Hi-Fi To Die For - Motley Crue Print
Written by Ross Welford   
Sunday, 26 February 2012 06:00



I'm assuming most people will dismiss this article, but those of you curious enough to read this will hopefully be intrigued enough to go out and listen, for the first time maybe, or replay and reassess this album.


Not many people bought this album: Fact. Not many people like this album (Vince Neil included): Fact. But, like its predecessor, it's a great record if you actually bother to listen.


The Crue had tried to change during the grunge movement and, like many bands before them, it simply didn't quite work out the way they wanted it too, especially with a new vocalist. John Corabi was (and still is) a great singer that fitted in with the new direction that they turned to....but people simply don't like change. That self-titled album with Corabi is only now starting to be appreciated - the distance and musical landscape has turned enough for us to see it as more than just a curiosity. 1997 was a strange year, Metallica released 'Reload', KISS their 'Carnival Of Souls', Limp Bizkit '$3 Bill' and Aerosmith's 'Nine Lives' - none of them coming close to genius recordings I'd think you'd agree, and the Swedish invasion that later took over my life hadn't yet begun, so what became my salvation?
Many were simply too blind to see it in front of their eyes and were all too wrapped up in what the media hand delivered to them on a plate (it's a state of affairs that is only getting worse with the invention of iTunes but that's a topic for another day, plus it's why this very website has sprung up to catch the truly passionate fans and give them great articles).


My argument would be that Motley Crue ALWAYS changed with each album, and not just the sound of the band. The heavy metal logos of every band are iconic and instantly recognisable and if I gave you just one letter in a certain font you'd be able to tell me what band it was from, whether it was Anthrax, Saxon, Bon Jovi or Poison, but The Crue changed font every single album and that was considered commercial suicide in itself, yet you'd still know it. 'Shout At The Devil' doesn't sound like 'Dr Feelgood' or' Girls, Girls, Girls'. They don't look the same on the back sleeve of their debut as they do on 'Theatre Of Pain' and so on. Yes, you can tell it's the same band but they were always developing, always changing - it's just that the media and the fans forgot to actually look deeper than the sex, drugs and RnR that engulfed the band.


Motley Crue - 'Generation Swine' (Elektra Records)


So why this album?


It's darker, it's heavier and it's got the Crue swagger of "FUCK YOU" all over it.


There was so much shit going down around the band at this point that you can only imagine how dysfunctional they were - and that's saying something: Pressure from Elektra after the previously perceived poor sales and subsequent tour and investment; fired managers; fired producers, and the ever growing circle of vultures wanting Vince Neil back in the band because Corabi wasn't a star and, let's face it, there was more money to be made off of the original four members.


They wrote the album with Corabi, then got Vince back to sing songs written to suit the totally different voice of Corabi. Even writing this, I feel for John Corabi - they really did give him the king's crown only to just as quickly turn him into a pauper and disown him. Two members of the Crue became out of control and an ego trip went on and I for one fucking loved the resulting piece of music. Why? Read on..............


Fucking Bang! Have that! Play this loud, you'll be amazed that this was the same band that wrote Home Sweet Fucking Home - Man, I grew tired of that song and this was the antidote to my life turning into a collection of albums of years gone by and settling into a life in the country with the odd gig for company. "I'm a wreck, I'm a sleaze, I'm a Rock N Roll disease" - Fucking hell! C'mon man, you gotta love those lyrics, gone were the innuendos and the cheesy choruses - this was what I wanted. Swagger and sleaze with a snarling lip and Fuck You attitude. It was as if the Crue and I had been coasting along in life together when we both decided we wanted and needed more - We both needed to find ourselves - and the Crue were more blunt than most.


"I gotta find myself some glue, I gotta find myself some suction, I gotta deal with my neurosis, I gotta find myself." - this wasn't Shakespearean rhyme, this was a cry for help and a simple ode to the life of being in The Crue and I suddenly understood it all and felt the same, and all the while a backdrop of experimental noises were going off and it was like it was a soundtrack to a world caving in on itself.


'Afraid' was an obvious first single and should've been huge - check out the video and you'll see Vince looking cool as fuck with red hair and even Mick is throwing a few shapes. Throw in porn magnate Larry Flynt and already you'll see that the Crue might have sounded different but their vision of outcasts is even more evident - All those cunts that barracked me for liking metal could fuck off: keep your Deep Purples and Led Zeps, old man in the pub; shove your Oasisgeneration_swine and Blur, you sheep following indeed twats, and Kurt........yeah, I'm glad you're gone, you anti-fun, anti-rock star mother fucker - just didn't quite fancy it did you, eh?


THIS WAS HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE. 'Flush', with its bass-laden intro, is still further evidence of the fucked up visions that Sixx was having. I remember listening to this thinking that they really have stuck their middle finger up to the world - they might have been slightly forced into bringing Vince back at others' requests but don't go expecting Dr Feelgood Mk II record execs!


The title track really is an old skool, in yer face fucking punk slant of a song - Forget that Sex Pistols cover that every band does, this was Tommy Lee bashing his drums like a fucking ogre on speed, whilst Mick Mars riffs like a bastard and backed up by Sixx and his ranting vocals laying down beside Vince Neil's best anger - he might not like singing this album but he really nailed it.


'Shout At The Devil '97' I love. The original is still the best in context with its "In The Beginning" intro and in concert is still a great, great track to scream along to, but this new version was just as heavy and gave it a modern twist that when they played it at the MTV awards that year, they really were still saying FUCK YOU to everyone - you keep trying to kill us but we ain't going anywhere so shove this right up your asses.


Yeah, I was loving it all - 'Let Us Prey' is a hate-filled listen and you'll see how they moved away from their own image and creation of glam and were really only expanding on their self titled album from a few years before. The glamour of youth was wilting away fast and I for one was discovering a new world.


'Glitter' and 'Rocketship' may, at first glance, be throwaway 'soft' love songs but the heartfelt love and styling were so different to 'You're All I Need' or anything that the '80s glam fraternity ever came up with - this certainly wasn't Poison or Def Leppard regurgitating the same old song - this was the Crue and they were taking chances, expanding and trying when many were either too scared, too comfortable or just not talented enough to even bother. Again, I understood it, I'd had enough of following the herd, let's try something different and stand up for your own opinions. 'Beauty' may have seemed like another love song but the darker image of drugs really came to the surface - obvious choice for a second single then, eh!?!? Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander played on 'Glitter' too - can you imagine that lot in the same room together? Bizarre at best, I'd imagine.


Everyone immediately slates it for including the Tommy Lee song 'Brandon' but, quite frankly, that's not a good enough reason to ignore this album; most albums have a duff song - use the skip button if it's that bad. Tommy Lee had came out of prison and was part of an ego trip and I doubt it would have taken much to turn Sixx's head around to the idea of having that song included (speedball anyone?). Add to that the bonus songs that came with the remastered issue and you'll realise that they were churning out some quality stuff, non stop.
Maybe it was the timing of this album but I collect everything I can about it, from the original Motley Brue drinks that helped promoted it to the Generation Swine Dollar Bill to the t-shirts to the badges (I'm still looking for the Dog with no head/Gun tour t-shirt incase anybody has one to sell?!). I've even got "Generation Swine" tattooed on my arm for fuck's sake! This is Motley Crue like you've never heard them before, after or since and the fact most people hate it makes me love it even more.
It may not be the blistering debut, it may not be the classic 'Shout...' album and it also may not be the multi award winning 'Dr Feelgood' but what it is my friends is an underrated gem that keeps giving and it simply regained my love in metal, rock and all things Fuck You!