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Motley Crue

Mötley Crüe were one of the most influential hair metal bands of the '80s, boasting a striking visual presence and hedonistic reputation rivaled only by Guns N' Roses. By combining Alice Cooper's shock rock with the bluesy, metallic stomp of the New York Dolls and Aerosmith, they helped establish hair metal as a commercial genre, sending their first five albums to platinum status in the process. Such success was at least partially due to Mötley Crüe's reputation as a riotous pack of rabble-rousers, replete with drug addictions, near-death experiences, groupie encounters, and celebrity girlfriends. Of course, that same self-indulgence nearly derailed the band, forcing the musicians to embrace sobriety during the creation of their most successful album to date, 1989's Dr. Feelgood. Like most hair metal bands, Mötley Crüe's album sales waned during the 1990s, as the popularity of grunge overshadowed most of the music that immediately prefaced it. Nevertheless, the band soldiered through the decade with modest success, releasing two gold-selling albums along the way. The new millennium brought similar luck, as Mötley 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 Vince 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 and 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 recent 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. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Sex (Single)

Comments

8/24. Can't wait
Saw them to nights ago. F**king top notch show.
The Dr. Feelgood album was the reason Metallica hired Bob Rock to produce the "black album" Lars loved the sound of that album and wanted to replicate it.
Going to see them tonite
One of my all time favorite bands! Saw them 3 times in Texas .Will always love them and cherish the memories! Best times of my life! Rock On!!!,
Just saw them tonight. They were amazing and so was Alice Cooper. Listened to both since childhood. Mad love and respect!
going tonight to see them with Alice Cooper - yay!
Just saw them live with Alice Cooper I was definitely impressed.
sex drugs and rocknroll oh the good old days luv this fuc%@in band
Oh the classics. I feel so old. Well I thank God I made it this far.
All hail to the kings of sleeze
houstonmissi o n c o n t r o l
saw them in Vegas in Sept 2013, very mediocre show. Vince was heaving and half assing the vocals. Also had a problem with the bar tab over counting drinks at the Hard Rock, had to ask them to pull the video to prove I didn't order what was on my tab.
iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone
iPhone iPhone iPhone iPhone iph
I will always love Mötley Crüe until the day I die!!!!!
Gonna see them live at Phoenix on the 19th!!!! Awesome!!! I can't wait.
What is this talk about a last tour.. not real remember ozzy s farewell tour 10 years ago ozzy is still touring.
Awesome band! Anyone interested in a bus trip to their concert at The First NiagaraPavil l i o n in Burgettstown , Pa. let me know. Bus leaves from the train station in Johnstown,Pa . Should be an awesome time!!!!!
desiree.whee l e r
WILDSIDE STILL LOVE YOU!!!!
On favorite bands a steady 2
nicko252008
Got tickets, Hollywood bowl the FINAL TOUR!!! hell yeah!
Amazing band nuff said... Sixx:AM isn't too bad either
Fronting a metal/hard rock band is so much more than singing. True Vince's voice is often is off key and kinda squeaky. True he sings maybe 40% of the words live in concert. But he is undeniably a great frontman and whether you like MC or not - they are hugely successful on a world-wide basis
One of the best oldies
whish I could see he motley crue farewell tour
notoriouslov e 2 0 1 1
#1
bambibear64
4 us babe! Sweeeeet times ahead!!
Mr Michael...my brother...r. i . p .
One of the best bands
Same here Josh but for me it's 106.7 but it's still awesome! Mötley Crüe rocks
Nikki Sixx does a radio show here!! 93.3 the eagle look it up!
Vince Neil is awesome dude...piss off
jbyrne70
Vince is the worst singer in the history of rock music. Dont believe me? You Tube Motley Crue's performance from the 1983 US Festival. nuff said.
Classic Crue baby!!
thomasgoode6 8
I was in the 7th grade when shout at the devil came out. That album was the greatest! I like the older stuff.
Whiskey 85'
I saw them a while back
girls?
Girls girls
awesomeness
zctenten
Take a ride on the WILD SIDE!!
fbikid1
LETS ROCK
The 80s was the best i lived it the best times ever party hard..
Cant wait to them one last time:(
zctenten
Even though Motley Crue is retiring they are still immortal. I can't wait to see them here in Albuquerque! ! !
Mötley Crüe retiring? *sheds tear*
Going to the final tour this summer. Can't wait! It will kick so much a**.
SEEING YOUG GUYS IN THE SUMMER
Wow motley crue disband
For good
Best 80s band
Show more

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