Motley Crue, particularly their primary songwriter Nikki Sixx, don't get nearly the credit they should for the skills and longevity they've displayed in their craft. So in honor of Sixx's birthday today (Dec. 11), we're going to take a look at some of the most underrated songs by one of the already most under-appreciated bands in recent rock history:
'Starry Eyes'From 'Too Fast for Love' (1981)
Although their first album was primarily filled with aggressive, punk-influenced blasts of hard rock, one of Motley Crue's most underrated songs -- the touching, wistful 'Starry Eyes' -- also turned up on the record. It showed early on that the band was capable of a delivering a surprising range of emotion and depth, which they would prove true several more times in their career.
'Use it or Lose it'From 'Theatre of Pain' (1985)
Motley Crue deliver some simple but important advice to anybody who hopes to achieve all the amazing things they've done in their lives: Time is short, make the best of it. Tommy Lee's typically strong, over-caffeinated beat and Vince Neil's rapid-fire vocal delivery emphasize the point ever so perfectly.
'Beauty'From 'Generation Swine' (1997)
Original singer Neil returned from a six year absence for the 'Generation Swine' album, which featured this gigantic, menacing industrial-tinged groove. Reportedly some of the music for the record was already written with replacement singer John Corabi in mind. So Sixx handled the low, growling verses and Vince the high parts as they warned of the dangers of falling in love with a drug addict.
'Motherf---er of the Year'From 'Saints of Los Angeles' (2008)
It's great to see that Motley Crue have been playing this song, one of the highlights of their most recent studio album, on their current U.K. tour. The band proves they haven't lost much off their fastball on this track, with Neil taking a shot at the critics who "Wish I'd go away," particularly on the big, sneering F.U. of a chorus.
'Misunderstood'From 'Motley Crue' (1994)
The band's only album without original lead singer Vince Neil has understandably taken a backseat in many fans' memories. However, there's some great, sophisticated stuff on here. Especially noteworthy is this nearly seven-minute long epic, which showcases Corabi's gritty vocals, as well as string work and production that once again betrays the band's love of the Beatles.
'Slice of Your Pie'From 'Dr. Feelgood' (1989)
The quality and success of 'Dr. Feelgood' makes it probably the hardest album from which to choose an underrated Motley Crue song, especially because they spent a recent summer playing the record in its entirety on tour. But we still think that this swampy, grinding song (recently featured on our Top 10 Pie Songs list), would have gotten more attention had it appeared on just about any other collection. (Their Fab Four love rears its head once again as they give a big nod towards 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' with the arpeggiated chords at the end.)
'First Band on the Moon'From 'New Tattoo' (2000)
One of the funniest songs in Motley Crue's entire career finds them lamenting the over-seriousness of the music scene at the turn of the century, and dreaming of taking a rocket ship to a place that loves arena rock, where the girls love to... well, you can complete the rhyme, we're sure. Here's a special shout-out to the awesome instrumental breakdown in the middle, and a fond remembrance of departed drummer Randy Castillo, who replaced Lee so admirably on this album.
'Louder Than Hell'From 'Theatre of Pain' (1985)
Subtlety is not one of Motley Crue's strong suits, nor would we want it to be if it robbed us of spell-it-all-out anthems like this stomping ode to all things amplified. Guitarist Mick Mars shines throughout, alternating between a crawling, lava-hot riff and squealing high notes.
'All in the Name of...'From 'Girls Girls Girls' (1987)
Motley Crue used this song to kick off concerts on their 'Girls Girls Girls' tour, and the dirty, souped-up take on Chuck Berry-style rock and roll fit that bill very nicely. The track has pretty much disappeared from sight since then, which is understandable given the depth of the Crue's catalog, but if we ever got super-rich and were able to hire the band for a birthday party on our gold yacht, you can be we'd be screaming for this one.
'Red Hot'From 'Shout at the Devil' (1983)
Even more so than with 'Dr. Feelgood,' it may seem questionable to include anything from the acknowledged start-to-finish classic album 'Shout at the Devil' on a list of underrated Motley Crue songs. But we're gonna do it anyway, because this pulse-pounding song simply can't get enough love in our book. In fact, if we chose their setlists, this would open up every single show.
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