Hear 19 Diverse Covers of Motley Crue’s ‘Home Sweet Home’
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On Sept. 30, 1985, Motley Crue released “Home Sweet Home,” a hit ballad that elevated the band to further heights. “The lyrics came out of that feeling of being gone so long and wanting to come back, which is ironic, right?” bassist Nikki Sixx mused in the Motley Crue: The End - Live in Los Angeles. “Because all you ever want is to get in a band and go on the road, but then you're on the road and you want to come home."
While Motley Crue were convinced the poignant track was essential to their Theatre of Pain album, record label executives disagreed. "They said, 'This is horrible, and you have to take that song off the record. You guys aren't a ballad band,'" Sixx later revealed. "We were always at war with that record company; they never really believed in us."
Still, the Crue were proven correct when “Home Sweet Home” became a hit, its video earning heavy rotation MTV while subsequently ushering in the power-ballad trend.
The band would later release a remixed version of the track in 1991 as part of its Decade of Decadence compilation. The updated version added string parts and a broader sound to the song’s original arrangement. It would later be featured on their Red, White & Crue anthology album in 2005.
“Home Sweet Home” has become one of Motley Crue’s most beloved tracks, hailed by fans and fellow artists alike. Acts from a range of genres have covered the tune, including country, dance and foreign-language groups. Below we run down a collection of 19 different covers of “Home Sweet Home.”
Rob Gee (1999)
DJ Rob Gee made a name for himself in the ‘90s, thanks to raucous club performances that combined rock and metal with the burgeoning electronic scene. His abrasive style - while certainly not for everyone - developed a loyal following as he toured the world and shared stages with everyone from Hatebreed to the Crystal Method. His 1999 song “Hard Sweet Core” gave new lyrics and a pulsating techno beat to the Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.”
30 Foot Fall (1999)
A punk-rock group that emerged out of Houston in the mid-'90s, 30 Foot Fall toured alongside other popular bands of the era, such as Sum-41 and the Vandals. Their most successful LP was 1999’s Ever Revolving, Never Evolving, which featured a screeching cover of the Motley Crue track.
Chester Bennington (2005)
Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington joined forces with Motley Crue on a new version of “Home Sweet Home.” The collaboration came together quickly, with the Linkin Park singer flying to Nashville to work with the Crue. The new arrangement featured a 26-person gospel choir and full orchestral string section. In just 24 hours, the musicians and their respective teams were able to record and release the single, with all proceeds benefiting Mercy Corps and the American Red Cross. "The chance to perform with these guys for such a great cause is something really special," Bennington said at the time. "The song really does fit the sentiment and something special happened when we pulled it together. Everyone felt as if they were doing something really important."
Limp Bizkit (2005)
Infamous rap-rockers Limp Bizkit released their version of “Home Sweet Home” on their 2005 Greatest Hitz album. The track featured electronic layers, ominous guitars and charging drums building to a crescendo, at which point the song suddenly collided with a rendition of the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Shockingly, the mash-up worked, with Limp Bizkit showing surprising depth and range. Not exactly what you’d expect from the guys behind “Nookie.”
Mexican rock band Moderatto have embraced a glam-rock persona since originally forming in the late ‘90s. Starting as a cover band before expanding into originals, the group developed a passionate following thanks to its outlandish onstage shenanigans. Not so surprisingly, Moderatto have maintained a soft spot for Motley Crue, sampling the band’s famous “Home Sweet Home” piano riff for their 2005 song “La Mujer Que No Soñe.”
John Corabi, Fred Coury and Alex Grossi (2007)
Singer John Corabi - who fronted Motley Crue from 1992-96 while Vince Neil was on hiatus - joined forces with Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi and Cinderella drummer Fred Coury for this rendition of “Home Sweet Home.” The cover - which noticeably replaced the classic drum parts with a synthesized drum machine - was part of the compilation album Too Fast for Love - A Millennium Tribute to Motley Crue.
Pickin' On (2007)
Since 1993, the Pickin' On series has created bluegrass cover albums of some of rock's most legendary acts, including the Beatles, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen and Guns N' Roses. Pickin' on Motley Crue was released in 2007 and featured classic Americana roots reinterpretations of many of the band's biggest hits.
Radio Cult (2007)
A cover band from Atlanta that specializes in ‘80s rock, Radio Cult released their female-fronted rendition of “Home Sweet Home” on the 2007 LP Retroactive.
Leif Garrett (2008)
In 2008, former actor and teen idol Leif Garrett released his version of “Home Sweet Home” for the album Crue Believers: Tribute to Motley Crue. The cover would go on to appear on various other compilation albums, often dedicated to ‘80s rock and hair metal.
Carrie Underwood (2009)
After winning the American Idol contest in 2004, Carrie Underwood returned to the Idol stage in 2009 and performed a rendition of “Home Sweet Home” for the eighth season’s finale. Underwood would include the cover on the deluxe edition of her third studio album, Play On.
Rob Corddry, Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
In the 2010 comedy movie Hot Tub Time Machine, Lou Dorchen, played by Rob Corddry, drunkenly drives into his home garage as the familiar piano riff of “Home Sweet Home” begins to play on the radio. “No fucking way,” the character excitedly proclaims, turning up the volume and proceeding to sing along while air drumming. Lost in the song, Lou doesn’t notice the garage door closing behind him, the room quickly filling with carbon monoxide. "Home Sweet Home" is revisited again in the film's closing credits, with Corddry delivering his best Vince Neil impression in a parody of the song's music video.
Kidz Bop (2011)
Even Motley Crue aren't immune to the phenomenon that is Kidz Bop - the brand that releases albums of popular music covered by children, with lyrics often changed to suit young listeners. The franchise has released more than 40 albums over the course of its existence, including the 2011 LP Kidz Bop Sings Monster Ballads. The album included covers of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” Guns N Roses’ “Patience” and Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.”
Tommy Lee, Californication (2011)
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee performed "Home Sweet Home” during a Season Four cameo on the Showtime series Californication. In the episode, Hank Moody, played by David Duchovney, finds himself in hot water after discovering the young starlet he slept with and the age-appropriate woman whom he also bedded are, in fact, mother and daughter. The episode ends as the bad-boy writer slumps in a bar, sipping on a cocktail and listening to Tommy Lee playing “Home Sweet Home” on the piano. This version appeared on the show’s Season Four soundtrack.
Anna Graceman, America's Got Talent (2011)
Alaska-born singer Anna Graceman earned national attention at just 11 years old, when she appeared on the competition show America's Got Talent. One of her more memorable performances was a stirring rendition of "Home Sweet Home." The young singer made it into the Top 10 finalists before getting eliminated. She's continued a career in music since then, recording and releasing her own material, while also writing songs for other artists.
Todrick Hall and Pentatonix (2013)
Former American Idol contestant Todrick Hall teamed with a cappella group Pentatonix for the 2013 release "The Wizard of Ahhhs." The track told the story of The Wizard of Oz, combining modern pop songs with tunes from the classic film. It included part of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home,” which showed up as Dorothy clicks her heels to return to Kansas.
Justin Moore (2014)
In 2014, an assembly of country-music stars came together and recorded Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue. The compilation album featured Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, LeAnn Rimes, Darius Rucker and many more country acts delivering reinterpretations of the Crue’s classic tunes. It was Justin Moore who got the honor of helming “Home Sweet Home” for the project, teaming with Vince Neil on this twangy rendition.
Prior to the start of the 2016 season, the NFL released a promotional video featuring players, staff, employees and fans rocking out to Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home." The clip - centered on the message "Football Is Family" - proclaimed that "family always comes home, sweet home."
8 Bit Universe (2019)
8 Bit Universe, a YouTube channel dedicated to making “8 Bit inspired covers of the latest, greatest hits” uploaded its version of “Home Sweet Home” in March 2019. The video-game style may be painful for Crue purists' ears, but gamers undoubtedly will appreciate the work.
In March 2020, indie-rock singer LP uploaded an at-home rendition of "Home Sweet Home." The sparse cover featured only vocals and a ukulele, yet still managed to pack a wallop, as LP's soulful singing carried the tune.