Motley Crue have been leaving their impact on the hard rock music scene for more than three decades. Hundreds of live performances and nine studio albums later, and Motley Crue are now responsible for many songs which are now considered timeless staples of the genre and have been automatically enrolled into infinite airtime rotation. Examples of these very anthems include “Kickstart My Heart,” “Home Sweet Home” and “Live Wire.”
As is the case with many renowned rock groups, an artist’s ‘Greatest Hits’ are not a fair representation of the band in question, and this is especially true when it comes to Motley Crue. Here is our rundown of the Top 10 Underrated Motley Crue Songs.
10) “Find Myself”
From ‘Generation Swine’ (1997)
Lead vocalist Vince Neil‘s triumphant return to Motley Crue was solidified following the release of the band’s 1997 studio album, ‘Generation Swine.’ The album showed the group largely remaining in the commercially popular alternative metal direction of the era: a move previously taken during Crue’s brief stint with John Corabi. The opening track, however, contains enough chaotic Motley Crue elements to appeal to dedicated followers.
9) “Tonight (We Need a Lover)”
From ‘Theatre of Pain’ (1985)
Crunching distortion guitar welcomes the listener to this commonly overlooked cut from Motley Crue’s ‘Theatre of Pain’ album. While this effort is widely recognized as a departure from the traditional heavy metal sound which was previously embraced on the band’s first two studio albums and a transition into raw glam metal territory, “Tonight (We Need a Lover) is a strong exception.
8) “Hell on High Heels”
From ‘New Tattoo’ (2000)
When longtime member Tommy Lee departed from Motley Crue in 1999, Randy Castillo of Ozzy Osbourne fame would soon be appointed to serve as his replacement. Soon following this lineup change, Motley Crue reentered the studio with acclaimed producer Mike Clink to create the album which Nikki Sixx felt should have been the followup to ‘Dr. Feelgood.’ The album’s lead single “Hell on High Heels” earned moderate airplay, however due to the song’s limited appearance in the band’s live setlist it remains one of their lesser known anthems.
7) “Time for Change”
From ‘Dr. Feelgood’ (1989)
This emotional power ballad closes out Motley Crue’s 1989 studio album, ‘Dr. Feelgood.’ Delicate piano, humming synthesizers and soaring vocal melodies provide this song with all of the proper hooks which made “Without You” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” so memorable, and interestingly features guest appearances by Sebastian Bach, tour manager Mike Amato and producer Bob Rock.
6) “Down at the Whiskey”
From ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ (2008)
Motley Crue’s acclaimed reunion album with founding drummer Tommy Lee showed the band returning back to the iconic rhythm guitar-dominated, adrenaline-fueled style which vividly decorated their earlier efforts. The lyrics to “Down at the Whiskey” could be interpreted as biographical for the members of the Crue: “Do you remember when/ We were on the run/ Got loaded like a shotgun/ Living all our dreams down at the Whiskey”
5) “Public Enemy #1”
From ‘Too Fast For Love’ (1981)
Dating back to Motley Crue’s club days, “Public Enemy #1” showcases this rock group in their rawest incarnation. Vince Neil’s energetic studio presence, Nikki Sixx’s unforgiving bass lines, the punk rock-laden chord progressions of Mick Mars, and Tommy Lee’s infrequent cowbell contribution, all of these are elements which make “Public Enemy #1” sonic perfection to the ears of longtime listeners.
4) “Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid”
From ‘Shout at the Devil’ (1983)
Motley Crue turn the volume up ’til the speakers turn red on the classic hard rock anthem, “Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid.” The raw synergy which immediately captures the listener’s undivided attention can be directly attributed to Mars’ explosive intro guitar riff. “You see the red in my eyes/ You’re gonna feel my disease” Neil angrily screams over the manic rhythm section.
3) “All in the Name of…”
From ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ (1987)
A manic percussion solo from Lee serves as a bold introduction to this ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ rarity. Motley Crue adopt an unchained party rock attitude for “All in the Name of…” which rivals that of Poison, while blues flavored guitar riffs and earthy bass lines form a formidable backbone for Vince Neil to take the main spotlight with his unique lyrical swagger.
2) “Sinners & Saints”
From ‘Supersonic and Demonic Relics’ (1999)
This widely ignored, should-be-live-staple made its sole appearance on the late 90s compilation ‘Supersonic and Demonic Relics,’ which was largely comprised of unreleased tracks and studio demos. An explosive percussion section, driving guitar licks and Vince Neil’s ranging primal screams could have easily found this track a comfortable home on ‘Shout at the Devil.’
1) “Primal Scream”
From ‘Decade of Decadence’ (1991)
“Primal Scream” showcases the members of Motley Crue firing at full cylinders; what begins as a solid bass line transforms into an exhilarating octane-fueled tour-de-force, complete with spine chilling guitar slides and roaring vocal harmonies. “Primal Scream” not only tops our rundown of the Top 10 Underrated Motley Crue Songs, but is amongst the best material the band has released to date.