10 Best Nikki Sixx Songs
Nikki Sixx may not be a frontman, but you’d be hard pressed to find a bassist that deserved the spotlight more. As a songwriter, Sixx had a hand in creating a majority of the hard-rocking hits Motley Crue have cranked out over the years. Plus he’s shown that even outside of Crue, he’s still a creative force to be reckoned with as the namesake member of the powerful trio Sixx: A.M. He even turned in some solid work in the lesser-known bands 58 and Brides of Destruction. With that in mind, we salute Nikki Sixx’s contributions to the world of hard rock and metal with this list of his best work. So let’s kickstart our countdown of the 10 Best Nikki Sixx Songs:
‘Looks That Kill’ gave Motley Crue their first national music video exposure and the track introduced fans to Vince Neil‘s soon-to-be-recognizable voice and some stellar guitar work from Mick Mars. Sixx penned the track, which provides a more sinister feel to describing a gorgeous woman. ‘Looks’ aren’t the only thing that kill with this song. This driving track slays in concert, as well.
Nikki Sixx’s passion for photography find its way in his second book-album amalgamation, ‘This Is Gonna Hurt.’ The Sixx: A.M. bassist took pleasure in shooting non-traditional beauty, and even leads off the song’s video by stating, “It’s okay to be different.” Musically the track ‘Lies of the Beautiful People’ is driven by Sixx’s chunky bass and guitarist DJ Ashba‘s licks, while singer James Michael offers the requisite amount of emotion using his upper register to make the song an inspirational one.
Motley Crue’s partying was reaching its height in the mid-to-late ’80s and you tend to write what you know. The anthem ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ was an ode to the strip clubs where the band enjoyed some of their best times. Sixx’s chugging bass, Mars’ memorable guitar licks and the boastful wail of Vince Neil led this track. It’s still a staple today both in strip clubs and as part of the band’s live set.
‘Shout at the Devil’ is the track that gave the Crue their first radio success. The song itself features Mick Mars‘ blistering guitar and Tommy Lee‘s cymbal mastery. Sixx, who penned the track, took some criticism over the song’s alleged satanism, but the rocker would say in ‘The Dirt’ autobiography, “It just looks cool. It’s meaningless symbols and s–t. I’m just doing it to piss people off. It’s not like I worship Satan or something.”
When it comes to straight-up, adrenaline-filled rockers, there’s no doubt that Sixx: A.M.’s ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ deserves its spot among the 10 Best Nikki Sixx Songs. The second single from the band’s sophomore album is one of the more rocket-fueled tracks that Sixx has come up with. There’s some serious shredding by Ashba on guitar and James Michael’s vocals deliver one of the catchiest choruses in the band’s catalog.
One of Motley Crue’s biggest songs has Sixx’s fingerprints all over it. The chugging opening of ‘Dr. Feelgood’ immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. As for the title and lyrical content, Sixx would tell Rolling Stone, “It had a whole different theme to it. It was called ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ but a whole different thing lyrically. In the end, it was inspired by drug dealers. Is there ever just one? A good drug addict always has more than one dealer.”
‘Wild Side’ is one of the more non-traditional songs in the band’s catalog, with its shifting time signatures and equal parts swinging and rocking moments. But that doesn’t mean it rocks any less. In fact, it’s a live favorite with the band getting to show off more of their skill. Lyrically, the track deals with the band’s own hardships in the Los Angeles music scene and is meant as a rallying cry to those who’ve lived life on the ‘Wild Side.’
‘Life Is Beautiful’ deserves its spot on the 10 Best Nikki Sixx Songs list as it is arguably his most personal track. The bassist lays his soul bare on this one, expressing the emotions he felt upon almost dying from his drug addiction and what he endured while kicking his habit. Beautifully and powerfully delivered by singer James Michael, the song is one of the most affecting songs in Sixx’s arsenal.
Look up power ballad in the dictionary and this song should be the definition. ‘Home Sweet Home’ finds drummer Tommy Lee delivering the opening piano notes and Vince Neil joining Sixx and Lee in receiving writing credits. After the opening stanza, the song rocks out with Lee returning to drums and Sixx’s bass work keeping the pace in place of the piano. The song is also notable for arguably the band’s most recognizable guitar solo from Mick Mars.
While Nikki Sixx has penned some serious songs about his drug addiction and near-death experience, this one offers a lighter take. It was inspired by the two adrenaline shots needed to revive him after he was clinically declared dead. Sixx told Rolling Stone he initially considered the track “a throwaway,” but that it fit the band’s album better than expected. Luckily the band held onto the song, as it yielded a Grammy nomination and turned into one of their most requested live tracks.