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Motley Crue

Mötley Crüe were undeniably one of the most popular hard rock/pop-metal acts of the 1980s. Combining the theatrics and glam of Kiss with the hard power pop hooks of Cheap Trick, the Crüe out-partied, out-rocked, and outsold most of their competition. The band even managed to hit the pop chart with frequency with hits like "Dr. Feelgood" and "Without You." The combination of larger-than-life personalities that made up the L.A. band was too volatile to remain stable; singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee would drift in and out of the band from the '90s onward, but exposure from VH1's Behind the Music series and a tell-all autobiography kept the public's appetite for the Crüe whetted into the 21st century. In the new millennium the Crüe established themselves as a fashionable touring act (with Crüe Fest becoming the summer's highest-grossing festival in 2008) while continuing to release new material.

Formed in January 1981, Mötley Crüe were originally the pet project of bassist Nikki Sixx (born Frank Ferrana), vocalist/guitarist Greg Leon, and drummer Tommy Lee (born Thomas Lee Bass). Leon was a veteran of the Hollywood scene, having replaced Randy Rhoads in Quiet Riot two years prior. He butted heads with the strong-willed Sixx, however, resulting in his departure from the lineup several months later. Local guitarist Bob "Mick Mars" Deal joined in his place, bringing the moniker "Mottley Krue" with him. After altering the name and adding a pair of umlauts (allegedly in tribute to German beer), the trio began efforts to recruit Vincent Neil Wharton, vocalist for the L.A.-based band Rock Candy. Neil initially refused the advances, only joining the band after his Rock Candy cohorts announced their decision to transform their group into a new wave act. With Neil now on board, Mötley Crüe became a cult favorite on the L.A. circuit, infamously known for such theatrics as setting Sixx's pants on fire midsong.

The band soon secured management with Allan Coffman, who financed recording sessions for a debut album. Initially released in November 1981 by Lethur Records -- a small, independent label launched by Coffman and the band -- Too Fast for Love sold a surprising 20,000 copies. It also prompted a Canadian tour, where the musicians made headlines by wearing their spike-laden stage attire onto the plane, carrying suitcases of pornographic material through airport security, and fielding death threats from incensed fans in Edmonton. Such exposure only served to fuel Mötley Crüe's sensationalist appeal, generating the sort of shocked press coverage that the band desired.

Back at home, Elektra Records had become impressed by the band's popularity in local venues, prompting the label to sign Mötley Crüe before releasing a new, remastered version of Too Fast for Love. Following the band's return to California, Elektra also released the sophomore effort Shout at the Devil in 1983. The video for "Looks That Kill" became an MTV hit, broadcasting the group's glammed-up theatrics to an audience unfamiliar with Mötley Crüe's popularity on the club circuit, and the record went platinum as a result. Shout at the Devil sold an additional million copies in 1984, but the party was brought to a temporary standstill when Vince Neil crashed his car on December 8, killing passenger Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley of Hanoi Rocks. The other victims emerged with broken bones and brain damage, while a relatively unscathed Neil was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence. He was ultimately incarcerated for 15 days in 1986, in addition to performing community service and paying a large cash settlement. By the time Neil was sentenced, however, the band's newest record, Theatre of Pain, had already enjoyed a lengthy stay on the charts, cementing the band's mainstream status and producing Mötley Crüe's first Top 40 hit with a cover of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys' Room." Neil's stint in jail was brief, and the band was free to continue its decadent reign.

Under the management of Doug Thaler and Doc McGhee, the latter of whom also managed Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe's popularity expanded throughout the latter half of the '80s. "Home Sweet Home," a power ballad from Theatre of Pain, yielded another popular music video, while a 44-minute home video cassette entitled Uncensored was issued in 1986 to multi-platinum sales. Meanwhile, Lee married actress Heather Locklear, and the band returned to the studio to record a fourth album, Girls, Girls, Girls. Released during the band's substance-addled heyday in 1987, the album debuted at number two, with the raunchy title track becoming Mötley Crüe's second Top 40 hit. The group quickly embarked on a headlining tour, but the European dates were canceled when Sixx suffered a near-fatal heroin overdose. He was pronounced legally dead en route to the hospital, only to be revived by two shots of adrenaline to the heart. Upon returning home, Sixx immediately shot up once again. Shocked, Thaler and McGhee urged their clients to enter a drug rehabilitation program, and Mötley Crüe remained out of the spotlight while the bandmates cleaned up their act.

They returned in 1989 -- clean and sober this time -- with the release of Dr. Feelgood, a muscled album that became Mötley Crüe's first release to top the Billboard charts. Meanwhile, the title track became the band's first Top Ten hit, and a string of additional singles -- "Kickstart My Heart" (inspired by Sixx's brush with death), "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)," and "Without You" -- made Dr. Feelgood the most successful Crüe album to date. After another worldwide tour, the compilation album Decade of Decadence arrived in 1991, propelled to multi-platinum status by a new version of "Home Sweet Home" that became the band's final Top 40 hit.

After creating their own record label, Mötley Records, the bandmates signed a renewed contract with Elektra for $25 million. The music industry had begun to devote most of its attention to grunge music, however, and the pressure to keep pace with changing trends took its toll on the band's camaraderie. In 1992, sessions for Mötley Crüe's next album turned ugly, leading to the dismissal (or departure, depending on the source) of Neil, who was replaced by the Scream's John Corabi. The revised band issued Mötley Crüe in 1994, which peaked at number seven in the U.S. and eventually went gold. Such an attempt to embrace a new, grungier sound proved to be a commercial disappointment, however, as did the band's supporting tour. Corabi was fired in 1997 at the label's behest, and Neil returned to the lineup for the release of Generation Swine. The subject of a heavy marketing campaign, Generation Swine debuted at number four, although it failed to generate any significant singles. Meanwhile, Corabi resurfaced alongside former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick in the group Union.

Shortly after the release of Greatest Hits in 1998, Tommy Lee was arrested for spousal abuse against Pamela Anderson. He spent most of the year in jail, effectively killing any momentum generated by the gold-selling status of Greatest Hits and Generation Swine. Meanwhile, the group's contract with Elektra fell apart, prompting Mötley Records to switch its affiliation to the Beyond label. The band acquired the rights to its back catalog in the process.

After numerous bitter encounters with Neil, Tommy Lee left the band in 1999 to form Methods of Mayhem, which released a self-titled debut album later that year. He was replaced by former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo, and the revamped lineup celebrated its acquisition of the Crüe catalog by issuing remastered editions of every studio album, as well as the rarities collection Supersonic & the Demonic Relics. A collection of new material, New Tattoo, appeared in the summer of 2000 to a lukewarm reception, and Castillo became stricken with an undisclosed illness on the eve of the requisite tour. While he recuperated at home, the band temporarily enlisted Hole's drummer (and lifelong Crüe fan), Samantha Maloney, to handle percussion duties.

In May 2001, the band issued a best-selling, tell-all biography entitled The Dirt. During the downtime that followed its release, Neil launched a brief solo tour of U.S. clubs and Sixx wrote material for other artists, including Tantric, Meat Loaf, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and James Michael. Sadly, Castillo succumbed to cancer during the following spring, prompting the band to continue its hiatus. Although Sixx speculated publicly about the possibility of a reunion tour, Tommy Lee quickly rebutted such rumors, claiming that his relationship with Vince Neil was simply too poor for any sort of reconciliation. Controversy surrounded the band again as former producer Tom Werman sued for unpaid royalties, Neil's former wife Heidi Mark publicly accused him of physical abuse, and Neil was kicked off a nationally syndicated radio show for being too drunk to maintain an interview.

Rumors of a reunion continued to swirl throughout the following two years, even as Mötley Crüe's members remained loyal to their individual projects. Both Tommy Lee and Vince Neil participated in celebrity TV shows -- Lee as the focus of an NBC series that featured the drummer attending college classes, and Neil in the first season of The Surreal Life -- while Sixx toured and released an album with his new band, Brides of Destruction. In late 2004, however, the four original members announced a full-scale reunion tour for the following year, marking their first outing since the late '90s. The tour coincided with the February release of Mötley Crüe's double-disc greatest-hits collection, Red, White & Crüe, which went platinum within six months of its release. The reunion tour was further celebrated by the release of a concert album, Carnival of Sins Live, in 2006, while a record of new material, Saints of Los Angeles, arrived in 2008. In keeping with their dedication to the road, the bandmates subsequently unveiled plans for Crüe Fest, a summer package tour that netted over $40 million during its inaugural year. After a second Crüe Fest in 2009, a world tour co-headlining with Kiss followed in 2012 and lasted through 2013. In 2014 the band announced a farewell tour with Alice Cooper as guest. The 70-date retirement tour coincided with the release of Nashville Outlaws, a Crüe tribute album featuring country artists like Rascal Flatts, the Mavericks, and Big & Rich. ~ Andrew Leahey & Barry Weber
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: All Bad Things (Single)

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Track List: Sex (Single)

Comments

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They sound like a bunch of ranting midgets. Glad they broke up because they were one of the most overrated bands ever
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I agree vampscarlett a
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I like their early work best! I love Mick Mars! I actually saw them last year-great show!
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I've never seen crue live. rip crue.
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Come on Dr Feelgood I hurt ❌⭕❌⭕❌⭕
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Live wire...great song!
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north6213
Last night's show was in Indy and I am only 17 and have attended many concerts and Motley Crue was by far the best concert I have ever been to!
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I was never a huge fan of The Crue . But my respect for them as a rock band is unwavering. Yes they are the most commercializ e d metal band out there. But, my wife and I had a blast watching last night's show in Cleveland. I'm so glad that I saw them. They are true entertainers .
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Actually, nicko is right. They're not underrated at all. They are way overrated.
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I prefer Alice Cooper
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Who else is seeing them tommowor
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I prefer Nitro. Nitro with Michael Angelo in it.
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Only good hair band mick mars is great
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Going to see them friday
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My mom and i love Jigglypuff and Vega.
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jamieb12871
Seen 'em 3-4 times...1) THEATER of Pain ...2) Girls³...3) DoctoR× ...
Maybe that's it...all different stages (quality) of the band...but since I hadn't seen the 1st (2) albums toured ...the best was by far...THE 1 W/ TOMMY'S SPINNING CAGE...BY FAR YHE BEST ...never had good opening bands(except RATT...I was an extra in the limo told me,"we've got tix...but u need coke & a chick 2 go"...I could only produce 1 w/in the 10 min. Timeframe I had been given
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On With the show. Best Crue song ever.
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3 hours late in SLC
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Gotta fight for whats yours!!
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Nothing like sweet home !!!! Some day !!!
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Really? How is anyone a tool for that reason? Did you go back and read your comment? All it tells me is that you need help.
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nicko252008
Kingweiner48 is a TOOL, Crue was actually one of the biggest bands of the 80's! But he wouldn't know that cause he was in diapers, while I was getting high in my trans am. Nice try.. Hipster
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samantha.cro s s o n 1 9 8 6
Best song ever:-)
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theater of wussies
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When i shout at the devil i shout F**K YOU DEVIL you f**kin b**ch a** f**got. ALL ABOUT GOD N HOLY JESUS CHRIST. Great song
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Takes me back to long Beach arena Dr feelgood tour they f**kin kicked a** . My first metal concert Tommy Lee playing drum solo upside down that was some bad a** show..
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Red Hot, F**kin-A! Rock On Everyone
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Motley Crue are overlooked by some other classic bands, but this is certainly a favorite
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Beauty,, good tune. Rock On Everyone
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Dr feel good .... Awesome
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Everything Motley Crue does is f**king awesome, not just one album or song! I can't remember not listening to Motley Crue ever, I'm only 20 && have seen them 17 times.! I LOVE MOTLEY CRUE!
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Wild Side!,Wild Side! kicking arse on the Wild Side!!
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like you any how !!!
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censorship on the name of a band !!! that's, rich; Pandora !! rock on P.M.R.C.!!! R.O.L.F. !!!
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I prefer faster p**sy cat...
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love to the hair bands !!!
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nicko252008
Hell yeah Hollywood bowl final TOUR!!!
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Kickstart My Heart, great tune... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Love this song
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Ten Seconds To Love, , off of one of there best albums in my opinion. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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nicko252008
Calling Dr Feelgood... your needed at the front desk.
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Forward my mail to me in Hell...MOTLE Y IS PURE KICKASS...go t t a lovem.
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browardboy73 ( Chris ) this one's 4 u babe, cause u kick start my heart...
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Kickstart My Heart (live) F**kin-A sweeeeet tune. Tommy was amazing on stage with this tune... Good luck Satellite Sixx on ur band and up coming shows. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Dr Feelgood live god they were awesome on stage. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Girls Girls Girls. See ya real soon
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Fronkus weighs in...groups have eras. Your, my, our, their, eras. Seems like money and fame change people, groups, music. Nothing like the raw energy of the early shiit...too fast and shout @ the devil.
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Dr Feelgood that's wat I need... Great tune off of another great album. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy 4th
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One of the best!
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nicko252008
CRUUUUUUUUUU U U U U U U E !
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