Buyer's Guide: Mötley Crüe
A look at the best and worst albums of the Crüe's 34 year career
Perhaps it was their manager, Doc McGhee, who best summed up Mötley Crüe. Recalling the years when he handled the business affairs of these self-styled Bad Boys of Hollywood, McGhee stated in the Crüe’s autobiography, The Dirt: “I spent 10 years of my life apologising for that band. As their manager, that’s all I really did. Apologise.”
McGhee is no saint himself: in 1988 he received a suspended five-year prison sentence for drug-trafficking offences. But when this hard-nosed businessman who made a fortune managing Mötley Crüe declared: “There was nothing I liked about them,” it confirmed beyond all doubt their reputation as the most depraved rock’n’roll band of them all. Nobody, not even Ozzy, Zeppelin, Keith Moon or Guns N’ Roses, has wreaked havoc with such reckless abandon as Mötley Crüe.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1981, the Crüe – bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil – were kings of the Hollywood hair metal scene and relished all the perks that came with that title. With an inexhaustible supply of booze, drugs and girls, the Crüe partied so hard throughout the 80s, it's a miracle they all survived.
Sixx almost croaked twice, overdosing on heroin in London, where a dealer dumped his apparently lifeless body in a skip, and in LA, where he was resuscitated with adrenalin shots – inspiring the Crüe anthem Kickstart My Heart. In the end the sole casualty of the Crüe’s wild years was Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas ‘Razzle’ Dingley, who died in the passenger seat of Vince Neil’s sports car, after the singer crashed it during a booze and drugs bender in 1984.
Incredibly, amid all the mayhem, Mötley Crüe became one of the biggest bands in the world, selling more than 50 million albums. Having cheated death and survived some lean years when Vince and then Tommy left the band, the Crüe are still in business, their classic line-up still intact, and a movie based on _The Dirt _is scheduled for release in the near future.
Mötley Crüe’s story has been described as “an epic tale of rock’n’roll Babylon”, and its soundtrack expresses their hedonistic ethos to the full: music to drink, snort, screw, fight and crash cars to.