the number to Mötley Crüe's manager, Doug Thaler. After speaking to Thaler's secretary, Corabi was told to leave his phone number so that Sixx could get in contact with him. Not thinking much of it, Corabi left his number and continued with his responsibilities with The Scream.[3]

After receiving a phone call from Sixx and Lee, where they informed Corabi that Neil was no longer in the band, he was invited to audition. After a couple of sessions, the band told Corabi that he was their choice for Neil's replacement, but told him to keep quiet about it until they were able to work out some pending legal technicalities, as Elektra could have possibly reneged on the band's new contract if the label knew Neil was gone.[3]

Recording

  • "Uncle Jack"
    The lyrics of "Uncle Jack" deal with the issue of child abuse.
    "Hooligan's Holiday"
    "Hooligan's Holiday" was the first single released by Mötley Crüe to feature John Corabi on vocals.
    "Misunderstood"
    "Misunderstood" describes the lives of several people who are dealing with the fact that life has passed them by.
  • Problems listening to the files? See media help.

For the recording of the album, Mötley Crüe reunited with Bob Rock, who had produced their most commercially successful album, 1989's Dr. Feelgood. With Corabi now fronting the band, the members took advantage of the fact that he brought more to the table than Neil did. Sixx had never worked with another lyricist before, and Mars had never played with another guitarist.[4][3] Mars noted that working with a second guitarist "...[G]ave me a chance to experiment and have some fun instead of having to focus on just keeping the rhythm."[5] Also, the band had never previously written songs through jamming. One of the first songs Corabi worked with the band on was "Hammered," as well as the acoustic portion of the song that would become "Misunderstood."[3]

During the recording of the album the band committed itself to sobriety, with a strict regimen of no drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, red meat or caffeine. The band worked with a physical trainer each morning, and took vitamin pills to keep their bodies nourished. Although there were occasional slips off the wagon, the members were determined to repeat the success of Dr. Feelgood.[3] The recording sessions proved to be fruitful, with a total of 24 songs written and recorded over the 10-month recording span.[5]

Lyrically, Corabi's influence pushed away from the band's usual themes of sex and rebellion. Sixx enjoyed working with Corabi on the lyrics, feeling Corabi’s "normal" lyrics balanced out his own "demented" lyrics.[4] Songs such as "Power to the Music" and "Droppin' Like Flies" were attempts at introspection and commentary on the state of the world, including then current events such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the battle over music censorship. The song "Uncle Jack" was about Corabi's uncle, a convicted child molester,[3] and "Misunderstood" was a song about people who were trying to deal with the fact that life had passed them by. Some songs still had more familiar themes, including "Smoke the Sky," which was about marijuana use, and "Poison Apples," which was about the decadent Rock 'N Roll lifestyle that the band was famous for living.

Reaction

Mötley Crüe debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 3, 1994.[6][7] Reveiwing the album for Rolling Stone, Arion Berger praised the band's "whomping chord progression(s) determined to imprint itself on listeners' skulls", and noted that "the Crue have always left the philosophizing and menacing to other bands; Mötley Crüe achieves what it sets out to do: keep the riffs coming and mean every word".[8] Berger was also impressed with Corabi's vocal range, stating "[Corabi] has an impressive high-range yowl that's never nasal, and he bellows his heart out on the clichéd lyrics as if he has just thought of them."[8] However, five years had passed since Mötley Crüe had released a full studio album, and much had changed in the popular music scene in that time interval. During that time, grunge and alternative rock had crossed into the mainstream, and many of the hard rock and glam metal acts from the 1980s struggled to generate sales in the new market. After initially charting in the Top 10, the album slid down the charts quickly and ultimately failed to sell as well as previous Mötley Crüe albums had before.

While there was an expected backlash from fans toward the album regarding the popular Neil's departure, there were several other factors that led to the poor sales figures that the album received. Besides the aforementioned shift in popular music, the members of the band had a falling out with MTV, where Sixx threatened to knock the host's teeth out during an interview, as he felt that the line of questioning was "stupid" and he and the rest of the band walked out mid-interview.[3] Executives from the Elektra and Warner Bros. labels weren't supporting the band either, as many executives were involved in corporate boardroom wars related to the CEO change of Bob Krasnow to Sylvia Rhone, that took priority over the band.[3] With no support from their record label to promote the album and tour, and with no promotion from MTV following the disastrous interview, the subsequent tour was scaled back from arenas to theaters until it was eventually cancelled.

Track listing

All songs written by John Corabi, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee, except where noted.
All lyrics written by Corabi and Sixx

  1. "Power to the Music" – 5:12
  2. "Uncle Jack" – 5:28
  3. "Hooligan's Holiday" – 5:51
  4. "Misunderstood" – 6:53
  5. "Loveshine" – 2:36
  6. "Poison Apples" (Corabi, Sixx, Mars, Lee, Bob Rock) – 3:40
  7. "Hammered" – 5:15
  8. "Til Death Do Us Part" – 6:03
  9. "Welcome to the Numb" – 5:18
  10. "Smoke the Sky" – 3:36
  11. "Droppin' Like Flies" – 6:26
  12. "Driftaway" – 4:00

2003 Remastered Edition

In 2003, the band re-released their albums on their own label Mötley Records including added bonus tracks from each album's specific era.

13. "Hypnotized" – 5:29
14. "Babykills" – 5:24
15. "Livin' in the Know" – 4:23

Singles

Personnel

Band

Guest musician

Certifications

Organization Level Date
RIAA – United States Gold May 03, 1994

References


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