10 Best Motley Crue Songs
Motley Crue have a legacy defined by their music just as much as their days of excess in all forms. The band took the slogan of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” further than any band as a whole ever has and probably ever will. With their antics chronicled through various books and documentaries, there is no other band quite like Motley Crue. Of course, their partying was earned through their music, which brought the glam scene to an apex. Rightfully one of the first on the scene, the band formed in 1981, getting a jump start on bands that would become friendly rivals.
The riffing of bassist Nikki Sixx and guitarist Mick Mars came to define the glam era, with every part oozing sex appeal and machismo. Drummer Tommy Lee is perhaps the wildest of them all, even onstage. During shows, his entire drum kit lifts in the air or spins in a circle as he plays a solo to the awe of concertgoers. Vince Neil‘s high shrieks are distinctly unique, helping to separate the band even further from others in the scene. Now, as the band plans it’s final farewell tour, let’s take a look at their music as we count down the 10 Best Motley Crue Songs!
‘Looks That Kill’
We’re kicking off this list with a pretty high profile Motley Crue tune, which is only an indicator of what’s to come. Showcasing one of the band’s sleaziest riffs across their catalog, ‘Looks That Kill’ is a midtempo stomper that has been a fan favorite since 1983. The backing gang vocals are present, setting the band up for an indomitable live song to engage the crowd with. Though the band is talking about women, we’re sure enough fans have spun this around to refer to the band as well.
After five massively successful albums in the 1980s, the ‘Decade of Decadence’ greatest hits compilation packaged the band’s best to wrap up the era. Of course, an angle was needed to sell a package of songs people already owned, so a previously unreleased track called ‘Primal Scream’ became enough reason for fans to pick this up. The song begins with some dogs growling that gives way to unmistakable Crue riffing to carry them into the ’90s.
‘Too Young to Fall in Love’
With their sopohomore album, Motley Crue still had a shred of innocence left to them before going on a rampage of debauchery that would define their career. ‘Too Young to Fall in Love’ takes the flip side of their usual approach to the spoils of rock stardom. Rather than glamorizing how many women they bed, they take the bashful approach to love and realize its a sacred thing that could not be appreciated at their age.
‘Girls, Girls, Girls’
If there was one song title that truly defines Motley Crue, it’s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls.’ By this point in their career, the boys were running wild across the globe, playing to hundreds of thousands of screaming fans, many being of the female persuasion. A motorcycle revs its engine to begin this song, tying things in with the album cover. The lyrics start off with imagery of what makes the band such bad boys as they cruise through town to their favorite clubs.
‘Too Fast for Love’ is a raw and aggressive slab of music that came out in 1981. The album opener ‘Live Wire’ has been a live staple because of its bouncing high energy and ability to relate to the crowd a bit more than some of their other subject matter. While traditional metal was really taking its hold, Crue took a firm hold of what came to be the glam scene and kicked things off right as the dirty riffing here paved the way for countless bands.
‘Shout at the Devil’
The title track from the 1983 album ‘Shout at the Devil’ follows an introductory track with steady kick that leads the ‘Shout!” chant and gives an immediate arena feel to the music. Choruses don’t always begin a song, but when they do it can’t be beat. The verse on this song is noted for the strange high notes Vince Neil hits and is always impressive live. The guitar playing is simple, yet effective as always with that smoke-a-cigarette-by-a-gutter feel.
The title track to Motley Crue’s biggest selling album is one heavy tune. The thunderous bass lines and chugging guitar pummel eardrums within seconds. ‘Dr. Feelgood’ is a term the band used to describe one of their many drugs of choice: heroin. The lyrics don’t particularly glamorize the drug aside from the slang term itself, which is good because of just how catchy this damn song is!
‘Home Sweet Home’
Motley Crue’s third album, ‘Theatre of Pain,’ saw the group take a step in a new direction as wildman Tommy Lee embraced his soft side on this track, sitting on a bench behind a piano instead of his usual seat behind the drums. ‘Home Sweet Home’ is a power ballad and the crown jewel of the album, reflecting on the rigors of touring and the relief of going home. Even when you have as much fun as Crue did on tour, there’s nothing like home.
‘Wild Side’ is one of the most in-your-face songs the band has written. The track conveys the utmost attitude from the conviction of Neil’s voice with the vivid lyrics to the all out savage riff assault. The band is inviting the fans to take a step into their life, which has been dubbed the ‘Wild Side.’ It is a life of excess to the furthest degree and certainly not for everyone. Crue were the hardest partying band and showed that they meant business.
‘Kickstart My Heart’
Here we are at No. 1 on our 10 Best Motley Crue Songs countdown, and how could it be anything but ‘Kickstart My Heart!?’ The song was written after Nikki Sixx’s heroin overdose that he lived to tell about. As the story goes, Sixx was pronounced legally dead from an overdose, but the EMT in the ambulance was a Crue fan and injected adrenaline straight into his heart, thus bringing the bassist back from the land of the dead. Instead of dialing things back, Sixx wrote a song about it. Yup, that pretty much sums up Motley Crue for ya!