White & Crüe -
by Mike D'Ariano
the sixteen years since my personal favorite Motley Crüe album, 1989's
Dr. Feelgood, the band has released ten albums and/or boxed sets. Only
one of those was a new studio album by all four original members of the
group, 1997's Generation Swine. The other studio albums of that era were
New Tattoo, and the band's self titled album, which were recorded minus
Tommy Lee and Vince Neil respectively. Entertainment or Death, a double
live effort spanning the decade that the original band was together was
the only other release that was made up entirely of previously unreleased
material (it was all previously released songs, just unreleased live versions).
The other 6 albums were all collections of previously released material.
Decade of Decadence was a rarities album. Supersonic and Demonic was a
second rarities album, which included the tunes from Decade of Decadence
(which had gone out of print and was now
.rare). Music to Crash Your
Car To Vol. I and II were boxed sets consisting of entire albums and rare
tracks associated with them. Volume III is supposedly in the works. Finally,
Greatest Hits and 20th Century Masters were both straight ahead greatest
To compliment their surprisingly successful reunion tour, which sold out
Madison Square Garden in under an hour and recently added another 55 nationwide
dates, the band has released Red, White & Crüe which is
guessed it, yet another greatest hits package! This time it's a double
disc package specially priced as one CD.
this set is chronological, the first disc, which features 20 songs, contains
more or less all of the actual hits in the band's catalogue. All five
of their classic albums (Too Fast For Love, Shout at the Devil, Theatre
of Pain, Girls Girls Girls, and Dr. Feelgood) are represented on this
disc. The only song from the classic era not on disc one is "Home
Sweet Home" which is included on disc two because the version used
is a remix version from Decade of Decadence instead of the original from
Theatre of Pain. Including the alternate "Home Sweet Home",
there are three tracks included on Red White & Crüe from Theatre
of Pain, which is the lowest number of tracks supplied from one of the
early albums. There are four tracks from Too Fast For Love, Shout at the
Devil and Girls Girls Girls and five tracks from Dr. Feelgood included
on this set. Rounding out disc one is one never before released (on CD)
track from the early days called "Black Widow".
So basically, for those of you old enough (or young enough) to remember
Dial MTV, which was basically TRL's grandfather, all of the songs you
called up to request are on disc one. Disc two, is a different animal.
The second disc features not a single song which could be considered anything
more than a fringe hit (i.e. die hard Motley fans liked it and no one
else did), and ironically is made up largely of the bonus tracks from
previous greatest hits packages! "Anarchy in the U.K.", "Primal
Scream", "Home Sweet Home ('91 Remix)" "Bitter Pill",
and "Enslaved" were exclusive tracks to the Decade of Decadence
and Greatest Hits albums when they came out.
the same vein, but a little more confusing are "Bittersuite"
and "Planet Boom." These two songs were from the unreleased
EP. Quaternary when they became exclusive tracks on Supersonic and Demonic.
The EP. has since been included in the Music to Crash Your Car To Vol.
2 boxed set.
In addition to those seven previously exclusive tracks, the second disc
of Red White and Crüe contains three exclusive new cuts of its own,
which will surely round out the band's next greatest hits project. The
new tunes are the very enjoyable "If I Die Tomorrow", the moderately
enjoyable "Sick Love Song" and the hardly listenable cover of
the Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man" which is interesting
for no other reason than the fact that it makes Red White & Crüe
one of the only albums I know of that contain songs by both the Stones
and The Beatles (Motley's 1982 cover of "Helter Skelter" is
included on disc one). Another interesting note on the new tracks - rumor
has it that Tommy hates "Sick Love Song" and didn't play on
it. Supposedly Josh Freese, who is or was in the current version of Motley's
arch rivals, Guns N Roses plays on the track.
The other tracks from disc two are drawn from the band's three most recent
studio albums. Three cuts come from Generation Swine (1997), giving it
as many representations here as Theatre of Pain which any Crüe fan
will tell you is ludicrous. Two cuts come from the Tommy-less but fan
accepted New Tattoo (2000) album and two cuts come from the Vince-less
and fan despised self-titled album (1994).
To be fair, while I question the need for this album to be a two CD set
(or the need for it to exist at all for that matter), the fact that it's
priced as a single disc renders that point mute. All in all, no matter
how redundant, this is the best collection of Motley Crüe's music
available to date, and if you don't have all of this stuff already, it's
well worth owning. If you're like me, and you already own 33 of the 37
songs, perhaps you should think about downloading the handful of tracks
you don't already have, or just roll your eyes at the whole thing and
be content with the stuff you already own, knowing in your heart that
it's the best material Motley will ever produce.
Piece of Your Action
Toast of the Town
Too Fast For Love
Looks that Kill
Too Young To Fall In Love
Shout At The Devil
Smoking In The Boys Room
Use It Or Lose It
Girls Girls Girls
You're All I Need
All In The Name Of
Kickstart My Heart
Don't Go Away Mad
(Just Go Away)
Same Ol Situation (S.O.S.)
In The U.K.
Home Sweet Home
Hell On High Heels
Street Fighting Man
If I Die Tomorrow
Sick Love Song