Under The Radar: Mötley Crüe (1994)
It looked things were falling into place with Motley Crue. The band was getting a handle on their addictions, their 5th studio album Dr. Feelgood, topped the charts and sold over 6 million records. And if that wasn’t enough, the band resigned to Elektra Records for a whopping $25 million dollars.
But things never go as planned with Motley Crue, internal disagreements led to the departure of lead singer Vince Neil. The remaining band members Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Nikki Sixx secretly went and searched for the new voice for the band. Tommy, Mick and Nikki settled on John Corabi, frontman for the Scream and current lead singer of The Dead Daisies.
The band released their eponymous sixth studio album, Mötley Crüe, on March 15, 1994. The album peaked at number 7 on the album charts, went gold but was a far cry from the Crüe’s platinum predecessors. Of course, most fans know that Coarabi would be let go shortly after with Vince Neil returning to the fold by 1997.
But, in my opinion they should have stuck it out with Corabi for a few more years and could very well have had the last laugh. I thought John Corabi’s arrival added some new and exciting ingredients to the band's sound. Not only did he sound distinctively different to Neil, but he played guitar and contributed lyrics to the tracks on the record. I thought that he pushed the band out of their comfort zone.
The Mötley Crüe, album, sounding nothing like their previous efforts, was a darker, bluesier, well played and better produced, kick-ass rock and roll record. It truly sounded as if the Crüe were playing together for the first time as a cohesive unit. If anyone thinks that Mötley Crüe are simply an 80’s glam band really need to take a listen to this record.
I have to give credit where credit is due, producer Bob Rock did an excellent job on the record, it sounds massive and in your face. He managed to effortlessly merge hard rock, grunge and industrial metal in tasteful doses, making Mötley Crüe the most diverse and complex record of the band's career.
I do not think the fans were ready for an honest to goodness record from the Crue. The playing and songs were top notch, it just wasn’t intended for mainstream rock radio, unlike the band’s prior works.
Highlights include the kick ass album opener: Power to the Music, the introspective Misunderstood, the acoustic Driftaway, and the dark mid-tempo Uncle jack.
After all these years I still go back to this record more than any other Crue record. So, if you love rock, then you owe it to yourself to give this undiscovered gem another listen.